Table of Contents
- Indian Gooseberry
The most common names of T. arjuna is Arjuna, Arjun (Hindi), Marudhu (Tamil and Malyalam), TellMaddi/Yella maddi (Telugu), Arjhan (Bengali), Sadaru (Marathi), Sadado/ Sadad (Gujrati), (Kannada) Neer Matti (Amalraj & Gopi, 2017).
T. arjuna (Roxb.) Wt. and Arn. which is a deciduous and evergreen tree distributed throughout India including sub Indo-Himalayan tracts of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Deccan, South Bihar, Orissa,West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh mainly along riverside, rivulets and ponds and growing to a height of 20-30 m above ground level.
The tree is large about 60-80 feet in height, evergreen with a spreading crown and having drooping branches, new leaves appear in hot season (Feburary to April). Leaves of Arjuna are simple, often crenulations, borne subopposite, shortly acute or obtuse at the apex, coriaceous and oblong or elliptic. Their upper face is pale or dark green and the lower face is pale brown. The tree bears white sessile bisexual flowers in short auxiliary spikes or in a terminal panicle arrangement. Fruits of Arjuna are drupe, ovoid, fibrous-woody and smooth-skinned with five hard wings or angles which are oblique and curved upwards. Stem bark is simple, smooth and pinkish-gray in color in external view. An internal view, the bark is soft and reddish in color.
The chemical constituents of Arjuna present in root bark, stem bark, leaves, seeds and fruits. Root contains triterpenoids and glycosides, fruit contains triterpenoids and flavonoids, Leaves and seeds contain flavonoid and glycosides. But bark is considered most important constituent from medicinal point because it contains flavonoids, glycosides, polyphenols, tannins, triterpenoids, saponins, sterols and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, zinc, copper, amino acids also (Kapoor et al., 2014). Triterpenoids isolated from its bark are mainly arjunin, arjunetin, arjunic acid, arjugenin.
Flavonoids mainly (arjunolone, flavones, bicalein, quercetin, kempferol and pelorgonidin) are detected from its bark (Gupta et al., 2018). Various constituent of tannins are found in bark of Arjuna. The constituent are Pyrocatechols, Punicallin, Castalagin, Casuariin, Punicalagin, Terchebulin, Terflavin C. Bark had 34% ash content consiting entirely of pure calcium carbonate. Aqueous extract of Arjuna is reported to have 23% calcium salts and 16% tannins (Ramesh & Dhanraj, 2015) (Rasheed et al., 2013).
Among various medicinal plants Terminalia species are known for their potential uses. Bark of Terminalia arjuna contains triterpenoids, tannins, phenolic acids, glycosides, antioxidants, magnesium, copper and zinc salts. Presence of these compounds plays an important role in curing cardiac diseases, cancer treatment, urinary tract infections, lung diseases and edema. In Ayurveda Arjuna bark powder is used as a cardio tonic, indigestion and bleeding disorders.
Arjuna helps in maintaining the cholesterol level at the normal rate. In rural areas bark powder of Arjuna is used for snake bite and scorpion sting. Leaf juice of Arjuna is used to cure dysentery and ear ache. Regular therapy with Arjuna bark powder leads to significant regression endothelial abnormalities among smokers. Arjuna based phytochemicals can be used on daily bases as tonic to maintain the healthy cardiovascular system because it is considered as one of the best heart tonic (Dwivedi, 2007) (Seth et al., 2013).
The bark of Arjuna contains large amount of various minerals and trace elements such as magnesium (4000 mg/g), calcium (3133 mg/g), zinc (119 mg/g) and copper (19 mg/g). It contains some amino acids such as tryptophan, tyrosine, histidine and cysteine (Yadav et al., 2013).
The most common names of Indian gooseberry is Amalaka (Sanskrit), Adiphala (Hindi), Amla (Marathi), Amlaki (Bengali), Nelli (Tamil), Amalakam (Telugu), Ambala (Gujrati).
Indian gooseberry is found through out tropical and subtropical India, Sri Lanka and Malaca. It is abundant in deciduous forests of Madhya Pradesh and Darjeeling, Sikkim and Kashmir. It is also widely cultivated.
The seeds of Amla fruit yield brownish yellow 16% fixed oil. It also contains tannins like glucogallia, corilagin, chebulagic acid and 3,6-digalloyl glucose. Root of Amla fruit yields ellagic acid, lupeol, quercetin and β- sitosterol (Thakur et al., 1989).
Indian gooseberry or emblic myrobalan is a medium sized tree the fruit of which is used in many Ayurvedic preparations since ancient time. It is useful in treating various diseases like haemorrhage, leucorrhaea, menorrhagia, diarrhoea and dysentery. It is reported that the combination of Amla and iron is useful for treating the various diseases like anaemia, jaundice and dyspepsia. Sanjivani pills are also available which is also made with other ingredients for use in typhoid, snake-bite and cholera.
The green fruits are made into pickles and preserves to stimulate appetite. Seed is used for treating various diseases like asthma, bronchitis and biliousness. The combination of tender shoots of butter milk cures indigestion and diarrhoea. Leaves are also useful in conjunctivitis, inflammation, dyspepsia and dysentery. The bark has been used for various ailments including gonorrhoea, jaundice, diarrhoea and myalgia. The root bark is astringent and is useful in ulcerative stomatitis and gastrohelcosis. The anaemia, jaundice, heart complaints, and cold can be prevented by liquor fermented prepared from Amla fruit.
