Asteracantha longifolia Nees

Synonym ► Hygrophila spinosa T. Anders

Family ► Acanthaceae.

Habitat ► Common in moist places, paddy fields, throughout India and Sri Lanka.

Ayurvedic ► Kokilaaksha, Kokilaak-shi, Ikshura, Ikshuraka, Kaakekshu, Kshurak, Bhikshu.

Unani ► Taalmakhaanaa. (Wrongly equated with Euryaleferox Salisb. (Fox Nut) in National Formulary of Unani Medicine, Part I, first edn., 1981.)

Siddha/Tamil ► Neermulli, Nerugobbi.

Action ► Diuretic, used for catarrh of the urinary organs, also for dropsy when accompanied by hepatic obstruction.

The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia ofIn-dia recommends the seed in lithiasis; the whole plant and root for gout.

Aqueous extract of herb ash—diuretic in albino rats. EtOH (50%)— spasmolytic and hypotensive. The herb exhibits antihepatotoxic activity in dogs. Essential oil from whole plant—antibacterial.

The plant gave lupeol, stigmasterol and hydrocarbons; seed gave sterols; flowers, apigenin glucuronide.

Astragalus hamosus Linn. 71

Aqueous extract decreased fasting glucose and improved glucose tolerance in rats. (Sharon M. Herr.)

Dosage ► Whole plant—3-6 g, powder; dried seed—3-6 g powder; dried root—3-6 g for decoction. (API Vol. II.) Herb ash—1-3 g (CCRAS.)

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