Some medicinal plants of India: Sphaeranthus indicus Linn. commonly known as Gorkha mundi
By Ashwani Kumar
| September 18th 2010 04:36 AM | Print
Sphaeranthus indicus Linn. commonly known as Gorkha mundi (Inflorescence)An aromatic herb, found abundantly in damp situations in the plains all over India, ascending to an altitude of c. 1,500 m. in the hills, especially as a weed in the rice-fields.
All parts of the plant find medicinal uses. The drug may consist of the whole plant or only capitula (inflorescences). It is mostly administered in the form of its steam- distillate.
The juice of the plant is styptic and said to be useful in liver and gastric disorders. The paste of the herb, made with oil, is applied in itch. The powdered seeds and roots are given as an anthelmintic. A decoction of the root is used in chest-pains, cough, and bowel complaints. The bark, ground and mixed with whey, is said to be a useful application in piles. Flowers are credited with alterative, depurative, and tonic properties. Leaf juice is boiled with milk and sugar-candy and prescribed for cough. Antitubercular properties have also been ascribed to the plant.
A new sesquiterpene glycoside sphaeranthanolide, has been isolated from the flowers. The structure was determined by 2-D-NMR and other spectroscopic techniques. The compound exhibited immune stimulating activity.
An investigation of whole plant collected near Lonawala,
Maharashtra led to the isolation of two new 7 a-hydroxyeudesmanolides, 1 and 2 along with the known 7a-hydroxyeudesmanolide 3 and two sesquiterpenoids, ryptomeridiol and 4-epicryptomeridiol. Both the new sesquiterpene lactones 1 and 2 and the known eudesmanolide 3 are closely related to the major compound 4, a constituent of the same plant, whose structure and stereochemistry have been established by x- ray crystallography.
The essential oil is active against Vibrio choleraand Micrococcuspyogenes var. aureus. An ethanolic extract of plant collected from Varanasi, Uttar
Pradesh, yielded a sterol glycoside the ß-D-glucoside of (24 S) 24- ethyl cholesta-5, 22-dien-3ß-ol (m p 168-9°C).