Actaea spicata Linn

Synonym ► A. acuminata Wall. ex Royle

Family ► Ranunculaceae.

Habitat ► Native to Europe; grows in temperate Himalayas from Hazara to Bhutan.

English ► Baneberry Grapewort.

Action ► Root—antirheumatic, anti-inflammatory, nerve sedative, emetic, purgative; used in the treatment of rheumatic fever, lumbago, scrofula, nervous disorders, chorea.

The plant is reported to contain trans-aconitic acid, which shows a strong cytostatic action. Its Me ether is active against Ehrlich's ascites tumours.

In folk medicine, roots are used in cases of ovarian neuralgia, uterine tenderness and sub-involution. They are adulterant of the roots of Helleborus niger. Berries are poisonous; used topically for skin diseases. The toxic constituent is protoanemonin (lactone). It is irritant to mucous membrane.

Synonym ► A. australis (L. f.) Link. A. radiata (Sw.) Link. A. dichotoma Kuhn.

Family ► Adiantaceae.

Habitat ► Throughout India, especially common in Kumaon Hills and the Nilgiris, below an altitude of 1,200 m.

English ► Peacocks tail.

Ayurvedic ► Mayurshikhaa, Madhu-chhadaa, Sahastrahi, Vahrishikhaa.

Action ► Styptic, antibacterial, antipyretic.

The stems and leaves contain rutin, a styptic active principle. Anthelmintic activity, attributed to the fern, was not observed in experiments on mice.

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