Maba nigrescensDalz. & Gibs.
ActionUsed for diseases of liver
and spleen. In folk medicine, as
a substitute for Rakta-Rohitaka.
(Rohitaka is equated withTecomellia
Tecoma undulataG. Don, Bignoniaceae.)
In Gujarat,Polygonum glabrum
Willd. (Polygonaceae) andMyristica
attenutaWall., synonym Knema attenuata
(Wall.) Warb. (Myristicaceae) are
also known as Rakta Rohido, and are
used for diseases of liver and spleen.
InMumbai,Rhamnus wightii Wight
& Arn. (Rhamnaceae) is known as
Rakta-Rohidaa. The bark is used as
astringent and deobstruent.
HabitatFound in sub-Himalayan
tract from Kumaon to Bhutan.
ActionFat used as ointment in
rheumatism, for chapped hands and
feet during winter.
The flowers contain beta-amyrin acetate,
friedelin, erythrodiol monopalmitate,
beta—sitosterol and apha-spinasterol.
The seeds contain triterpenoid
saponins, butyroside C and butyroside
D. A triterpenoidal sapogenin,
butyraceol, has been isolated from the
seed. The leaves contain butyracic
acid. Defatted seed flour contains
Administration of acute dose of
saponins to albino rats caused severe
diarrhoea and histopathological
changes in liver and kidney and altered,
particularly in female rats, levels
of serumalkaline phosphatase, cholesterol
Madhuca indicaJ. F. Gmel.
SynonymM. longifolia (Koen.)
Macb. var.latifolia (Roxb.) Cheval.
HabitatA large tree, cultivated
mainly in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar.
EnglishMahua tree, Moha.
392Madhuca longifolia (Koen.) Macb.
demulcent, laxative, anthelmintic,
bechic. Seed oil—galactogenic,
anticephalgic, emetic. Used in
pneumonia, skin diseases, piles.
Bark—astringent, emollient. Used
for tonsilitis, gum troubles, diabetes,
ulcers. Bark, seed oil and gum—
The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India
recommends the flower without
stalk or calyx in asthma and pthisis.
The fruit pulp yielded a number
of triterpenoids (including alpha- and
beta-amyrin acetate); alson-hexacosanol,
beta-D-glucoside of beta-sitosterol
and free sitosterol.
Nut shell gave beta-sitosterol glucoside,
quercetin and dihydroquercetin.
The carollas are rich source of sugars,
vitamins, phosphorus, calciumand
iron; magnesium and copper are also
present. The sugars identified are sucrose,
maltose, glucose, fructose, arabinose
The seeds yielded saponins—,-
di-O-glucopyranoside of bassic acid
(saponin A and saponin B).Mixture of
saponins from seeds exhibits spermicidal
beta-amyrin acetate, alpha-spinasterol,
erythrodiol monocaprylate, betulinic
acid and oleanolic acid caprylates.
DosageFlower—– g (API, Vol.
II.); flower-juice—– ml; bark—
– ml decoction. (CCRAS.)
SynonymBassia longifolia Koenig.
HabitatCultivated in Uttar
Pradesh, Bihar, Andhara Pradesh,
Karnataka, Bengal and Maharastra.
EnglishSouth Indian Mahua.
Siddha/TamilIllupei, Elupa, Naatu
ActionSame as that of Madhuca
Seed kernel gave protobassic acid
(a sapogenol) and two major saponins
named Mi-saponins A and B and
a minor one Mi-saponin C—allbisdesmosides
of protobassic acid. Misaponins
and antiulcerogenic activities.
Mahua oil causes total but reversible
sterility inmale rats as it shows testicular
atrophy with degeneration of seminiferous
A related species,Madhuca neriifolia
(Moon) H. J. Lam., synonym
Bassia neriifoliaMoon, Bassia malabarica
Bedd. (known as Atta Illuppei
in Tamil), is found in Western Ghats
and coastal region of South India.
The flowers are used in renal diseases;
fruits in rheumatism, cough,
asthma and consumption; seed oil is
used in rheumatism.
Mallotus philippensisMuell.-Arg. 393
Hook. f. &Thoms.
SynonymM. oblongifolia (Forsk.)
HabitatPunjab, Sind, Gujarat,
Central and Southern India.
ActionRoot—used for bleeding
piles, as alterative in fevers; as
a tonic in muscular debility.
(The root resembles liquorice root
in appearance and taste.)
HabitatNative to North America;
found in the Himalayas and the
Nilgiri hills up to , m.
EnglishBull Bay, Great Laurel
Magnolia, Southern Magnolia.
stimulant, diaphoretic. Wood—
toxic. Plant is used against cold,
headache and stomach-ache. Leaf
The leaves gave germacanolide lactones,
a guaianolide (magnograndiolide,
melampomagnolide A and B);
the wood, quaternary aporphine alkaloids;
bark, cyclocolorenone; root
bark, eudesmanolides; seeds, phenolic
The sesquiterpene ketone, cyclocolorenone,
also found in leaves, shows
Magnolia pterocarpaRoxb., synonym
M. sphenocarpaRoxb. (Vana-
Champaa), Dhulichampaa) bark contains
sesamin, eudesmin, fargesin, imperatorin,
beta-sitosterol. Powdered bark is used
for fevers and cough.
Spreng (in part).
from Garhwal to Bhutan at ,–
, m. and in Khasi Hills.
EnglishHolly Leaved Berberry.
FolkChhatri (Nepal), Haldia
ActionUsed as Berberis. Antiprolific,
demulcent, diuretic, antidysenteric.
The plant gave tertiary aporphines,
berberine and jatrorrhizine.
regions of India.
EnglishKamala tree, Monkey Face
394Malpighia glabra Linn.
Karkash, Raktaanga, Rechan,
ActionGland and hair of fruit—
purgative, anthelmintic, styptic.
Used for the treatment of tapeworm
infestation; in scabies, ringworm,
Capsule hair and glands gave phloroglucinol
derivatives; rottlerin, isorottlerin,
iso-allorottlerin (the "red compound")
The red powder, obtained
from capsules, containing largely resinous
matter, had lithotropic effect in
rats, comparable to drugs used commonly
against urinary calculi. Two
more compounds designated as kamalins
and have been isolated.
The stem bark contains kamaladiol-
-acetate and friedelin.
DosageGlands and hairs of the
fruit—.–. g powder. (API,
HabitatNative to tropical America;
cultivated in gardens as hedge.
EnglishBarbados Cherry, Acerola.
ActionFruits—used in dysentery,
diarrhoea and liver disorders.
Fruits are rich in ascorbic acid
(,–, mg/ g of edible
pulp). The bark contains about %
tannin. Fruits of Brazilian plant
gave alpha-carotene, beta-carotene
HabitatCultivated in Tamil Nadu
EnglishWest Indian Cherry.
FolkVallari (Telugu), Simeyaranelli
ActionSee Malpighia glabra.
Fruits contain ascorbic acid in high
concentration (green fruits contain
up to , mg/ g). -methyl--
buten--ol has been identified as major
volatile constituent of the fruit.
SynonymM. domestica Borkh.
M. sylvestrisHort. non-Mill.
Pyrus malusLinn. in part.
HabitatNative to Europe andWest
Asia; now cultivated in Himachal
Pradesh., Kashmir, Kulu, Kumaon,
Assam and in the Nilgiris.
refrigerant, hypnotic, given in
intermittent, remittent and bilious
fevers. Leaves—inhibit the growth
Malva sylvestrisLinn. 395
of a number of Gram-positive and
The fruit contains malic (–%
of the total acids), citric, lactic and
succinic acids; (unripe fruit contains
quinic acid, citric acid, succinic acid,
lactic acid); caffeic acid derivatives,
pectins, minerals and vitamins.
Edible portion of fresh apple contains
thiamine ., riboflavin .,
niacin . and ascorbic acid mg/ g.
Theascorbic acid content varies widely
and values up to mg/ g. Sugars
constitute about %of the total carbohydrates
of ripe fruits—fructose (),
glucose () and sucrose (%). The
pectin content of the edible portion
varies from . to .% (as calcium
pectate). The uronic acid content of
apple pectin varies from . to %.
Theastringent principles of apple include
tannins, tannin derivatives and
colouring materials (flavones). The
browning of apple slices on exposure
to air is due to enzymic oxidation of
Fresh juice contains .–. malic
acid, . total sugars and .–
The seeds contain cyanogenic glycoside,
amygdalin (.–.%, HCN
SynonymM. neglecta Wall.
HabitatSimla, Kumaon and plains
of North India.
DrawfMallow, Cheese Cake Flower.
used in glycosuria, stomach
disorders and as emmenagogue;
used as poultice for maturing
prescribed in bronchitis, cough,
inflammation of the bladder and
Marshmallow (Althaea officinalis) is
a different herb.
HabitatTemperate Himalayas from
Punjab to Kumaon, up to , m;
Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil
EnglishCommon Mallow, Blue
Mallow, High Mallow.
laxative, antitussive, pectoral,
antibacterial. Infusion is used for
coughs and colds, irritation of the
bronchi. Phagocyte stimulant.
Key applicationIn irritation of the
mucosa and throat and dry, irritative
cough. (German Commission E.)
The herb contains sulphated flavonol
glycosides, mucilage and tannins.
Flowers contain malvin (an anthocyanin),
malvidin diglucoside, tannins,
carotene and ascorbic acid.
396Mandragora autumnalis Spreng.
Malva coromandelianaLinn. (also
malvastrum) is anti-inflammatory,
pectoral, antidysenteric and diaphoretic.
SynonymM. microcarpa Bertol.
AyurvedicWrongly equated with
Lakshmanaa, a fertility promoting
herb. (In Indian medicine,Panax
quinquefoliumLinn. and Panax
schinsengNees have been equated
poisonous. Alkaloid pattern similar
toAtropa belladona. A sample
of roots from Morocco contained
atropine (.% at flowering stage).
