It grows throughout India up to an altitude of 4,000 ft. It is especially abundant in the sub-Himalayan tract.
Morphology Description (Habit)
H.antidysenterica is a deciduous shrub or small tree. The bark is rather rough, pale brownish or greyish; the leaves are opposite, subsessile, elliptic or ovate-oblong, membranous; the flowers are white, in terminal corymbose cymes; the follicles, divaricate, cylindric and usually white spotted; the seeds are light brown.
The principal alkaloid of kurchi is conessine. The other alkaloids reported to be present in the bark are: conamine, conkurchine, connessimine, kurchine, conarrhinine, holarrhinene and isoconcessimine.
Various fractions of H.antidysenterica showed promising activity against experimental amoebiasis in rats and hamsters1. The fruit extract (50% ethanolic) showed antiprotozoal effect against Ent. histolytica strain STA, Trypanosoma evansi; anticancer effect against human epidrmoid carcinoma of the nasopharynx in tissue culture and hypoglycemic activity in rats2.
Clinical tests with connessine on patients with intestinal and hepatic amebiasis have been found to give results, comparable to those obtained with emetine3
Use of connesine must, however, be closely supervised, as in some cases it can produce neurological troubles like Vertigo, sleeplessness, agitation, anxiety and delirium4.
The bark has astringent, antidysenteric, anthelmintic, stomachic, febrifugal and tonic properties. It is used in the treatment of amebic dysentery and diarrhea.
- Dutta, N. K and Iyer, S. N., J. Ind. Med. Assoc., 1968, 50, 349.
- Dhar, M. L, et. al., Ind. J. Exp. Biol., 1968, 6, 232.
- Signier, F. et. al., 1949. Medicine Tropicale, 9, 99-109, Tanguy, et. al., 1948, ibid, 8, 12-31.
- Oliver, B.B. (1986). Medicinal Plants in Tropical West Africa, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 163.