Urena lobata Linn var sinuata King

Family ► Malvaceae.

Habitat ► Throughout the warmer parts of India.

Ayurvedic ► Used as a substitute for Balaa.

Siddha/Tamil ► Ottatti.

Action ► Leaves—used in inflammation of intestines and bladder. Flowers—an infusion is used in bronchitis. Root—emollient and refrigerant. Used in external application for lumbago and rheumatism.

Urginea indica (Roxb.) Kunth.

Family ► Liliaceae.

Habitat ► Western Himalayas, Bihar, Konkan and along the Coromandel Coast. U. maritima (L.) Baker is native to Mediterranean region.

English ► Indian Squill, Sea Onion (red and white varieties).

Ayurvedic ► Vana-palaandu, Kolakanda, Vajrakanda.

Urtica dioica Linn.

Unani ► Unsul-e-Hindi, Isqueel-e-Hindi, Piyaaz-Dasti, Piyaaz-Sahraayi, Jangali Piyaaz.

Siddha/Tamil ► Narivengayam.

Action ► Used as a substitute for European Squill, Urginea maritima. Expectorant (in dry respiratory conditions, whooping cough and bronchial asthma), antispasmodic, emetic (in large doses), diuretic (promotes fluid elimination in heart disease), cardiac tonic (effect, non-cumulative). Used topically as a hair tonic for dandruff and seborrhoea (active constituent is thought to be scilliroside of the Red Squill.)

Key application ► Urginea maritima—in milder cases of heart insufficiency, also for diminished kidney capacity. (German Commission E.)

Bulbs contain cardiac glycosides, scillarens A and B. Bulb, leaves and root contain stigmasterol, sitosterol and campesterol. Bulbs also contain hentriacontanol, octacosanoic acid. Defatted air-dried bulbs afforded 6-desacetoxyscillirosidin.

The plant exhibits cyanogenetic activity.

Urginea maritima (White Squill) is contraindicated in potassium deficiency or when digitalis glycosides are being used (Francis Brinker), in hyper-calcaemia and hyperkalaemia (Sharon M. Herr).

Urginea coromandeliana Hook. f. non-Wight, synonym U. wightiana Hook f. (Coromandel coast and in dry regions of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil

Nadu up to 3,000 m) is used as a substitute for Indian Squill (U. indica).

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