Sunday, June 7, 2009


Iberis amara Linn.

Family Cruciferae; Brassicaceae.

Habitat Native toEurope; cultivated

in gardens. Reported to occur in


English Rocket Candytuft, Clown's


Action Used for gout, rheumatism,

also for bronchitis and asthma; as

a tonic in enlargement of heart to

allay excited action of the heart.

The seeds contain a mustard oil and

a glycoside, glucoiberin. The plant

contains sulphur-containing glucosinolates;

also contains bitter and toxic

tetracycloterpenoids, cucurbitacin E

and I.

The seed extract exhibited cytotoxicity

against renal and brain tumours

and melanoma cell lines. The activity

may be attributed to the presence of

cucurbitacins E and I.

Ichnocarpus frutescens R. Br.

Family Apocynaceae.

Habitat Uttar Pradesh, Madhya

Pradesh, Bihar, Assam and the


English Black Creeper.

Ayurvedic Gopavalli, Krishna

Saarivaa (var.), Krishna-muuli,


Siddha/Tamil Karunannari,


Folk Kaalisar, Karantaa.

Action Root—demulcent, diuretic,

alterative, diaphoretic; used in

fevers, dyspepsia and cutaneous

affections. The roots of the plant

are used as a substitute for Indian

sarsaparilla and are often mixed

with the roots of Hemidesmus

indicus (their therapeutic properties

for use as sarsaparilla have bot been


The root gave -hydroxy--methoxybenzaldehyde.

Alkaloids and flavonoids were present

in the roots but not in the leaves and

fruits. Saponins were absent in these

parts. The whole plant gave n-butyl

sorboside, kaempferol and its glucoside.

Ilex aquifolium Linn.

Family Aquifolilaceae.

Habitat Native to Europe; grown

occasionally in gardens at hill


English English Holly, Common


Action Leaves—diaphoretic,

febrifuge. Used in catarrh, pleurisy,

intermittent fever, smallpox and

rheumatism. Also in jaundice.

Berries—violently emetic and

purgative; employed in dropsy.

Powdered berries are used as

astringent to check bleeding.


324 Ilex paraguariensis St.-Hil.

(Berries possess totally different

qualities as compared to leaves.)

The plant contains ilicin (a bitter

principle), ilexanthin, theobromine

(only in the leaf) and caffeic acid. Alkaloid

theobromine is used for asthma.

In Greece, boiled leaves are used for

treating enlarged prostate.

An extract of the plant caused a fatal

drop in blood pressure in rats.

The ethanolic extract of the fruits

yields cyanogenic glucosides.

Ilex paraguariensis St.-Hil.

Family Aquifoliaceae.

Habitat Native to South America;

cultivated in some Indian gardens.

In northern India, grows in


English Mate Tea, Yerba Mate.

Paraguay Tea.

Action Stimulant to brain and

nervous system, mild antispasmodic,

eliminates uric acid. Used for

physical exhaustion, rheumatism,

gout and nervous headache. (A

national drink of Paraguay and

Brazil.) Causes purging and even

vomiting in large doses.

Key application In physical

and mental fatigue. (German

Commission E, WHO.) In fatigue,

nervous depression, psychogenic

headache especially from fatigue,

rheumatic pains. (The British

Herbal Pharmacopoeia.) German

Commission E reported analeptic,

positively inotropic, positively

chronotropic, glycogenolytic,

lipolytic and diuretic properties.

The leaves contain xanthine derivatives,

including caffeine (.–%),

theobromine (.–.%), theophylline

(absent insome samples), polyphenolics,

tannins and chlorogenic acid,

vanillin, vitaminC, volatile oil. Used in

the same way as tea, due to its caffeine

and theobromine content.

Mate is a world famous tea and is

commonly consumed in several South

American countries.

The flavour constituents exhibited

moderate to weak broad-spectrum

antimicrobial activity against several

Gram-positive bacteria. Some components

are bactericidal, particularly

against the most carcinogenic bacteria,

Streptococcus mutans.

Illicium anisatum Linn.

Family Magnoliaceae; Illiciaceae.

Habitat Indigenous to China.

English Star Anise.

Unani Baadiyaan (related species).

Action Carminative and pectoral.

Used in hard, dry cough where

expectoration is difficult. (Oil of

Anise is distilled in Europe from

the fruits of Pimpinella anisum.)

The seeds, though used as a substitute

for Star Anise, contain toxic

constituents, anisatin, neoanisatin, -

deoxymajucin, besides pseudoanisatin

and sesquiterpene lactones.


Impatiens balsamina Linn. 325

Illicium verum Hook. f.

Family Magnoliaceae, Illiciaceae.

Habitat Native to China. Fruits

imported from China and Indo-


English Star Anise, Chinese Anise,

Aniseed Stars.

Unani Baadyaan Khataai.

Siddha/Tamil Takkola, Anasippo.

Folk Anasphal.

Action Carminative (used for

colic), stimulant, diuretic. Also

used in rheumatism.