In India,Panax sp. are perceived as
fertility and vitality promoting herbs,
which have been attributed to Lakshmanaa.
Mandrake exhibits anticholinergic
English Mandrake and American
Mandrake are equated withBryonia
albaand Podophyllum hexandrum respectively.
HabitatUttar Pradesh., Punjab,
Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh,
West Bengal and Tamil Nadu.
AyurvedicAamra, Amb, Rasaal, Sahakaar,
Mamaram (bark), Mangottai
antiscorbutic. Ripe fruit—invigorating
and refrigerant in heat apoplexy.
chloretic, diuretic. Used
in diabetes, externally in burns
and scalds. Kernel—astringent,
antifungal, anthelmintic, antispasmodic,
antiscorbutic; given in
diarrhoea, diabetes and menstrual
disorders. Stem bark—astringent;
used for haemorrhages, diarrhoea,
The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India
recommends the dried seed in diarrhoea
and dysentery; and the dried
stem bark in genitourinary disorders.
Ripe mango contains sugars (.–
.%), citric acid (.–.%), ascorbic
acid (.–. mg/ g), carotenoids
as beta-carotene (,–
, mcg/ g). The fruit gave phenolic
compounds (m-digallic acid, gallotannin,
acid); flavonoids (,,,-tetrahydroxy
benzene, kaempferol and myricetin).
The seed kernel contains alpha-and
beta-amyrins, gallotannin, glucogallin
and several sterols.
The leaves contain a pentacyclic triterpene
alcohol, indicol, besides taraxM
Manilkara kauki(L.) Dubard. 397
one, taraxerol, friedelin, lupeol and
beta-sitosterol. Leaves contain several
sugars, free malic and citric acids
and amino acids. Some esters of benzophenone
C-glucosides and kinic and
shikmic acids have also been reported.
Mangiferin is present predominantly
in the leaves and twigs.
The bark contains phenolic compounds
acid), xanthones (homomangiferin),
several triterpenoids and sterols.
All parts gave phenolic acids (ellagic
acid, gallic acid, ethyl gallate);
flavonoids (catechin), and xanthones
DosageDried seed—– g powder
(API, Vol. I); stem bark—– g
powder, – g for decoction.
(API, Vol. III.)
HabitatNative to Brazil. Major
crop in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and
EnglishManioc, Tapioca, Cassava.
ActionStaple food for poorer
section of the population in many
tropical countries. The starch is
used for the manufacture of dextose,
liquid glucose. The bitter variety
is used for treating scabies and
The tuber is a good source of provitamin
A carotenoids. It contains
.–. mg/kg (fresh weight) of betacarotene
and .–. mg/kg (fresh
weight) of lutein. The bitterness of
the tuber is related to the cyanoglucoside
content which ranges from
to , mcg cyanide/g in very bitter
tubers and from . to . mcg is
non-bitter tubers. Boiling, crushing
and sun-drying reduce bitterness and
also cyanoglucoside content. The tannin
equivalent content in the clones
varies from . to .% and saponin
equivalent varies from . to .%.
Feeding tapioca significantly reduced
the plasma cholesterol profile
experimentally in cats and rats.
Manilkara kauki(L.) Dubard.
SynonymMinusops Kauki L.
HabitatA native of Malaya;
occasionally grown in gardens,
especially in North India, Andhra
Pradesh and Kerala.
ActionRoot and bark—astringent.
Given in infantile diarrhoea. Seed—
febrifuge, anthelmintic, antileprotic.
Leaf—used as poultice for tumours.
Seeds contain about % of fatty oil
and % saponin.
Manilkara hexandra(Roxb.) Dubard,
Roxb., found in central India and Deccan
Peninsula, and cultivated throughout
the greater part of India, is also
equated with Khirni.
398Maranta arundinacea Linn.
All parts gave taraxerol, a triterpene
ketone, alpha-and beta-amyrin, cinnamates,
its beta-D-glucoside, quercitol,
quercetin and its dihydroderivatives,
The bark contains % tannin.
HabitatNative to tropical America;
cultivated throughout the country
for its edible starch.
(especially for infants and convalescence).
Used as a dietary aid in acute
diarrhoea and gastroenteritis. Used
as a substitute for Bamboo-manna.
Therhizome contains about –%
HabitatNative to Europe and
Central Asia; also found in Kashmir.
UnaniFaraasiyun (wrongly equated
with Valerian inNational Formulary
of Unani Medicine).
bitter tonic for stomach and liver,
antispasmodic. Used for bronchitis,
asthma, whooping cough, hard
cough with little phlegm; also for
Key applicationIn loss of appetite,
dyspepsia; bloating and
flatulence. (German Commission
E.) The British Herbal Pharmacopoeia
and TheBritish Herbal
its use for acute bronchitis,
non-productive cough and catarrh
and the respiratory tracts.
The herb yields a diterpenoid, premarrubiin,
which generates marrubiin
as an artefact; caffeic acid derivatives;
and flavonoids—apigenin, apigenin--
glucoside, luteolin, luteolin--glucoside,
quercetin--glucoside and --
rhamnoglucoside. The extracts of the
herb exhibit anti-inflammatory and
antiserotonin activity experimentally.
Marrubiin is considered to be responsible
for expectorant activity. It has
also shown to normalize extrasystolic
arrhythmias. High doses may cause
The oil exhibits antimicrobial properties
and is reported to be vasodilatory
HabitatWestern and Eastern
Himalayas, Simla and Kumaon,
hills of Assam.
Martynia annuaLinn. 399
M. hamiltoniiWight (sub-Himalayan
tract and adjacent plains of Uttar
Pradesh and Bihar) has also been
equated with a Muurvaa var. It is
known as Moran-adaa in folk medicine.
Wight & Arn.
HabitatHimalayas from Kumaon
to Assam, up to , m, Madhya
Pradesh, Bihar, Deccan Peninsula.
Madhurasaa, Gokarni, Morataa,
Madhulikaa, Suvaa, Devi, Tejani,
mild CNS depressant; used
Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India
recommends the bark in lipid disorders,
also in polyuria and haemorrhagic
Roots and seeds are rich in pregnane
glycosides of -deoxysugars, which
on hydrolysis gave genins and sugars.
Stem yielded tenacissosides A to E.
In folk medicine, the root is known
asWhite Turpeth (Safed Nishoth).Operculina
turpethum(Linn.) Silva Manso
synonymIpomoea turpethum R. Br.
is the source of Turpeth (Nishoth) in
DosageRoot—– g powder, –
g for decoction. (API, Vol.II.)
HabitatThroughout India as
a weed in marshy places.
Vastika-parnika, Swastika, Chatushpatri,
ActionSedative. Used in insomnia
and in the treatment of epilepsy and
The most active anti-epileptic principle
is marsilin (-triacontanol cerotate).
DosageWhole plant—– ml
SynonymM. diandra Glox.
HabitatNative of Mexico; found
EnglishDevil's Claw, Tiger Claw.
ActionLeaf—used in epilepsy, also
applied to tuberculous glands of
the neck. Fruit—anti-inflammatory.
Ash of the fruit,mixed with coconut
400Matricaria chamomilla Linn.
oil, is applied on burns. Seed oil—
applied on abscesses and for treating
itching and skin affections.
The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India
recommends the seed for arresting
greying of hair.
Flowers gave (several flavonoids including
apigenin, luteolin, apigenin--
Theessential oil fromthe plantmoderately
inhibited passive cutaneous
anaphylaxis in animals.
Pentatropis microphyllaW. & A. and
P. spiralisDecne have also been equated
with Kaakanaasaa, Kaakanaasikaa.
DosageDried seed—– g. (API,
HabitatNative of Europe; grown
in Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal
Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
Chamomile. German chamomile
flower is equated withMatricaria
recutitaL. (synonym Chamomilla
recutitaL.) and Roman Chamomile
flower withAnthemis nobilis L.
carminative, antispasmodic, analgesic,
See alsoAnthemis nobilis.
Key application (German Chamomile)In inflammatory diseases of the
gastrointestinal tract and gastrointestinal
spasm. Externally, in skin,
mucous membrane and ano-genital
inflammation and bacterial skin
diseases. (German Commission E,
The British Herbal Compendium.)
As anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic.
(The British Herbal
The flowers of German chamomile
gave volatile oil up to about %, containing
alpha-bisabolol up to %, azulenes
including chamazulene, guiazuline
and matricine; flavonoids including
apigenin and luteolin and their
glycosides, patuletin and quercetin;
spiroethers; coumarins; polysaccharides.
The flowers are used as herbal tea
for cough and cold and for promoting
the flow of gastric secretion and bile.
In chamomlile extracts, chamazulene
has been found responsible for antiinflammatory
activity. Matricine and
(−)-alpha-bisabolol also show antiinflammatory
and analgesic activity.
Bisabolol exhibits ulceroprotective effect.
Natural (−)-alpha-bisabolol has
been shown to be significantly effective
in healing burns; (−)-alpha-bisabolol,
spiroethers and apigenin exhibit spasmolytic
effect comparable with that of
The polysaccharides are immunostimulating
and activate macrophages
and B lymphocytes; play an important
role in wound healing.
Crude aqueous extract of the plant
has been reported to significantly delay
the onset of convulsions and reduce
Medicago sativaLinn. 401
mortality rate produced by picrotoxin
Matthiola incanaR. Br.
HabitatNative of Europe; grown
The seeds contain mucilage, a fatty
oil, two crystalline colouring matters
and a volatile oil which yields methyl,
isopropyl and -methylthiobutylisothiocyanates.
Beta-sitosterol is present
in fatty oil. Fatty acids include palmitic,
stearic, oleic, linoleic, linolenic and rucic.
HabitatWestern Himalayas from
Kashmir to Kumaon, between
Gudi, Kunda, Kanderi (Punjab),
In Garhwal Himalayas, the whole
plant is used as a blood purifier and
to reduce blood pressure. The natives
apply the plant paste externally in
rheumatic pains as anodyne.
