Synonym ► W chinensis Merrill.
Family ► Compositae; Asteraceae.
Habitat ► Bengal, Assam, Konkan, and Tamil Nadu.
Ayurvedic ► Bhringaraaja (yellow-flowered var.), Pitabhringi, Pitabhringa-raaja, Avanti, Ke-sharaaja, Kesharaaga.
Siddha/Tamil ► Manjal karisaalai, Potralai kaiyan tagarai, Patalai Kaiantakerai.
Action ► Leaves—bechic; used in alopecia, juice used for dyeing hair and for promoting hair growth. Plant—deobstruent; used in menorrhagia and abdominal swellings, as a tonic for hepatic and splenic enlargement.
The expressed juice of the herb contained an oil-soluble black dye 11.2; tannin 220; saponin 500 (contradictory reports) and phytosterol 3.75 mg/100 g among other constituents. The leaves contain isoflavonoids.
The bisdesmosidic oleanolic acid saponins have been isolated from the fresh leaves. Significant hepatoprotec-tive activity has been found in the pro-saponin from ginsenoside Ro (chiku-setsusaponinV); and in coumestans, wedelolactone and demethyl wedelo-lactone, isolated from the methanol extract of the herb.
Wedelolactone has also been found to be a potent and selective 5-lipoxy-genase-inhibitor, the process being an oxygen radical scavenger mechanism.
Wedelolactone (0.05%), isolated from the leaves, is analogous in structure to coumestrol, an estrogen from Melilotus sp. (clover).
Withania ashwagandha Kaul (cultivated var.) l1l
Wendlandia exserta DC.
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