Family ► Compositae; Asteraceae.
Habitat ► Tropical India.
English ► Cocklebur, Burweed.
Ayurvedic ► Shankheshwara, Arishta, Aartagala.
Siddha/Tamil ► Maruloomatham, Marlumutta.
Action ► Plant—used for leucoderma, ulcers, abscesses, strumous and malignant diseases.
Root—antitumour. Leaves and shoots—applied externally on venereal sores, herpes and scrofula.
Leaves contain seaquiterpene lac-tones—xanthinin, xanthumin, xan-thanol and iso-xanthanol. Leaves also contain isohexacosane, chlorobu-tanol, stearyl alcohol, beta-sitosterol and palmitic acid. A highly toxic compound, carboxyatractyloside, has been isolated from the plant.
Beta-sitosterol glucoside is anti-inflammatory, xanthumin is a central nervous system depressant. Alcoholic solution of xanthinin shows strong antibacterial activity against Gramnegative bacteria and fungi. A cy-totoxic compound, xanthatin (a seco-4,5-guaianolide) has been detected in the resin.
The root gave n-heptacosanol, stig-masterol, 3,4,-dihydro oxycinnamic acid, beta-sitosterol and its D-gluco-side, and campesterol.
Xanthium spinosum Linn. (introduced from Europe into West Bengal and Assam), known as Spiny Clotbur, is used as a diuretic, antiperiodic (also in intermittent fevers), sudorific, antidiarrhoeal and styptic.
The whole plant gave several xan-thanolides. The sesquiterpene lac-tones, xanthinin, solstitialin and sti-zolicin, isolated from the plant, demonstrated limited antitumour action in vitro. Xanthatin has also been isolated.
Was this article helpful?
Learn what you can do with herbs! How to Plant, Grow, and Cook with Natural Herbs. Have you always wanted an herb garden but didn't know how to get started? Do you want to know more about growing your own herbs in the privacy of your home and using them in a variety of cooking?