Sunday, June 7, 2009


Maba nigrescens Dalz. & Gibs.

Family Ebenaceae.

Habitat Gujarat.

Folk Ragat-Rohido (Gujarat),


Action Used for diseases of liver

and spleen. In folk medicine, as

a substitute for Rakta-Rohitaka.

(Rohitaka is equated with Tecomellia

undulata Seem., synonym

Tecoma undulata G. Don, Bignoniaceae.)

In Gujarat, Polygonum glabrum

Willd. (Polygonaceae) and Myristica

attenuta Wall., 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.

Madhuca butyracea Macr.

Synonym Aisandra butyracea

(Roxb.) Baehni.

Family Sapotaceae.

Habitat Found in sub-Himalayan

tract from Kumaon to Bhutan.

Ayurvedic Madhuuka (related


Folk Phulwaaraa, Maakhaniaa


Action Fat 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

.% saponins.

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

and proteins.

Madhuca indica J. F. Gmel.

Synonym M. longifolia (Koen.)

Macb. var. latifolia (Roxb.) Cheval.

Bassia latifolia Roxb.

Family Sapotaceae.

Habitat A large tree, cultivated

mainly in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar.

English Mahua tree, Moha.

Ayurvedic Madhuuka, Madhupushpa,

Madhusrav, Gudapushpa.


392 Madhuca longifolia (Koen.) Macb.

Unani Mahuaa.

Siddha/Tamil Ieluppai.

Action Flowers—stimulant,

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); also n-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

and rhamnose.

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.

Dosage Flower—– g (API, Vol.

II.); flower-juice—– ml; bark—

– ml decoction. (CCRAS.)

Madhuca longifolia

(Koen.) Macb.

Synonym Bassia longifolia Koenig.

Family Sapotaceae.

Habitat Cultivated in Uttar

Pradesh, Bihar, Andhara Pradesh,

Karnataka, Bengal and Maharastra.

English South Indian Mahua.

Siddha/Tamil Illupei, Elupa, Naatu

Iluppai, Iruppai.

Folk Madhuulaka, Jala-Madhuuka,


Action Same 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—all bisdesmosides

of protobassic acid. Misaponins

exhibit anti-inflammatory

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 neriifolia Moon, 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 philippensis Muell.-Arg. 393

Maerua arenaria

Hook. f. &Thoms.

Synonym M. oblongifolia (Forsk.)

A. Rich.

Family Capparidaceae.

Habitat Punjab, Sind, Gujarat,

Central and Southern India.

Ayurvedic Morata, Piluparni,


Siddha/Tamil Bhumichakkarai.

Folk Murhari.

Action Root—used for bleeding

piles, as alterative in fevers; as

a tonic in muscular debility.

(The root resembles liquorice root

in appearance and taste.)

Magnolia grandiflora Linn.

Family Magnoliaceae.

Habitat Native to North America;

found in the Himalayas and the

Nilgiri hills up to , m.

English Bull Bay, Great Laurel

Magnolia, Southern Magnolia.

Ayurvedic Him-Champaa.

Action Bark—anti-inflammatory,

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

antifungal activity.

Magnolia pterocarpa Roxb., synonym

M. sphenocarpa Roxb. (Vana-

Champaa), Dhulichampaa) bark contains

sesamin, eudesmin, fargesin, imperatorin,

dimethyl-terephthalate and

beta-sitosterol. Powdered bark is used

for fevers and cough.

Mahonia napalensis DC.

Synonym Berberis nepalensis

Spreng (in part).

Family Berberidaceae.

Habitat Temperate Himalayas

from Garhwal to Bhutan at ,–

, m. and in Khasi Hills.

English Holly Leaved Berberry.

Folk Chhatri (Nepal), Haldia


Action Used as Berberis. Antiprolific,

antipsoriatic, alterative,

demulcent, diuretic, antidysenteric.

The plant gave tertiary aporphines,

berberine and jatrorrhizine.

Mallotus philippensis


Family Euphorbiaceae.

Habitat Throughout tropical

regions of India.

English Kamala tree, Monkey Face



394 Malpighia glabra Linn.

Ayurvedic Kampillaka, Kampilla,

Karkash, Raktaanga, Rechan,


Unani Kamilla, Kambilaa.

Siddha/Tamil Kapli, Kalupatti.

Action Gland and hair of fruit—

purgative, anthelmintic, styptic.

Used for the treatment of tapeworm

infestation; in scabies, ringworm,

herpes. Fruit—hypoglycaemic,

spasmolytic, antibacterial.

Capsule hair and glands gave phloroglucinol

derivatives; rottlerin, isorottlerin,

iso-allorottlerin (the "red compound")

and methylene-bis-methylphloroacetophenone

(the "yellowcompound").

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.

Dosage Glands and hairs of the

fruit—.–. g powder. (API,


Malpighia glabra Linn.

Family Malpighiaceae.

Habitat Native to tropical America;

cultivated in gardens as hedge.

English Barbados Cherry, Acerola.

Action Fruits—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

and beta-cryptoxanthine.

Malpighia punicifolia Linn.

Family Malpighiaceae.

Habitat Cultivated in Tamil Nadu

and Karnataka.

English West Indian Cherry.

Folk Vallari (Telugu), Simeyaranelli


Action See 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.

Malus pumila Mill.

Synonym M. domestica Borkh.

M. sylvestris Hort. non-Mill.

Pyrus malus Linn. in part.

Family Rosaceae.

Habitat Native to Europe andWest

Asia; now cultivated in Himachal

Pradesh., Kashmir, Kulu, Kumaon,

Assam and in the Nilgiris.

English Cultivated Apple.

Ayurvedic Sinchitikaa.

Folk Seb, Sev.

Action Bark—anthelmintic,

refrigerant, hypnotic, given in

intermittent, remittent and bilious

fevers. Leaves—inhibit the growth


Malva sylvestris Linn. 395

of a number of Gram-positive and

Gram-negative bacteria.

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

tannin compounds.

Fresh juice contains .–. malic

acid, . total sugars and .–

.% tannin.

The seeds contain cyanogenic glycoside,

amygdalin (.–.%, HCN

equivalent, .–.%).

Malva rotundifolia Linn.

Synonym M. neglecta Wall.

Family Malvaceae.

Habitat Simla, Kumaon and plains

of North India.

English Round-leaved Mallow,

DrawfMallow, Cheese Cake Flower.

Ayurvedic Suvarchalaa.

Unani Khubhaazi, Gul-Khair.

Action Leaves—demulcent, emollient;

used in glycosuria, stomach

disorders and as emmenagogue;

used as poultice for maturing

abscesses. Seeds—demulcent;

prescribed in bronchitis, cough,

inflammation of the bladder and


Marshmallow (Althaea officinalis) is

a different herb.

Malva sylvestris Linn.

Family Malvaceae.

Habitat Temperate Himalayas from

Punjab to Kumaon, up to , m;

Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil


English Common Mallow, Blue

Mallow, High Mallow.

Ayurvedic Suvarchalaa (var.).

