|Year : 2018 | Volume
| Issue : 1 | Page : 23-32
A Comprehensive Review on Medicinally Important Gymnosperms Mentioned in Siddha
P Radha, C Udhayavani, R Nagaraj
Siddha Clinical Research Unit, GSMC Campus, Palayamkottai, Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu, India- 627002, India
|Date of Web Publication||12-Oct-2021|
Siddha Clinical Research Unit, GSMC Campus, Palayamkottai, Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
Introduction: Gymnosperms – a group of Spermatophytes are well renowned for their characteristic therapeutically roles in various medicinal systems such as modern medicine, folk and traditional medicinal systems. The present review describes the medicinal importance of gymnosperms used in Siddha System of medicine. Method: Literature survey has been done to document the application of gymnosperm species along with ethno-medicinal uses. The medicinal plants are enumerated with their local name, Siddha name and therapeutically actions mentioned in Siddha literatures along with ethno-medicinal properties for various diseases. Results: Gymnosperms have been performed a role in various medicinal systems such as modern medicine, folk and traditional medicinal systems. It has been found that, four species reviewed in the present papers are medicinally useful in the ailments such as asthma, cough, sore throat, diarrhoea, hypertension, rheumatism, fever, aphrodisiac, ulcer, diuretic, diabetes, kidney stone problems, bronchitis etc. Conclusion: The present study provides a comprehensive review on the medicinally important Gymnosperms with their therapeutic role in traditional system of Indian medicine. This may be helpful to know and conserve these plants for future perspectives.
Keywords: Cedrus, Cycas, Gymnosperms, Medicinal uses, Siddha, Taxus
|How to cite this article:|
Radha P, Udhayavani C, Nagaraj R. A Comprehensive Review on Medicinally Important Gymnosperms Mentioned in Siddha. J Res Siddha Med 2018;1:23-32
|How to cite this URL:|
Radha P, Udhayavani C, Nagaraj R. A Comprehensive Review on Medicinally Important Gymnosperms Mentioned in Siddha. J Res Siddha Med [serial online] 2018 [cited 2021 Dec 3];1:23-32. Available from: http://www.jrsm.com/text.asp?2018/1/1/23/328140
| 1. Introduction|| |
Traditional medicinal systems are mostly relied on the plants and their various parts. As when compared with angiosperms, the contribution of lower plant groups such as bryophytes, fungi and Pteridophytes towards the TMS (Traditional Medicinal System) were found to be less or almost negligible. However, medicinal properties of some member of Pteridophytes reported are Actinopteris radiata (Sw.) Link, Drynaria quercifolia (L.) Sm. and Selaginella bryopteris (L.) Baker etc. Thus, in the spermatophytes, other than angiosperms some of the Gymnosperms are also used as a medicine in the distinguished TMS.
Gymnosperms constitute the naked seeded plant groups that were surviving since Mesozoic era (300-350 MYA). They have drawn a great attention owing to their beautiful appearance as well as their application in Wood Industry (Eg. Agathis australis (D.Don) Lindl., Cedrus deodara (Roxb. ex D.Don) G.Don), Horticulture and landscape (Eg. Conifers, Cycad), Essential Oils (Cedrus deodara (Roxb. ex D.Don) G.Don, Juniperus virginiana L.) Food - Cycas, Pinus, Araurcaria, Ginkgo etc) and also as a medicine (Cycas, Cedrus, Taxus, Abies Ephedra) etc.
