Barleria prionitis Linn

Family ► Acanthaceae.

Habitat ► Throughout the hotter parts of India. Also, commonly grown as a hedge plant in gardens.

English ► Common Yellow Nail Dye Plant.

Ayurvedic ► Sahachara, Baana, Kurantaka, Kuranta, Koranda, Korandaka, Shairiya, Pita-saireyaka

(yellow-flowered var.). Also equated with Vajradanti.

Unani ► Piyaabaansaa.

Siddha/Tamil ► Chemmulli.

Folk ► Piyaabaasaa, Jhinti, Kat-saraiyaa.

Action ► Leaf—juicegiveninstomach disorders, urinary affections; mixed with honey and given to children with fever and catarrh; leaf juice is applied to lacerated soles of feet in the rainy season, mixed with coconut oil for pimples. Leaves and flowering tops—diuretic. Bark—diaphoretic and expectorant. Roots—paste is applied over boils and glandular swellings. Plant (Vajradanti)—antidontalgic, used for bleeding gums in Indian medicine. Ash, obtained from the whole plant, mixed with honey, is given in bronchial asthma.

The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India recommends oil extract of the plant for arresting greying of hair.

The leaves and flowering tops are diuretic, rich in potassium salts. Leaves and stems showed presence of iridoid glucosides, barlerin and acetylbarlerin. Flowers gave the flavonoid glycoside, scutellarein-7-neohesperidoside. The presence of beta-sitosterol is reported in the plant.

In the south, Nila Sahachara is equated with Ecbolium linneanun Kurz. (known as Nilaambari), and Shveta Sa-hachara with Justica betonica Linn.

Ecbolium linneanun plant is used for gout and dysuria; the root is prescribed for jaundice.

Basella alba Linn. var. rubra Stewart.

Dosage ► Whole plant—50-100 g for decoction. (API Vol. III.)

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