Stephania hernandiifolia Walp

Synonym ► S. japonica Miers. S. sotunda Hook. f. & Thorns.

Family ► Menispermaceae.

Habitat ► Forests of the Western and Eastern Ghats.

Ayurvedic ► Used as Raaj-Paathaa in the South. (Raaj-Paathaa is also equated with Cyclea arnotii Miers in southern and eastern parts of India).

Action ► Root—prescribed in skin diseases, pruritus, inflamed piles, internal abscesses, urinary diseases, vomiting, diarrhoea, colic, respiratory disorders and as a cardiotonic.

The plant is rich in alkaloids. Aerial parts gave epi-stephanine (aknadine), hernandifoline, aknadinine and mag-noflorine. Alkaloid aknadine shows significant antispasmodic activity on uterine spasms. Cytotoxic alkaloids include d-and dl-tetrandrine, d-iso-chondrodendrine and fangchinoline. The alkaloid, epi-stephanine (akna-dine) possesses adrenergic neuron blocking activity.

Family ► Sterculiaceae.

Habitat ► South India, also cultivated on roadsides.

Habitat ► The West Coast from Konkan southwards.

Siddha/Tamil ► Pinari, Kudirai Pidukku.

Folk ► Jangali Baadaam (in no way related to Prunus amygdalus).

Action ► Bark and leaf—aperient, diuretic. Fruit—astringent. Seed oil—carminative, laxative. Wood— antirheumatic. The wood, boiled with seed oil, is used externally in rheumatism.

Beans, called Java Olives, if taken in large quantities, cause nausea, act as violent purgative.

The leaves gave glucuronyl derivatives of procyanidin, scutellarein and luteolin; also taraxerol, n-otacosanol and beta-sitosterol. Lupenone, lupe-ol and betulin were obtained from the heartwood. Seed and root lipid contained cyclopropene fatty acids. Ster-culic and malvalic acids show carcinogenic and co-carcinogenic activities.

Leucoanthoyanidin - 3 - O - alpha - L -rhamnopyranoside and quercetin rhamnoside have been isolated from the root.

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