Indian gymnosperms are represented by 14 genera and about 75 species. In Indian TMS, Cycas, Cedrus, Abies and Taxus are mentioned in the Siddha literatures, along with this Pinus and Ephedra are mentioned in the Ayurvedic and Unani literatures. Himalayas are the major house for the Indian Gymnosperms like Abies, Araucaria, Cedrus, Juniperus, Cupressus, Pinus etc. A number of studies have been done in these regions to document the ethno-medicinal values, pharmacological and phytochemical analysis of the Indian Gymnosperms. Bark of Abies pindrow Royle. is used in the treatment of rheumatism, cough and bronchitis; resin is used for the quick healing of cuts and wounds; leaf powder is given with juice of Adhatoda vasica Nees and honey in cough, asthma and other respiratory disorders. Berries and wood oil of Juniperus communis L. are applied to cure various ailments such as, gonorrhoea, leucorrhoea, polyps, tumor and warts., Fruits and wood of Cupressus sempervirens L. is used as an anthelmintic and astringent. Oil extracted from the stem and bark of Cedrus deodara (Roxb. ex. D. Don) G. Don.is used in the treatment of skin rashes and external ulcers. Pinus wallichiana Jackson (Resin) young sapling is used to treat cuts and wounds., Abies webbiana Lindl. dried leaf powder is given twice a day to treat asthma. Gnetum species are used as folk medicines for the treatment of arthritis, bronchitis and asthma. Gnetum africanum Welw. (Gnetaceae) leaves are chewed or cooked as soup to cure sore throat, diarrhoea and hypertension. Leaves and young inflorescence of Gnetum gnemon L. are boiled and flavored with coconut cream are also used as cuisine in Southern Thailand. Antibacterial, antioxidant, antimicrobial and anti-aging activities of Gnetum gnemon has been reported.,, Therapeutic uses of three different pine species such as Pinus roxburghii Sarg., Pinus wallichiana A.B. Jacks. and Pinus gerardiana Wall. ex D.Don have been proved by phytochemical and Pharmacological studies. Pinus wallichiana A. B. Jackson (Resin) young sapling is used to treat healing of cuts and wounds. Mostly, Pinus brutia Ten., Pinus nigra J.F. Arnold and Pinus sylvestris L. were used to treat human illnesses like skin diseases, respiratory disorder, urinary disease and asthma etc., Species of Podocarpus falcatus (Thunb.) Endl. is used to treat jaundice. Decoction of Ephedra stem and root is used to cure rheumatism, asthma, syphilis and juice of berry is used in the treatment of respiratory system disorder., The present review aimed to describe the medicinal/ethnobotanical uses of three Indian gymnosperms Talisapatri, Devatharam (Devadaru) and Madhanakamapoo used in the Siddha formulations.
Three important Indian Gymnosperms which are used in Siddha medicine are Talisapatri, Devadaru and Madhanakamapoo. Literature related to the ethno medicinal uses were collected using scientific search engines such as PubMed, Scopus, Google Scholar and other information collected from Siddha literature etc. Details of the plants were enumerated with Siddha Name, Botanical Name, family, part used, principle chemical components, Siddha formulations in which they have been used. Conservation, adulterant and substitute for the studied plants were briefly discussed. The accepted name and nomenclature of the species were checked in the international standard website.
| 2. Observations|| |
Talisapatri is an important drug used in many formulations of Ayurveda and Siddha. Three plants are used in the name of Talisa/Talisapatra/Talisapatri in above said TMS. The first one is an Angiosperm member, Flacourtia cataphracta Roxb. ex. Willd. (Flacourtiaceae), mentioned as Talisapatri.,,, At present Abies spectabilis (D.Don) Mirb. (Pinaceae) is mentioned as Talisa in Ayurveda and Siddha; however, it has been noted that most of the folk practitioners are using Taxus buccata L. (Taxaceae) as talisapatri. But Taxus is mentioned as Sthauneyaka / Talisa bhedham in Ayurveda and accepted as the substitute for Abies spectabilis., The other adulterants recorded from the market sample of the Talisapatri are leaves of Abies and Taxus species [Figure 1]B.
|Figure 1: Gymnosperms tree species used in the Siddha Medicinal System with medicinally important parts|
Click here to view
Scientific Name: Abies spectabilis (D.Don) Mirb.
Synonym: Abies webbiana (Wall. ex D.Don) Lindl.
Used part: Leaves
Abies spectabilis (D.Don) Mirb., Indian Silver Fir, distributed in the Western Himalaya of Kashmir to Assam at an altitude of 1,000-4000m. Generally it is used as bronchial sedative, decongestant, antiseptic and carminative.
