Entada phaseoloides (Linn.) Merr. syn. E. scandens : A glycoside of entagenic acid possesses anti- neoplastic activity.
Scientific Name Entada phaseoloides (Linn.) Merr. syn. E. scandens Benth. Family Fabaceae Used Part Fruits. Distribution Area The plant occurs throughout the sub-Himalayan tract, from Nepal eastwards ascending to 4,000 ft. in Sikkim, in Assam, Bihar and Orissa, and in the monsoon forest of western and eastern ghats; it is abundant in Andaman Islands. Common Uses . The seeds are considered tonic, emetic, antiperiodic and anthelmintic. A paste prepared from the seeds is applied locally for inflammatory glandular swellings. The stem is used as emetic. The juice of the wood and bark is used as an external application for ulcers. Pharmacological Effect These saponinshave a strong haemolytic action on human red blood cells. A sharp fall in blood pressure was observed in experimental animals after doses of saponins varying from 0.0005-0.002 g./kg. of body weight: the fall was associated with an increase in the volume of the ntestines and, to a lesser extent, of the kidneys; there was no fall in blood pressure in animals which had received atropine. The saponins have a depressant effect on the respiratory system and inhibit the movements of unstriped muscles of the intestines and the uterus. Entagenic acid has antifungal activity against phytopathogenic fungi. A glycoside of entagenic acid possesses anti- neoplastic activity. Others The oil is used in lamps for illuminating purposes. The white kernels of the seeds (c.43% of the seed weight) are eaten by the poor, after soaking in water and roasting to remove toxic principles. Roasted pods and seeds are used as coffee substitute in South Africa. They are occasionally used as substitute for calabar bean. Half-ripe seeds are gathered, ground into paste with water and used as hair wash.The seeds, stems and bark are poisonous. The leaves are reported to be free from the toxic saponins which are present in other parts of the plant. They are eaten by elephants. A potable watery fluid exudes from the fresh stem when cut. The bark fibre, which is coarse but durable, is used for cordage and nets. The hard and smooth-shelled seeds are used for burnishing pottery, polishing hand-made paper and crimpling linen. The seeds are hollowed out and employed in making trinkets and small receptacles, e.g., snuff and tinder boxes.