Unani Khubbaazi, Bhubhaazi

Bustaani, Gul-Khair.

Action Mucilaginous, emollient,

laxative, antitussive, pectoral,

antibacterial. Infusion is used for

coughs and colds, irritation of the

bronchi. Phagocyte stimulant.

Key application In 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.


396 Mandragora autumnalis Spreng.

Malva coromandeliana Linn. (also

malvastrum) is anti-inflammatory,

pectoral, antidysenteric and diaphoretic.

Mandragora autumnalis Spreng.

Synonym M. microcarpa Bertol.

M. officinarum Linn.

Family Solanaceae.

Habitat Mediterranean region.

English Mandrake.

Ayurvedic Wrongly equated with

Lakshmanaa, a fertility promoting

herb. (In Indian medicine, Panax

quinquefolium Linn. and Panax

schinseng Nees have been equated

with Lakshmanaa.)

Action Anaesthetic, narcotic,

poisonous. Alkaloid pattern similar

to Atropa 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 with Bryonia

alba and Podophyllum hexandrum respectively.

Mangifera indica Linn.

Family Anacardiaceae.

Habitat Uttar Pradesh., Punjab,

Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh,

West Bengal and Tamil Nadu.

English Mango.

Ayurvedic Aamra, Amb, Rasaal, Sahakaar,

Pikavallabha, Madhudoot,

Atisaurabha, Maakanda.

Unani Aam, Ambaj.

Siddha/Tamil Manga, Mau,

Mamaram (bark), Mangottai

Paruppu (seed).

Action Unripe fruit—astringent,

antiscorbutic. Ripe fruit—invigorating

and refrigerant in heat apoplexy.

Leaves—anti-inflammatory, antibacterial,

chloretic, diuretic. Used

in diabetes, externally in burns

and scalds. Kernel—astringent,

anti-inflammatory, antibacterial,

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,

phloroglucinol, protocatechuic

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

(gallocatechin, protocatechuic

acid), xanthones (homomangiferin),

several triterpenoids and sterols.

All parts gave phenolic acids (ellagic

acid, gallic acid, ethyl gallate);

flavonoids (catechin), and xanthones


Dosage Dried seed—– g powder

(API, Vol. I); stem bark—– g

powder, – g for decoction.

(API, Vol. III.)

Manihot esculenta Crantz.

Family Euphorbiaceae.

Habitat Native to Brazil. Major

crop in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and

Andhra Pradesh.

English Manioc, Tapioca, Cassava.

Siddha/Tamil Maravalli kizhangu,

Ezhalai kizhangu.

Folk Tapioca.

Action Staple 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

weeping skin.

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.

Synonym Minusops Kauki L.

Family Sapotaceae.

Habitat A native of Malaya;

occasionally grown in gardens,

especially in North India, Andhra

Pradesh and Kerala.

English Kauki.

Ayurvedic Khirni.

Siddha Palai.

Action Root 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,

synonym Mimusops hexandra

Roxb., found in central India and Deccan

Peninsula, and cultivated throughout

the greater part of India, is also

equated with Khirni.


398 Maranta arundinacea Linn.

All parts gave taraxerol, a triterpene

ketone, alpha-and beta-amyrin, cinnamates,

alpha-sipnasterol, beta-sitosterol,

its beta-D-glucoside, quercitol,

quercetin and its dihydroderivatives,

ursolic acid.

The bark contains % tannin.

Maranta arundinacea Linn.

Family Marantaceae.

Habitat Native to tropical America;

cultivated throughout the country

for its edible starch.

English Arrowroot.

Siddha Koovaikizhangu,


Action Nutritive, demulcent

(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 –%

neutral starch.

Marrubium vulgare Linn.

Family Labiatae; Lamiacea.

Habitat Native to Europe and

Central Asia; also found in Kashmir.

English Horehound.

Unani Faraasiyun (wrongly equated

with Valerian in National Formulary

of Unani Medicine).

Action Expectorant, cholagogue;

bitter tonic for stomach and liver,

antispasmodic. Used for bronchitis,

asthma, whooping cough, hard

cough with little phlegm; also for

cardiac extrasystols.

Key application In loss of appetite,

dyspepsia; bloating and

flatulence. (German Commission

E.) The British Herbal Pharmacopoeia

and The British Herbal

Compendium (additionally) indicate

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

cardiac irregularities.

The oil exhibits antimicrobial properties

and is reported to be vasodilatory

and hypotensive.

Marsdenia roylei Wight.

Family Asclepiadaceae.

Habitat Western and Eastern

Himalayas, Simla and Kumaon,

hills of Assam.

Ayurvedic Muurvaa (var.).

Folk Maruaa-bel. Khaarchu


Action Root—purgative.


Martynia annua Linn. 399

M. hamiltonii Wight (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.

Marsdenia tenacissima

Wight & Arn.

Family Asclepiadaceae.

Habitat Himalayas from Kumaon

to Assam, up to , m, Madhya

Pradesh, Bihar, Deccan Peninsula.

English White Turpeth.

Ayurvedic Muurvaa, Atirasaa,

Madhurasaa, Gokarni, Morataa,

Madhulikaa, Suvaa, Devi, Tejani,


Siddha/Tamil Perunkurinjan.

Folk Maruaa-bel.

Action Root—purgative, antispasmodic,

mild CNS depressant; used

in colic.

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

synonym Ipomoea turpethum R. Br.

is the source of Turpeth (Nishoth) in

Indian medicine.

Dosage Root—– g powder, –

 g for decoction. (API, Vol.II.)

Marsilea minuta Linn.

Family Marsileaceae.

Habitat Throughout India as

a weed in marshy places.

Ayurvedic Sunishannaka, Parnaka,

Vastika-parnika, Swastika, Chatushpatri,

Susunishaak, Chaupaitra.

Action Sedative. Used in insomnia

and in the treatment of epilepsy and

behavioral disorders.

The most active anti-epileptic principle

is marsilin (-triacontanol cerotate).

Dosage Whole plant—– ml

juice. (CCRAS.)

Martynia annua Linn.

Synonym M. diandra Glox.

Family Martyniaceae.

Habitat Native of Mexico; found

throughout India.

English Devil's Claw, Tiger Claw.

Ayurvedic Kaakanaasikaa,

Kaakaangi, Shirobal.

Siddha/Tamil Kakatundi, Thelkodukkukai.

Folk Hathajori, Bichhuu.

Action Leaf—used in epilepsy, also

applied to tuberculous glands of

the neck. Fruit—anti-inflammatory.

Ash of the fruit,mixed with coconut


400 Matricaria 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--

O-beta-D-glucuronide, luteolin--Obeta-

D-glucuronide, pellargonidin-,

-diglucoside, cyanidin--galactoside.

Theessential oil fromthe plantmoderately

inhibited passive cutaneous

anaphylaxis in animals.

Pentatropis microphylla W. & A. and

P. spiralisDecne have also been equated

with Kaakanaasaa, Kaakanaasikaa.