Key application In catarrhs of the

respiratory tract and peptic discomforts.

(German Commission E.)

The fruit contains a volatile oil containing

trans-anethole –%, and

feniculin (.%), with estragole,

beta-bisabolene, beta-farnesene, caryophyllene,


The intake of trans-anethole (.%)

does not show any chronic toxicity in

rats. Veranisatins, isolated from the

extract, showed convulsive effect in

mice. Methanolic extract exhibited

a hypothermic effect in mice.

Illicium griffithii Hook. f. & Thoms.

is found in Bhutan and Khasi hills at

altitudes of ,–, m. The fruit,

known as Baadiyaan, is bitter and astringent,

reported to be poisonous. It is

used as stimulant and carminative. Essential

oil resembles that from aniseed

(Pimpinella anisum Linn.) and fennel

(Foeniculum vulgare Mill.)

Impatiens balsamina Linn.

Family Balsaminaceae.

Habitat Cultivated in plains

throughout India.

English Garden Balsam. (Balsam

Apple is not related to Impatiens. It is

the fruit of Momordica balsamina.)

Ayurvedic Tarini (provisional


Unani Gul-menhdi.

Siddha/Tamil Kasittumbai.

Action Cathartic, diuretic,

antirheumatic. Flowers—used in

burns and scalds.

The plant is reported to contain

cyanochroic constituents, antibacterial

substances and an alkaloid. The seeds

contain the triterpenoid hosenkol A,

the first baccharance triterpenoid from

natural source. The seeds also contain

a protein-associated amyloid, galactoxyloglucan

and beta-sitosterol.

In China, the aerial parts are used

for the treatment of articular rheumatism.

In Korea, the plant is used for

treating tuberculosis. In Brunei, a decoction

of the root is given in irregular

menstruation. In Japan, the juice, obtained

from the white petals, is applied

topically to treat several types of dermatitis,

including urticaria.

The flowers contain flavonols, flavonoid

pigments, phenolic compounds

and quinones.

An ethanolic extract (%) of flowers

shows significant anti-anaphylactic

activity in mice.

The methanolic extract of the whole

plant exhibited strong antibacterial


326 Imperata cylindrica Rausch.

activity against Bacillus subtilis and

Salmonella typhimurium; antibacterial

and antifungal activity has been attributed

to a naphthoquinone derivative.

Imperata cylindrica Rausch.

Synonym I. arundinacea Cyr.

Family Gramineae; Poaceae.

Habitat The hotter parts of India,

both in plains and hills, ascending

up to , m in the Himalayas.

English Thatch Grass.

Ayurvedic Darbha, Suuchyagra,

Yagnika, Yagyabhuushana, Bahir.

Siddha/Tamil Dharba.

Folk Daabh.

Action Diuretic, anti-inflammatory.

The rhizomes contain flavonoids, together

with lignans, graminone A and

B. A sesquiterpenoid, cylindrene, and

biphenylether compounds, cylindol A

and B, are also reported.

Cylindrene and graminone B show

inhibitory activity on the contractions

of vascular smooth muscles and aorta

of rabbit respectively; while cylindol

A exhibits -lipoxygenase inhibitory


The hot aqueous extract of the rhizomes

showmoderate GTP activity on

primary cultured rat hepatocytes intoxicated

with carbon tetrachloride cytotoxicity.

The leaves and stem contain cyanochroic

constituents. The roots contain

antibacterial substances. The root is

used in fevers but does not possess antipyretic


Dosage Root—– ml decoction.


Indigofera arrecta Hochst.

Family Fabaceae.

Habitat Cultivated in Assam, Bihar

and in parts of Uttar Pradesh.

English Natal Indigo, Java Indigo,

Bengal Indigo.

Ayurvedic Nili (related species).

Action See I. tinctoria.

Aqueous extract of the plant exhibits

antihyperglycaemic activity in rats due

to insulinotropic property.

The indigotin content of the plant

(.–.%) is higher than that of other

species of Indigofera. The leaves contain

up to % of a flavonol glycoside

which on hydrolysis yields rhamnose

and kaempferol.

Indigofera articulata

auct. non-Gouan.

Synonym I. caerulea Roxb.

Family Fabaceae.

Habitat Bihar and Western and

Peninsular India.

English Egyptian Indigo, Arabian

Indigo, Wild Indigo, Surat Indigo.

Ayurvedic Nili (related species).

Siddha/Tamil Aaramuri, Iruppumuri,


Folk Surmai Nila.

Action Root, leaf—bitter tonic.



Indigofera pulchella Roxb. in part. 327

Indigofera aspalathoides

Vahl ex DC.

Family Fabaceae.

Habitat Plains of Karnataka,

Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

English Wiry Indigo.

Ayurvedic Nili (related species),


Siddha/Tamil Sivanaarvembu,


Folk Shivanimba (Maharashtra).

