Parent Category: Sanskrit Names of Medicinal Plants
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द्रॆका - Ailanthus excelsa



Name - महानिम्बः

Botanical name - Ailanthus excelsa

Description - Tree growing up to 27 m; leaves evil-smelling, alternate, petiolate, 30 cm or more, leaflets many, petiolule long, glandular, hairy, coarsely toothed; panicles axillary or terminal, large, much-branched, lax; flowers on long pedicels, small; samara large, red, twisted, blunt or pointed at both ends.

Chemical Constituents- Root bark contains Quassinoids - excelsin, ailanthione, gaucarubinone, glaucaubol-15 -isovalerate, 13,18-dehydro-glaucarubol-15-isovalerate and alkaloids. Stem bark contains glaucarubin, excelsin, ailantic acid, quinone, Beta-sitosterol; malanthin; triacontane, hexatriacontane, benzoquinolizidine alkaloid alancine. Leaves yield ailantic acid, Beta-sitosterol and vitexin. Seeds contain quassinoids. Plant also contains sitosterols and vitexin.

Use - Bark anthelmintic, febrifuge, expectorant and antispasmodic; used in asthma and bronchitis, also in dysentery. TRIBES OF WEST BENGAL AND BIHAR : the powder from the resin of this plant mixed with curds as an astringent in diarrhoea and dysentery; Bark: abortifacient, useful in cold and cough, in fever, postnatal complaint; Bark-decoction: applied on wound; Bark and leaf-paste: applied on skin eruption; Leaf-decoction and infusion: rheuma-tism; in many parts of India, decoction of barks and leaves have been used as a tonic after debility and labour pain; HOMOEOPATHY : for the treatment of diphtheria, follicular tonsillitis, stomach troubles, fever with restlessness, skin diseases, hysteria and hiccup. Modern use : Root-bark: antitumour against P-388 lymphocytic leukaemia; Leaf and Bark: applied to skin eruptions, anthelmintic, antispasmodic, antipyretic, blood purifier, carminative and expectorant.