Gardenia jasminoides Ellis

Synonym ► G. florida Linn. G. augusta Merrill.

Family ► Rubiaceae.

Habitat ► Native to China and Japan; cultivated in Indian gardens.

English ► Cape Jasmine.

Ayurvedic ► Gandharaaja.

Siddha/Tamil ► Karinga.

Action ► Plant—cathartic, antispas-modic, anthelmintic, antiperiodic. Root—antidysenteric. Also used in dyspepsia and nervous disorders. Fruits—used in gastric hyperacidity, constipation, cholestasis, internally and externally for inflammation and as a tranquilizer.

The plant contains iridoid glyco-sides—geniposide 56.03, genipin 1.72, gardenoside 2.16 and geniposidic acid 1.79 mg/g The stem and root contain oleanolic acid, D-mannitol and stig-masterol. The leaves contain an anti-fungal compound, cerbinal.

Geniposide is an important active principle of the fruit. The fruit also contain the carotenoids, crocin and crocetin. Aqueous and methonalic extracts of the fruit exhibited antioxidant activity due to the presence of geniposide and crocin; crocin was more potent than geniposide.

The extract as well as geniposide caused a remarkable decrease in GOT, GPT and ALP activities. They also produced a significant decrease in the level of total cholesterol in the serum of CCl4-induced and D-galactosamine-intoxicated rats. The crude extract as well as geniposide exhibited protective effect against induced hyperbiliru-binemia by effectively lowering serum bilirubin.

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