Action Antileprotic, antitumour,

anti-inflammatory. Used in

psoriasis and erysipelas. Ash

of the burnt plant is used for

dandruff. Root is used in aphthae.

Indigofera enneaphylla Linn.

Synonym I. linnaei Ali.

Family Fabaceae.

Habitat The Himalayas up to

, m and in plains of India.

English Trailing indigo.

Ayurvedic Vaasukaa.

Siddha/Tamil Cheppunerinjil.

Folk Hanumaan-buuti, Bhui-nila.

Action Juice of the plant—

antiscorbutic, diuretic, alterative.

The plant, boiled with oil, is applied

to burns. A decoction is given in

epilepsy and insanity.

The plant contains two unsaturated

hydrocarbons—indigoferin and enneaphyllin.

The seeds contain .%

protein, also yield lipids (.%) containing

palmitic and oleic acid. The

toxicity of the plant is attributed to

a non-protein amino acid, indospicine

(-amidino--aminohexanoic acid).

(Consumption of the plant produces

a neurological syndrome, known as

Birdsville disease, in horses. The toxicity

is greatly reducedwhen thematerial

is chopped and dried.)

The aerial parts gave -nitropropanoyl

esters of D-glucose.

Indigofera oblongifolia Forsk.

Synonym I. paucifolia Delile.

Family Fabaceae.

Habitat Throughout greater parts

of India.

English Wild Indigo, Mysore

Panicled Indigo.

Ayurvedic Bana-Nila, Dill, Jhill.

Unani Vasmaa.

Siddha/Tamil Kattukkarchamathi.

Folk Jhil (Gujarat).

Action Plant—antisyphilitic. All

parts of the plant are found useful

in enlargement of liver and spleen.

The leaves gave apigenin -rhamnoglucoside,

apigenin , -diglucoside,

kaempferol--neohesperidoside and

rhoifolin, along with protocatechuic,

p-coumaric, p-hydroxybenzoic, salicylic

and vanillic acid.

Indigofera pulchella

Roxb. in part.

Synonym I. cassioides Rottl. ex DC.


328 Indigofera tinctoria Linn.

Family Fabaceae.

Habitat The hills in India.

Ayurvedic Nili (related species).

Siddha/Tamil Nirinji.

Action Root—used for cough.

Powder of the root applied externally

for muscular pain in chest.

Leaves and roots—used for swelling

of the stomach.

Theseeds contain crude protein .,

pentosans . and water soluble gum


Indigofera tinctoria Linn.

Family Fabaceae.

Habitat Cultivated in many parts

of India.

English Indigo.

Ayurvedic Nilikaa, Nilaa, Nila,

Nili, Nilini, Nilapushpa, Ranjani,

Shaaradi, Tutthaa.

Unani Habb-ul-Neel.

Siddha/Tamil Nili, Averi, Asidai,


Action Plant—ntiseptic, hepatoprotective,

hypoglycaemic, nervine

tonic. Used in enlargement of liver

and spleen, skin diseases, leucoderma,

burns, ulcers, piles, nervous

disorders, epilepsy, asthma, lumbago,

gout. Leaf—nti-inflammatory.

Used in blennorrhagia. Root—diuretic. Used in hepatitis. Root

and stem—axative, expectorant,

febrifuge, anticephalalgic, antitumour,

anthelmintic, promote

growth of hair.

The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India

recommends the use of driedwhole

plant in phobia, delusion and disturbed

mental state.

Indicine (– mg/g, dry basis) and

the flavonoids, apigenin, kaempferol,

luteolin and quercetin are present in

various plant parts, maximum in the

leaves andminimumin the roots (however

quercetinwas minimumin leaves).

The presence of coumarins, cardiac

glycosides, saponins and tannins is also


Alcoholic extract of the aerial parts

showed hepatoprotective activity in

experimental animals against CCl-

induced hepatic injury. The extract

increased bile flow and liver weight in

rats. The alcoholic extract also exhibited

hypoglycaemic activity in rats.

The plant is used in the treatment

of endogenous depression. It contains

appreciable amounts of conjugated indoxyl

(indican). The use of indigo and

its constituents, indirubin and indigotin,

prevents allergic contact dermatitis.

The  weeks old tissues in culture

contain maximum histamine content

(. mg/g dry weight).

Dosage Dried leaf—– g for

decoction; root— g for decoction

(API Vol. II); whole plant—– g

for decoction. (API Vol. III.)

Indigofera trifoliata Linn.

Synonym I. prostrata Willd.

Family Fabaceae.

Habitat Throughout greater parts

of India.


Ionidium suffruticosum Ging. 329

Folk Vana-methi.

Action Astringent, antileucorrhoeic,

antirheumatic, alterative,


The seeds contain crude protein .

pentosan ., water soluble gum .%.

Inula racemosa Hook. f.

Synonym I. royleana auct. non-DC.

Family Compositae; Asteraceae.

Habitat Temperate and Alpine

Himalayas from Chitral to Nepal at

,–, m.