Meconopsis horridulaHook, known
as Tasargaun in Tibet, is used for cardiac
and respiratory disorder.
Meconopsis napaulensisDC., synonym
M. wallichiiHK. (temperate and
alpine Himalaya fromNepal to Bhutan
at ,–,m) alsoexhibitsnarcotic
properties. The roots gave alkaloids—
protopine, magnoflorine, cryptopine,
coptisine, allocryptopine, rhoeadine,
papaverrubines E and D, corysamine
HabitatPunjab, Uttar Pradesh,
Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu,
West Bengal, as a farm crop.
in essential enzymes, minerals and
vitamins; a preventive of high blood
pressure, diabetes, peptic ulcer.
Alfalfa tea is used to strengthen the
digestive system. Sprouts (of seeds) are
used by diabetics.
The herb contains carotinoids (including
lutein), triterpene saponins,
isoflavonoids coumarins, triterpenes
(including sitgmasterol, spinasterol);
also cyanogenic glycosides (corresponding
to less than mg HCN/
g); pro-vitamins A, B, B, D, K,
E and P; calcium, phosphorus, iron,
402Melaleuca leucadendron Linn.
potassium, magnesium, choline, sodium,
silicon and essential enzymes.
Theseeds contain .%protein and
.% mineral matter; saponins with
the aglycones, soyasapogenol B and E
and polymines, diaminopropane and
norspermine. Two storage globulins,
alfin and medicagin are found in the
The flowers contain flavonoids,
kaempferol, quercetin, myricetin and
laricytrin. The fruits contain betaamyrin,
alpha- and beta-spinasterol,
beta-sitosterol, stigmasterol, myrsellinol,
scopoletin and esculetin.
The saponin, medicagenic acid, is
found in leaves androots (leaves .%,
roots .% of dry matter).
Alfalfa seed extracts prevented hypercholesterolemia,
and atherogenesis in cholesterol-fed
rabbits and cynomologus monkeys.
The saponins in the extract reduce intestinal
absorption of cholesterol in
Human trials have indicated the use
of the herb in menopause. (Sharon M.
HabitatIndegenous to Burma,
Cambodia, Thailand, Malay
Peninsula to Australia; grown in
Indian gardens and parks.
EnglishCajeput tree, Swamp Tea
tree, White Tea tree.
FolkKaayaaputi. (The oil ofCajeput
is imported into India, chiefly from
France and Netherlands.)
ActionOil—used as an expectorant
in chronic laryngitis and bronchitis,
and as a carminative. Acts
as anthelmintic, especially against
roundworms. Enters into ointments
for rheumatism and stiff joints,
sprains and neuralgia, migraine,
colds, influenza, and as a mosquito
Key applicationThe oil is antimicrobial
and hypermicin vitro.
(German Commission .)
The oil contains terpenoids, ,-
cineole (–%) asmajor component,
with alpha-pinene, alpha-terpineol,
nerolidol, limonene, benzaldehyde,
valeraldehyde, dipentene and various
The essential oil ofMelaleuca alternifolia
(Tea Tree Oil) is indicated
for acne, tinea pedis and toe and nail
onychomycosis on the basis of human
trials. (Sharon M. Herr.)
Tea Tree Oil is distilled from the
leaves of several species of Australian
trees belonging the genusMelaleuca,
principaly fromM. alternifolia. Tea
Tree Oil should contain amaximum of
%,-cineole and a minimumof %
(+)-terpinen--ol, the principal germicidal
ingredient. Other constituents,
alpha-terpineol and linalool, also exhibit
antimicrobial activity. (Cited in
The essential oil ofMelaleuca virdiflora
Solander ex Gaertner leaves,
known asNiauli Oil, is used for catarrh
of the upper respiratory tract. Theoil is
antibacterial and stimulatory to circulation
in vitro. (German Commission
Melia azedarachLinn. 403
E.) Like cajeput oil, the principal constituent
is cineole (eucalyptol).
A related species,M. genistifolia,
indigenous to Australia, is grown in
botanical gardens at Saharanpur and
Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh). The leaves
and terminal twigs yield .% of
a volatile oil which consists mainly
of d-pinene, and about % cineole and
traces of aldehyde.
SynonymM. normale D. Don.
HabitatMoist parts of India, up to
Tulasi (Nepal). Nakkukappan
(Tamil Nadu), Phutuka (Assam).
antiseptic. Locally applied in
smallpox to prevent pox-marks.
Leaf and flowering top—astringent,
to wounds. Also employed in
preparation of gargles.
The leaves gave amino acids—glycine,
valine, leucine, aspartic acid,
glutamic acid, methionine, tyrosine,
isoleucine and hydroxyproline. The
roots gave beta-sitosterol and a triterpene,
HabitatCultivated and naturalized
throuhout India. Wild in the
Sub-Himalayan tract up to , m.
EnglishPersian Lilac, Pride of
Dreka. (Neem is equated with
antilithic. Leaf and
flower—febrifuge, sedative, emmenagogue.
Leaf, fruit and stem
bark—antileprotic. Leaf, flower,
fruit, root bark—deobstruent,
resolvent. Seed oil—antirheumatic,
insecticidal. Leaves, bark and
fruit—insect repellent. Gum—
used in spleen enlargement. Heartwood—
an aqueous extract, used in
The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India
indicated the use of the dried stem
bark in increased frequency and turbidity
of urine, skin diseases, nausea,
emesis, asthma, gastroenteritis, giddiness
The bitter constituents are present
exclusively in the pericarp, not in the
kernel as in the case of Neem fruit.
Bakayanin has been isolated from the
pericarp (bitter in dilutions of in
The heartwood also yielded bakayanin
and a lactone, bakalactone. Leaves
gave quercitrin and rutin and tetranortriterpenoids,
salanin and vilasinin.
An infusion of the bark is effective
against ascariasis. The activity resides
in the inner bark which is bitter but not
404Melia composita Willd.
astringent (outer bark contains tannins
and is astringent).
The ethanolic extract of the leaves
is fungicidal and antibacterial. The activity
is attributed to azadrine and meliotannic
The fruits are considered poisonous
toman and animals; containmelianoninol,
melianol, melianone, meliandiol,
vanillin and vanillic acid. Vanillic
acid analogues show micro- and
Gedunin, present in the plant, inhibits
the seed extract does not show antimalarial
activity againstP. berghei.
The plant exhibited sedative and
psychostimulant properties. Antitumour
and antiviral activities have also
been reported. Intraperitoneal administration
of partially purified extracts of
fresh green leaves reduced the spread of
Tacaribe virus(that causes typical encephalitis)
to kidneys, liver and brain
in inoculated neonatal mice.
DosageStem bark—– g (API,
Vol. IV.); leaf, seed, root—–
ml decoction; – g powder.
SynonymM. dubiaHiern. non-Cav.
WesternGhats, Ganjam andDeccan
up to , m.
EnglishHill Neem, Malabar Neem,
Common Bead tree.
in skin diseases.
The leaves and seeds gave tetranortriterpenoids,
compositin and compositolide.
The fruit gave salannin.
The heartwood yielded a triterpenoid.
Tamil and Malyalam synonyms
(Malaivembu and Malavembu) are
common toMelia azedarach and Melia
HabitatNative to Europe and Asia;
grown in North India.
EnglishWhite Sweet Clover.
ActionSee Melilotus indica.
Melilotus indica(Linn.) All.
SynonymM. parviflora Desf.
HabitatNative to Eurasia; found
as winter weed and cultivated for
fodder in parts of Punjab, Haryana
and Uttar Pradesh.
EnglishSweet Clover, Annual
Yellow Sweet Clover, Small-flowered
Melissa axillaris(Benth.) Bakh f. 405
emollient. Used as poultice
or plaster for swellings. The
plant gave coumarins—fraxidin,
herniarin, umbelliferone and
When fed alone as a green fodder,
it exhibits narcotic properties; causes
lethargy, tympanitis and is reported
to taint the milk of dairy cattle. It
may cause even paralysis. The plant
contains -methoxyflavone, meliternatin
which experimentally inhibited
cell growth, induced granularity, retraction
and then lysis of cells.
HabitatLadakh, at ,–, m,
EnglishYellow Sweet Clover,
healer, styptic, anti-inflammatory,
sedative, mild analgesic, anticoagulant,
spasmolytic. Flower and
leaf—diuretic, analgesic, antiinflammatory,
relaxant, vasodilator. Seed—used in
Key applicationIn chronic venous
insufficiency. For supportive
treatment of thrombophlebitis,
haemorrhoids and lymphatic
congestion. (German Commission
E.) As venotonic, vulnerary. (The
British Herbal Pharmacopoeia.)
The herb contains coumarin derivatives;
flavonoid glycosides, including
kaempferol and quercetin. Dicoumarol
(melitoxin) is produced
when fermentation takes place in melilot.
Seeds gave canavanin and trigonelline.
Reported poisonous to horses.
The flowers contain the flavonoids,
quercetin andmyricetin besides kaempferol.
The herb has shown increase in
venous reflux and improvement in
lymphatic kinetics. Animal experiments
show an increase in healing
wounds. Flower and leaf extracts
have shown analgesic activity, prolongation
hypnosis time and smooth muscle relaxant
activity in mice; also exhibited
hypotensive and vasodilatory activity
in rabbit. Dicoumarol is a potent
In Europe and China, the plant extract
is used for inflammations, arthritis,
rheumatism, phlebitis, venous insufficiency,
The Red Clove is equated withTrifolium
Melissa axillaris(Benth.) Bakh f.
SynonymM. parviflora Benth.
HabitatTemperate and alpine
Himalaya, from Garhwal to Bhutan
and in Darjeeling and Aka, Mishmi
and Khasi hills at ,–, m.
febrifuge in cases of catarrh and
406Melissa officinalis Linn.
influenza. The fruit is considered
a brain tonic and useful in
Theaerial parts of the plant yield %
essential oil which is a good source of
monoterpenic alcohols and aldehydes.