Leaves of Abies have been used as medicine by inhabitants of India and adjacent countries. The folk healers of Kedarnath valley using leaves and bark extract, mixed with honey were used in the treatment of fever, asthma, bronchitis and cough. Resin and bark extract with honey in the form of syrup is used to treat ulcers and cough. In the treatment of rheumatism, stem bark paste is applied externally and used to make tea to cure cough and bronchitis. Resin is used to cure quick healing of cuts and wounds, dried leaf powder eaten two times per day to treat asthma. Leaves are anti-microbial, anti-tumor, anti-inflammation, anti-spasmodic, hyperglycemia, rheumatism and CNS depression action. A comparative study of talisapatri (A. webbiana) and sthauneyaka (T. baccata) revealed that, sthauneyeka did not show any statistically significant difference from Talisapatri and sthauneyaka can be used for a substitute for Talisapatri.
The major phytochemical constituents are monoterpenes, biflavonoid, glycosides, phytosterols, saponin, 1-(4-methoxyphenyl)-aziridine and Abiesin.
The medicinal properties of Talisapatri have been written in old Tamil literature, etc as follows:
In Siddha, Talisam/Talisapatri is used to cure fever, cough, wheezing, vomiting, gas trouble, indigestion, headache, toothache and cold also it help for normal delivery. Leaf powder mixed with Adhatoda vasica leaf juice is given for respiratory disorders. Leaves of Abies spectabilis (D.Don) Mirb. (8Nos), Piper nigrum L. (4 nos), dried Zingiber officinale Roscoe (2 nos) Piper cubeba Bojer (1) and sugar (15 part) is powdered finely and mixed together. Oral intake of 3 gm of this powder is used as an appetizer and to treat stomach disorders. For infants leaf juice 5 to 10 drops is given with water or breast milk to treat fever. Stem bark decoction is used to gargle in conditions of mouth ulcer and throat infections.
Thalisapatri is one of the important plant used in many Siddha formulations such as Sarvasura kudineer, Kiranick Kudineer, Ilavangaadhi Chooranam, Sanjeevi Chooranam, Suvasakudori Chooranam, Narasimha Chooranam, Talisapatri Chooranam, Adathodai Chooranam, Elathi Chooranam, Kandatri Chooranam, Talisapatri vadagam, Seviya Vadagam, Sukku Vadagam, Kandangathiri Nei, Thudhuvali Nei, Tippili Irasayanam, Kandhadhi Lehiyam, Manmadhasinthamani, Kakkuvan Lehiyam, Kadukkai Ilagam, Kabaada Ilagam, Kaaya Ilagam, Pooranadhi Ilagam, Inji Ilagam, Mahavilvaadhi Ilagam, Sutthavalladhi Enney, Megarasaangath Enney, Rasagandhi Melugu, Annapodi, Athisaram grahani Nivarani, and which are used widely in the treatment of various ailments such as leucorrhoea, PCOD, Urethtral obstruction, rheumatoid arthritis, Pitham (Bilious disorders), scabies, skin diseases, leprosy, anaemia, paralysis, fistula jaundice, tuberculosis, scabies, gas-trouble, wounds, hiccough, kidney stone, wheezing, giddiness, piles, venereal diseases, inflammation, bronchial asthma, tonsillitis, vomiting, indigestion, stomach pain, paralysis, hemiplegia, cancer, leprosy, sinusitis, baldness, syphilis, belching and diarrhoea diseases.,,,,
In Ayurveda, stem bark and leaves are used in the treatment of cough, hiccough, worm infestation, tuberculosis, diseases of mouth, asthma, lump in abdomen, emesis and anorexia, also used as a good appetizer. The drug used in the formulations of Drakshadi churna, Talisadi churna, Bhaskaralavana churna, Pranada Gutika, Jatiphaladi churna, Puga khanda, Talisadi modaka. Also stated that, Abies pindrow, Rhododendron anthopogn and leaves of Taxus baccata are used as a substitute for Abies spectabilis. Resin is extracted from the stem and it is intoxicate when taken orally.,
2.2 Talisa bedham
Scientific Name: Taxus baccata L.
Tamil name: Talisa bedham
Used parts: Leaves, Bark, Seeds
Commercially sound talisapatri is Taxus buccata L. (Family – Taxaceae) a commonly known as yew, it is a small size conifer reported with eleven species from the high altitude of temperate region of the World., In India, distribution of Taxus occurs in the Himalayas crossing the States Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Manipur. Except fleshy red aril, all parts of this plant are toxic to animals and human but it is often used as a medicine in TMS. The main therapeutic activity is found to be CNS depressant, analgesic, anti-rheumatic, anti-catarrhal etc.