English Elecampane.

Ayurvedic Pushkaramuula,

Pushkara, Paushkara, Padmapatra,

Kaashmira, Kushtha-bheda.

Action Antispasmodic, stomachic,

antihistaminic, expectorant,

anticatarrhal. Used for asthma,

chronic bronchitis and pulmonary


Key application Inula helenium—as expectorant. (The British Herbal


Roots are used in Kashmir as adulterant

of Saussurea lappa.

The root contains a volatile oil, about

–%; major constituents being inulin

(.) and sesquiterpene lactones,

mainly alantolactone, isoalantolactone

and their dihydro derivatives. Alantolactone

and others in the mixture

known as helenalin (sesquiterpene lactones)

are toxic constituents of the root.

Alantolactone is anti-inflammatory

in animals and has been shown to stimulate

the immune system. It is also hypotensive

and anthelmintic in animals;

antibacterial and antifungal in vitro It

irritatesmucous membranes. It is used

as an anthelmintic in Europe and UK.

Plant extract showed potent antispasmodic

effect against bronchial

spasm induced by histamine and various

plant pollens.

The root, when combined with

Commiphora mukul gum-resin, acts as

a hypolipidaemic agent, exhibits betablocking

activity and beneficial effect

in myocardial ischaemia.

The roots also exhibit sedative and

blood pressure lowering activity.

The European species is equated

with Inula helenium Linn.

Dosage Root—– g powder. (API

Vol. IV.)

Ionidium suffruticosum Ging.

Synonym Hybanthus enneaspermus

(Linn.) F. Muell.

Family Violaceae.

Habitat The warmer parts of

India from Delhi to Bengal and

throughout Deccan Peninsula.

Ayurvedic Amburuha.

Siddha/Tamil Orilaithamarai.

Folk Ratna-purush.

Action Diuretic, antigonorrhoetic

and demulcent. Root—iven

in urinary infections, for bowel

complaints of children.

The plant gave a dipeptide alkaloid,

aurantiamide acetate and a triterpene,

iso-arborinol, and beta-sitosterol.


330 Ipomoea aquatica Forsk.

Ipomoea aquatica Forsk.

Synonym I. reptans Poir.

Family Convolvulaceae.

Habitat Throughout the greater

part of India.

English Swamp Cabbage.

Ayurvedic Kalambi, Naalikaa.

Siddha/Tamil Vellaikeerai, Koilangu.

Action Emetic and purgative.

Used as an antidote to arsenical

or opium poisoning. Plant juice is

used for liver complaints; buds for


The leaves are a good source of

minerals (.%), vitamins (especially,

carotene and tocopherol). Plant is

given for nervous and general debility.

Whole plant gave beta-carotene, xanthophyll,

traces of taraxanthin, hentriacontane,

beta-sitosterol and its glucoside.

The buds of pigmented variety are

recommended as a food for diabetics.

An insulin-like substance is reported

from the buds.

The stems contain N-trans- and Ncis-

feruloyltyramines, which have been

found to be the inhibitors of in vitro

prostaglandin synthesis.

The plant shows abundant growth in

waste water and absorbs some organic

and inorganic components, including

heavy metals from waste water. The

plant may be useful in the treatment of

waste water by biogeofiltration.

Ipomoea batatas (Linn.) Lam.

Family Convolvulaceae.

Habitat Native to tropical America;

cultivated throughout India for

edible tubers.

English Sweet potato.

Ayurvedic Mukhaaluka, Rataalu,

Raktaalu, Raktapindaka, Raktakanda.

Siddha/Tamil Sakkareivelleikulangu.

Unani Shakarkand, Rataalu.

Action Root—sed in strangury,

urinary discharges, burning sensation,

thirst. Whole plant—sed in

low fever and skin diseases.

Cooked tubers contain reducing

sugars ., sucrose ., maltose –, dextrins . and polysaccharides

–%. Cooking increases the sweetness

as a result of the hydrolysis of

starch to maltose and dextrins through

the action of beta-amylase.

Sweet potatoes are rich in starch

content. During the storage a part of

starch content is converted into reducing

sugars and subsequently into sucrose.

In a sample stored for  months,

the starch content was reduced from

.% to .% while the percentage of

reducing sugars (as dextrose) and sucrose

increased from . to . and .

to .% respectively.

Indian typeswithwhite flesh contain

little or no carotene, while American

typeswith pink flesh contain as highas

.–. mg/ g of carotene. Vitamins

present in the tubers are : thiamine

.–., riboflavin .–. and vitamin

C – mg/ g.

Thehot aqueous extract of leaves exhibits

significant inhibitory activity of

rat lens aldose reductase (AR). Ellagic


Ipomoea eriocarpa R. Br. 331

and ,-dicaffoylquinic acids have been

isolated as potent inhibitors.

The leaves also contain polysaccharides

which increase the platelet count

in experimental animals due to enhanced

production of thrombopoietin.

