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Khurasani Ajmo

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Hyoscyamus niger, also known as stinking nightshade or black henbane, is a plant of the family Solanaceae that originated in Eurasia, though it is now globally distributed. It is an erect, annual or biennial, hairy and viscid herb. Stem robust and grows up to few meters in high. Radical leaves are smaller, sessile, ovate, and passing in to bracts.
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Botanical Names
Hyoscyamus niger
Indian Names
Sanskrit : Parseek yavani, Yaavni,Turushka, Madkarini Hindi : Khurasani ajwain Gujarati : Khurasani ajmo Malayalam : Kurassani Bengali : Khurasani Ajvain; Marathi : Khurasin Ova; Assamese : Joni.
Chemical Constituents
Hyoscyamine and hyoscine are the principal alkaloids other than cusohygrine, apohyoscine and belladomine. Total alkaloid percentage is 0.16% in roots, 0.045% in leaves and 0.1% in flowering tops. Mature leaves are richer in hyoscyamine than hyoscine whereas tender leaves are relatively richer in hyoscine. In roots the alkaloid concentration is higher during the end of the vegetative period. The leaves yield hyoscypikin in addition to hyoscyamine. Besides alkaloid it contains volatile base, a bitter glycoside hyoscypicrin, choline, mucilage, and albumin. It is also rich in potassium salts.
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
Pharmacology
Hyoscyamus contains larger quantity of Hyoscyamus which produces a central narcotic effect. It had antihistamic activity. The plant especially the seeds, in large doses produces poisonous effects. Hyoscyamus has anodyne, narcotic and mydriatic properties. It is principally employed as a sedative in nervous affections and irritable conditions, such as asthama and whooping cough and is also used as substitute for opium where the opium becomes inadmissible. It is also used to counteract the griping action of purgatives and to relieve spasms in the urinary tract. Hyoscyamus leaves have been employed externally to relieve pain. It has pungent, astringent, diuretic, alternative, antiperiodic, and purgative properties. This plant is used in piles, skin eruption, opthalmia, liver complaints, rheumatism, scabies, bronchial affections, and in leprosy. Leaves are useful in gonorrhoea where as roots can be used in cancer, stomach troubles, and bladder stones. The seeds possess anodyne and narcotic properties but they been rarely used in medicine.
Health Benefits
Hyoscyamus niger reduces muscle tension and spasm; acts as sedative; and blocks cholinergic nervous system. It is used to relieve bronchial spasm or asthma, colic or excessive use of purgatives, and to prevent travel sickness. The homeopathic remedy Hyoscyamus is prescribed for twitching, coughs, sensitive skin, and excited or obsessional behavioural problems. Black henbane is a native plant of Europe commonly found in waste areas, pastures. It is poisonous to both animals and humans in larger quantities. However, it has medical use in controlled circumstances. Henbane has been used medicinally since the time of Pliny in ancient Greece. Henbane's is popular as a psychoactive herb.
Research References
1. Thorpe, VI, 203 ; Hocking, loc. cit. ; U.S.D., 1955, 674. 2. Thorpe, VI, 203; Henry, 66; Hocking, loc. cit.; U.S.D., 1955, 675; Chem. Abstr, 1932, 26, 3621. 3. Congr. Int. Therap., 6th, Strasbourg 1959, 443; Chem. Abst. 1962, 56, 12258f. 4. Therapie 1960, 15, 326; Chem Abst. 1962, 57, 9176g. 5. Modi, 641. 6. Dev S. Ancient-modern concordance in Ayurvedic plants: some examples. Environ Health Perspect. 1999, 107(10):783-789.