Unani Bijaysaar

Siddha/Tamil ► Vengai.

Action ► Bark-kino—astringent, antihaemorrhagic, antidiarrhoeal. Flowers—febrifuge. Leaves—used externally for skin diseases.

Key application ► Heartwood— in anaemia, worm infestation, skin diseases, urinary disorders, lipid disorders and obesity. Stem bark—in diabetes. (The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India.)

The heartwood and roots contain isoflavonoids, terpenoids and tannins. Tannins include the hypoglycaemic principle (-)-epicatechin. Stilbenes, such as pterostilbene; flavonoids, including liquiritigenin, isoliquiritige-nin, 7-hydroxyflavanone, 7,4-dihy-droxyflavanone, 5-deoxykaempferol and pterosupin; a benzofuranone mar-supsin and propterol, p-hydroxy-ben-zaldehyde are active principles of therapeutic importance.

The gum-kino from the bark provides a non-glucosidal tannin, Kino tannic acid (25-80%).

The (-)-epi-catechin increases the cAMP content of the islets which is associated with the increased insulin release, conversion of proinsulin to insulin and cathepsin B activity.

Oral administration of ethylacetate extract of the heartwood and its fla-vonoid constituents, marsupin, ptero-supin and liquiritigenin, for 14 consecutive days to rats exhibited a significant reduction of serum triglycerides, total cholesterol and LDL- and VLDL-cholesterol levels, but it did not exert any significant effect on HDL-cholesterol.

The ethanolic and methanolic extracts of the heartwood exhibited significant in vitro antimicrobial activity against Gram-positive and Gramnegative bacteria and some strains of fungi.

Pterospermum acerifolium Willd.

Kino is powerfully astringent. The therapeutic value of kino is due to Kino tannic acid.

Dosage ► Heartwood—50-100 g for decoction. (API, Vol. I); stem bark—32-50 g for decoction (API, Vol. III).

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