It containsd-camphene ., dl-alphapinene
.,-beta-pinene ., deltacarene
.,d-limonene ., azulene
., linalool ., ,-cineole ., citronellal
., citronellol ., citral .,
geraniol ., neptalactone ., thymol
. and citronellic acid .%.
The herb is used as a substitute for
HabitatIndigenous to the east
Mediterranean region; introduced
EnglishMountain Balm, Sweet or
(Nepeta cataria Linn. and Nepeta
hindostanaHaines are also known
Used in anxiety neurosis and nervous
excitability, palpitation and
headache. Also in hyperthyroidism.
Key applicationIn nervous sleeping
disorders and functional gastrointestinal
Commission E, ESCOP.) Externally
forHerpes labialis (cold sores).
(ESCOP.) As sedative and topical
antiviral. (The British Herbal
Only fresh (herb within months
after collection) is usable as a sedative,
because of low volatile oil content and
its high volatility.
The volatile oil of the herb (.–
.%) consists mainly of geranial
and neral, with caryophyllene oxide
and smaller quantities of terpenes;
glycosides of the alcoholic or phenolic
components of the volatile oil
(including eugenol glucoside); caffeic
acid derivatives (rosmaric acid);
flavonoids (including cymaroside, cosmosiin,
triterpene acids (including ursolic
Hot water extracts exhibit antiviral
properties,mainly due to rosmaric acid
and other polyphenols. (A cream containing
the extracts of Balm is used
for the treatment of cutaneous lesions
ofHerpes simplex virus.) Aqueous extracts
inhibit tumour cell dividing.
Freeze-dried aqueous extracts inhibit
many of the effects of exogenous
and endogenous thyroid stimulating
hormones (TSH) on bovine thyroid
gland by interfering with the binding
of TSH to plasma membranes and by
inhibiting the enzyme iodothyronine
The anti-hormonal, mainly antithyroid
effects of Balm are well documented.
(Potter's New Cyclopedia,
Formild tomoderateAlzheimer disease,
drops per day of standardized
Lemon Balm extract ( : %
alcohol) was prescribed daily. Results
were encouraging. (J Neurol Neurosurg
Memecylon eduleRoxb. 407
Psychiatry,, ; Natural Medicines
Comprehensive Database,.) (For
cholinergic activity,BMJ, , ,
HabitatKumaon to Sikkim, Gujarat
and Peninsular India.
ActionLeaf and root—antidysenteric.
Leaf—applied as poultice for
swellings of abdomen and sores.
The leaves gave flavonol glycosides,
cyclopeptide alkaloids. The triterpenoids
and steroids, isolated from
the aerial parts, are friedelin, betasitosterol
and its beta-D-glucoside and
Bryonia scabrellaLinn. f.
Mukia scabrella(Linn. f.) Arn.
ascending up to , m in the hills.
aperient, diuretic, stomachic;
decoction used in biliousness and
Theroot contains columbin; seed oil
gave linoleic, oleic and palmitic acids.
Fresh aerial parts exhibit potent antihepatotoxic
In carbon tetrachloride-induced liver
dysfunction in albino rats, the recovery
of liver, treated with the extract
from aerial parts, was significant
and there was marked decrease in
serum levels of the enzymes, alanine,
aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase
and alkaline phosphatase.
Kuruvikizhangu of Siddha medicine,
used for acute diarrhoea and
fever, is equated withMalothria perpusilla
(Blume) Cogn.Zehneria hookeriana
Arn., found in upper Gangetic
plain from Nepal to Assam and in
SynonymM. umbellatum Burm. f.
HabitatOrissa, Assam andWestern
FolkYaalki, Lokhandi (Maharashtra).
ActionFruit and leaf—astringent.
hypoglycaemic. A lotion
prepared from the leaves is used
in ophthalmia. Root—used in
excessive menstrual discharge.
408Mentha aquatica Linn.
Aerial parts gave umbelactone, betaamyrin,
ursolic acid, oleanolic acid,
sitosterol and its glucoside.
HabitatCultivated in Indian
EnglishWater Mint, Wild Mint.
Used for diarrhoea and
The essential oil is composed of
–% menthofuran, with menthol,
methyl acetate, pulegone among other
Linn. var.piperascens Holmes.
HabitatCultivated in Jammu and
Key applicationMint oil—
internally for flatulence, functional
gastrointestinal and gallbladder
disorders; catarrhs of the upper
respiratory tract. Externally, for
myalgia and neuralgia. (German
Major components of the essential
oil are menthol (up to %) and menthone.
Others are alpha-and betapinene,
beta-phellandrene, furfural, methylcyclohexanone
and camphene. The
essential oil possesses both antibacterial
and antifungal properties.
The leaves show anti-implantation
effect. Seeds showed abortifacient activity
(%) in albino rats withmarked
malformations in neonateswhere pregnancy
was not terminated.
Mentha longifolia(Linn.) Huds.
SynonymM. sylvestris Linn.
HabitatNative to Europe and Asia;
cultivated in Kashmir, Maharashtra,
Uttar Pradesh and Punjab.
ActionLeaf and flowering top—
carminative, stimulant, antiseptic,
febrifuge. Used for digestive
disorders and headaches. Essential
Chief components of the volatile oil
are ,-cineole ., piperitone .,cispiperitone
oxide . and piperitenone
.%. The aerial parts contain flavonoids—
luteolin, ursolic acid and betasitosterol.
The essential oil acts as
aCNS depressant and has somnifacient
properties. Phenolic extract showed
Mentha spicataLinn. emend. Nathh. 409
stimulative effect on CNS of mice. Administration
of the oil leads to a drop
in body temperature.
American Horsemint is equated
withMonarda punctata L. The major
component of the volatile oil is thymol.
The leaves and tops are used as stimulant,
carminative and emmenagogue.
Linn. emend. Huds.
HabitatNative to Europe;
cultivated in Maharashtra, Kashmir
EnglishPeppermint, Brandy Mint.
chloretic, antispasmodic, diuretic,
antiemetic, mild sedative, diaphoretic,
antiseptic, antiviral, used in
many mixtures of indigestion and
colic and cough and cold remedies.
for spastic complaints of the gastrointestinal
tract, gallbladder and
bile ducts. (German Commission E,
ESCOP.) The British Herbal Compendium
indicates peppermint leaf
for dyspepsia, flatulence, intestinal
colic, and biliary disorders.
Key applicationOil—as a carminative.
(The British Herbal Pharmacopoeia.)
In spastic discomfort
fo the upper gastrointestinal tract
and bile ducts, irritable colon, the
respiratory tract and inflammation
of the oral mucosa. Externally, for
myalgia and neuralgia. (German
Commission E.) ESCOP indicates its
use for irritable bowel syndrome,
coughs and colds. Externally,
for coughs and colds, rheumatic
complaints, pruritus, urticaria, and
pain in irritable skin conditions.
The essential oil has both antibacterial
and antifungal properties.
The major constituents of the essential
oil are: menthol, menthone, pulegone,
menthofuran, ,-cineole, menthyl
acetate, isomenthone. The leaves
contain flavonoid glycosides, eriocitrin,
luteolin -O-rutinoside, hesperidin,
isorhoifolin, diosmin, eriodictyol
-O-glucoside and narirutin, besides
rosmarinic acid, azulenes, cholene,
Peppermint oil relaxed carvacholcontracted
guinea-pig tenia coli, and
inhibited spontaneous activity in
guinea-pig colon and rabbit jejunum.
It relaxes gastrointestinal smoothmuscle
by reducing calcium influx. Peppermint
oil reduced gastric emptying
time in dyspeptics.
The aqueous and ethanolic extracts
exhibited antiviral activity against RPV
(rinder pest virus), a highly contagious
viral disease of cattle.
Linn. emend. Nathh.
SynonymM. viridis Linn.
HabitatCultivated in Punjab, Uttar
Pradesh and Maharashtra.
410Menyanthes trifoliata Linn.
EnglishSpearmint, Garden Mint.
UnaniNanaa. Pudinaa Kohi.
antispasmodic, antiemetic, diaphoretic,
antiseptic. A tea of dry
flowers and leaves is prescribed for
tracheobronchitis and hypertension.
The chief constituents of the essential
oil are carvone (–%) and
limonene (up to .%). The herb gave
flavonoids, diosmin and diosmetin.
Caffeic acid derivatives include rosmarinic
acid in the volatile oil.
DosageLeaf—– ml juice; –
ml extract. (CCRAS.)
HabitatNative to Britain and
Europe; found in Kashmir.
EnglishBogbean, Buckbean, Goat's
bean, Marsh Trefoil.
ActionBitter tonic, deobstruent.
Laxative in large doses. Used for
diseases of liver and gallbladder,
and rheumatism. (Contraindicated
in diarrhoea, dysentery and colitis.)
Key applicationLeaf—in loss
of appetite, peptic discomforts.
(German Commission E.) As a bitter
tonic. (The British Herbal Pharmacopoeia.)
The drug stimulates saliva
and gastric juice secretion. (German
The herb contains iridoid glycosides,
menthiafolin and loganin; pyridine
alkaloids including gentianine;
coumarins (scopoletin); phenolic acids
(caffeic, with protocatechuic, ferulic,
sinapic, vanillic including others; flavonoids
including rutin, hyperoside.
Choleretic action of the herb is attributed
to the synergistic action of caffeic
and ferulic acids and iridoid glycosides.
Scoparone and scopoletin (coumarins
isolated from the aerial parts)
exhibit antihepatotoxic, choleretic and
The rhizomes contain dihydrofoliamenthin,
loganin, menthiafolin and
a triterpenoid saponin menyanthoside.
Aqueous extract of the rhizome
showed greater preserved renal function
and higher glomerular filtration
rate, possibly due to Platelet Activating
Factor (PAF)-antagonistic effect of the
(Linn.) Hallier f.
