Home >> Plants Profile: Part-A >> Alstonia scholaris (L.) R. Br.

Alstonia scholaris (L.) R. Br.

Synonyms: Echites scholaris L.

Group: Dicot
Family: Apocynaceae
Duration: Perennial
Growth Habit: Tree

Bangla/Vernacular Name: Chattim, Chhaitan; Khami, Chhatni (Sylhet). Ghaitan, Saptapani, Satni

Tribal Name: Sesna (Chakma), Sakehan; Sokchuan; Bor-chhak-chhan (Garo), Chong Laong; Chai Lang (Marma), Klatan (Murang), Silema (Rakhaing), Chenchana Gaith (Tanchangya). Satuang (Tripura),

English Name: Devil's tree, Dita bark tree.

Description of the Plant:

A medium-sized, sometimes very tall, evergreen trees with copious white latex; branches whorled. Leave coriacious, oblong-lanceolate, whorled. Flowers small, greenish white, in many flowered capitate cymes. Fruits narrow, cylindrical follicles, pendulous in clusters.

Chemical Constituents:

Principal constituents of leaf, barks of stems and roots are indole alkaloids, picrinine, nareline, akuammicine, scholarine, strictamine, tetrahydroalastonine, detamine, echitenine, echitamine, ditamine, echitamidine, stigmasterol, ß-sitosterol, campesterol, flavanols, a- & ß-amyrin, lupeol, lupeol acetate and phenolic acids. Fresh leaves also contain five alkaloids, including nareline, akuammidine, picralinal, picrinine and ?-akuammigine. Stem bark contains echitamine, a glycoside of venoterpine, sterols, ß-sitosterol, triterpenes, saponins, lactones, a-amyrin acetate.

Alstonia scholaris (L.) R. Br.

Alstonia scholaris (L.) R. Br.

Bark has also been reported to contain a blood sugar reducing agent. The non-alkaloidal constituents of the leaves are ß-sitosterol, betulin and ursolic acid. Flowers contain the alkaloids picrinine (reported to possess central nervous system depressant action), strictanine and tetrahydroalastonine. They also contain n-hexacosane, lupeol, ß-amyrin, palmitic and ursolic acids and an essential oil. Trunk bark and fruit contains rhazine (Ghani, 2003; Asolkar et al., 1992).

Mode of Uses:

  • Bark left in water for whole night and the extract stiffed and taken as antipyretic, anthelmintic and tonic. Paste of bark is also applied to affected areas in insect bite (Murang).
  • Latex of leaf applied (externally) in the lip blister three to five days for remedy (Rakhaing).
  • The stem bark with 13 other plants (see Allium sativum) is used to make pills to be taken thrice daily before food for the treatment of abdominal tumours (Tripura).

Distribution:

All over Bangladesh in forest and village thickets.


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