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Sphaeranthus indicus belongs to the family Asteraceae, commonly in Hindi known, as Gorakhmundi. It is an annual spreading herb, distributed through out the plains and wetlands of India, Sri Lanka and Australia. It is Common weed found in rice fields throughout India. The plant is much branched, strongly-scented annual with winged stem and the wings toothed. Leaves obovate-oblong, narrowed at the base, dentate and serrate.

Listing Details

Botanical Names
Sphaeranthus indicus
Indian Names
Sanskrit : Mahamundi, shravani, tapasvini, mundi, hapus Hindi : Gorakhmundi, mundi Bengali : Chagulnadi, ghorkmundi Marathi : Barasavodi, gorakhmundi Gujarati : Bodiokalara, mundi, dorakhmundi Telugu : Boddatarupa, boddasoram Tamil : Kottakaranthai Malayalam : Adakkamanian, attakkamanni, mirangani
Chemical Constituents
Spaeranthus indicus flower contain the principal essential oil, alkaloid, tannins, glycoside, reducing sugar, semidrying fatty oil, and albumin. Literature reports on the arial parts of this plant revealed the presence of an essential oil glucosides, and eudesmanoids an alkaloid sphaeranthine and an isoflavone 5,4‘- dimethoxy-3‘-prenylbiochanin 7-o-ß- galctoside with some interesting sesquiterpene and a new flavone glycoside from the stem have been isolated from this herb. Methyl chavicol,!-ionone, d-cadinene, p-methoxy cinnamaldehyde as major constituents.
Pesticide Limits
A limit for pesticide is one of the major issues in standardization of medicinal plants and products in view of the worldwide widespread use of pesticides in cultivated plants. The presence of pesticides in extracts increase the health risk by many folds. The pesticides can be extremely irritant on skin as well as in the internal organs hence it is essential to monitor its concentration as a part of GMP. Various analytical methods for the quantitative determination of pesticides by gas chromatography coupled with mass-spectrophotometer are in use. Konark Research Foundation (KRF), a NABL certified lab is well equipped with the latest technology and instruments and monitors the pesticide limit as part of its GMP.
Chromatographic Profile
From the pharmacopoeial perspective, a better quality control of raw material can be achieved by specifying quantitative test procedure for the determination of the range or a minimum content of the active ingredient or marker substances. A chromatographic finger profile represents qualitative/ quantitative determination of various components present in a complex plant extract, irrespective whether or not their exact identity is known. Thin layer chromatographic technique is the simplest and least expensive method that provides plenty of information on the composition of raw herbs and its preparation. For quantitative analysis of active ingredients or marker substances with simultaneous separation and detection High Pressure liquid chromatography is the best technique. We use the latest model of HPLC for all its analysis.
Limits of Impurities
A test requirement for foreign organic matter would ensure the extent of contamination of extraneous matters such as filth and other parts of botanicals not covered by the definition of the herbal drug. Since sand and soil are predictable contaminants of botanicals, test requirements for ‘total ash’, water soluble ash’, ‘acid soluble ash’, residue on ignition and sulphated ash would be expected to limit such contaminants. Test requirement for heavy metals in botanical raw material are probably more relevant for parts of plants growing under ground than for the aerial parts of the plant. The presence of high levels of minerals interacts with the final product there by affecting its keeping quality.
Microbial Limits
If the raw herbs are to be used directly without boiling in water prior to consumption, restrictive limits on microbial contaminants are required for pathogens such as Salmonella sp. Enterobacter and E. coli which are causative agent for various gastrointestinal diseases. A lower level of yeasts and molds and a limit on total aerobes are considered appropriate in plant material for topical use. The presence of aflatoxins detected by chemical means is generally independent of the number of viable molds that are detected using microbiological methods. Aflatoxins in microgram quantity are capable of giving serious hypersensitivity reactions which can be extremely harmful to human health
According to Ayurveda, the herb Spaeranthus indicus is hot, laxative, digestible, tonic, fattening, alterative, antihelmintic and alexipharmic. It is used in insanity, tuberculosis, indigestion, bronchitis, spleen diseases, elephantiasis, anaemia, pain in uterus and vagina, piles, asthma, leucoderma, dysentery, vomiting, hemicrania, etc (2). The entire plant is reportedly used in the ayurvedic system of medicines in the treatment of epilepsy and mental disorders. It reportedly used to cure piles, hepatitis and have protection against immuno-suppression. Scientific study have investigated the ability of flower heads extracts of Sphaeranthus indicus to protect liver against acetaminophen induced hepatocellular damage and oxidative stress in rats in-vivo. (go) A novel isoflavone glycoside from leaves and a new sesquiterpene glycoside and sphaeranthanolide were isolated from the flowers of and it was found to be an immune stimulant. 0512/1112
Health Benefits
The useful parts of Spaeranthus indicus herb are root, bark, leaves, flowers, and seeds. The herb is reported to be useful as a tonic to treat indigestion, asthma, leucoderma and dysentery. The plant is reported to be useful for epilepsy, anemia, diabetes, gout etc. Tannins present in the plant have been reported for their hypolipidemic activity. All parts of the plant found to possess medicinal uses. The juice of the plant is styptic and said to be useful in liver and gastric disorders. The paste of the herb made with oil is applied in itching. The herb has a bitter sharp flavor with bitter taste. It increases the appetite, enriches the blood, cool the brain and gives luster to the eye. (1) In traditional system of medicine the plant has long been used in the treatment of skin infection, bronchitis, jaundice and nervous depression. The various parts of the plant are used in the treatment of cough, chest pain, bowel complaints, anthelmintic and tuberculosis. In few regions of India, the decoctions and extracts of the roots of this plant are effective remedies in the management and control of convulsions and epilepsy. (3)
Research References
1. Pande V. V. and Dubey S. Antihyperlipidemic activity of Spaeranthus indicus on antherogenic diet induced hyperlipidemia in rats International Journal of Green Pharmacy 2009. 2. Ravi U. and Neha M. Antimicrobial Activity of Flower Extracts of Coli Forms Sphaeranthus Indicus on coli forms ASIAN J. EXP. BIOL. SCI. VOL 2(3) 2011: 513-516 3. Bikash K. N., Jyotirmoyee J., Bhabagrahi R. and Biswaranjan B. Anticonvulsant Activity of whole parts of Sphaeranthus indicus Linn. Extract in Experimental Mice Bikash Kumar Nanda et al. / Drug Invention Today 2010, 2(3):202-206 4. Brijesh.K.T. and Khosa R. L. Hepatoprotective and antioxidant effect of Sphaeranthus indicus against acetaminophen–induced hepatotoxicity in rats. J. Pharm. Sci. & Res 2009, 1(2):26-30 5. Duraipandiyan V., Kannan P. and Ignacimuthu S. Antimicrobial Activity of Sphaeranthus indicus L. Ethnobotanical Leaflets 13: 320-25. 2009 6. Varsha J. G., Patel B. G. and Rana D. G. Sphaeranthus indicus Linn.: A phytopharmacological review Int J Ayurveda Res. 2010, 1(4): 247–253