Uttar Pradesh, Orissa, Rajasthan.
Theseeds contain ergoline alkaloids.
The alkaloids are reported to produce
vasoconstrictor, uterotonic, neurohormonic,
sympathicolytic and sedative
Plants ofMerremia sp. are twiners
and are used as diuretic, deobstruent,
antirheumatic and alterative; the root
Mesua ferreaLinn. 411
is used as amouthwash; leaves are used
for burns, scalds and sores.M. vitifolia
(Burm. F.) Hallier f. exhibits potent
diuretic and antiseptic activity in strangury
and urethral discharges.
(Most of the twiners are known as
Prasaarini in Indian medicine and are
specific for rheumatic affections.)
(Linn.) Hallier. f.
Ipomoea tridentata(L.) Roth.
HabitatUpper Gangetic Plain,
Bihar, Orissa, West Bengal, South
India and Gujarat.
AyurvedicPrasaarini (Kerala and
anti-inflammatory. Used in piles,
swellings, rheumatic affections,
stiffness of the joints, hemiplegia
and urinary affections.
The aerial parts contain the flavonoids,
diometin, luteolin and their -
(Burm. f.) Kosterm.
West Bengal, Western Ghats,
Travancore and the Andaman
Naagakinjalika, Ahipushpa. (In
Ayurvedic Formulary of IndiaPart
I, revised edn , Keshara and
Kesara are equated withMesua
ferrea,while Kumkuma is equated
Nagakesaram. Sirunagappo also
consists of the tender fruits
ofCinamonum wighti Meissn.
Malabar Naagakeshar consists of
the fruits ofDillenia pentagyna
Used in cough, bleeding piles,
metrorrhagia. Essential oil from
The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India
recommends the use of dry stamens
in gout, haemorrhagic disorders and
diseases of the urinary bladder.
The heartwood gave xanthones—
euxanthone,mesuaxanthonesA and B,
which exhibit anti-inflammatory, CNS
depressant and antimicrobial activities.
The seedoil gave-phenyl coumarin
analogues—mesuol, mammeigin, mesuagin,
mammeisin and mesuone.
Phenol-containing fraction of seed oil
is antiasthmatic and antianaphylaxis.
Stamens gave alpha- and beta-amyrin,
beta-sitosterol, biflavonoids, mesuaferrones
A and B, and mesuanic
412Meyna laxiflora Robyns.
acid. Stamens constitute the drug Naagakeshar
of Indian medicine, used as
an astringent, haemostatic, particularly
in uterine bleeding and renal diseases.
Ethanolic extract of the plant
showed diuretic and hypotensive activity.
DosageDried stamens—– g
powder. (API, Vol. II.)
HabitatWest Bengal, Bihar, Orissa,
in hedges and waste places.
or Mainphala is a misleading
synonym. It is equated withRandia
FolkMuyana, Moyana, Muduna.
(Madana or Mainphala is known as
ActionFruit—cholagogue, a decoction
used in biliary complaints
and hepatic congestion. Dried
fruits—narcotic; used for boils.
HabitatEastern Himalayas, lower
hills of Assam, hills of South India
up to , m., cultivated in various
parts of India.
Champaka, Hemapushpa, Chaampeya.
antiemetic, diuretic (used for dysuria),
for dyspepsia and renal diseases.
Bark—stimulant, diuretic and
febrifuge. Dried root and root
bark—purgative and emmenagogue.
Externally—flower oil is
used as an application in cephalalgia,
gout and rheumatism; fruits
and seeds for healing cracks in
The ethanolic extract of the stem
bark showed hypoglycaemic activity
in rats. The benzene extract of the
anthers showed % post-coital antiimplantation
activity in rats ( mg/
kg per day).
Stem bark and roots yielded an alkaloid
liriodenine. Root bark yielded
sesquiterpene lactones (including
parthenolide andmicheliolide). Leaves
gave a polyisoprenoid, beta-sitosterol
and liriodenine. Mono-and sesquiterpenes
occur in essential oils isolated
from the flowers, leaf and fruit ring.
The bark and root cortex of the
Chinese plant gave magnosprengerine
(.%) and salicifoline (.%). These
active principles showed lastingmuscle
relaxant and hypotensive activity.
(EasternHimalayas and hills ofAssam)
Micromelum integerrimum(Buch-Ham.) Roem. 413
is used as a bitter tonic in fevers. It
bears white and fragrant flowers. The
leaf and stemyield an essential oil, .
and .% on fresh basis, respectively.
The flowers contains % safrole and
the latter % sarisan.
Michelia nilgaricaZenk. (Western
Ghats, above , m) is known
as Kattu-sambagam in Tamil Nadu,
the yellow-flowered var. of Champaa.
The bark and leaves are considered
febrifuge. The bark contains a volatile
oil, acrid resins, tannin and a bitter
principle. The flowers yield a volatile
oil similar to the bark oil. Aerial parts
exhibit diuretic and spasmolytic activity.
DosageDried buds and flowers—
– g powder. (API, Vol. IV.) Bark—
– m decoction. (CCRAS.)
SynonymGrewia microcos Linn.
HabitatNorth-eastern parts of
India, West Bengal, Western Ghats
and Andaman Islands.
FolkAsar (Bengal); Thengprenkeorong
(Assam); Kadambu, Visalam,
Kottei (Tamil Nadu); Abhrangu
(also used for smallpox and
SynonymM. volubilis DC.
HabitatNorth-eastern Indian hills.
ActionLeaf—used for ringworm
of the scalp.
Aacetylenic glucoside, isolated from
the leaf, showed antibacterial activity
againstPseudomonas aeruginosa and
HabitatBihar, Orissa, Bengal,
Sikkim, Nepal, Assam, Khasi, Aka
and Lushai hills.
ActionBark of the root, stem and
branches—used in the treatment of
The root contains coumarins, micromelin,
phebalosin and yuehchakene.
Micromelum pubescensBlume, synonym
M. minutum(Forst. f.) Seem. is
found in the Andamans. The plant is
used in Malaya and Indonesia for phthisis
and chest diseases. The root is
chewed with betel for coughs.
The leaves contain coumarins, micropubescin
The bark contains phebalosin. The
roots contain micromelumin, phebalosin,
imperatorin, angelical, limettin,
scopoletin, minumicrolin and
414Micromeria capitellata Benth.
HabitatKumaon, Upper Gangetic
plain, Bihar, Orissa, Western Ghats,
as a substitute forMentha piperata
The plant yields an essential oil
(.%) which contains mainly pulegone
Micromeria bifloraBenth., equated
with Indian Wild Thyme, is found in
tropical and temperate Himalayas, and
in Western Ghats and hills of South
The principal constituent of volatile
oil ofCamphorata sp. is camphor; of
Citratasp. is citral; of menthata and
Pulegatasp. is d-menthone; and pulegone.
HabitatNorthern Himalayas at
altitudes of , to , m.
Shranga, Hriswaanga, Kurcha,
DosageTuber—– g power
SynonymMalaxis acuminata D.
HabitatNorthern Himalayas at
altitudes of , to , m.
Rshabham, Vrishabh, Dhira,
DosageTuber—– g powder.
(Burm.) B. L. Robinson.
SynonymM. micrantha Kunth.
M. scandansHook. f. non-Willd.
HabitatWest Bengal, eastern
Assam, as a weed in tea gardens; sal
and other forests and waste lands.
Distributed in tropical America,
Africa and Asia.
Stigmasterol, beta-sitosterol and
sesquiterpene dilactones, mikanolide,
and scandenolide have been isolated
from the weed.
The root extract exhibited anti-inflammatory
activity; reduced carrageenan-
induced paw oedema in experimental
Millingtonia hortensisLinn. f. 415
The methanolic extract of the root
showed CNS deperssant action. It
showed reduction in spontaneous
motility, hypothermia, potentiation of
pentobarbitone sleeping time, analgesia,
suppression of aggressive behaviour
and antagonism to amphetamine
toxicity on experimental animals.
The methanolic extract of the root
exhibited adaptogenic activity against
a variety of stress-induced effects in
The chemoprotective, anticarcinogenic
and hepatoprotective effect of the
methanolic extract of the rootwere also
evaluated in animal studies. Chemical
carcinogens were reduced in the liver
of rats treated with the plant extract.
Theroot extract induced recovery from
carbon tetrachloride-induced damage
to liver tissues in mice.
Hook. f. &Thoms.
HabitatSub-Himalayan tract and
outer Himalayas, in North-east
and Central India, eastern coast of
ActionBark—used in the treatment
Baker ex Brandis.
SynonymM. extensa Benth. ex
HabitatSub-Himalayan tract and
outer Himalaya up to , m from
Kashmir to Bhutan and in Assam
and Central and Southern India.
kills lice and ticks.
The roots, leaves and stems gaveisoflavones
and a rotenoid, sumatrol.
The debarked stem contains isoflavans,
isomillinol, besides behenic acid,
beta-amyrin and beta-sitosterol. The
isoflavans showed bactericidal and insecticidal
activity. The antibacterial activity
was observed againstStaphylococcus
aureusand E. coli.
Millingtonia hortensisLinn. f.
EnglishIndian Cork tree.
FolkAakaasha Neem, Neem-
used for asthma and sinusitis.
416Mimosa pudica Linn.
The butanol soluble fraction from
aqueous extract of flowers showed
bronchial smooth muscle relaxant
property. Hispidulin, isolated fromthe
flowers, is reported to exhibit bronchodilatory
and antiphlogistic activities.
Hispidulin is found to be more
potent than aminophyllin and less toxic
than the crude extract.
HabitatNative to tropical
America; naturalized in tropical
and subtropical regions of India.
Namaskaari, Samangaa, Sankochini,
antiseptic, styptic, blood purifier.
Used for diarrhoea, dysentery,
haemophilic conditions, leucorrhoea,
morbid conditions of
vagina, piles, fistula, hydrocele and
glandular swellings. Root—used
in gravel and urinary complaints.
