Action ► Febrifuge, antipyretic, antiparasitic (used for malarial fever). Dried roots, known as Chang Shan, dried leafy tops, known as Shu Chi, in Chinese medicine, are used for malarial fever. Dried roots (Chang Shan) contain the alkaloid dichroine A and B, dichrin A and B.
The active principle febrifugine compared to quinine was estimated to be 16 to 64 times more efficacious against Plasmodium gallinaceum in chicks, about 100 times against Plasmodium lophurae in ducks also against Plasmodium relictum in canaries. The aqueous extract of the plant inhibited the infecting rate of the parasite Plasmodium berghei up to 10 days and increased the mean survival time to twice that of untreated control at 2.5 g/kg dose.
Clinical trials with febrifugine indicated that the drug given in four oral doses totalling 2-5 mg/day reduces the parasite count.
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