| plant form ingredients in many native prescriptions in
combination with more active remedies.
Found throughout tropical Asia, Africa, Australia and
America. An abundant weed in dry places and wastelands, from
the seashore to 2,100 m high.
It is an annual or perennial herb. Stem erect, 0.5-2.0m in
high, base woody, angular or ribbed, simple or branched,
often tinged with pink colour; nodes bulged. Leaves
opposite, petiolate, ovate-elliptic-obovate-rounded, in
various sizes, apex usually rounded, finely or softly
pubescent on both sides. Flowers are in an auxiliary or
terminal spikes, which is more than 50 cm in long, greenish
white, bracteate and bracteolate. Perianth lobes 4-6,
glabrous, shining, ovate-oblong and pointed. Stamens 5 in
number, staminodes are truncate, fimbriate, ovary oblong,
sub-compressed and ovule solitary. Fruit easily
disarticulate, oblong or ovoid and utricle. Seeds inverse,
testa coriaceous, embryo annular and surrounded by floury
Betaine1 and Achyranthine2 are the
principal alkaloids, identified from the whole plant. Seeds
contain Achyranthes saponin A and its ester, named as
Aschyranthes saponin B3. The presence of
ecdysterone is also reported. Shoots contain an essential
oil, tannins and glycosides.
Alcoholic and aqueous extracts of the roots cause fall in
blood pressure4 but the chloroform extract raised
the blood pressure5 in dogs. Achyranthine
produced hypertension and depression of the heart, dilation
of blood vessels in dogs, spasmogenic effect in frog rectus
muscle and diuretic and purgative effect in albino rats6.
Alcoholic extract has hypoglycemic activity7.
Seed saponins increased contraction of the isolated heart of
frog, guinea pig & rabbit. The effect was quicker in onset
and shorter in duration than that exerted by digoxin8.
Saponins have phosphorylate activity in heart9.
Saponins have diuretic activity in albino rats and in dogs10.
In leprosy patients, the deception of the whole plant along
with DDS (Diamino diphenyl sulphone) showed definite
improvement in the general health and bacterial index. It is
useful in sub acute and mild type of leprosy11.
It has pungent, astringent, diuretic, alterative,
antiperiodic and purgative properties. Plant is used in
piles, skin eruptions, opthalmia, dysentery, eye and liver
complaints, rheumatism, scabies, bronchial affections and in
leprosy. Leaves useful in gonorrhoea. Roots in cancer,
stomach troubles and bladder stones. Seeds are useful in
renal dropsy, bronchial affections and in leprosy. Branches
and roots are useful as tooth brushes.
- Kapoor & Singh, Indian J. Chem. 4, 461, 1966.
- Basu et. al., Indian J. Pharm. 32, 43.
- Hariharan and Rangaswamy, Phytochem. 9, 404, 1970.
- Gambir et. al., Indian J. Physiol. Pharmacol. 9, 185,
- Kopoor and Singh, Indian J. Pharm. 29, 285, 1967.
- Neogi et. al., Indian J. Pharm. 32, 43, 1970.
- Dhar, Indian J. Exptl. Biol. 6, 232, 1968.
- Gupta et. al., Indian J. Med. Res. 60, 462, 1972.
- Ram et. al., Indian J. Physiol. Pharmacol. 14, 47,
1970; 15, 6, 1971; 15, 107, 1971.
- Ram and Gupta Indian J. Physiol. Pharmacol.
- Ojha, Lep. Rev. 39, 23, 1968; 37,115, 1966.