From the stem and root, hexadecyl,

octadecyl and eicosyl p-coumarates

have been isolated.

The tubers show significant lectin

activity and exhibit haemagglutinating

activity in trypsinized rabbit erythrocytes.

Ipomoea bona-nox Linn.

Synonym I. alba Linn.

Calonyction bona-nox Bojer.

C. aculeatum (Linn.) House.

Family Convolvulaceae.

Habitat Throughout India.

English Moon Flower.

Ayurvedic Chandrakaanti, Gulchaandani,

Dudhiaa Kalami.

Siddha/Tamil Naganamukkori.

Folk Chaandani, Dudhiaa Kalami.

Action Root bark—urgative.

Leaves—sed in filariasis.

The plant contains pentasaccharide

glucoside of ethyl--hydroxy hexadecanoate.

The seeds contain alkaloids,

ipomine, isoipomine, methoxyipomine,

dimethoxyipomine, ipalkidinium,

ipalbidine and ipalbine.

Ipomoea digitata Linn.

Synonym I. paniculata R. Br. Burm.

I. mauritiana Jacq.

Family Convolvulaceae.

Habitat Tropical India in moist


English Milky Yam.

Ayurvedic Kshira-vidaari, Kshirvalli,

Payasvini, Swaadukandaa,

Ikshukandaa, Gajavaajipriyaa, Kandapalaasha,


Siddha Paalmudukkan kizhangu.

Folk Bilaaikanda. Bhuin Kakhaaru


Action Cholagogue, galactagogue,

alterative, demulcent, purgative.

Resin from root—ses similar to

Jalap. Flour of raw rhizome is given

in enlargement of liver and spleen,

also for menorrhagia, debility and

fat accumulation.

Rhizomes gave taraxerol acetate and

beta-sitosterol. Fresh leaves contain

. mg/ g of carotene.

Vidaari is equated with Pueraria

tuberosa DC. (Fabaceae). Dry pieces

of Dioscorea pentaphylla Linn. are sold

as Vidaari Kanda.

Dosage Tuber—– g powder.


Ipomoea eriocarpa R. Br.

Synonym I. hispida Roem. &


I. sessiliflora Roth.

Family Convolvulaceae.

Habitat Throughout India.

Ayurvedic Aakhukarni (related

species), Sheetavalli (provisional



332 Ipomoea hederacea (L.) Jacq.

Folk Nikhari, Bhanwar (Punjab).

Action Antirheumatic, anticephalalgic,

antiepileptic and antileprotic.

The plant is boiled in oil and used as

an application for rheumatism, headache,

epilepsy, fevers, ulcers, leprosy.

The seeds are reportedtocontaina resin

similar to that present in the seeds of

Ipomoea nil.

Ipomoea hederacea (L.) Jacq.

Synonym Convolvulus hederacus


Family Convolvulaceae.

Habitat North American species.

Not found wild in India. Grown in

Indian gardens.

Folk Krishna-bija, Kaalaadaanaa.

Kakkattan (Tamil Nadu). Jirki

(Andhra Pradesh).

Action Seed—urgative. Used as

a substitute for Jalap (Exogonium


The seed gave alkaloids—ysergol,

chanoclavine, penniclavine, iso-penniclavine

and elymoclavine.

Ipomoea marginata

(Desr.) Verdc.

Family Convolvulaceae.

Habitat Throughout India in the

plains, especially on the bank of

stream and rivers.

Ayurvedic Lakshmanaa (Also

equated with Ipomoea obscura

(Linn.) Ker-Gawler.), Putradaa,


Folk Tirutaalli (Kerala).

Action Used as a single drug for

curing sterility in women, and for

promoting fertility and virility.

The seeds of Ipomoea obscura contain

non-ergolin type indole alkaloids,

ipobscurineAand B and serotonin also

alkaloid ipobscurine C.

Ipomoea muricata

(Linn.) Jacq., non-Cav.

Synonym I. turbinata Lag.

Convolvulus muricatus Linn.

Family Convolvulaceae.

Habitat The Himalayas, West

Bengal, Bihar, Orissa,Maharashtra

and South India.

English Traveller' Midnight Lilies.

Ayurvedic Krishnabija (related

species). (Sold as Kaalaadaanaa,

seeds of Ipomoea nil.)

Siddha/Tamil Kattu Talai.

Folk Michaai.

Action Purgative, febrifuge.

Seeds—ardiac depressant, spasmolytic,

hypotensive, antibacterial,

antifungal. Plant juice destroys


The seeds contain resin glycosides

which are laxative. Lysergol is also

present in the seeds. It exhibits hypotensive,

psychotropic, analgesic, and

uterus and intestine-stimulating properties.

The presence of indole alkaloids

is reported in the seed.


Ipomoea pes-caprae (Linn.) Sweet. 333

Ipomoea nil (Linn.) Roth

Synonym I. hederacea auct., non-


Convolvulus bilobatus Roxb.

Convolvulus nil Linn.