Dosage Dried seed—– g. (API,

Vol. III.)

Matricaria chamomilla Linn.

Family Compositae; Asteraceae.

Habitat Native of Europe; grown

in Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal

Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.

English German Chamomile,

Chamomile. German chamomile

flower is equated with Matricaria

recutita L. (synonym Chamomilla

recutita L.) and Roman Chamomile

flower with Anthemis nobilis L.

(synonym Chamamaelumnobilis L.)

Unani Baabunaa.

Action Sedative, anticonvulsant,

carminative, antispasmodic, analgesic,

anti-inflammatory, antiseptic.

See also Anthemis 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 sativa Linn. 401

mortality rate produced by picrotoxin


Matthiola incana R. Br.

Family Cruciferae; Brassicaceae.

Habitat Native of Europe; grown

as ornamental.

English Stock, Gilli-flower.

Unani Tudri Safed.

Action Expectorant, diuretic,


The seeds contain mucilage, a fatty

oil, two crystalline colouring matters

and a volatile oil which yields methyl,

isopropyl and -methylthiobutyl isothiocyanates.

Beta-sitosterol is present

in fatty oil. Fatty acids include palmitic,

stearic, oleic, linoleic, linolenic and rucic.

Meconopsis aculeata Royle.

Family Papaveraceae.

Habitat Western Himalayas from

Kashmir to Kumaon, between

,–, m.

English Blue Poppy.

Folk Gul-e-Nilam (Kashmir),

Gudi, Kunda, Kanderi (Punjab),

Kalihaari (Himachal).

Action Plant—diuretic. Root—


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 horridula Hook, known

as Tasargaun in Tibet, is used for cardiac

and respiratory disorder.

Meconopsis napaulensis DC., synonym

M. wallichii HK. (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



Medicago sativa Linn.

Family Papilionaceae; Fabaceae.

Habitat Punjab, Uttar Pradesh,

Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu,

West Bengal, as a farm crop.

English Alfalfa, Lucerne.

Ayurvedic Alfalfa, Vilaayatigawuth,

Lasunghaas, Lusan.

Unani Barsem.

Action Anticholesterolemic, rich

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,


402 Melaleuca 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.


Melaleuca leucadendron Linn.

Family Myrtaceae.

Habitat Indegenous to Burma,

Cambodia, Thailand, Malay

Peninsula to Australia; grown in

Indian gardens and parks.

English Cajeput tree, Swamp Tea

tree, White Tea tree.

Folk Kaayaaputi. (The oil ofCajeput

is imported into India, chiefly from

France and Netherlands.)

Action Oil—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 application The oil is antimicrobial

and hypermic in vitro.

(German Commission .)

The oil contains terpenoids, ,-

cineole (–%) asmajor component,

with alpha-pinene, alpha-terpineol,

nerolidol, limonene, benzaldehyde,

valeraldehyde, dipentene and various

sesquiterpenes; ,-dimethyl-,,di-


The essential oil of Melaleuca 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 genus Melaleuca,

principaly from M. 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

Rational Phytotherapy.)

The essential oil of Melaleuca 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 azedarach Linn. 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.

Melastoma malabathricum


Synonym M. normale D. Don.

Family Melastomataceae.

Habitat Moist parts of India, up to

, m.

English Indian Rhododendron.

Folk Laakheri, Paalorey(Maharashtra).

Tulasi (Nepal). Nakkukappan

(Tamil Nadu), Phutuka (Assam).

Action Leaf—antidiarrhoeal,

antiseptic. Locally applied in

smallpox to prevent pox-marks.

Leaf and flowering top—astringent,

antileucorrhoeic. Bark—applied

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,

melastomic acid.

Melia azedarach Linn.

Family Meliaceae.

Habitat Cultivated and naturalized

throuhout India. Wild in the

Sub-Himalayan tract up to , m.

English Persian Lilac, Pride of


Ayurvedic Mahaanimba, Ramyaka,

Dreka. (Neem is equated with

Azadirachta indica.)

Unani Bakaayan.

Siddha/Tamil Malaivembu.

Action Leaf—diuretic, anthelmintic,

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

and vertigo.

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


404 Melia 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

macro-filaricidal activity.

Gedunin, present in the plant, inhibits

Plasmodium falciparum, while

the seed extract does not show antimalarial

activity against P. 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.

Dosage Stem bark—– g (API,

Vol. IV.); leaf, seed, root—–

 ml decoction; – g powder.


Melia composita Willd.

Synonym M. dubiaHiern. non-Cav.

Family Meliaceae.

Habitat EasternHimalayas, Assam,

WesternGhats, Ganjam andDeccan

up to , m.

English Hill Neem, Malabar Neem,

Common Bead tree.

Ayurvedic Arangaka.

Folk Malaivembu (Tamil).

Action Fruit—anthelmintic; used

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 to Melia azedarach and Melia


Melilotus alba Desr.

Family Fabaceae.

Habitat Native to Europe and Asia;

grown in North India.

English White Sweet Clover.

Unani Ilkil-ul-Malik, Naakhunaa

(white-flowered var.).

Action See Melilotus indica.

Melilotus indica (Linn.) All.

Synonym M. parviflora Desf.

Family Paplionaceae; Fabaceae.

Habitat Native to Eurasia; found

as winter weed and cultivated for

fodder in parts of Punjab, Haryana

and Uttar Pradesh.

English Sweet Clover, Annual

Yellow Sweet Clover, Small-flowered


Ayurvedic Vana-methikaa.

Unani Ilkil-ul-Malik (yellowflowered


Folk Ban-Methi, Senji.


Melissa axillaris (Benth.) Bakh f. 405

Action Plant—astringent, discutient,

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.

Melilotus officinalis Linn.

Family Fabaceae.

Habitat Ladakh, at ,–, m,

also cultivated.

English Yellow Sweet Clover,


Unani Iklil-ul-Malik, Asaab-ul-

Malik, Naakhunaa.

Action Plant—astringent, wound

healer, styptic, anti-inflammatory,

sedative, mild analgesic, anticoagulant,

spasmolytic. Flower and

leaf—diuretic, analgesic, antiinflammatory,

smooth muscle

relaxant, vasodilator. Seed—used in


Key application In 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

in pento-barbital-induced

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,

haemorrhoids, brachialgia

and bronchitis.

The Red Clove is equated with Trifolium


Melissa axillaris (Benth.) Bakh f.

Synonym M. parviflora Benth.

Family Lamiaceae.

Habitat Temperate and alpine

Himalaya, from Garhwal to Bhutan

and in Darjeeling and Aka, Mishmi

and Khasi hills at ,–, m.

Unani Billilotan.

Action Carminative, diaphoretic,

febrifuge in cases of catarrh and


406 Melissa officinalis Linn.

influenza. The fruit is considered

a brain tonic and useful in

hypochondriac conditions.

Theaerial parts of the plant yield %

essential oil which is a good source of

monoterpenic alcohols and aldehydes.

It contains d-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

Melissa officinalis Linn.

Melissa officinalis Linn.

Family Lamiaceae.

