Picrasma quassioides Bennett

Family ► Simaroubaceae.

Habitat ► Garhwal, Himachal Pradesh and Kulu.

English ► Quassia (substitute for P excelsa Lindtl).

Ayurvedic ► Bhurangi, Nimbi. (Clerodendrum serratum and its related species represent Bhaargi or Bhaarangi.)

Action ► Wood—a non-astringent bitter tonic and stomachic, amoe-bicidal, anthelmintic (used as enema), insect repellent. Used as a supporting medicine for temporary relief in cirrhosis of liver.

Many indole alkaloids of beta-car-boline, canthin-6-one and beta-carbo-line dimer type, have been isolated from the wood. These are reported to increase the blood flow rate in the intestine and stomach of rabbit; also exhibited antiviral activity on Herpes simplex virus.

Nigaki lactone and methylnigaki-none, isolated from the wood, showed antigastric ulcer activity in rats. The extract of the wood is reported to prevent the secretion of gastric juice in a dose-dependent manner in rats. The extract also showed the same effects on rats having aspirin-induced gastric ulcer.

Family ► Scrophulariaceae.

Habitat ► The alpine Himalayas from Kashmir to Sikkim.

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