Family Convolvulaceae.

Habitat Throughout India; also

occurs as a weed.

English Pharbitis seeds.

Ayurvedic Antah-kotarpushpi,

Kaalaanjani (provisional synonym),

Krishnabija, Kaalaadaanaa,

Shyaamabija, Shankhani, Jhaaramaaricha.

Unani Kaalaadaanaa.

Siddha/Tamil Kaakkattan.

Action Purgative and bloodpurifier.

A substitute for Jalap.


The seeds from Pakistan contain alkaloids—lysergol, chanoclavine, penniclavine,

isopenniclavine and elymoclavine.

Also contain .% resin and


Commercial samples of the drug

contain –% of crude resinous matter.

Research has shown that glycosidal

part of the resin is inert; the nonglycosidal

resin (%of the drug) causes

copious purgation in doses of  mg.

Besides the resinous matter, the seeds

contain a fixed oil (.%) and small

amounts of saponin,mucilage and tannin.

The flowers of the plant contains anthocyanin


Theplant extract exhibited hypoglycaemic

activity in rats.

Dosage Seed—– g powder.


Ipomoea pes-caprae

(Linn.) Sweet.

Synonym I. biloba Forsk.

Family Convolvulaceae.

Habitat Near sea, especially on the

West Coast.

English Goat' Foot Creeper.

Ayurvedic Chhagalaantri, Maryaada-


Siddha/Tamil Adambu, Attukkal,


Action Astringent, stomachic,

laxative, antidiarrhoeal, antiemetic,

analgesic. Leaf—iuretic, antiinflammatory.

Used in colic,

prolapsus ani; externally in rheumatism.

Essential oil of leaves—antagonistic to histamine. Leaf

extract is used for different types

of inflammations including injuries

caused by poisonous jelly-fish.

Clinical trials have proved that an

extract (IPA) inhibited the action of

jelly-fish toxins. Its topical application

inhibited carrageenan-induced paw

and ear oedema induced by arachidonic

acid or ethyl phenylpropionate

in rats. The crude extract of leaves also

show inhibitory effect on prostaglandin

synthesis in vitro.

Crude extract (IPA) of the leaves has

also been shown to antagonize smooth

muscle contraction induced by several

agonists via non-specific mechanism.

Antispasmodic isoprenoids,


334 Ipomoea petaloidea Choisy.

beta-damascenone and E-phytol have

been isolated fromthe extract.The antispasmodic

activity was found to be in

the same range as that of papaverine.

The alcoholic extract of leaves

showed insulinogenic and hypoglycaemic

activities in rats, comparable

to the hypoglycaemic drug chlorpropamide.

The leaves and seeds contain indole

alkaloid. Plant also contains a steroid,

an amide, pentatriacontane, triacontane,

volatile oil and behenic, melissic,

butyric and myristic acids.

Ipomoea petaloidea Choisy.

Synonym Operculina petaloidea


Family Convolvulaceae.

Habitat Throughout India;

ascending to  m.

Ayurvedic Shyaamaa, Chhaagalaantri,

Vriddhadaaraka, Vriddhadaaru.

Argyreia nervosa

(Burm. f.) Boj., synonym A.

spiciosa Sweet, Convolvulaceae, is

equated with Vriddhadaaru and

Vriddhadaaruka, while Ipomoea

petaloidea and I. pes-caprae are

also known by identical synonyms.

Operculina turpethum, synonym I.

turpethum is used as a substitute for

I. petaloidea.

Unani Shaaraf.

Siddha Nilapoosani.

Folk Bidhaaraa, Nishoth (black


Action Purgative. Used as

a supporting herb for diseases of

the nervous system.

Dosage Leaf, root—– g powder;

leaf juice—– ml. (CCRAS.)

Ipomoea purga Hayne.

Synonym I. jalapa Scheide and


Exogonium purga (Hayne) Benth.

Family Convolvulaceae.

Habitat Cultivated in the Nilgiris

and Poona.

English Jalap.

Folk Jalaapaa.

Action Strong cathartic and

purgative. Usually used with


Resin from dried root (commercial

jalap) contains beta-D-quinovoside of

-OH-tetradecanoic acid. Theglycosidal

resin is known as "onvolvulin"

Ipomoea purpurea (Linn.) Roth.

Family Convolvulaceae.

Habitat Native of tropical America;

found throughout greater part of

India, grown in gardens.

English Tall Morning-Glory.

Folk Karakatiyaa (seeds).

Action Purgative. Seed extract—antibacterial.

Thestemcontains a softresin (.%),

essential oil (.%) and tannin. The


Ipomoea vitifolia Blume. 335

resin is the active principle, it contains

ipuranol, which is identical with

sitosterol glucoside, ipurolic acid, dmethyl

acetic acid, hydroxylauric acid

and glucose.

Ipomoea quamoclit Linn.

Synonym Quamoclit pinnata Bojer.

Family Convolvulaceae.

Habitat Native to tropical America;

grown as an ornamental.