Habitat Indigenous to the east

Mediterranean region; introduced

in India.

English Mountain Balm, Sweet or

Lemon Balm.

Unani Baadranjboyaa, Billilotan.

(Nepeta cataria Linn. and Nepeta

hindostana Haines are also known

as Billilotan.)

Action Antidepressant, antispasmodic,

antihistaminic, antiviral.

Used in anxiety neurosis and nervous

excitability, palpitation and

headache. Also in hyperthyroidism.

Key application In nervous sleeping

disorders and functional gastrointestinal

complaints. (German

Commission E, ESCOP.) Externally

for Herpes 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,

rhamnocitrin, isoquercitrin);

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

of Herpes 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

deiodinase in vitro.

The anti-hormonal, mainly antithyroid

effects of Balm are well documented.

(Potter's New Cyclopedia,

Sharon.M. Herr.)

Formild tomoderateAlzheimer disease,

 drops per day of standardized

Lemon Balm extract ( :  %

alcohol) was prescribed daily. Results

were encouraging. (J Neurol Neurosurg


Memecylon edule Roxb. 407

Psychiatry, , ; Natural Medicines

Comprehensive Database, .) (For

cholinergic activity, BMJ, , ,


Melochia corchorifolia Linn.

Family Sterculiaceae.

Habitat Kumaon to Sikkim, Gujarat

and Peninsular India.

Siddha/Tamil Pinnakkuppundu.

Folk Chunch, Bilpat.

Action Leaf 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


Melothria maderaspatana

(L.) Cogn.

Synonym Cucumis maderaspatana


Bryonia scabrella Linn. f.

Mukia scabrella (Linn. f.) Arn.

Family Cucurbitaceae.

Habitat Throughout India,

ascending up to , m in the hills.

Ayurvedic Ahilekhana, Trikoshaki.

Siddha/Tamil Musumsukkai.

Folk Agmaki.

Action Tender shoots—gentle

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 with Malothria perpusilla

(Blume) Cogn. Zehneria hookeriana

Arn., found in upper Gangetic

plain from Nepal to Assam and in

Peninsular India.

Memecylon edule Roxb.

Synonym M. umbellatum Burm. f.

Family Melastomataceae.

Habitat Orissa, Assam andWestern


English IronWood.

Ayurvedic Anjani.

Siddha/Tamil Kasai, Anjani.

Folk Yaalki, Lokhandi (Maharashtra).

Action Fruit and leaf—astringent.

Leaf—antileucorrhoeic, spasmolytic,

hypoglycaemic. A lotion

prepared from the leaves is used

in ophthalmia. Root—used in

excessive menstrual discharge.


408 Mentha aquatica Linn.

Aerial parts gave umbelactone, betaamyrin,

ursolic acid, oleanolic acid,

sitosterol and its glucoside.

Mentha aquatica Linn.

Family Labiatae; Lamiaceae.

Habitat Cultivated in Indian


English Water Mint, Wild Mint.

Unani Pudinaa Nahari.

Action Leaf—stimulant, astringent.

Used for diarrhoea and


The essential oil is composed of

–% menthofuran, with menthol,

methyl acetate, pulegone among other


Mentha arvensis

Linn. var. piperascens Holmes.

Family Labiatae; Lamiaceae.

Habitat Cultivated in Jammu and


English Japanese Mint.

Unani Naanaa.

Action Carminative, cholagogue,

expectorant, antibacterial,


Key application Mint oil—

internally for flatulence, functional

gastrointestinal and gallbladder

disorders; catarrhs of the upper

respiratory tract. Externally, for

myalgia and neuralgia. (German

Commission E.)

Major components of the essential

oil are menthol (up to %) and menthone.

Others are alpha-and betapinene,

alpha-thujene, l-limonene,

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.

Synonym M. sylvestris Linn.

Family Labiatae; Lamiaceae.

Habitat Native to Europe and Asia;

cultivated in Kashmir, Maharashtra,

Uttar Pradesh and Punjab.

English English Horsemint.

Unani Pudinaa-Barri, Jangali


Action Leaf 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 spicata Linn. emend. Nathh. 409

stimulative effect on CNS of mice. Administration

of the oil leads to a drop

in body temperature.

American Horsemint is equated

with Monarda punctata L. The major

component of the volatile oil is thymol.

The leaves and tops are used as stimulant,

carminative and emmenagogue.

Mentha piperata

Linn. emend. Huds.

Family Labiatae; Lamiaceae.

Habitat Native to Europe;

cultivated in Maharashtra, Kashmir

and Punjab.

English Peppermint, Brandy Mint.

Ayurvedic Vilaayati Pudinaa.

Action Oil—digestive, carminative,

chloretic, antispasmodic, diuretic,

antiemetic, mild sedative, diaphoretic,

antiseptic, antiviral, used in

many mixtures of indigestion and

colic and cough and cold remedies.

Key application Leaf—internally

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 application Oil—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.

Mentha spicata

Linn. emend. Nathh.

Synonym M. viridis Linn.

Family Labiatae; Lamiaceae.

Habitat Cultivated in Punjab, Uttar

Pradesh and Maharashtra.


410 Menyanthes trifoliata Linn.

English Spearmint, Garden Mint.

Ayurvedic Pudinaa, Podinaka,

Puutihaa, Rochini.

Unani Nanaa. Pudinaa Kohi.

Action Carminative, stimulant,

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.

Dosage Leaf—– ml juice; –

 ml extract. (CCRAS.)

Menyanthes trifoliata Linn.

Family Gentianaceae.

Habitat Native to Britain and

Europe; found in Kashmir.

English Bogbean, Buckbean, Goat's

bean, Marsh Trefoil.

Folk Buckbean.

Action Bitter tonic, deobstruent.

Laxative in large doses. Used for

diseases of liver and gallbladder,

and rheumatism. (Contraindicated

in diarrhoea, dysentery and colitis.)

Key application Leaf—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

Commission E.)

The herb contains iridoid glycosides,

foliamenthin, dihydrofoliamenthin,

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

cholagogue properties.

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


Merremia quinquefolia

(Linn.) Hallier f.

Family Convolvulaceae.

Habitat Maharashtra, Gujarat,

Uttar Pradesh, Orissa, Rajasthan.

Action Seeds—sedative.

Theseeds contain ergoline alkaloids.

The alkaloids are reported to produce

vasoconstrictor, uterotonic, neurohormonic,

sympathicolytic and sedative


Plants of Merremia sp. are twiners

and are used as diuretic, deobstruent,

antirheumatic and alterative; the root


Mesua ferrea Linn. 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.)

Merremia tridentata

(Linn.) Hallier. f.

Synonym Convolvulus tridentatus


Ipomoea tridentata (L.) Roth.

Family Convolvulaceae.

Habitat Upper Gangetic Plain,

Bihar, Orissa, West Bengal, South

India and Gujarat.

Ayurvedic Prasaarini (Kerala and

Karnataka), Tala-nili.

Siddha/Tamil Mudiyaakunthal.