The medicinal importance of leaves and barks are well documented in India as well as in China. Taxol is an important anti-cancerous compound found in the bark and leaves of Taxus wallichiana and also used for fish poisoning. Stem bark is used to cure cold, cough, cancer, hypertension in the form of herbal tea and juice by the tribal communities in Garwal, Himalayas. Bark and leaves are used in steam bath to treat rheumatism. It is also a sedative, aphrodisiac and antidote for poisonous bite. The ethnobotanical studies were carried out among the indigenous people of Kedarnath valley of Western Himalaya. They have been using decoction and paste of leaves, fruits/stem bark to cure cancer, asthma and bone fractures and further as an antiseptic. Anticancer property of extract from the needles and twigs of Taxus cuspidata have been reported its synergistic effect as a cocktail with 5-fluorouracil. Talisapatri has been used to cure cardiac diseases and bronchial congestion in Siddha system and also in the treatment of diarrhoea, dysentery, vomiting, indigestion, chest pain and cough. External application of the leaves is used to treat toothache, headache, colic and sore throat. Leaf powder with Adhatoda vasica leaf juice is used to cure wounds and wheezing. Infusion of the bark is used as mouth wash to treat stomatitis. Taxus baccata is a suitable alternative to American Yew (Taxus brevifolia) and the source of plant for Taxol possessing anticancer property.
The major phytochemical constituents reported are: Taxine, Hydrocyanic acid, resins, and tannins from leaves, bark, seeds and heart wood. The major components are Taxane (10-Deacetybadscacatin III, Baccatin III, taxol and Cephalomannine).
Cedrus is an important genus of the family Pinaceae distributed in the tropical and subtropical regions of the world and it is locally known as Cedar. It comprises about 4 species such as Cedrus deodara, C. libani, C. brevifolia and C. atlandica [Figure 1]A. Devadaru (Cedrus deodara) and Sarala Devadaru (Pinus longifolia) are commonly used varieties in TMS.
Scientific Name: Cedrus deodara (Roxb.) Loud. (Pinaceae)
Trade Name: Deodar
Tamil Name: Devatharu maram
Used part: Heart wood, Stem bark
The Himalayan Cedar is called as Devadaru (Tree of Gods). Cedrus is a large, evergreen tree with dark green needles commonly seen across north-western Himalayan belt from Kashmir to Garwal. It grows at an altitude of 4,000-10,000 feet and is the dominant conifer between 5,500 and 8,000 feet. Deodar tree forests are considered as the favorite abode of ancient Indian Sages who were devoted to Hindu God Shiva. It has been reported that the parts of this plant is used in various ailments such as fever, pain, ulcer, cancer, insomnia, hyperglycemia etc.,
Essential oil extracted from the leaves and wood of Cedrus is used by locals from different parts of Nepal to cure scabies and rheumatic pain. In Jammu, Oil is extracted from stem and bark is locally known as Kilo used in the treatment of foot and mouth diseases common in cattle’s and is the best remedy for lice and ticks; bark is used as a diuretic in urinary trouble and for its carminative and anti-inflammatory property. In Uttarakhand, fumes from bark is used as a snake repellant. Locals of Nanda Devi Park, uses the decoction of the bark to treat fever and dysentery. Indigenous people from the Himachal Pradesh, prepares Cedrus oil locally by burning the wood in earthen pots to be used as an insect repellant especially in sheep and goats. It is applied to the foul ulcers and wounds of the cattle. The indigenous people of Kedarnath Valley of Western Himalayas, uses the bark to treat bowel complaints, piles, lumbago, rheumatic pain, arthritis, urinary disorder, diabetes, Kidney stone and urticaria., Tar is prepared from wood and it is used for chronic skin disease and leprosy. Root decoction is used as diaphoretic, anti-rheumatic and antidote for snakebite.,,
Important chemical components reported from wood, stem bark, leaves are gama-himachalene, sesquiterpene, Limasecolore, a-himachalone, β-himachalene, sesquiterpenes himachalol and allo himachalol, resin, Terpentine, Dihydrodehydrodiconiferyl alcohol, lariciresinol, isolariciresional, taxifolin 3-glucoside, fatty acid, ethyl ester, deodarin, sesquiterpene-himassedone in addition to isoprimaric acid, cedeodaria, cedrin, cedrinoside, cedrusin, cedrusinin, δ-himachalone etc.,,,
The medicinal properties of Devatharu maram have been written in old Tamil literature, as follows:
Devadaru bark, leaf and wood is used in Siddha to treat chronic fevers and common cold. Heart wood, i.e., devadaru kattai is used as the ingredient in most of the formulations. Wood possesses carminative, diuretic and diaphoretic properties, tender leaves are used as a refrigerant.
