Unani Maalkangani

Siddha/Tamil ► Vaaluluvai.

Action ► Seeds—nervine and brain tonic, diaphoretic, febrifugal, emetic. Seed-oil—used for treating mental depression, hysteria and for improving memory; also used for scabies, eczema, wounds, rheumatic pains, paralysis. A decoction of seeds is given in gout, rheumatism, paralysis and for treating leprosy and other skin diseases. Leaves— antidysenteric, emmenagogue. Root—a paste of root-bark is applied to swollen veins and pneumonic affections.

Key application ► As a tranquilizer (Indian Herbal Pharmacopoeia) and brain tonic (The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India). The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India indicated the use of ripe seed in leucoderma and vitiligo.

The seeds are reported to contain the alkaloids, celastrine and paniculatine, which are the active principles of the drug.

In experimental animals, the drug showed lowering of leptazol toxicity, motor activity and amphetamine toxi-city, and raising the capacity for learning process. It showed significant CNS depressant effect and a clear synergism

Centaurea behen Linn. 135

with pentobarbital. The seed extract showed hypolipidaemic effect and prevented atherogenesis in rabbits.

The seed oil showed tranquillizing effect and hastened the process of learning in experimental animals. It produced fall in blood pressure in anaesthetized dog, depressed the heart of frog, and was found to be toxic to rats.

In addition to the seed, 70% alcoholic extract of the plant showed sedative, anti-inflammatory and antipyretic, anti-ulcerogenic effect in experimental animals.

Methanolic extract of flowers showed both analgesic and anti-inflammatory activities experimentally.

Dosage ► Ripe seed, devoid of capsule wall—1-2 g; oil—5-15 drops. (API Vol. II.)

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