A decoction is taken to relieve
The plant contains mimosine and
turgorin. The periodic leaf movements
exhibited by the plant are due
to presence of derivatives of -O-
gallic acid. The aerial parts of the
plant contain C-glycosylflavones, -
O-rhamnosylorientin and -Orhamnosylisoorientin.
DosageWhole plant, root—–
ml juice; – ml decoction.
(CCRAS.)Whole plant—– g for
decoction. (API, Vol. II.)
HabitatCultivated in North India,
Western Peninsula and South India.
Indian Medlar, Bullet Wood.
Simhakeshara, Sthiraa, Sthirapushpa,
ActionPulp of ripe fruit—astringent;
used in chronic dysentery.
Flowers, fruit and bark—astringent.
Bark—given for promoting fertility
in women. Seeds—purgative. The
leaves contain sterols, reducing sugars
and tannins; roots, a steroidal
saponin; stem bark, spinasterol
and taraxerol; flowers, D-mannitol,
beta-sitosterol and beta-sitosterol-
D-glycoside; seeds, pentacyclic
triterpene acids, mimusopic and
Essential oil obtained fromthe plant
is reported to be mycotoxic. Antimicrobial
activity of the root extract has
Mollugo cervianaSer. 417
been reported. Saponins isolated from
the seeds have been found to effect
the cardiovascular activity in dogs and
haemolytic activity in human beings.
Spasmolytic activity in isolated ileum
of guinea-pigs has also been recorded.
Saponins from seeds also showed
DosageSeed, bark—– g paste;
– ml decoction. (CCRAS.)
Bengal and Manipur.
Marvel of Peru.
ActionLeaf—used for treating
uterine discharge; as poultice for
abscesses and boils; fresh juice is
applied to body in urticaria, also for
inflammations and bruises. Tuber—
used as a poultice on carbuncles.
Root—mild purgative, spasmolytic.
The tuberous rootswere erroneously
thought to be the source of jalap.
The plant is used for its antitumour
and virus-inhibitory activity.
The plant contains triterpenes, alpha-
amyrin and its acetate. Mirabilis
Antiviral Protein (MAP) was isolated
from the tuberous roots. MAP also
showed antiproliferative effect on
tumour cells. (MAP is abortifacient.)
TwoMirabilis jalapa antimicrobial proteins,
Mj-AMP- and Mj-AMP-, isolated
from seeds, showed broad spectrum
antifungal actvity involving
a number of pathogenic fungi.
Miraxanthins I, II, III and IV, indicaxanthin
and vulgaxanthin have been
isolated from flowers.
HabitatAll over India, and up to
, m in the outer Himalaya.
ActionBark—used for muscular
pain. Bark and root—febrifuge,
Both indole and oxindole alkaloids
have been isolated from the plant.
(The composition of alkaloids varies
with season and from place to place.)
The main indole alkaloid reported
is akuammigine and oxindole alkaloids
have been identified as mitraphylline,
and uncarine F.
Anthocephalus cadambaMiq. is the
accepted source of Kadamba.
418Mollugo spergula Linn.
HabitatUpper Gangetic Plains,
Punjab, Delhi, Rajasthan, Gujarat,
Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh,
Orissa, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka.
febrifuge, antiseptic, blood purifier
(used for venereal diseases),
emmenagogue. Root—used in
rheumatism and gout.
Flowers and shoots—diaphoretic,
given in fevers. An infusion of the
plant is given to promote lochial discharge.
The plant contains orientin (leteolin-
-C-glucoside), vitexin (apigenin-
-C-glucoside) and their -O-glucosides.
Theplant is cardiostimulant, also
SynonymM. oppositifolia Linn.
Glinus oppositifolius(Linn.) A. DC.
HabitatGreater part of India,
especially in Assam, Bengal and
FolkJala-papr (Bihar), Jeem Shaak.
and antiseptic. Used as a bitter tonic
for liver disorders.
Aerial parts gave vitexin, vitexin--
glucoside and -p-coumaroylvitexin-
Mollugo stricta Linn., synonymM.
pentaphyllaLinn. (throughout the
plains and Ghats of India), is also
known as Parpatakam in the South,
Jala-papr in Bihar and Kharas in Maharashtra.
The plant is stomachic, aperient,
emmenagogue and antiseptic. Its
biological activity is spermiostatic.
HabitatPunjab, Gujarat, Dehra
Dun and Andhra Pradesh.
ActionFruit—applied to burns,
haemorrhoids and chapped hands.
Internally, cathartic, hypoglycaemic.
The plant contains a ribosome inactivating
protein, momordin II. Methanolic
extract of the aerial parts contains
phenylpropanoid esters, verbascoside,
calceolarioside and rosmarinic
acid. The esters exhibited antihypertensive,
analgesic and antibacterial activities.
HabitatCultivated all over India
for its fruits.
Momordica charantiaLinn. 419
EnglishBitter Gourd, Blsam Pear,
diabetic condition. Fruit—stomachic,
laxative, antibilious, emetic,
anthelmintic. Used in cough, respiratory
diseases, intestinal worms,
skin diseases, also for gout and
rheumatism. Powdered fruit—applied
to wounds and ulcers. Leaf—
emetic, antibilious, purgative. Fruit,
leaf and root—abortifacient. Leaf
and seed—anthelmintic. Root—
astringent; appled to haemorrhoids.
Immature fruits gave several nonbitter
and bitter momordicosides.
Fruits, seeds and tissue culture gave
a polypeptide containing amino acids.
Fruits also gave -hydroxytryptamine,
charantin (a steroidal glucoside), diosgenin,
cholesterol, lanosterol and betasitosterol.
Bitter principles are cucurbitacin
Hypoglycaemic effects of the fruit
have been demonstrated by blood tests
in both humans and animal studies.
Researchers have warned that the
fruit extract leads to a false negative
test for sugar in the urine (due to its
ability to maintain the indicator dye in
the glucose oxidase strips and the alkaline
copper salts in a reduced state).
Chronic administration of the fruit
extract (. g/day for days) to dogs
led to testicular lesions with mass atrophy
of the spermatogenic elements.
The extract reduced the testicular content
of RNA, protein and sialic acid
as also the acid-phosphatase activity.
(Medicinal Plants of India, Vol. , ,
Indian Council of Medical Research,
The fruits and seeds yielded a polypeptide,
p-insulin, which was considered
similar to bovine insulin. (Fitoterapia,
, ;Chem Abstr , .)
The seed and fruit contain an inhibitor
of HIV, MAP- (Momordica
anti-HIV-protein) which exhibited
antiviral and antitumour activityin
vitro. (Chem Abstr, , ; ibid,
, .) Another protein, MRK-,
found in the seed and fruit of a smaller
var. of Bitter Gourd found in Thailand,
was found to inhibit HIV reverse
transcriptase and to increase tumour
necrosis factor (TNF). (Planta Med,
, ;Natural Medicines Comprehensive
The seeds yield alpha-and betamomorcharins
these glycoproteins were co-cultured
with isolated hepatocytes, morphological
changes in hepatocytes were observed,
indicating hepatotoxicity. Another
principle with antilipolytic and
lipogenic activities, found along with
the alpha-and beta-momorcharin in
the seed extract, did not show toxic
Vicine is the hypoglycaemic constituent
in the seed. Pure vicine has
been found to possess .% hypoglycaemic
activity as against .%shown
by fresh juice, when tested on albino
rats. The vicine is non-haemolytic.
DosageFresh fruit—– ml
juice (API, Vol. II); – ml juice
420Momordica cochinchinensis Spreng.
HabitatCultivated throughout the
country, especially found in Assam,
Bengal, South India and Andaman
ActionLeaf and fruit—used
externally for lumbago, ulceration,
fracture of bone. Seed—bechic,
aperient, emmenagogue, antiinflammatory,
for obstructions of liver and spleen).
The tuberous root contains saponins
belonging to the pentacyclic triterpene
glycoside series. Seeds contain
momordica saponins I and II (ester
glycosides of gypsogenin and quillaic
acid respectively), the diterpenoid
columbin, oleanolic acid, its derivative
momordic acid and bessisterol.
The seeds contain the glycoprotein,
momorcochin S, which exhibits RNA
Momordica dioicaRoxb. exWilld.
HabitatThroughout India, up to
, m in the Himalaya.
EnglishSmall Bitter Gourd, Bur
FolkJangali Karelaa, Ban-Karelaa,
febrifuge, antiseptic, anthelmintic,
spermicidal. Used in bleeding piles,
urinary affections; smeared over
body in high fever with delirium (as
a sedative). A paste, prepared with
the root of male plant, is applied
externally for pain in the breast.
The root extract exhibited significant
anti-allergic activity comparable
with standard drugs used against allergy
and bronchial asthma (in experimental
SynonymM. cymbalaria Fenzl ex
HabitatMaharashtra and Tamil
Nadu, in bushes along the banks of
water courses. (It is not cultivated.)
abortifacient; acrid; contains
a bitter glycoside.
Morinda citrifoliaLinn. 421
HabitatThroughout India in
ponds, tanks, ditches, as a weed
common in rice fields.
Kakapola (Malyalam), Nirkancha
FolkNukha, Nanda (Bengal).
ActionLeaves—juice is given
for coughs. Roots—prescribed for
stomach and liver complaints.
Bark—prescribed with sugar for
HabitatThe temperate Himalayas
from Himachal Pradesh to Bhutan
and in Khasi Hills at ,–, m.
The plant gave sitosterol, campesterol
and traces of cholesterol. The oil
contained linolenic, palmitic, linoleic
and hexadecenoic acids.
SynonymM. bracteata Roxb.
Darjeeling, Konkan and the
AyurvedicAshyuka, Akshi, Atchy.
anticatarrhal (used in throat
infections and asthma). Root
and leaf—cathartic, febrifuge,
anti-inflammatory (used in gout).
