Barleria Prionitis Linn

Barleria prionitis Linn

Vernacular names

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English- common yellow nailo dye plant

Ayurveda Kuruntaka, kurunta, sahachara, vajradanti

Unani Piyaabaansaa

Tamil or siddha: chemmulli

Biological source: It consist of dried whole plant of Barleria prionitis Linn (Acanthaceae)

Geographical source: It found throughout the hotter parts of India. It commonly grown as ornamental plants in gardens


The shrubs prefer a sunny situation on wide variety of well-drained moist soil. They tolerate temperatures only above at least 1°C. It best grows with average annual rainfall between 750-900 mm. The seeds are very light in weight containing 33,000 seeds/kg. Seedlings grow slowly at first i.e. germinated between 13 and 77 days following sowing. However, an established plant grows fast. These shrubs flower from September to December and fruit from January to April.and can be harvested for four years. Natural regeneration generally occurs within 1 or 2 m of the parent plant.


It is evergreen, is a tender, erect, branching, evergreen shrub with spiny stem nodes, elliptic to oblong, mid-green leaves, and spikes of tubular, yellow to yellow-orange flowers in a tender, erect, branching, evergreen shrub with spiny stem nodes, elliptic to oblong, mid-green leaves, and spikes of tubular, yellow to yellow-orange flowers in a tender, erect, branching, evergreen shrub bushy shrub grows up to 1-2 m with spiny stem nodes, elliptic to oblong, mid-green leaves, 6 to 12 centimeters long, narrowed, and pointed at both ends. Flowers are yellow and axillary, with the upper ones in spikes. Bracts and calyx are green, with the outer bract usually foliaceous. Corolla is about 4 centimeters long, flowers in summer.

The stems are terete, glabrous, much branched with cylindrical and tapering branchlet Leaves are smooth, opposite, ovate-elliptic to obovate, acuminate, tapering to base, entire, margin finely ciliate, bristle-tipped and about 6-15 cm long and 4-6 cm wide. The petioles are about 0.5-3 cm long, widely spreading spines present in axils.

The flowers are sessile, yellow in colour and often solitary in lower axils and spictate in the upper axils. Bracts are acute, linear-lanceolate, foliaceous, about 1-1.5 cm long and 0.2-0.8 cm wide with bristle tipped. The corolla is bright, golden yellow in colour with pubescent outside and glabrous inside and about 1.5 cm long. The filaments are hairy and about 2-2.5 cm long, yellowish in colour with 3mm long yellow anthers. The ovary is ovoid and sigma is long, linear, sticky and pinkish in colour.

The fruit is ovoid capsule containing 2 seeds. It is about 1.5-2 cm long and 0.6-0.8 cm wide. The seeds are oval-oblong, covered with silky copper-brown appressed hairs and measuring about 7.4-8.5?6-6.8 mm.

Roots are central tap type, with lateral roots branching in all directions.

Ayurvedic Properties

Rasa – Madhura, Tikta

Guna – Snigdha

Virya – Usna

Vipaka – Katu

Karma – Kaphahara, Keya, Kasa, Ranjana, Visahara.

Chemical constituents

B. prionitis shows presence of glycosides, saponins, flavonoids, steroids and tannins

Glycosides like prioniside A, prioniside B, prioniside, barlerinoside, verbascoside, shanzhiside methyl ester
Saponins- lupulinoside, luteolin-7-O-?-D-glucoside
Flavonoids – apigenin 7-O-glucoside, 6-hydroxyflavones
Phenolic acid – melilotic acid, syringic acid, vanillic acid, p-hydroxybenzoic acid

It also sowed the presence of triterpenoids and steroids such as lupeol and B-sitosterol. Bark consist of 16% tannins and ellagic acid


Foreign matter Not more than 2%

Total ash Not more than 7%

Acid-insoluble ash Not more than 1%

Alcohol-soluble extractive Not less than 4%

Water-soluble extractive Not less than 10%


Charaka recommended leaf paste as an ingredient of hot poultices and steam bath in the treatment of stiffness of limbs, enlargement of scrotum, sciatica and erysipelas.

Sushruta prescribed flowers internally in migraine, internal abscesses, oedema, haemoptysis. urethral discharges, seminal disorders and also to reduce obesity.

The herb’s extract in oil was prescribed for massage in arthritis and gout

Traditionally the plant parts has recommended in different health aliments

Leaves: leaf juice in diarrhoea,

The leaves of Barleria prionitis can be crushed and applied on wounds, boils and in joints for relief. It also reduces swelling.

