Cinnamomum camphora (Linn.) Nees &Eberm.
Family ► Rubiaceae.
Habitat ► Cultivated in West Bengal and Tamil Nadu.
English ► Crown or Loxa Bark.
Ayurvedic ► Quinine.
Unani ► Al-keenaa, Kanakanaa.
Action ► Antimalarial, febrifuge, astringent, orexigenic, sapasmolytic. Also prescribed in amoebic dysentery, jaundice, atonic dyspepsia, night cramps. Sometimes causes gastric and intestinal irritation.
Key application ► In peptic discomforts such as bloating and fullness, loss of appetite. (German Commission E.)
The bark contains alkaloids quinine (2.35-4.42%); quinidine (1.44-2.56%); cinchonine (0.10-0.66%); cinchoni-dine (0.49-0.89%) and other alkaloids, quinamine, javanine (0.14-0.63%).
The leaves contain quercetin, kaem-pferol and avicularin.
Quinine is antimalarial; quinidine is antiarrhythmic and cardiac tonic, also used in psychic treatments.
The bark shows potent inhibitory activity against polymorphonuclear leucocytes; the activity is attributed to the alkaloids of the bark. Cinchona may potentiate coumarin derivatives. In large doses, it is sedative to CNS and cardiac plexus.
Quinine is toxic at over 3 g, quini-dine at 1 g.
Related Cinchona sp.: C. calisaya Wedd. (Nilgiris and Sikkim); C. calisaya Wedd. var. ledgeriana How. (West Bengal, Khasi Hills and Tamil Nadu); and C. succirubra Pav. ex Klotz.
(Nilgiris and Annamalis in Tamil Nadu, Sikkim and West Bengal).
The bark of all the species contain quinine, quinidine, cinchonine and cinchonidine and exhibit antimalarial activity. The alcoholic extract of C. ledgeriana Moens ex Trimen bark exhibits antibacterial activity against Gram-positive bacteria comparable to sodium penicillin. The extract, however, exhibits lesser activity than di-hydrostreptomycin sulphate against Gram-negative bacteria.
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