Clitoria ternatea Linn

Family ► Papilionaceae; Fabaceae.

Habitat ► Throughout India in tropical areas; also cultivated in hedges.

English ► Butterfly Pea, Winged-leaved Clitoria, Mezereon.

Ayurvedic ► Girikarnikaa, Aparaa-jitaa, Aasphota, Girimallikaa, Girikanyaa, Kokilaa,Yonipushpaa, Vishnukraantaa. (Evolvulus alsi-noides Linn. is also known as Vishnukraantaa, Vishnukranti). Used as Shankhapushpi in the South.

Unani ► Mezereon Hindi.

Siddha/Tamil ► Kakkanam.

Action ► Root—cathartic like jalap. Roots cause gripe and tenesmus, hence not recommended as purgative. Used in ascites. Root bark—diuretic (infusion used in irritation of bladder and urethra). Root juice—given in cold milk to liquefy phlegm in chronic bronchitis. The root, bark, seeds and leaves—used for gastric acidity. The root is administered with honey as a general tonic to children for improving mental faculty.

The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India recommends the dried leaf in migraine, psychoneurosis and mania.

An alcoholic extract of the plant showed sedative and hypothermic effect in rodents.

Rats, fed with ethanol extract of flowers, showed a significantly lowered serum sugar level in experimentally induced diabetes.

The seeds contain a nucleoprotein with its amino acid sequence similar to insulin, but for the absence of his-tidine, threonine, proline and crystine.

Seeds gave cinnamic acid, flavonol gly-coside. Leaves contain glycosides of kaempferol.

In South India, the seeds and roots constitute the drug Shankhapushpi, used as a nervine tonic. In other regions, Canscora decussata, Convolvulus pluricaulis, Evolvulus alsinoides and Lavendula bipinnata are used as Shan-khapushpi.

Dosage ► Root—1-3 g powder (API Vol. II); dried leaf—2-5 g; seed—1-3 g. (API Vol. IV.)

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