Impatiens balsamina Linn

Family ► Magnoliaceae, Illiciaceae.

Habitat ► Native to China. Fruits imported from China and IndoChina.

English ► Star Anise, Chinese Anise, Aniseed Stars.

Unani ► Baadyaan Khataai.

Siddha/Tamil ► Takkola, Anasippo.

Action ► Carminative (used for colic), stimulant, diuretic. Also used in rheumatism.

Key application ► In catarrhs of the respiratory tract and peptic discomforts. (German Commission E.)

The fruit contains a volatile oil containing trans-anethole 80-90%, and feniculin (14.56%), with estragole, beta-bisabolene, beta-farnesene, ca-ryophyllene, nerolidol.

The intake of trans-anethole (1.0%) does not show any chronic toxicity in rats. Veranisatins, isolated from the extract, showed convulsive effect in mice. Methanolic extract exhibited a hypothermic effect in mice.

Illicium griffithii Hook. f. & Thoms. is found in Bhutan and Khasi hills at altitudes of 1,400-1,100 m. The fruit, known as Baadiyaan, is bitter and astringent, reported to be poisonous. It is used as stimulant and carminative. Essential oil resembles that from aniseed (Pimpinella anisum Linn.) and fennel (Foeniculum vulgare Mill.)

Family ► Balsaminaceae.

Habitat ► Cultivated in plains throughout India.

English ► Garden Balsam. (Balsam Apple is not related to Impatiens. It is the fruit of Momordica balsamina.)

Ayurvedic ► Tarini (provisional synonym).

Siddha/Tamil ► Kasittumbai.

Action ► Cathartic, diuretic, antirheumatic. Flowers—used in burns and scalds.

The plant is reported to contain cyanochroic constituents, antibacterial substances and an alkaloid. The seeds contain the triterpenoid hosenkol A, the first baccharance triterpenoid from natural source. The seeds also contain a protein-associated amyloid, galac-toxyloglucan and beta-sitosterol.

In China, the aerial parts are used for the treatment of articular rheumatism. In Korea, the plant is used for treating tuberculosis. In Brunei, a decoction of the root is given in irregular menstruation. In Japan, the juice, obtained from the white petals, is applied topically to treat several types of dermatitis, including urticaria.

The flowers contain flavonols, flavo-noid pigments, phenolic compounds and quinones.

An ethanolic extract (35%) of flowers shows significant anti-anaphylactic activity in mice.

The methanolic extract of the whole plant exhibited strong antibacterial

326 Imperata cylindrica Rausch.

activity against Bacillus subtilis and Salmonella typhimurium; antibacterial and antifungal activity has been attributed to a naphthoquinone derivative.

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