Action Laxative, astringent,

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 -


Mesua ferrea Linn.

Synonym M. nagassarium

(Burm. f.) Kosterm.

Family Guttiferae; Clusiaceae.

Habitat EasternHimalayas, Assam,

West Bengal, Western Ghats,

Travancore and the Andaman


English Iron-wood, Mesu.

Ayurvedic Naagakeshara, Naagapushpa,

Chaampeya, Naaga,

Naagakinjalika, Ahipushpa. (In

Ayurvedic Formulary of India Part

I, revised edn , Keshara and

Kesara are equated with Mesua

ferrea, while Kumkuma is equated

with Crocus sativus.)

Unani Naarmushk.

Siddha/Tamil Sirunagappo,

Nagakesaram. Sirunagappo also

consists of the tender fruits

of Cinamonum wighti Meissn.

Malabar Naagakeshar consists of

the fruits of Dillenia pentagyna


Action Flower bud—antidysenteric.

Flowers—astringent, haemostatic,

anti-inflammatory, stomachic.

Used in cough, bleeding piles,

metrorrhagia. Essential oil from

stamens—antibacterial, antifungal.

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


412 Meyna 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.

Dosage Dried stamens—– g

powder. (API, Vol. II.)

Meyna laxiflora Robyns.

Synonym Vangueria spinosa

Hook. f.

Family Rubiaceae.

Habitat West Bengal, Bihar, Orissa,

in hedges and waste places.

Ayurvedic Pinditaka. Madana

or Mainphala is a misleading

synonym. It is equated with Randia

dumetorum Poir.

Folk Muyana, Moyana, Muduna.

Siddha/Tamil Manakkarai.

(Madana or Mainphala is known as


Action Fruit—cholagogue, a decoction

used in biliary complaints

and hepatic congestion. Dried

fruits—narcotic; used for boils.

Michelia champaca Linn.

Family Magnoliaceae.

Habitat Eastern Himalayas, lower

hills of Assam, hills of South India

up to , m., cultivated in various

parts of India.

English Champak, Golden


Ayurvedic Champaka, Svarna

Champaka, Hemapushpa, Chaampeya.

Siddha/Tamil Sampagi.

Action Flowers—bitter, carminative,

antispasmodic, demulcent,

antiemetic, diuretic (used for dysuria),

antipyretic. Fruits—used

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.

ThebarkofMicheliamontana Blume

(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 nilgarica Zenk. (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.

Dosage Dried buds and flowers—

– g powder. (API, Vol. IV.) Bark—

– m decoction. (CCRAS.)

Microcos paniculata Linn.

Synonym Grewia microcos Linn.

G. ulmifolia Roxb.

Family Tiliaceae.

Habitat North-eastern parts of

India, West Bengal, Western Ghats

and Andaman Islands.

Folk Asar (Bengal); Thengprenkeorong

(Assam); Kadambu, Visalam,

Kottei (Tamil Nadu); Abhrangu


Action Plant—stomachic, antidysenteric,

antisyphilitic, antibacterial

(also used for smallpox and


Microglossa pyrifolia

(Lamk.) Kuntze.

Synonym M. volubilis DC.

Family Asteraceae, Compositae.

Habitat North-eastern Indian hills.

Action Leaf—used for ringworm

of the scalp.

Aacetylenic glucoside, isolated from

the leaf, showed antibacterial activity

against Pseudomonas aeruginosa and

Staphylococcus aureus.

Micromelum integerrimum

(Buch-Ham.) Roem.

Family Rutaceae.

Habitat Bihar, Orissa, Bengal,

Sikkim, Nepal, Assam, Khasi, Aka

and Lushai hills.

Action Bark of the root, stem and

branches—used in the treatment of

tubercular cases.

The root contains coumarins, micromelin,

phebalosin and yuehchakene.

Micromelum pubescens Blume, 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

and phebalosin.

The bark contains phebalosin. The

roots contain micromelumin, phebalosin,

imperatorin, angelical, limettin,

scopoletin, minumicrolin and



414 Micromeria capitellata Benth.

Micromeria capitellata Benth.

Family Lamiaceae; Labiatae.

Habitat Kumaon, Upper Gangetic

plain, Bihar, Orissa, Western Ghats,


Folk Pudinaa (var.).

Action Plant—carminative. Used

as a substitute for Mentha piperata


The plant yields an essential oil

(.%) which contains mainly pulegone


Micromeria biflora Benth., 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 of Camphorata sp. is camphor; of

Citrata sp. is citral; of menthata and

Pulegata sp. is d-menthone; and pulegone.

Microstylis musifera Ridley.

Synonym Malaxis muscifera

(Lindley) Kuntz.

Family Orchidaceae.

Habitat Northern Himalayas at

altitudes of , to , m.

Ayurvedic Jivaka, Madhura,

Shranga, Hriswaanga, Kurcha,

Shirraka. (Substitute: Pueraria


Action Rejuvenating tonic.

Dosage Tuber—– g power


Microstylis wallichii Linn.

Synonym Malaxis acuminata D.


Family Orchidaceae.

Habitat Northern Himalayas at

altitudes of , to , m.

Ayurvedic Rshabhaka, Rshabha,

Rshabham, Vrishabh, Dhira,

Vishani. (Substitute: Pueraria


Action Rejuvenating tonic.

Dosage Tuber—– g powder.


Mikania cordata

(Burm.) B. L. Robinson.

Synonym M. micrantha Kunth.

M. scandans Hook. f. non-Willd.

Family Asteraceae; Compositae.

Habitat West Bengal, eastern

Assam, as a weed in tea gardens; sal

and other forests and waste lands.

Distributed in tropical America,

Africa and Asia.

Folk Mikaaniaa.

Action Root—anti-inflammatory,

hepatoprotective, adaptogenic.

Stigmasterol, beta-sitosterol and

sesquiterpene dilactones, mikanolide,

dihydromikanolide, deoxymikanolide

and scandenolide have been isolated

from the weed.

The root extract exhibited anti-inflammatory

activity; reduced carrageenan-

induced paw oedema in experimental



Millingtonia hortensis Linn. 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

albino rats.

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.

Miliusa velutina

Hook. f. &Thoms.

Family Annonaceae.

Habitat Sub-Himalayan tract and

outer Himalayas, in North-east

and Central India, eastern coast of

Deccan Peninsula.

Ayurvedic Rshiyaproktaa.

Folk Gandha-Palaasa (Orissa),

Kaari (gum).

Action Bark—used in the treatment

of gout.

Millettia auriculata

Baker ex Brandis.

Synonym M. extensa Benth. ex


Family Fabaceae.

Habitat Sub-Himalayan tract and

outer Himalaya up to , m from

Kashmir to Bhutan and in Assam

and Central and Southern India.

Folk Godaar (Bihar).

Action Root—vermifuge, pesticidal,

kills lice and ticks.

The roots, leaves and stems gave isoflavones

(including iso-auriculatin, auricularin)

and a rotenoid, sumatrol.

Millettia racemosa Benth.