Crushed leaves can also be applied on the scalp to fight fungal growth and promote hair growth

Leaves and flowering tops are recommended as diuretics and in urinary infection

Fruit : Fruit as bitter, acrid, anthelmintic, haemolytic; also prescribed in gingivitis as expectorant.

Seed : Seed powder were used as emetic and expectorant.

Bark: Bark as astringent, useful in diarrhea and blennorrhoea. It is also used against whooping cough and expectorant.

Roots: Roots are utilized in bleeding gums, loose teeth, dental cavities and sensitive teeth. Decoction of Barleria prionitis root for treatment of viral fevers.

The Ayurvedic pharmacopoeia of India recommended it in goiter and psychological disorder.

The whole plant is antiseptic, diuretic and applied ovver boils and glandular swelling.

Pharmacological uses

It exhibited following pharmacological effects as
Antimicrobial activity over a wide pathological microorganism.
Iridoid glycoside shown to have potent antiviral property
Whole plant extracts posses anthelmintic activity in in vitro studies.
The Iridoid glycoside present in roots shown reduced spermatogenesis in male albino rats
The areal parts of plant shown to posses strong antioxidant hepatoprotective, antidiabetic and cytoprotective ability in experimental animals
The plant also exhibited strong anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritic, analgesic and diuretic property

Marketed formulation

Vicco vajradanti tooth powder

Sahacharadi Taila – Gururaja Ayurvedic Pharma (Visveshwara Nagar, Mysuru, Karnataka)

Centratherum anthelminticum/ kalijiri

Synonyms: Ayurvedic names:Aranya jiraka, vanjiraka, arjiri, somaraaji

English names: Purple Flea-bane, Achemes

Unani name: Kamoon barri, siddha/ tamil: kaattu seerakam

Biological source: it consists of dried fruit/ seeds of centratherum anthelminticum Kuntze. (Vernonia anthelmintica Wild.) family: asteraceae

Geographic source:


It is widely used as a preparation in the Ayurvedic system of medicine preparations and is distributed widely in India, even to the heights of 5500 ft. Certain other plants such as Nigella sativa and Bunium persicum Boiss are also known as kalajiri or black cumin in India, but even than these three species are still called black cumin or kalajiri.

It is a roubust branched glandular-pubiscent annual plant reaches up to the highet of 2-3 ft.

Leaves: 3-8 in. membranous, lanceolate or ovate-lanceolate, coarsely serrate.

Flower: purplish tips with linear involucral bract of ? to ? inch diameter.

Ayurvedic description

Rasa- katu; tikta

Guna: Laghu, tikshna,

Veerya- ushna

Vipak- katu


Sterols, avenasterol and vernosterol, a bitter principle, essential oil, resins and fixed oil consisting of myristic, palmitic, stearic, oleic, linoleic and vernolic acids

The two novel compounds a flavone glycoside and 8,5?-dimethoxy 3?,4?- methylenedioxy 3,7-dihydroxy flavones has been isolated. It also shown the presence of pentacyclic hederagenin triterpenoids such as hederagenin (3-O-[?-Dglucopyranosyl-(1>3)-?-L-rhamnopyranosyl-(1>2)-?-L-arabinopyranosyl]-28-O-[?-D-glucuronopyranosyl-(1>4)-?-L-rhamnopyranosyl-(1>3)-?-Dglucopyranosyl]-hederagenin).

It also showed the presence of stigasterols and sitosterols. Additionally seed oil shown the presence of unsaturated and saturated fatty acids and little amount of proteins.

Flavone glycoside – 8,5?-dimethoxy 3?,4?- methylenedioxy 3,7-dihydroxy flavones

The centratherin and germacranolide are present in seeds and leaves.