Some Siddha formulations, in which Cedrus is used as an ingredient, are Mudithaila Chooranam, Aavarai Chooranam, Mandoora vadagam, Sidhadhi Ilagam, Nagaraadhi thailam, Adhimadhura maathirai, Mandoora Mathirai and Thaenkai Kuzhambu., Stem and stem bark is used to treat fever, dysentery, blood dysentery, diarrhoea, flatulence, pulmonary disorders, rheumatism, piles, urinary calculi and skin diseases. The heart wood is grounded with milk and boiled to prepare the paste this is externally applied on the head to treat giddiness and sleeplessness. Heart wood and stem powder with dried ginger and salt is used to treat skin inflammation and oil is used for ulcers, skin diseases and intermittent fever.
Black coloured oil extracted from the stem is used to treat wounds, and to heal cracks and eczema (Karappan) and the decoction is given to improve the body strength.,
Some Siddha formulations, in which Cedrus is used as an ingredient, are Mudithaila Chooranam, Aavarai Chooranam, Mandoora vadagam, Sidhadhi Ilagam, Nagaraadhi thailam, Adhimadhura maathirai, Mandoora Mathirai and Thaenkai Kuzhambu., Stem and stem bark is used to treat fever, dysentery, blood dysentery, diarrhoea, flatulence, pulmonary disorders, rheumatism, piles, urinary calculi and skin diseases. The heart wood is grounded with milk and boiled to prepare the paste this is externally applied on the head to treat giddiness and sleeplessness. Heart wood and stem powder with dried ginger and salt is used to treat skin inflammation and oil is used for ulcers, skin diseases and intermittent fever. Black coloured oil extracted from the stem is used to treat wounds, and to heal cracks and eczema (Karappan) and the decoction is given to improve the body strength.,
In Ayurveda the wood is used in the preparation of many formulations such as Khadirarishta, Dashamularishta, Devadarudarishta, Mristasanjivanisura, Karpuradyarka taila, Prudarantuka Lauha, candanadi curna, sudarsana curna, narayana taila, pradarantaka lauha, vataraktantaka lauha, mahavisagarbha taila in certain ayurvedic formulations in the management of Vyanabala vaisamya are used in the treatment of joint pain, Oedema disorders, skin diseases, wounds, rheumatism, Sciatica, headache, constipation, worm infestation, heart diseases, blood disorders, goiter, elephantiasis, hiccup, polyuria and obesity; Oil is extracted from the heartwood and used as medicine.,,
Scientific Name: Cycas circinalis L.
Used Part: Stem, Male cone
The genus Cycas solely represents the Indian Cycads with more than ten accepted species. The distribution of Cycas species in India extends from the Western Ghats, Eastern Ghats, North East, Andaman and Nicobar Islands. [Figure 1]C,&[Figure 1]D
Cycas has been used by the locals for many purposes such as young leaves are eaten as vegetable in Assam; roasted and processed Kernels are used as source of starch in many parts of India. As a medicine, Cycas male cones, mucilage, kernel and cataphylls are used in the treatment of ulcer and stomach pain. Male cone (Madhanakamapoo) is used as an aphrodisiac and insect repellant. Stem of the endemic species Cycas beddomei Dyer of Eastern Ghats are hacked for its pith and bark, which is believed to have medicinal properties. The starchy pith of Cycas is used an adulterant for vidari kanda (Pureria tuberosa (Willd.) DC. Small pieces of stems and bark are sold in the local markets of Andhra Pradesh by the name of Vidari-Kanda along with stems of other angiosperm plant (Ipomoea digitata L.) This is used as an aphrodisiac popularly known as ‘Indian ginseng’. In Assam, the bounded stem of C. pectinata Ham. is used as hair-wash for diseased hair roots. The gum of Cycas extracted from stem is used as an antidote for snakebite. Bark and seeds are grounded into paste and mixed with coconut oil, and used as poultice to relieve nephritic pains.,,
Cycas is rich in secondary metabolites such as Oligosaccharide, benzoic acid, cinnamic acid, methylazoxy methanol, glycoside, cycasin and β-N-methyl, Amino-L-alanine.