English Cypress Vine, Indian Pink.

Ayurvedic Kaamalataa.

Siddha/Tamil Kembumalligai,


Folk Sitaakesh.

Action Powdered root is given as

a sternutatory. Pounded leaves are

applied to bleeding piles.

The leaves and stems are reported

to contain small amounts of alkaloids.

Traces of hydrocyanic acid are present

also in roots, stems and flowers.

Ipomoea reniformis Choisy.

Synonym Merremia emarginata

(Burm. f.) Hallier f.

M. gangetica (L.) Cufod.

Family Convolvulaceae.

Habitat In damp places in upper

Gangetic plains; Bihar, Bengal,

Peninsular India.

Ayurvedic Aakhuparni, Aakhuparnika,

Muusaakarni, Aakhukarni.

Undurukarnikaa. (Also equated

with Dravanti.)

Siddha/Tamil Yelikkaadhukeerai,


Action Deobstruent, diuretic,

alterative. Used for rheumatic

affections, neuralgia, headache, skin

diseases and urinary affections.

Evolvulus nummularis Linn. (Convolvulaceae)

is also known as Muusaakarni

(Muusaakaani) and is used for

cutaneous affections.

Ipomoea sepiaria Koen. ex Roxb.

Synonym I. maxima (Linn. f.) G.


Family Convolvulaceae.

Habitat Throughout greater part of


Ayurvedic Banakalami,Hanumaan-

Vel, Manjika. (Also equated with


Siddha/Tamil Thaalikeerai (Lakshmanaa

of the South).

Action Juice of the plant—eobstruent,

diuretic, hypotensive,

uterine tonic, antidote to arsenic

poisoning. Seeds—ardiac depressant,

hypotensive, spasmolytic.

Ipomoea vitifolia Blume.

Synonym Merremia vitifolia

(Burm. f.) Hallier.

Convululus vitifolius Burm. f.

Family Convolvulaceae.

Habitat Throughout warmer parts

of India, except the north-western

arid region.


336 Iris ensata Thunb.

Folk Nauli, Nawal (Maharashtra).

Action Diuretic. Used in strangury,

urethral discharges.

Iris ensata Thunb.

Family Iridaceae.

Habitat Temperate Northwestern

Himalaya at ,–, m. and

fromKashmir toHimachal Pradesh.

Often grown in gardens.

Ayurvedic Paarseeka Vachaa,

Haimavati, Shveta Vachaa, Baalbach.

Unani Irsaa, Sosan, Iris.

Folk Marjal, Unarjal (Kashmir).

Action Used in diseases of the liver.

Aerial parts contain xanthone glycosides;

C-glycoside of apigenin and

phenolic acids. Roots contain ceryl alcohol.

Natural irones, themain constituent

of Orris oil, are obtained fromdifferent

species of Iris. The laccases, obtained

from Iris species and other plants are

used in hair cosmetic preparations, as

an oxidizing agent in oxidative hair

dyes and permanent hair wave-setting

compositions. The root extracts of Iris

species are used in cosmetic preparations

for the prevention of skin roughness

and ageing.

Iris germanica Linn.

Family Iridaceae.

Habitat Native of Italy and

Morocco; cultivated in Kashmir,

also found run wild on graves.

English Orris, Iridis Rhizome,

German Iris.

Ayurvedic Paarseeka Vachaa,

Haimavati, Shveta Vachaa (also

considered as Pushkarmuula),


Action Demulcent, antidiarrhoeal,

expectorant. Extract of the leaf is

used for the treatment of frozen


Key application In irritable bowel,

summer diarrhoea in children, in

stubborn cases of respiratory congestion.

(Folk medicine.) (Claims

negatively evaluated by German

Commission E: "lood-purifying,""tomach-strengthening"and


Therhizomes gave triterpenes, betasitosterol,

alpha-and beta-amyrin and

isoflavonoids; an essential oil, about

.–%, known as "rris butter,"consisting

of about % myristic acid,

with irone, ionone, methyl myristate.

Isoflavonoids include irisolidone,

irigenin and iridin. In volatile oil,

chief constituents are cis-alpha and

cis-gamma-irones. Triterpenes include

iridal and irigermanal. Rhizomes also

gave xanthones C. glucosylxanthones

(Orris root is the root of Iris germanica.

In homoeopathy, Iris versicolor is


Related species I. florentina Linn.;

I. pallida Lam.

Iris kemaonensis Wall.

Family Iridaceae.


Isatis tinctoria Linn. 337

Habitat The Himalayas from

Garhwal to Arunachal Pradesh at

,–, m.

Folk Karkar, Tezma (Punjab).

Action Diuretic, spasmolytic,

febrifuge; antidote for opium


The rhizomes contain isoflavones—iridin, iriskumaonin and its methyl

ether, irisflorentin, junipegenin A and


Iris nepalensis D. Don.

Family Iridaceae.

Habitat Temperate Himalaya and

in Khasi Hills.

