Digitalis purpurea Linn

Family ► Scrophulariaceae.

Habitat ► Native to West Europe. Cultivated in Tangmarg and Kishtawar in Kashmir, Darjeeling and the Nilgiris.

English ► Digitalis, Foxglove.

Ayurvedic ► Hritpatri, Tilapushpi (non-classical). (Purple var.)

Action ► Main source of digoxin for the pharmaceutical industry. Digitalis glycosides increase the force of contraction of heart without increasing the oxygen consumption and slow the heart rate when auricular fibrillation is present. To be used only under strict medical supervision.

Not used as a herbal drug.

Synonym ► Dillenia speciosa Thunb.

Family ► Dilleniaceae.

Habitat ► The Himalayas from Nepal to Bhutan; north Bengal, Bihar, Orissa and Madhya Pradesh.

English ► Elephant Apple.

Ayurvedic ► Bhavya.

Action ► Fruit—laxative, carminative, bechic, febrifuge, antispasmodic (used for abdominal pains). Bark and leaves—astringent.

The sepals contain (on dry weight basis): tannin 0.37, glucose 2.92 and malic acid 0.51%. The bark and leaves contain about 10% and 9% tannin (on dry weight basis) respectively.

The fruit yielded a polysaccharide, arabingalactan.

The leaves yielded cycloartenone, n-hentriacontanol, betulin, betulinic acid and beta-sitosterol. The bark gave iso-rhamnetin, naringenin, quercetin derivatives and kaempferol.

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