In Siddha, Cycas male cone is mentioned as Madhanakameswarapoo/ Madhanakama poo. However, there are many formulations and literatures are written this name which would not have the Cycas as an ingredient like Madhanasanjeevi and Madhanapal formulations. Flower (Male cone) powder with other medicines is taken orally in the morning and night to strengthen the body and used as aphrodisiac. Flower powder boiled with milk is taken orally during bedtime, helps to induce good sleep. Paste of mature flowers is applied on the body to reduce body pain. Seed powder is used as a food. Male cone, nuts and stem are used to cure various diseases. Flower powder is used as narcotic, stimulant, aphrodisiac and spermatogenic. Seeds are used in the powder form. Decoction is prepared from the flower (Male cone) is given orally in the morning and night to treat fever during pox diseases. Flower is used in the following siddha formulations such as Madhanakameshwara Lehiyam, Madhanakameshwara Kuligai, Madhanakameshwara Nei, Manmadha chinthaamani and Madhanakameshwara Enney indicated in different ailments such as pitham, gastric complaints, diarrhoea, chronic diarrhoea and moreover it improves the sexual vitality and body strength. Juices of tender leaves are given in flatulence. It is an accepted source of vidari i.e., the root tuber of Pueraria tuberosa.,,
Male flower is not in use; however, the stem pith is used as an adulterant for the renowned ayurvedha drug Vidari. Decorticated stem is used to cure urinary disorders, emaciation, bronchial asthma, and intermittent fever, haemorrhage, burning sensation, tonic, aphrodisiac and rejuvenator. The angiosperm species Stereospermum colais flower also called as Madhanakameshwarapoo.
The present review article reveals the contribution of conifers and cycads in TMS. The part used for medicines are leaves, Heart wood, Stem bark, Stem pith, Male cone of Talisapatri (A.spectablis/T.baccata), Devadaru (C.deodara) and Madhanakamapoo (C.circinalis) respectively. Among these three drugs, Talisapatri is being used in more number of Siddha formulations as compared to others. Most of the market samples of Talisaptri is nothing but the leaves of Taxus baccata.,, Heart wood of various Pinus species are found as an adulterant in the market sample of Devatharam. However, the shinning texture with characteristics aroma helps us to distinguish the original drug from adulterants. Pinus longifolia Salisb. which is known as Sarala/Surul devatharam is an adulterant and is recommended as a substitute. Madhanakamapoo/ madhakameswara poo, the young male flower of C. circinalis L., is used in many Siddha formulations not in Ayurveda. In Ayurveda formulations, the pith of the stem is used as adulterant of Vidari i.e., Pureria tuberosa (Willd.) DC., which is an important drug used in Ayurveda and folk medicine. The pith of Cycas species of respected States are marketed as “Vidari” For example, in Assam Cycas pectinata Ham. is sold in that name.,,
| 3. Conclusion|| |
Although a few numbers of gymnosperms are used in TMS, their role as a medicine is highly appreciable. Apart from medicinal uses, the trees are harvested for various purposes, thus conservation status of these tree species are in alarming rate. In most of the wild habitats, these trees seems to be the source of sustainable uses, also all these four trees are found to be slow growing with narrow distribution. These make the urge to conserve and cultivate these plants through in-situ and ex-situ conservation programs that enables us to meet the requirement of raw drugs.
Authors are highly thankful to the Director General, CCRS, Chennai for his constant support and encouragement. The In-charge, Siddha Clinical Research Unit, Palayamkottai and Dr. K. Sivaranjani, Research Officer (Siddha) are acknowledged for their constant support and valuable suggestions. Mr. Art Vogel, Thailand acknowledged for providing the photographs of Cedrus and Taxus.
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