Folk Buckbean

Action ► Bitter tonic, deobstruent. Laxative in large doses. Used for diseases of liver and gallbladder, and rheumatism. (Contraindicated in diarrhoea, dysentery and colitis.)

Key application ► Leaf—in loss of appetite, peptic discomforts. (German Commission E.) As a bitter tonic. (The British Herbal Pharmacopoeia.) The drug stimulates saliva and gastric juice secretion. (German Commission E.)

The herb contains iridoid glyco-sides, foliamenthin, dihydrofoliamen-thin, menthiafolin and loganin; pyri-dine alkaloids including gentianine; coumarins (scopoletin); phenolic acids (caffeic, with protocatechuic, ferulic, sinapic, vanillic including others; fla-vonoids including rutin, hyperoside.

Choleretic action of the herb is attributed to the synergistic action of caffeic and ferulic acids and iridoid glycosides.

Scoparone and scopoletin (cou-marins isolated from the aerial parts) exhibit antihepatotoxic, choleretic and cholagogue properties.

The rhizomes contain dihydrofolia-menthin, loganin, menthiafolin and a triterpenoid saponin menyantho-side. Aqueous extract of the rhizome showed greater preserved renal function and higher glomerular filtration rate, possibly due to Platelet Activating Factor (PAF)-antagonistic effect of the extract.

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