Turraea villosa Benn

Synonym ► T. angustifolia Mill.

Family ► Turneraceae.

Habitat ► West Bengal and Orissa and in the Peninsular India, particularly on the coast.

English ► West Indian Holly, Sagerose.

Folk ► Bhinjir (Maharashtra).

Action ► Herb—prescribed in indigestion, biliousness (leaves are used against dysentery), chest ailments and rheumatism.

The fresh plant yields a mixture of cyanohydrin glucosides—deidaclin and tetraphyllin. Seeds, along with normal fatty acids, contain a few unusual fatty acids, including vernolic, malvalic and octanoic acids.

An allied species Turnera diffusa var. aphrodisiaca, a native to the Gulfof Mexico, Southern California, (known as Damiana) is used in India by homoeopathic practitioners as a tonic and sex restorative, and for treating premature ejaculation.

Turnera diffusa Willd. has been included among unapproved herbs

Family ► Meliaceae.

Habitat ► Gujarat to Karnataka, both on the hills and the coasts, and in the Anamalai Hills in Tamil Nadu up to 1,200 m.

Folk ► Pandre, Kapuur—bhendi (Maharashtra).

Action ► Root—applied to fistula; also administered in leprosy.

Villosterol, a pregnene steroid, has been isolated from the plant.

T. virens Linn. (Kerala) is reported to be employed in the treatment of fits.

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