Strophanthus kombe Oliver

Family ► Apocynaceae.

Habitat ► Native to tropical East Africa; runs wild at some places in West Bengal.

English ► Strophanthus.

Action ► Dry ripe seeds—cardiac glycosides (the mixture is known as Strophanthin-K) act like digitalis but are poorly absorbed from the digestive tract, are given by injection.

Strophanthus wightianus Wall. ex Wight, known as Nerivalli (Tamil) and Kambetti (Malyalam), is found along with western coast of Kerala.

The plant yields 2.1% of glycosides. The glycosides are known as caulo-side and divaricoside, the corresponding genins are caudogenin and sarmen-togenin; the latter a precursor of cortisone. Studies have indicated that the tinctures prepared from the seeds compare favourably with those from the seeds of S. kombe.

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