A decoction is given to regulate
The heartwood yielded anthraquinones—
alizarin and its glycosides,nordamnacanthol.
Leaves contain ursolic
acid and beta-sitosterol. Fruits gave
asperuloside and caproic acid.
The lyophilized aqueous extract of
roots was evaluated for analgesic and
behavioural effects inmice; positive results
were observed confirming a sedative
property without exhibiting any
Ethanolic extract of theplant showed
significant antimicrobial activity.
Morinda coreiaBuch.-Ham., M. tinctoria
Roxb. (dry forests throughout the
greater part of India) is considered as
the wild form or a varient ofMorinda
citrifoliaand is known by the same
vernacular nemes. The root bark gave
the insecticidal glycoside,morindin--
primeveroside, which was found lethal
on cockroaches and houseflies topically.
Morinda umbellataL. (Bihar, Khasi
Hills and Peninsular India) is also
known as Nunaa in Tamil Nadu.
A decoction of root and leaves is
used for diarrhoea and dysentery. The
root bark contains a considerable
amount of rubichloric acid and small
quantities of anthraquinones.
422Moringa concanensis Nimmo ex Gibs.
Nimmo ex Gibs.
HabitatRajasthan and Peninsular
AyurvedicShigru (Red var.).
ActionSee M. pterygosperma.
SynonymM. oleifera Lam.
AyurvedicShigru (white var.),
Madhu Shigru, Sigra, Shobhaanjana,
Murangi, Mochaka, Akshiva,
ActionAll parts of the tree
are reported to be used as cardiac
and circulatory stimulant.
fried pods are used by diabetics.
diuretic. Root juice—cardiac
tonic, antiepileptic. Used for
nervous debility, asthma, enlarged
liver and spleen, deep-seated inflammation
and as diuretic in
calculus affection. Decoction
is used as a gargle in hoarseness
and sore throat. Root and
is used in hiccough (emetic in
high doses); cooked leaves are
given in influenza and catarrhal
Stem-bark and flower—hypoglycaemic.
and diuretic; given in venereal
Along with other therapeutic applications,
The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia
of Indiaindicated the use of the dried
root bark in goitre, glycosuria and lipid
disorders (also dried seeds), and leaf,
seed, root bark and stem bark in internal
abscess, piles and fistula-in-ano.
The plant contains antibacterial
principles, spirochin and pterygospermin
which are effective against both
Gram-Positive and Gram-Negative
Theleaves contain nitrile glycosides,
niazirin and niazirinin andmustard oil
glycosides. The mustard oil glycosides
showed hypotensive, bradycardiac effects
and spasmolytic activity, justifying
the use of leaves for gastrointestinal
Theroots possess antibacterial, anticholeric
and antiviral properties due to
the presence of pterygospermin, Spiro
chin and benzylisothiocyanate. The
root extract exhibited significant antiinflammatory
activity in carrageenaninduced
paw-oedema in rats.
The leaves exhibited hypoglycaemic
activity, although the plasma insulin
level did not alter much.
The root and bark showed antifertility
activity through biphasic action
on the duration of the estrous cycle of
Morus nigraLinn. 423
DosageLeaf—– ml. juice.
(API, Vol. III); root bark—– g
powder; stem bark—– g powder;
seed—– g powder (API, Vol. IV).
Leaf, flower, fruit, seed, bark, root—
– g powder; – ml decoction.
HabitatNative to China; cultivated
in Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Kashmir
and North-Western Himalayas.
laxative. Used for sore throat,
dyspepsia and melancholia. Leaves
and root bark—expectorant,
diuretic, hypotensive. Bark
diaphoretic. Used as a gargle in
inflammations of the throat.
The plant is rich in phenolics.
The leaves gave flavonoids (including
rutin, moracetin); anthocyanins
(cyanidin and delphinidin glucosides);
artocarpin, cycloartocarpin and analogues.
The root bark contained flavonoids
including the kuwanons, sangennons,
mulberrosides and mulberrofurans.
Hot water extract of the dried mulberry
leaves fed to rabbits on %cholesterol
diet exhibited significant hypolipidaemic
or hypocholesterolaemic effect.
In addition, suppression of hepatic
enlargement and fat deposition in
the hepatic cells was also observed.
An aqueous methanol extract of the
root bark significantly reduced plasma
sugar levels in mice.
The extract also showed anti-inflammatory
and antipyretic activity in
exudative, proliferative and chronic
phases of inflammation.
Aqueous and alkali extracts of leaves
and stems are active against Gram-
Positive bacteria and yeast.
HabitatNative to West Asia;
cultivated in Kashmir, also grown
ActionBerries and root bark—
mild laxative and used in the
treatment of respiratory catarrh.
Berries—refrigerant, given during
The fruit contains invert sugar, pectin,
fruit acids (including malic and
citric acid), ascorbic acid, and flavonoids
(including rutin). Leaves contain
flavonoids, including rutin (–
%). Root bark contains calcium
malate; the bark of branches contains
tannins, phlobaphenes, a sugar, a phytosterol,
ceryl alcohol, fatty acids and
An infusion of leaves causes a drop
in blood sugar, sometimes diuresis and
a reduction in arterial pressure. It
shows no effect on glucosuria.
Morus acidosaGriff., M. australis
Poir andMorus indica L. have also been
424Mucuna monosperma DC.
equated with Tuut Siyaah of Unani
HabitatNepal, Khasi Hills, Deccan
Peninsula and the Andamans.
expectorant; used in coughs,
SynonymM. pruriens Baker non
including Andaman and Nicobar
EnglishCowhage, Horse-eye Bean.
Ajadaaa, Kacchuraa, Laanguli,
Shyaamguptaa, Markati, Kanduraa,
tonic, local stimulant, used in impotence,
troubles, leucorrhoea, traditionally
used for male virility. Also used in
depressive neurosis. Hair on fruit—
vermifuge, mild vesicant; used for
diseases of liver and gallbladder.
Leaf—applied to ulcers. Pod—
anthelmintic. Root and fruit—spasmolytic,
The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India
recommends the seed in impotence
and paralysis agitans; the root in vaginal
Theseeds contain the alkaloids, mucunine,
prurieninine, pruriendine and nicotine,
besides beta-sitosterol, gluthione,
lecithin, vernolic and gallic acids.They
contain a number of bioactive substances
including tryptamine, alkylamines,
steroids, flavonoids, coumarins
and cardenolides. L-DOPA
is present in the seed as well as in the
stem, leaves and roots.
Major constituents of the hairs on
the pod are amines such as -hydroxytryptamine
(serotonin), and a proteolytic
enzyme mucuanain. (Serotonin
was present only in pods.)
Prurieninine slowed down heart
rate, lowered blood pressure and stimulated
intestinal peristalsis in experiments
carried out on frogs. The spasmolysis
of smooth muscles was caused
by indole bases.
Seed diet produced hypoglycaemic
effect in normal rats, however, such
diet had insignificant effect on alloxantreated
There is some evidence that Cowhage
might be useful for chlorpromazine-
induced hyperprolactinemia in
men. (Natural Medicines Comprehensive
Database,.) (Males with hyM
Murraya koenigii(Linn.) Spreng. 425
perprolactinemia frequently face impotency.)
(Cured seeds are used in
Indian medicine for male sexual dysfunction.)
synonymM. nivea (Roxb.) DC.; Stizolobium
niveum Kuntze (cultivated
in Bengal and Bihar for edible pods
and seeds) is known as Lyon Bean
(Khamach in Bengal). The pod yielded
DosageCured seed—– g (API,
Vol. III); root—– g powder for
decoction (API, Vol. IV.)
HabitatThroughout India, in
moist and marshy places; common
in West Bengal.
ActionPlant—used in burns, boils
SynonymAnilema scapiflorum Wt.
HabitatTemperate and tropical
Himalaya, upper Gangetic plains
and Peninsular India.
FolkSiyaah Musli; Sismulia
used in headache, giddiness,
jaundice. Root bark—diuretic,
antispasmodic, (used in asthma,
colic, infantile convulsions.)
SynonymM. paniculata (Linn.)
HabitatThroughout India and
Andaman Islands up to an altitude
of , m.
FolkKaamini; Aanthil (Bihar).
used in diarrhoea and dysentery
(sap, squeezed from leaves, is
The plant is rich in coumarins, carbazole
alkaloids and flavonoids. The
leaves contain a number of coumarins,
the major ones being murrangatin
and phebalosin. Murrangatin, derived
from the precursor phebalosin, is reported
to possess antithyroid property.
The root contains abis-indole alkaloid,
yuehchukene, with potent antiimplantation
Mexolide (dimeric coumarin), isolated
fromthe stem bark is antibacterial.
The steamdistillate of leaves exhibit
antifungal and antibacterial activity.
Murraya koenigii(Linn.) Spreng.
426Musa paradisiaca Linn.
HabitatCultivated in Tamil Nadu;
Maharashtra and North India.
FolkMithaa Neem, Kathneem,
appetite and digestion, destroys
pathogenic organism, antidysenteric.
Externally, used against skin
All parts of the plant, especially the
leaves, are rich in carbazole alkaloids
(several carbazole bases have been isolated).
The leaves also gave a coumarin
The beta-carotene content of curry
leaves was founddecreasedoncooking;
deep frying resulted in maximum loss.
Inclusion of curry leaves in the diet
of diabetic patients reduced the blood
glucose level appreciably (it did not
produce any insulin response).
The steam distillate of the leaves is
reported to exhibit antifungal and insecticidal
The ethanolic extract of the stem
bark showed anti-inflammatory effect
in carrageenan-induced inflammation
SynonymM. Sapientum Linn.
HabitatAssam, Madhya Pradesh,
Bihar, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh,
Karnataka, Jalgaon district (Maharashtra),
West Bengal, Tamil Nadu
Sakrtphala, Vaaranaa, Mochaa,
combats diarrhoea and dysentery,
promotes healing of intestinal
lesions in ulcerative colitis. Unripe
fruit considered useful in diabetes.
