Alternanthera sessilis

Family ► Apocynaceae.

Habitat ► Peninsular India.

Folk ► Pazh-munipala (Tamil), Addasarpa (Kannada), Palamunpala (Malyalam).

Action ► Stembark and fruit— antiepileptic.

The plant is a rich source of indole alkaloids. Major alkaloids in the stem-bark are alstovenine, venenatine, 3-dehydroalstovenine, reserpine (0.0030.3%), venoxidine and kopsinine.

Alstovenine, in lower doses, exhibits monoamine oxidase inhibitor activity; in higher doses, shows marked central stimulant effect (reversal of reserpine effects). Venenatine exhibits reserpine-like profile of activity (sedation, ptosis, reduction in motor activity).

The fruit contains vincadifformine type of alkaloids. Echitovenidine, the

Synonym ► A. triandra Lam. A. denticulata R. Br. A. repens Gmel. Non-Link.

Family ► Amaranthaceae.

Habitat ► Throughout the hotter parts of India, especially around tanks and ponds.

Ayurvedic ► Matsyaakshi, Matsyaak-shika (a multimeaning name, also indicating Braahmi, Ain-dri), Matsyagandhaa, Matsyaa-dini, Minaakshi, Bahli, Gandali, Gartkalambukaa, Vaahlikaa.

Unani ► Machhechhi.

Siddha/Tamil ► Ponnonkanni keerai.

Action ► Febrifuge, galactagogue, cholagogue.

Along with other therapeutic applications, The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India indicates the use of dried whole plant in diseases due to vitiated blood and obstinate skin diseases.

Young shoots contain protein 5% and iron 16.7 mg/100 g. Leaves also contain a good amount of alpha- and beta-tocopherols.

The plant gave stigmasterol, beta-sitosterol, a saturated aliphatic hydrocarbon and aliphatic ester.

Dosage ► Whole plant—2-6 g powder. (API Vol. II.)

Althaea officinalis Linn.

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