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Symplocos Racemosa

swertia chirata natural her

English: Symplocos

Hindi: Lodh

Sanskrit: Lodhra

The name Lodhra comes from its reputed remedy as a cure for ophthalmia. It is an ingredient of many rasayanas. A yellow dye is extracted from the leaves which, in combination with other plants, is used for dyeing silk.


Habitat

It is found commonly in the plains and hills of northern India and other Asian countries, up to a height of 1400 m.


Botanical description

It is a small evergreen tree reaching a height of 6-8.5 m (Plate 58). The leaves are leathery, orbicular and dark green in colour. The flowers are white or cream, in axillary, simple or compound racemes. The fruit is a purplish black drupe containing 1-3 seeds.


Parts used

Bark, root.


Traditional and modern use

The bark is astringent and therefore used to treat diarrhoea and dysentery and also liver complaints and dropsy. It is used as a tonic, antioxytocic, amoebicide and in conjunctivitis and ophthalmia. A decoction of bark is used to treat bleeding gums, menorrhagia and other uterine disorders.


Ethnoveterinary usage

Bark is used in stomach troubles, sores and eye diseases.


Major chemical constituents
Triterpenes

Betulin, betulinic acid, acetyloleanolic acid, oleanolic acid and others have been isolated.


Flavonoids and anthocyanins

3-Monoglucofuranoside of 7 -O-methyl leucopelargonidin glucosides, symposide.


Tannins

Ellagic acid has also been reported from the bark.


Alkaloids

The bark has yielded loturine, loturidine and colloturine.


Medicinal and pharmacological activities

Antimicrobial activity: A crystalline fraction obtained from the ethanolic extract of the bark of S. racemosa exhibited the inhibition of the growth of Staphylococci, Escherichia coli and other dysenteric organisms.


Antijibrinolytic activity: Symposide showed antifibrinolytic activity.


Antispasmodic activity: The alcoholic extract reduced the frequency and intensity of contractions in vitro in both pregnant and non-pregnant uteri. Antagonisation of acetylcholine-induced contractions and prolongation of the quiescent period were also observed.


Safety profile

The LDso of the 50% ethanolic extract of the whole plant (excluding roots) was found to be 750 mg/kg in adult male albino rats.


Dosage

  • Powder: 1-3 g
  • Decoction: 56-112 ml

Ayurvedic properties

  • Rasa: Kashaya (astringent)
  • Guna: Laghu (light), ruksha (dry)
  • Veerya: Ushna (hot)
  • Vipaka: Katu (pungent)
  • Dosha: Balances kapha and pitta

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