Family Fabaceae.

Habitat Deccan Peninsula.

Folk Godaar (Bihar).

Action Insecticidal.

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 against Staphylococcus

aureus and E. coli.

Millingtonia hortensis Linn. f.

Family Bignoniaceae.

Habitat Cultivated throughout


English Indian Cork tree.

Siddha/Tamil Maramalli.

Folk Aakaasha Neem, Neem-


Action Bark—antipyretic. Flowers—

used for asthma and sinusitis.


416 Mimosa 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.

Mimosa pudica Linn.

Family Mimosaceae.

Habitat Native to tropical

America; naturalized in tropical

and subtropical regions of India.

English Sensitive-plant, Humble-


Ayurvedic Lajjaalu, Laajavanti,

Namaskaari, Samangaa, Sankochini,

Shamipatraa, Khadirkaa,


Unani Chhuimui, Sharmili,


Siddha/Tamil Thottalsurungi.

Action Leaf—astringent, alterative,

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.

Dosage Whole plant, root—–

 ml juice; – ml decoction.

(CCRAS.)Whole plant—– g for

decoction. (API, Vol. II.)

Mimusops elengi Linn.

Family Sapotaceae.

Habitat Cultivated in North India,

Western Peninsula and South India.

English Spanish-Cherry, West

Indian Medlar, Bullet Wood.

Ayurvedic Bakula, Keshara,

Simhakeshara, Sthiraa, Sthirapushpa,

Vishaarada, Dhanvi,

Madhupushpa, Madhugandha,

Chirpushpa, Maulsiri.

Unani Molsari.

Siddha Magilam.

Action Pulp 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

mimusopsic acids.

Essential oil obtained fromthe plant

is reported to be mycotoxic. Antimicrobial

activity of the root extract has


Mollugo cerviana Ser. 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

spermicidal activity.

Dosage Seed, bark—– g paste;

– ml decoction. (CCRAS.)

Mirabilis jalapa Linn.

Family Nyctaginaceae.

Habitat North-West Himalayas,

Bengal and Manipur.

English Four-O'Clock Plant,

Marvel of Peru.

Ayurvedic Trisandhi.

Unani Gul-abbaas.

Siddha/Tamil Andhimalligai.

Action Leaf—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.

Mitragyna parvifolia

(Roxb.) Korth.

Family Rubiaceae.

Habitat All over India, and up to

, m in the outer Himalaya.

English Kaim.

Ayurvedic Giri-kadamba, Kadamba


Siddha Chinna-Kadambu.

Action Bark—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,

isomitraphylline, pteropodine,

isopteropodine, speciophylline

and uncarine F.

Anthocephalus cadamba Miq. is the

accepted source of Kadamba.

Mollugo cerviana Ser.

Family Aizoaceae; Molluginaceae.


418 Mollugo spergula Linn.

Habitat Upper Gangetic Plains,

Punjab, Delhi, Rajasthan, Gujarat,

Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh,

Orissa, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka.

Ayurvedic Parpata (substitute).


Siddha/Tamil Parpaatakam.

Folk Jeem Shaak.

Action Plant—stomachic, aperient,

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


Mollugo spergula Linn.

Synonym M. oppositifolia Linn.

Glinus oppositifolius (Linn.) A. DC.

Family Aizoaceae, Molluginaceae.

Habitat Greater part of India,

especially in Assam, Bengal and

Deccan Peninsula.

Ayurvedic Grishma-sundara,

Parpata (Kerala).

Siddha/Tamil Thurapoondu.

Folk Jala-papr (Bihar), Jeem Shaak.

Action Plant—stomachic, aperient

and antiseptic. Used as a bitter tonic

for liver disorders.

Aerial parts gave vitexin, vitexin--

glucoside and -p-coumaroylvitexin-


Mollugo stricta Linn., synonym M.

pentaphylla Linn. (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.

Momordica balsamina Linn.

Family Cucurbitaceae.

Habitat Punjab, Gujarat, Dehra

Dun and Andhra Pradesh.

English Balsam Apple.

Ayurvedic Jangali Karelaa.

Folk Mokhaa. Chhochhidan


Action Fruit—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.

Momordica charantia Linn.

Family Cucurbitaceae.

Habitat Cultivated all over India

for its fruits.


Momordica charantia Linn. 419

English Bitter Gourd, Blsam Pear,


Ayurvedic Kaaravellaka, Kaaravella,

Kaathilla, Sushaavi.

Unani Karelaa.

Siddha/Tamil Paakal, Paharkai.

Action Seed/fruit—improves

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,

New Delhi.)

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 activity in

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

Database, .)

The seeds yield alpha-and betamomorcharins

(glycoproteins). When

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.

Dosage Fresh fruit—– ml

juice (API, Vol. II); – ml juice



420 Momordica cochinchinensis Spreng.

Momordica cochinchinensis


Family Cucurbitaceae.

Habitat Cultivated throughout the

country, especially found in Assam,

Bengal, South India and Andaman


Ayurvedic Karkataka, Kaaravellajalaja.

Folk Kakrol (Maharashtra),

Bhat-karelaa, Gulkakraa.

Action Leaf and fruit—used

externally for lumbago, ulceration,

fracture of bone. Seed—bechic,

aperient, emmenagogue, antiinflammatory,

deobstruent. (Used

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

N-glycosidase activity.

Momordica dioica Roxb. exWilld.

Family Cucurbitaceae.

Habitat Throughout India, up to

, m in the Himalaya.

English Small Bitter Gourd, Bur


Ayurvedic Karkotikaa, Karkotikaavandhyaa,

Karkotaka, Karkota.

Siddha/Tamil Tholoo-pavai,

Paluppakai, Kaattupaagala.

Folk Jangali Karelaa, Ban-Karelaa,

Bhat-Karelaa, Dhar-Karelaa.

Action Tuberous root—astringent,

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


Momordica tuberosa

(Roxb.) Cogn.

Synonym M. cymbalaria Fenzl ex


Family Cucurbitaceae.

Habitat Maharashtra and Tamil

Nadu, in bushes along the banks of

water courses. (It is not cultivated.)

Ayurvedic Kaarali-Kanda, Kuduhunchi.

Siddha/Tamil Athalaikai

Folk Kakrol (Maharashtra).

Action Tuberous root—emmenagogue,

abortifacient; acrid; contains

a bitter glycoside.

Monochoria vaginalis Presl.

Family Pontederiaceae.


Morinda citrifolia Linn. 421

Habitat Throughout India in

ponds, tanks, ditches, as a weed

common in rice fields.

Ayurvedic Indivara (Kerala).

Kakapola (Malyalam), Nirkancha


Siddha/Tamil Senkzhuneerkizhangu.

Folk Nukha, Nanda (Bengal).

Action Leaves—juice is given

for coughs. Roots—prescribed for

stomach and liver complaints.

Bark—prescribed with sugar for


Monotropa uniflora Linn.

Family Monotropaceae.

Habitat The temperate Himalayas

from Himachal Pradesh to Bhutan

and in Khasi Hills at ,–, m.