Foreign matter Not more than 2.0 per cent,

Total Ash Not more than 7.5 per cent,

Acid-insoluble ash Not more than 4.5 per cent,

Alcohol-soluble extractive Not less than 20 per cent,

Water-soluble extractive Not less than 14 per cent,


Pharmacological uses:

Seed alcohol extracts has analgesic, antipyretic and diuretic activity
Moderately polar extracts of seed exhibited antifilarial property against S. cervi and S. digitata.
Seeds extracts found as effective antihelmintic agent in vitro and in vivo studies
Plant shown to posses antihyperglycemic activity due to polyphenolic content.
Plant reported to posses antimicrobial property.
Clinical studies validates the ised of the drug in skin diseases.
The drug exhibited smooth mscle relaxant and hypotensive activity in animals

Traditional uses

Kapha vat shamak; sathahar, badana sthapan, krimighan. Kustaghan, dipan, vaman karak, rakt sodhak, jwaraghana
Traditionally medicine used for fever, cough and as general tonic.
It is also used for anthelmintic, diuretic, digestive and febrifugal property.
It also known to be effective in kidney disorder.
Seeds are used as anthemintic, tonic, stomachic and diuretic.

Dose: 1-3 gm of seeds and 25-30 ml of infusion

Marketed formulation

Gastrex tablet– Ban lab (P) Ltd India (Kalawad Road, Rajkot, Gujarat)

Kani capsules – Vignesh pharma ( Yousufguda, Hyderabad, A.P.)

Madhumardan Tablets – Jain Ayurved pharmacy (Siddiamber Bazar, Hyderabad)

Indian bay leaf/ tamal patra

History There are different beliefs associated with the bay leaf. Some people belonging to the Elizabethan era believed that pinning bay leaves to one’s pillow on the eve of Saint Valentine’s Day can help them see their future spouse in their dreams.

Synonyms- Punnai ilai (Tamil), Karuvaela (Malayalam), Masala Aku (Telugu), Tamal patra (Marathi), Tej pata (Bengali), Tamal patr (Gujarati), Tejpatra (Oriya), Tejpata, Tezpatta (Punjabi), Tez pat (Urdu) Tej patta (Hindi), Bay Leaf (English) Biological source-

It consist of dried leafs of plant Cinnamomum tamala belonging to family Louraceae.

Cultivation and collection

It is a small to moderately sized ever green tree. Plants are raised from seeds sown in nursery beds in March-April. Seedlings are transplanted to the field in rows of 2 m apart with a spacing of 3 – 3.5 m between plants. Leaves are collected in dry weather every year from vigourous plants, dried in the sun and tied up into bundles for marketing. Flowers are tiny, greenish yellow, insignificant. The plant produces flowers in last week of March or first week of April commonly pollinated by insects such as honey bees. After pollination it converts to drupe fruit and takes at least one year for maturity. Today, Indian bay-leaves are a spice used almost exclusively in the kitchens of Northern India, especially in the famous Moghul cuisine that was developed at the Imperial courts in Delhi and Agra.

Plant description

It is a perennial or small evergreen tree, attaining 8 – 12 meters height and a girth of 150


Stem rough with gray – brown, soft wrinkled bark which produces mucilage.
The leaves are large, 12 – 20 cm long and 5 – 8 cm broad, ovate – lanceolate, thick leathery, acuminate, coriaceous, glabrous, shining green above and glaucous beneath, opposite, sub- opposite or alternate and short stalked; the midrib dividing some distance above the base into 3 longitudinal nerves, joined by distinct reticulate veins. Petiole slender, 0.8 – 1.8 cm long.
It has bisexual flowers, but on the same plant (monoecious). Flowers whitish, numerous, small, in axillary cymes and terminal pubescent panicles, pedicels are as long as calyx.
The fruit is an ellipsoidal drupe. Ripe fruits are dark purple in color and contain single seed.

Ayurvedic properties

Rasa : Madhura, Katu

Ayurveda describes the use of leaves of tejpatra in the treatment of ailments such as anorexia, bladder disorders, dryness of mouth, coryza, diarrhea, nausea and spermatorhea.
It is commonly used in many Ayurvedic preparations e.g. sudarshan choorna and chandraprabhavati.
Cinnamomum tamala (tamalapatra) is one of the three ingredients of ‘trijata’ with Cinnamomum zeylanicum (tavak or dalchini) and Elettaria cardamom (ela), mentioned by Bhavaprakasa. Trijata is commonly used in Ayurvedic pharmacy in asava and arista preparation to augment the fragrance and to promote the appetite and digestion.


1-3 g of the drug in powder form


Kasisadi Taila – Shree Baidyanath Ayurved Bhawan Pvt. Ltd. Kolkata, India
Chitrakadi taila – Patanjali Ayurved Limited, Haridwar, Uttarakhand – 249401
Vajraka Taila -VHCA Herbals, Near Honey Garden, G.T Road, Gharaunda, Karnal – 132001, Haryana, India

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