(N.O. - Scrophulariaceae)
Habitat - A biennial herb which produces a rosette of basal leaves the first year and in the second year, a tall, erect stem with many sessile, lanceolate leaves. The leaves are smaller, narrower and less woolly than those of the common Foxglove (D.purpurea). The bell-shaped, brownish-white woolly flowers are arranged in a long, terminal spike. The flowers secrete abundant nectar and so are attractive to bees. The projecting lower lobe of the two-lipped flowers provides an alighting platform for the insects. The fruit is a capsule. All parts of the plant are extremely poisonous.
Woolly Foxglove is native to the Balkans and is also grown there as a field crop for the pharmaceutical industry. It has been introduced to other countries, including Britain, for commercial growing. The reason that this foxglove is preferred for commercial cultivation is its resistance to frost and to disease and the high concentration of active constituents in the plant. The seed is sown in spring (if the leaves are to be collected) or in autumn (for the collection of seeds the following year).
Constituents & Uses - The principal constituents of the leaves are the cardiac glycosides lanatosides A, B and C, digitoxin and digoxin. Therapeutically lanatosides are four times as potent as the purpureaglycosides of Foxglove. They, but especially digoxin, are used in medical practice in the form of tinctures, tablets, injections, suppositories and other preparations as cardioactive medicines that stimulate and regulate heart action in cases of arrhythmia, tachycardia (an abnormal increase in the heartbeat) and failure. These drugs can be Prescribed only by qualified medical practitioners.
Flowering time - July to August
DIOSPYROS TOMENTOSA, ROXB.
(N.O. - Ebenaceae)
Sans - Kakatinduka ; kakinduka. Hind. - Tumal ; Ben.-Makragav; Kend. Tam. - Chilta-tumiki.
Is a species found in most parts of Bengal and U.P.
Habitat - Throughout India, especially in Bengal.
Parts Used - Fruit, bark and dried seeds.
Constituents - Tannin, pectin and glucose. Unripe fruits, flowers, and bark contain a large quantity of tannin. Fruits contain about 12.8 p.c. astringent acid closely related to gallo-tannic acid.
Action - Bark and unripe fruit have astringent and styptic properties.
Uses - An infusion or decoction of the rind of the furit is useful in chronic dysentery and diarrhoea. Bark is made into a paste and applied to boils and tumours. Infusion of the fruit is used as a gargle in aphthae or stomatitis and sore throat. A solution of one ounce of the extract Diospyros in a pint of water is a valuable vaginal injection in leucorrhoea. Juice of unripe fruit is given in chronic diarrhoea and dysentery ; it is also used in haemorrhages fromthe internal organs; applied to fresh wounds it acts as styptic by checking the bleeding. The ripe fruit is edible and useful in diseases of the blood, gonorrhoea and leprosy. Oil extracted fom the seeds is also used in dysentery and diarrhoea. Seeds are also given in diarrhoea as an astringent. Bark is used in intermittent fevers, in the form of infusion. The drug is also used in snakebite.
(N.O. - Papilionaceae)
Sans - Mimbataru ; Mandalia ; Paribhadra ; Parijataka ; Palitmandar. Eng.- Indian Coral Tree ; Moochy Wood Tree. Fr. - Arbre immortel. Ger. - Indischer korallenbaum. Hind. - Ferrud, Mandar ; Pangra. Ben. - Palita-madar ; Palidhar. Bom. - Pangaru. Mah. - Pangra ; Panara ; Paringa. Guja. - Panarawas ; Pararoo. Tel. - Barijamu ; Machhikara ; Modugo ; Baridachettu ; Badchipa-chettu. Tam. - Kaliyana marukka ; Badisc. Mal.-Mooloomogrikah. Can. - Harawana ; Warjippe ; Hongara ; Pongara. Kon. - Pangiro.
Habitat - This tree is common in Bengal and many parts of India especially in Southern India often grown in gardens as a support for black-pepper vines. E. stricta is the species found in Malabar and used like E. Indica.
Parts Used - Bark, juice and leaves.
Constituents - Bark contains two resins and a bitter poisonous alkaloid erytherine which exists in the leaves also.
Action - Bark is antibilious, expectorant, and febrifuge ; also anthelmintic. It reduces "vayu" and "Kafa" Juice is vermifuge and cathartic. The drug is found to act on the central nervous system so as to diminish or abolish its funtions. Leaves are diuretic, laxative, emmenagogue, and galactagogue. Erytherine is in action antagonistic to strychnine and may be used as an antidote to strychnine poisoning.
Preparations - Infusion of leaves (1 in 10), dose. - 2 to 8 drs ; Powder and Decoction of bark (1 in 20), dose. - 2 to 4 drs.
Uses - Bark is used in decoction in dysentery, in worms and useful as a collyrium in ophthalmia. Inner side of the bark is smeared with ghee and held over the ghee-Lamp flame ; the soot thus deposited is used in watery eye tinea-tarse, and parulent conjunctivitis, being applied to the inner side and edges of the lower lid. Juice of the leaves mixed with castor oil is given for the cure of dysentery. Fresh juice of the leaves with a few drops of honey added, taken in two ounce doses in a good vermifuge, whether for round, tape or thread worms ; it acts as cathartic; it is also used as an injection into the ear for the relief of ear-ache and as an anodyne for toothache. Crushed leaves are applied hot to rheumatic joints to relieve pain ; and as poultice they are applied hot and bandaged upon venereal buboes, the bandage being changed twice daily. The drug is used in liver troubles also. It is also used as an antidote to snake-bite. A decoction of the root-bark (2 tolas in 16 ounces of water boiled down to four ounces) together with a dose of Vasanta Kusumaker Rasa daily every morning in cases of diabetes is said to reduce the quantity of urine and sugar within a short time. Juice of the bark, and young leaves is used to kill worms in sores. Juice is given for syphilis. Young-roots of the white flowered variety are pounded and given with cold milk as an aphrodisiac. Cooked with cocoanut milk the fresh leaves are used internally and externally as galactagogue and emmenagogue, leaf juice is said to have cured long-standing dysmenorrhoea, and also removed sterility in fatty women by gradually reducing fat and producing natural menstrual flow, the medicine being continued for two to three months. The juice increases the secretion of milk if taken during the period of lactation. The juice in doses of 3 to 4 drachms morning and evening is given to relieve painful and difficult micturition. A decoction made of these leaves and of the leaves of Emblica officinalis one tola each in sixteen ounces of water boiled down to four ounces is a good cathartic useful in chronic dyspepsia with constipation. "Leaves chopped well and mixed with treble the quantity of rice-straw (chopped as well) and given especially to milch cattle as it is, or better still boiled with a little rice-konda, is a rich food having high nutritive qualities. The younger the leaves are the better is their food value, and is an unsurpassed stuff for mixing with rice-straw."