Ayurvedic Paarseeka Vachaa.

Folk Sosan, Shoti, Chalnundar,


Action Deobstruent (in bilious

obstructions), diuretic, cathartic.

Used in diseases of the liver.

The plant contains an isoflavone,

irisolidone. Rhizomes contain irisolone

and irigenin.

Iris pseudacorus Linn.

Family Iridaceae.

Habitat On river banks, by the

side of lakes, ponds. Native to Great


English Yellow Flag.

Folk Paashaanabheda (Gujarat).

Action Cathartic and acrid. Used

in dysmenorrhoea and leucorrhoea.

Juice of the root—sed for obstinate

coughs and convulsions.

Rhizomes contain a glycoside, irisin,

iridin or irisine, reportedly present,

with myristic acid.

Iris versicolour Linn.

Family Iridaceae.

Habitat In swamps. Native to

America and Canada.

English Blue Flag Root, Liver Lily.

Ayurvedic Haimavati Vachaa.

Action Anti-inflammatory, astringent,

cholagogue, laxative, diuretic,

antiemetic, blood and lymph purifier,

alterative for sluggish conditions

of liver, gallbladder and glandular


Key application As laxative. (The

British Herbal Pharmacopoeia.)

The rhizomes contain a volatile oil;

a glycoside, iridin; acids including salicylic

and isophthalic; amonocyclicC

triterpenoid; sterols, gum, resin. Irisin

is the toxic constituent of the resin. It

irritates the mucous membrane, liver

and pancreas.

The drug is contraindicated in pregnancy.

The root powder is toxic at  g

and fluid extract at .ml.

Isatis tinctoria Linn.

Family Crucifere; Brassicaceae.


338 Ixora coccinea Linn.

Habitat Native to Afghanistan and

Western Tibet. Now cultivated as

an ornamental.

English Dyer' Woad.

Action Plant—sed in the form of

an ointment for ulcers, oedematous

and malignant tumours. Leaves—antimicrobial, antifungal.

The aerial parts yield tryptanthrin,

indole--acetonitrile and p-coumaric

acid methylester.

Theroots contain anti-blood platelet

aggregation constituents, uridine, hypoxanthine,

uracil and salicylic acid together

with indigo, palmitic acid and


In China, tablets made from the

leaves and roots of Isatis tinctoria and

Artemisia scoparia have been found

to be effective in treating hepatitis B


Ixora coccinea Linn.

Family Rubiaceae.

Habitat South-western Peninsular

India. Cultivated throughout India.

English Jungleflame Ixora.

Ayurvedic Bandhuka, Paaranti.

Siddha/Tamil Vetchi,Thechii.

Folk Rukmini, Rangan.

Action Herb—stringent, antiseptic,

blood-purifier, sedative,

antileucorrhoeic, antidiarrhoeal,

anti-catarrhal. Used in dysmenorrhoea,

haemoptysis, bronchitis.

Root—stringent, antiseptic (used

against scabies and other skin

diseases). Flowers—rescribed in

dysentery and dysmenorrhoea.

The saponifiable fraction of the petroleum

ether extract of roots exhibited

anti-inflammatory activity in carrageenan-

induced paw oedema in albino


Theleaves contain a triterpenoid, lupeol,

which shows anti-inflammatory

activity. The crude alcoholic extract

and the ethyl acetate fraction exhibited

antigenic activity.

The flowers contain an essential oil

(.%) which possesses antimicrobial

activity. Flower contain leucocyanidin


The plant substrate removes heavy

metals, such as lead, cadmium and

mercury from polluted water.

Ixora pavetta Andr.

Synonym I. Parviflora Vahl.

Family Rubiaceae.

Habitat West Bengal, Bihar,

Western Central and South India.

English Torchwood Tree.

Ayurvedic Nevaari, Nevaali,

Ishwara, Rangan.

Siddha/Tamil Shulundu-kora,


Action Flowers—ounded

with milk, for whooping cough.

Bark— decoction for anaemia

and general debility. Fruit and

root—iven to females when

urine is highly coloured. The

leaves contain ixoral and betasitosterol.

Leaves and flowers gave


Ixora javanica (Blume) DC. 339

flavonoids—utin and kaempferol-

-rutinoside; stems gave a flavone

glycoside, chrysin -O-beta-Dxylopyranoside.

The aerial parts

contain ,-dimethoxycoumarin.

The seed oil gave capric, lauric,

myristic, palmitic, stearic, arachidic,

behenic, oleic and linoleic acids.

Ixora javanica (Blume) DC.

Family Rubiaceae.

Habitat Gardens of Kerala and

West Bengal.

Action Leaves, flowers—ytotoxic,


The ethanolic, extract of leaves

showed cytotoxic activity against Dalton'

lymphoma, Ehrlich ascites carcinoma

and Sarcoma  tumour cells

in vitro. The flowers have been found

to contain antitumour principles, active

against experimentally induced

tumour models.

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