Fruit powder—used as a food
supplement in sprue and other
intestinal disorders. Root—
The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India
recommends the fresh rhizome
in dysuria, polyuria (in females) and
menstrual disorders; the flower in asthma,
bleeding disorders, vaginal discharges
The pulp of ripe fruit ( g/rat per
day) given daily with standard food
pellets prevented increase in blood
pressure in deoxycorticosterone-induced
hypertension in rats. This was
found partially related to increased
serotonin levels triggered by the high
carbohydrate and tryptophan content
of the fruit.
Dietary fibre prepared from unripe
banana exerted an antiatherogenic effect,
keeping the levels of cholesterol in
serumand aorta low, as also the level of
LDL cholesterol in rats fed on cholesterol
Mycrotomia benthamiC. B. Cl. 427
An anti-ulcerogenic acylsterylglycoside,
sitoindoside IV, has been isolated
from unripe banana.
Apectin containing hexoses (.%)
and uronic acid (.%) has been isolated
from the pith of the stem. The
pectin was found to exhibit significant
hypolipidaemic and hypoglycaemic activity
The flower extract exhibited hypoglycaemic
activity in rabbits.
The pseudostem is reported to possess
lithotriptic and antilithic properties.
The extract reduced the precursor
of oxalate formation, the liver glycolic
acid content in hyperoxaluric rats.
The benzene extract of the root exhibited
significant antibacterial and antifungal
DosageDried flower—– g.
(API, Vol. IV.)
SynonymM. frondosa var. glabrata
M. glabrata(Hook. f.) Hutch.
HabitatTropical Himalayas, Khasi
Hills, Deccan Peninsula and the
EnglishWhite Lady, White Rag
FolkShrivara, Bedina, Bebina,
and flowers—used in external
applications for ulcers. Root—used
in the treatment of white leprosy.
White petiolate bract—prescribed
The flowers contain anthocyanins,
hyperin, quercetin, rutin, ferulic and
sinapic acids; beta-sitosterol glucoside.
Mussaenda glabraVahl (tropical Himalayas
from Nepal eastwards, Bihar,
Bengal and Assam) is known as Sonaaruupaa
in Assam. An infusion of
the leaves is used for cough, asthma,
recurrent fevers; also as a diuretic in
Mycrotomia benthamiC. B. Cl.
FolkDimok (Tibet), Ratanjot
National Formulary of Unani Medicine
has equatedOnosma echioides
Linn. (Boraginaceae) with Ratanjot.
Geranium wallichianumD. Don.
(Geraniaceae); Clausena pentaphylla
DC. (Rutaceae); andAnemone obtusiloba
D. Don. (Ranunculaceae) are also
known as Ratanjot.
Ratanjot should be equated with
the root ofAlkanna tinctoria (Boraginaceae),
known as Dyer's or Spanish
428Myrica nagi Hook. f. non-Thunb.
Myrica nagiHook. f. non-Thunb.
SynonymM. esculenta Buch.-Ham
from the Ravi eastwards at –
antiseptic. Used in fever, cough
and asthma; also as a snuff in
catarrh with headache. Fruit wax—
used externally for ulcers. Fruit—
The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India
recommends the stem bark and
fruit in anaemia and polyuria.
Thestem bark gavemyricanol, a proanthocyanidin.
The root bark yielded
beta-sitosterol, taraxerol andmyricadiol.
The stem bark exhibited analgesic,
spasmolytic, hypotensive and antiarrhythmic
DosageFruit—– g, stem bark—
– g. (API, Vol. III.)
HabitatNative to the Moluccas
Islands; grown in the Nilgiris,
Kerala, Karnataka andWest Bengal.
Maalatiphala (seed kernel).
Jaatipatri, Jaatipatra, Jaatipatraka,
UnaniJauzbuwaa (seed), Bisbaasaa
(nutmeg); Saadippatthiri, Jaadippatiri
spasmolytic, antiemetic, orexigenic;
Narcotic in high doses.
Nutmeg is used in flatulency, diarrhoea,
nausea and vomiting. Mace
is used in rheumatism, chronic bowel
complaints and asthma. When roasted,
both nutmeg and mace are used
for diarrhoea, colic, flatulence and dyspepsia.
Key applicationDried seed and
aril—included among unapproved
herbs byGerman Commission E.
Following actions have been considered:
antispasmodic, MAO inhibition,
inhibition of prostaglandin
The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India
recommends the kernel of the fruit
An aqueous extract of nutmeg is reported
to show anti-secretory activity
against E. coli heat-labile enterotoxin;
the hexane soluble fraction of the alcoholic
extract inhibited the heat-labile
secretory response in animal studies.
Myroxylon balsamumHarms. 429
The hexane extract contains myristicin,
an anti-inflammatory principle,
and licarin-B and dehydro diisoeugenol
which exhibited CNS depressant
properties. The extracts of
nutmeg decreased kidney prostaglandin
levels in rats. They also inhibited
platelet aggregation (due to eugenol
and isoeugenol). The anti-inflammatory
activity observed in carrageenan-
induced oedema in rats and enhanced
vascular permeability in mice,
are attributed to myristicin present in
Mace also activates hepatic detoxification
process. Monomeric and dimeric
phenyl propanoids (myristicin, dehydro
diisoeugenol) frommace, on p.o.
administration in mice, produced suppression
of lipid peroxidation in liver.
Seeds contain about .% myristicin,
whereas volatile oil about .%.
The resorcinols, malabaricones B
and C, isolated from the seed coat
(mace) exhibited strong antibacterial
and antifungal activities. Neoplasm
inhibitors, phenylpropyl derivatives,
have been isolated from pulverized
DosageEndosperm of dried seed
(kernel of fruit)—.–. g powder.
(API, Vol. I.)
HabitatWestern Ghats, Kanara
EnglishMalabar Nutmeg, False
Nutmeg, Bombay Nutmeg, Bombay
Ku-Jaavitri. Pashupaashi (Kerala).
Siddha/TamilPathiri, Kattu Jhadi.
ActionTopically stimulant; applied
to indolent ulcers.
The fruit rind yielded diarylnonanoids
and a lignin, malabaricanol.
Leaves gave beta-sitosterol, myristic
acid and its triglyceride, trimyristin.
Fat and resin are the major constituents
of the Bombay mace. The
crude fat (Pundi oil) is used as an embrocation
The bark yields a kino.
Ripe fruits form the source of Bombay
Nutmeg and Bombay Mace, used
as adulterant ofMyristica fragrans.
DosageSeed kernel—. g powder;
oil—– drops. (CCRAS.)
SynonymM. toluiferum H. B. & K.
HabitatIndigenous to Venezuela,
Columbia and Peru;. grown in Lal
Bagh Botanic Garden (Bangalore)
and Kallar (Nilgiris).
EnglishTolu Balsam tree.
stimulant and expectorant. Used as
an ingredient in cough mixtures,
also used as an inhalant in cases of
Key applicationExternally for
poorly healing wounds, for burns,
decubitus ulcers, frost bite, ulcus
cruris, bruises caused by prostheses,
430Myrsine africana Linn.
haemorrhoids; as antibacterial, antiseptic
and antiparasitic (especially
for scabies). (German Commission
Balsam contains cinnamic acid,
benzoic acid and their esters.
Myroxylon pereiraeKolotzsch (Lal
Bagh Botanic Garden, Bangalore), is
the source of Peru Balsam. Used externally
in the form of an ointment or
tincture, as a parasiticide in scabies,
ringworm and pediculosis and for bed
sores and chilblains. It enters into suppositories
used in hemorrhoids.
HabitatOuter Himalayas from
Kashmir to Nepal and in KhasiHills
at –, m.
(Embelia ribes is the authentic
source of Vidanga.)
FolkBebrang (Punjab), Kakhum,
Shamshaad (according to Unani
reference books, Shamshaad is
obtained from aPinaceae tree).
for the expulsion of tape worms;
also as a substitute forEmblia
ribes); antispasmodic, purgative;
used externally against ringworm
and other skin affections. Aerial
(According to Unani medicine,
the fruits of Shamshaad show
antifertility activity in females.)
Berries and seeds contain embelic
acid and quercitol (%). Embelin (%)
is present in the dried fruit. Seeds also
Seeds ofM. semiserrata Wall. contain
embelin (.%) and quercitol
Seeds ofM. capitellata Wall. contain
These related species are found in
Nepal, Bhutan, Assam and North Bengal.
HabitatCultivated in gardens
of Northwestern India and Tamil
EnglishMyrtle, Clove Myrtle,
FolkVilaayati Mehndi. Sutrasowa
(Bengal). Kulinaval (Tamil Nadu).
antimicrobial, antiparasitic. Used
for acute and chronic respiratory
tract infections, bladder conditions,
urinary infections, and worm
Key applicationAs a cough remedy.
(German Commission E.)
Theleaves contain tannins (pyrogallol
derivative), flavonoids (including
myricetin, about %, with kaempferol
and quercetin glycosides; volatile
oil containing alpha-pinene, cineole,
myrtenol, nerol, geraniol and dipentene.
Myxopyrum serratulumA.W. Hill. 431
Myrtol, a fraction of myrtenol, is
absorbed in the intestines, stimulates
the mucous membrance of the stomach
and deodorizes the breath.
Berry exhibits anti-inflammatory
activity. The aqueous and ethanolic
extracts of the leaves and branches exhibit
hypoglycaemic activity in rats.
The essential oil and myrtucommulone
B, isolated from the plant, are antibacterial
and antitubercular. (Clove
myrtle is used in Homoeopathy for
treating lung complication of pleurodynia
and dry hollow cough.)
ActionLeaves—used with clarified
butter in cough, asthma, chest
diseases; also in nervous complaints
and rheumatism. Oil extract of the
leaves is used for massage in fever,
headache and backaches.