Polygonum hydropiper Linn

Family ► Polygonaceae.

Habitat ► Throughout India in wet places.

English ► Water Pepper, Pepperwort, Smartweed.

Folk ► Paakur-muula, Paani-maricha (Bengal).

Action ► Haemostatic, astringent, anti-inflammatory, diuretic, lithotriptic, emmenagogue (used as infusion for delayed menses and amenorrhoea), antifungal (root and leaf used externally). Contraindicated during pregnancy.

The herb contains sesquiterpenes, including warburganal and polygodial, in the leaves; polygonal, isodrimeni-nol, isopolygodial and confertifolin in the seeds; and flavonoids including quercetin, kaempferol, isorhamnetin and rhamnesin; polygonolide (an iso-coumarin).

Isoquercitrin exhibited significant anti-oxidative activity. Polygodial and warburganal possess significant an-tifungal property. Warburganal also possesses potent cytotoxic and antibiotic activity. (The herb is used against cancer.)

Folk ► Muniyaaraa (Bihar), Raani-phool, Macheti, Dubiaa Saaga.

Action ► Galactogenic, antidiar-rhoeal. Powdered herb is given in pneumonia.

The whole plant yields 11% tannin. The rootstock contains oxymethylan-thraquinone.

Flowers gave oleanolic acid, betulin-ic acid, epi-friedelanol, beta-sitosterol, and flavonoids—quercetin, quercetin-3-arabinoside and quercetin-3-rutino-side.

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