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Holarrhena pubescens (Buch.-Ham.) Wall.ex G. Don

Synonyms:
Chonemorpha antidysenterica G. Don
Echites antidysentericus Roth
Echites pubescens Buch.-Ham.
Holarrhena antidysenterica (G. Don) Wall.ex A. DC.
Holarrhena febrifuga Klotzsch

Group: Dicot
Family: Apocynaceae - Dogbane family
Duration: Perennial
Growth Habit: Shrub

Bangla/Vernacular Name: Kurchi, Kuruj, Karach (Chittagong), Karas (Sylhet), Kutiswar (Dhaka), Indrajaw, Indrajab (Dinajpur), Kuruchi, Grimallika, Kutuz.

Tribal Name: Kuruk gach (Chakma), Bol-dukhak-ki-bipang (Garo), La to pang; Lata baong; Luk Tuk, Shinhapran (Marma), Puron-ma, Punarcha(Murang), Kuruk (Tanchangya).

English Name: Kurchi.

Description of the Plant:

A small, deciduous tree. Leaves broadly ovate to elliptic, obtuse or obtusely acuminate. Flowers white, in terminal corymbose cymes. Corolla tube 4-13 cm long, slightly inflated near the base; lobes about equalling the tube, oblong, rounded at the apex. Follicles cylindric, often dotted with white spots.

Chemical Constituents:

Bark is rich in steroidal alkaloids, which include conessine (principal), nor-conessine, conessinine, conimine, conessidine, kurchine, holarrhenine, holarrhine, holafrine, holarrhetine, conkurchine, kurchicine, etc. Bark also contains gum, resin, tannin, a triterpene alcohol, lupeol, ß-sitosterol and a glycoalkaloid. Seeds also contain most of these alkaloids. L-quebrachiol, alkaloids, dihydroisoconessmine and 3 a-aminoconan-5-ene, base, kurcholessine, 7 a-hydroxyconessine and holonamine have also been found in the bark.

Leaves contain alkaloids like kurchiphylline, kurchiphyllamine, kurchaline, holadysine, holatosines, holarosines etc. and aminoglycosteroids, holantosines A, B, C & D and holarosine A; aminodeoxyglycosteroids, holarosine B, E & F and flavonoids. A new steroidal alkaloid holacetine have been isolated from root bark Concuressine (irehline), 3-epihetero-conessine and kurcholessine, kurchimine; a new digitenol glycoside- holadysone have also been isolated from the plant (Ghani, 2003; Rastogi & Mehrotra, 1990 & 93).

Holarrhena pubescens (Buch.-Ham.)Wall.ex G. Don

Holarrhena pubescens (Buch.-Ham.)Wall.ex G. Don

Mode of Uses:

  • An infusion of crushed bark is taken for the treatment of jaundice by the Chakma.
  • Tie a piece of stem with a thread round the for the treatment of uterine prolapsed. Leaves are used in chronic bronchitis and ulcers. Decoction of the bark is used to expell threadworms (Marma).
  • Root extract is taken in diarrhoea. Leaf paste is applied in toothache. Bark and root extract is taken in dysentery (Murang).
  • Pills prepared from the paste of roots are taken 3-4 times daily against diarrhoea by the Tanchangya.
  • The decoction or raw juice of the leaves and bark is used against dysentery, liver troubles and as an anthelmintic by the Garo of Madhupur (Yusuf et al. 2009).

Distribution:

Forests of Dhaka, Tamgail, Chittagong, Chittagong Hill Tracts and Cox's Bazar, Sylhet and Dinajpur.

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