Family Ericaceae

Habitat ► Outer Himalayas from Kashmir to Sikkim, at 1,000 to 2,500 m, and in Khasi hills between 1,200 to 2,000 m.

Folk ► Angyaar (Garhwal), Arwan (Punjab), Angeri (Nepal).

Action ► Young leaves and buds— used externally for cutaneous affections. Leaves—insectici-dal. Honey from flowers— poisonous.

Leaves contain a toxic, insecticidal substance andromedotoxin.

The wood yields 0.51% ash, rich in soluble potassium salts.

Maba nigrescens Dalz. & Gibs. Family ► Ebenaceae.

Habitat ► Gujarat.

Folk ► Ragat-Rohido (Gujarat), Rakta-Rohido.

Action ► Used for diseases of liver and spleen. In folk medicine, as a substitute for Rakta-Rohitaka. (Rohitaka is equated with Tecomel-lia undulata Seem., synonym Tecoma undulata G. Don, Bignoni-aceae.)

In Gujarat, Polygonum glabrum Willd. (Polygonaceae) and Myristica attenuta Wall., synonym Knema atten-uata (Wall.) Warb. (Myristicaceae) are also known as Rakta Rohido, and are used for diseases of liver and spleen.

In Mumbai, Rhamnus wightii Wight & Arn. (Rhamnaceae) is known as Rakta-Rohidaa. The bark is used as astringent and deobstruent.

Folk ► Phulwaaraa, Maakhaniaa Mahuaa.

Action ► Fat used as ointment in rheumatism, for chapped hands and feet during winter.

The flowers contain beta-amyrin acetate, friedelin, erythrodiol monopal-mitate, beta—sitosterol and apha-spi-nasterol. The seeds contain triterpe-noid saponins, butyroside C and buty-roside D. A triterpenoidal sapogenin, butyraceol, has been isolated from the seed. The leaves contain butyracic acid. Defatted seed flour contains 10.4% saponins.

Administration of acute dose of saponins to albino rats caused severe diarrhoea and histopathological changes in liver and kidney and altered, particularly in female rats, levels of serum alkaline phosphatase, cholesterol and proteins.

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