It is reported that fruit is a very rich source of Vitamin C (600mg/100g). It is used in preserves as a nutritive tonic in general weakness also (Dey, 1980). Amla fruit is good source of cytokinin like substances identified as zeatin, zeatin riboside and zeatin nucleotide.
The most common names of Moringa oleifera is Drum Stick, Senjana (Hindi), Shevga (Marathi), Muringai (Malayalam), Guggala (Kannada), Mulaga (Telugu), Ambala (Gujrati).
The plant is widely disributed in western and sub- Himalayan tracts, India, Pakistan, Asia Minor, Africa and Arabia (Somali et al., 1984; Mughal et al., 1999). It is also distributed in the Philippines, Cambodia, Central America, North and South America and the Caribbean Islands (Morton, 1991).
The tree ranges in height from 5 to 10 m (Morton, 1991). It is reported that it is found in wild and cultivated throughout the plains, especially in hedges and in house yards, thrives best under the tropical insular climate, and is plentiful near the sandy beds of rivers and streams (The Wealth of India, 1962; Qaiser, 1973). It can grow well in the humid tropics or hot dry lands, can survive destitute soils, and is little affected by drought (Morton, 1991). It tolerates a wide range of rainfall with minimum annual rainfall requirements estimated at 250 mm and maximum at over 3000 mm and a pH of 5.0–9.0 (Palada and Changl, 2003) (Anwar et al., 2007).
Moringa is rich in compounds containing the simple sugar, rhamnose and a fairly unique group of compounds called glucosinolates and isothiocyanates.The stem bark also contain two alkaloids (moringine and moringinine), octacosanoic acid, Vanillin, β- sitosterol, β-sitistenone etc. (kerharo, 1969 & Faizi et al., 1994). Flower contains contain some flavonoid pigments such as alkaloids, kaempherol, rhamnetin, isoquercitrin and kaempferitrin (glucose, sucrose, some amno acids, ash, alkaloids, flavonoids etc. Moringa leaves contain flavonoids, phenolics, ascorbic acid and carotenoids. β- sitosterol, calcium , iron, copper are also present. Leaves are source of protein and contain essential amino acids such as methionine, cystine, tryptophan and lysine and some vitamins also such as (vitamins A, B qand C, α-tocopherol, riboflavin, nicotinic acid, folic acid, pyridoxine, β-carotene etc. Seed oil contains fatty acids (oleic acids), sterols (campesterol, stigmasterol, β- sitosterol, clerosterol) and Tocopherols (α-, γ- & δ-) also.
Various parts of this plant have been used in treatment of many diseases. Leaves, roots, seed, bark, fruit, flowers and immature pods act as cardiac and circulatory stimulants. It also possess antitumor, antioxidant, antipyretic, anti inflammatory, antiulcer, diuretic, antihypertensive, cholesterol lowering, antidiabetic, hepatoprotective, antibacterial and antifungal activities.
Gopalkrishan et al., 2016 reported that every part of Moringa is a storehouse of important nutrients and antinutrients. The leaves are rich in minerals like calcium, potassium, zinc, magnesium, iron and copper. Vitamins like beta-carotene of vitamin A, vitamin B such as folic acid, pyridoxine and nicotinic acid, vitamin C, D and E also present in Moringa.
The most common names of Asparagus is Satavari (Sanskrit) (Hindi) (Malyalam), Shatamuli (Bengali), Kilwari (Tamil), Aheruballi (Kannada), Philithaga (Telugu), Manajolo (Orrissa).
The plant is found wild in tropical and subtropical India including Andaman and Nicobar Islands. It is distributed from mean sea level upto 1500m in the Himalayas from Kashmir eastwards. The crop is cultivated in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Predesh and northern states in India. However, most of the requirement of the industry is met through wild collections from forests. It is also grown in gardens (Alok et al., 2013).
A. racemosus Willd. is an armed climbing undershrub with woody terete stems and recurved or rarely straight spines. The tuberous succulent roots are 30cm to 100cm or more in length, fascicled at the stem base, smooth tapering at both ends. Young stems are very delicate, brittle and smooth. Leaves are reduced to minute chaffy scales and spines; cladodes triquetrous, curved in tufts of 2-6. Flowers are white fragrant in simple or branched recemes on the naked nodes of the main shoots or in the axils of the thorns. Fruits are globular or obscurely 3-lobed, pulpy berries, on ripening purplish black in color; seeds with hard and brittle testa.
The major active constituents of Asparagus are steroidal saponins named as shatavarin I and shatavarin IV which are present in the roots. Asparagamine A, an alkaloid was isolated from root. Shatavarins are the glycoside of sarsasapogenin which are generally occurring in two types of skeletons furostanols and spirostanols rhamnose. 8-methoxy-5,6,4’-trihydroxyisoflavone a new isoflavone was isolated by roots of Aspargus (Saxena et al., 2000 and Aterya 1999).
The phyto-estrogenic plant is used in Ayurveda because of its immuno-modulatory effects. It exhibit immuno-protective effect in chemotherapy. Ethanolic leaf extract shows anti-inflammatory effect. It prevents diethylnitrosamine induced hepato-carcinogenesis. The roots are used to treat inflammations, nephropathy, hepatopathy and tumours. The roots extract has anti-oxidant activity. Polysaccharides were found to be responsible to increase Natural Killer (NK) cell activity and thus also involved in rejuvenating immune system (Subramanyam and Immanuel 2016).
It is reported that Asparagus roots contain protein 22%, fat 6.2%, Carbohydrate 3.2%, Vitamin B 0.36%, Vitamin C 0.04% and traces of Vitamin A (Joy et al., 1998).