English Indian Pipe.

Action Root—sedative, nervine,


The plant gave sitosterol, campesterol

and traces of cholesterol. The oil

contained linolenic, palmitic, linoleic

and hexadecenoic acids.

Morinda citrifolia Linn.

Synonym M. bracteata Roxb.

Family Rubiaceae.

Habitat Sub-Himalayan tracts,

Darjeeling, Konkan and the


English Indian Mulberry.

Ayurvedic Ashyuka, Akshi, Atchy.

Siddha/Tamil Nunaa, Togaru.

Action Fruit—emmenagogue,

antileucorrhoeic, antidysenteric,

anticatarrhal (used in throat

infections and asthma). Root

and leaf—cathartic, febrifuge,

anti-inflammatory (used in gout).

Root—anticongestive, hypotensive.

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

toxic effects.

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 of Morinda

citrifolia and 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 umbellata L. (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.


422 Moringa concanensis Nimmo ex Gibs.

Moringa concanensis

Nimmo ex Gibs.

Family Moringaceae.

Habitat Rajasthan and Peninsular


Ayurvedic Shigru (Red var.).

Siddha/Tamil Kaatumurungai.

Action See M. pterygosperma.

Moringa pterygosperma Gaertn.

Synonym M. oleifera Lam.

Family Moringaceae.

English Drumstick, Horse-Radish.

Ayurvedic Shigru (white var.),

Madhu Shigru, Sigra, Shobhaanjana,

Haritashaaka. Raktaka,

Murangi, Mochaka, Akshiva,


Unani Sahajan.

Siddha/Tamil Murungai.

Action All parts of the tree

are reported to be used as cardiac

and circulatory stimulant.

Pods—antipyretic, anthelmintic;

fried pods are used by diabetics.

Flowers—cholagogue, stimulant,

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

fruit—antiparalytic. Leaf—juice

is used in hiccough (emetic in

high doses); cooked leaves are

given in influenza and catarrhal

affections. Root-bark—antiviral,

anti-inflammatory, analgesic.

Bark—antifungal, antibacterial.

Stem-bark and flower—hypoglycaemic.

Seeds—an infusion,

anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic

and diuretic; given in venereal


Along with other therapeutic applications,

The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia

of India indicated 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

motility disorders.

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

female rats.


Morus nigra Linn. 423

Dosage Leaf—– 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.


Morus alba Linn.

Family Moraceae.

Habitat Native to China; cultivated

in Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Kashmir

and North-Western Himalayas.

English ChineseWhite-Mulberry.

Unani Shahtuut, Tuut.

Action Fruit—cooling, mild

laxative. Used for sore throat,

dyspepsia and melancholia. Leaves

and root bark—expectorant,

diuretic, hypotensive. Bark

extract—hypoglycaemic. Leaf—

anti-inflammatory, emollient,

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.

Morus nigra Linn.

Family Moraceae.

Habitat Native to West Asia;

cultivated in Kashmir, also grown

in Darjeeling.

English Black Mulberry.

Unani Tuut Siyaah.

Action Berries 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

phosphoric acid.

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 acidosa Griff., M. australis

Poir andMorus indica L. have also been


424 Mucuna monosperma DC.

equated with Tuut Siyaah of Unani


Mucuna monosperma DC.

Family Papilionaceae; Fabaceae.

Habitat Nepal, Khasi Hills, Deccan

Peninsula and the Andamans.

Ayurvedic Kaakaandolaa.

Siddha/Tamil Periyattalargai.

Folk Kaagadolia (Gujarat).

Action Seeds—sedative, restorative,

expectorant; used in coughs,


Mucuna prurita Hook.

Synonym M. pruriens Baker non


Family Papilionaceae; Fabaceae.

Habitat Throughotu India,

including Andaman and Nicobar


English Cowhage, Horse-eye Bean.

Ayurvedic Aatmaguptaa, Kapikacchuu,

Rshabhi, Adhigandhaa,

Ajadaaa, Kacchuraa, Laanguli,

Rshyaproktaa, Svaguptaa,

Shyaamguptaa, Markati, Kanduraa,

Kevaanch, Shuukashimbi.

Unani Konchh.

Siddha/Tamil Poonaikkaali.

Action Seed—astringent, nervine

tonic, local stimulant, used in impotence,

spermatorrhoea, urinary

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,

hypoglycaemic. Root—

CNS active.

The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India

recommends the seed in impotence

and paralysis agitans; the root in vaginal


Theseeds contain the alkaloids, mucunine,

mucunadine, mucunadinine,

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.)

Mucuna cochinchinensis Cheval.;

synonym M. 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

L-DOPA (.%).

Dosage Cured seed—– g (API,

Vol. III); root—– g powder for

decoction (API, Vol. IV.)

Murdannia nudiflora

(L.) Brenan.

Synonym Aneilema nudiflorum

(L.) Wall.

Family Commelinaceae.

Habitat Throughout India, in

moist and marshy places; common

in West Bengal.

Ayurvedic Koshapushpi.

Folk Kanshura.

Action Plant—used in burns, boils

and sores.

Murdannia scapiflora

(Roxb.) Royle.

Synonym Anilema scapiflorum Wt.

A. tuberosum Buch.-Ham.

Family Commelinaceae.

Habitat Temperate and tropical

Himalaya, upper Gangetic plains

and Peninsular India.

Folk Siyaah Musli; Sismulia

(Gujarat); Kureli.

Action Root—astringent, febrifuge;

used in headache, giddiness,

jaundice. Root bark—diuretic,

antispasmodic, (used in asthma,

colic, infantile convulsions.)

Murraya exotica Linn.

Synonym M. paniculata (Linn.)


Family Rutaceae.

Habitat Throughout India and

Andaman Islands up to an altitude

of , m.

Siddha/Tamil Konji.

Folk Kaamini; Aanthil (Bihar).

Action Leaves—astringent;

used in diarrhoea and dysentery

(sap, squeezed from leaves, is

administered). Root—antipyretic.

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 a bis-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.

Family Rutaceae.


426 Musa paradisiaca Linn.

Habitat Cultivated in Tamil Nadu;

Maharashtra and North India.

English Curry-Leaf tree.

Ayurvedic Surabhini-nimba.

Unani Karipattaa.

Siddha/Tamil Karuveppilei,

Karivempu, Kattuveppilei.

Folk Mithaa Neem, Kathneem,

Gandhela, Barsanga.

Action Leaf—stomachic, antiprotozoal,

spasmolytic; promotes

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

glucoside, scopolin.

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

in rats.

Musa paradisiaca Linn.

Synonym M. Sapientum Linn.

Family Musaceae.

Habitat Assam, Madhya Pradesh,

Bihar, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh,

Karnataka, Jalgaon district (Maharashtra),

West Bengal, Tamil Nadu

and Kerala.

English Banana, Plantain.

Ayurvedic Kadali, Rambhaa,

Sakrtphala, Vaaranaa, Mochaa,

Ambusaara, Anshumatiphal.

Unani Kelaa, Mouz.

Siddha/Tamil Vaazhai.

Action Fruit—mild laxative,

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

and leucorrhoea.

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 benthami C. 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

in rats.

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


Dosage Dried flower—– g.

(API, Vol. IV.)

Mussaenda frondosa Linn.

Synonym M. frondosa var. glabrata

Hook. f.

M. glabrata (Hook. f.) Hutch.

Family Rubiaceae.

Habitat Tropical Himalayas, Khasi

Hills, Deccan Peninsula and the


English White Lady, White Rag


Ayurvedic Shrivati.

Siddha/Tamil Vellai-yilai, Vellimadandai.

Folk Shrivara, Bedina, Bebina,

Bhutakesha (Maharashtra),

Naagaballi (Bengal)

Action Flower—diuretic, antiasthmatic,

antiperiodic. Leaves

and flowers—used in external

applications for ulcers. Root—used

in the treatment of white leprosy.

White petiolate bract—prescribed

in jaundice.

The flowers contain anthocyanins,

hyperin, quercetin, rutin, ferulic and

sinapic acids; beta-sitosterol glucoside.

Mussaenda glabra Vahl (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 benthami C. B. Cl.

Family Boraginaceae.

Habitat Garhwal, Tibet.

Folk Dimok (Tibet), Ratanjot


Action Topically antiseptic.

National Formulary of Unani Medicine

has equated Onosma echioides

Linn. (Boraginaceae) with Ratanjot.

Geranium wallichianum D. Don.

(Geraniaceae); Clausena pentaphylla

DC. (Rutaceae); andAnemone obtusiloba

D. Don. (Ranunculaceae) are also

known as Ratanjot.

Ratanjot should be equated with

the root of Alkanna tinctoria (Boraginaceae),

known as Dyer's or Spanish



428 Myrica nagi Hook. f. non-Thunb.

Myrica nagi Hook. f. non-Thunb.

Synonym M. esculenta Buch.-Ham

ex Don.

Family Myricaceae.

Habitat Subtropical Himalayas

from the Ravi eastwards at –

, m.

English Box Myrtle.

Ayurvedic Katphala, Kushbhikaa,

Shriparnikaa, Mahaavalkal,

Bhadraa, Bhadravati.

Unani Kaayaphal.

Siddha/Tamil Marudam.

Action Bark—carminative,

antiseptic. Used in fever, cough

and asthma; also as a snuff in

catarrh with headache. Fruit wax—

used externally for ulcers. Fruit—

pectoral, sedative.

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


Dosage Fruit—– g, stem bark—

– g. (API, Vol. III.)

Myristica fragrans Houtt.

Family Myristicaceae.

Habitat Native to the Moluccas

Islands; grown in the Nilgiris,

Kerala, Karnataka andWest Bengal.

English Nutmeg, Mace.

Ayurvedic Jaatiphala, Jaatishasya,

Maalatiphala (seed kernel).

Jaatipatri, Jaatipatra, Jaatipatraka,

Jaatikosha (mace).

Unani Jauzbuwaa (seed), Bisbaasaa


Siddha/Tamil Jaathikkai, Saadikai

(nutmeg); Saadippatthiri, Jaadippatiri


Action Nutmeg—carminative,

spasmolytic, antiemetic, orexigenic;

topically anti-inflammatory.

Mace—stimulant carminative.

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 application Dried seed and

aril—included among unapproved

herbs by German Commission E.

Following actions have been considered:

antispasmodic, MAO inhibition,

inhibition of prostaglandin


The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India

recommends the kernel of the fruit

in spermatorrhoea.

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

and heat-stable-enterotoxin-induced

secretory response in animal studies.


Myroxylon balsamum Harms. 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


Dosage Endosperm of dried seed

(kernel of fruit)—.–. g powder.

(API, Vol. I.)

Myristica malabarica Lam.

Family Myristicaceae.

Habitat Western Ghats, Kanara

and Malabar.

English Malabar Nutmeg, False

Nutmeg, Bombay Nutmeg, Bombay


Ayurvedic Paashikaa, Raamapatri,

Ku-Jaavitri. Pashupaashi (Kerala).

Siddha/Tamil Pathiri, Kattu Jhadi.

Action Topically 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

in rheumatism.

The bark yields a kino.

Ripe fruits form the source of Bombay

Nutmeg and Bombay Mace, used

as adulterant of Myristica fragrans.

Dosage Seed kernel—. g powder;

oil—– drops. (CCRAS.)

Myroxylon balsamum Harms.

Synonym M. toluiferum H. B. & K.

Family Leguminosae.

Habitat Indigenous to Venezuela,

Columbia and Peru;. grown in Lal

Bagh Botanic Garden (Bangalore)

and Kallar (Nilgiris).

English Tolu Balsam tree.

Action Balsam—antiseptic,

stimulant and expectorant. Used as

an ingredient in cough mixtures,

also used as an inhalant in cases of

obstinate catarrh.

Key application Externally for

poorly healing wounds, for burns,

decubitus ulcers, frost bite, ulcus

cruris, bruises caused by prostheses,


430 Myrsine africana Linn.

haemorrhoids; as antibacterial, antiseptic

and antiparasitic (especially

for scabies). (German Commission


Balsam contains cinnamic acid,

benzoic acid and their esters.

Myroxylon pereirae Kolotzsch (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.

Myrsine africana Linn.

Family Myrsinaceae.

Habitat Outer Himalayas from

Kashmir to Nepal and in KhasiHills

at –, m.

Ayurvedic Vaayavidanga (substitute).

(Embelia ribes is the authentic

source of Vidanga.)

Folk Bebrang (Punjab), Kakhum,

Shamshaad (according to Unani

reference books, Shamshaad is

obtained from a Pinaceae tree).

Action Fruit—anthelmintic (used

for the expulsion of tape worms;

also as a substitute for Emblia

ribes); antispasmodic, purgative;

used externally against ringworm

and other skin affections. Aerial

parts—antifertility, abortifacient.

(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

contain embelin.

Seeds of M. semiserrata Wall. contain

embelin (.%) and quercitol


Seeds of M. capitellata Wall. contain

.% embelin.

These related species are found in

Nepal, Bhutan, Assam and North Bengal.

Myrtus communis Linn.

Family Myrtaceae.

Habitat Cultivated in gardens

of Northwestern India and Tamil


English Myrtle, Clove Myrtle,

Spanish Myrtle.

Unani Habb-ul-Aas, Muurad,


Folk Vilaayati Mehndi. Sutrasowa

(Bengal). Kulinaval (Tamil Nadu).

Action Leaves—antiseptic,

antimicrobial, antiparasitic. Used

for acute and chronic respiratory

tract infections, bladder conditions,

urinary infections, and worm


Key application As 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 serratulum A.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.)

Myxopyrum serratulum

A.W. Hill.

Family Oleaceae.

Habitat Western Ghats.

Folk Chathuravalli, Chathuramulla

(Kerala). Hem-maalati.

Action Leaves—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.

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