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Shirish Chhal

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Albizia lebbeck is a species of Albizia, native to tropical southern Asia, and widely cultivated and naturalized in other tropical and subtropical regions. The plant is found throughout India, Bangladesh, tropical and subtropical Asia and Africa. It is a tree growing to a height of 18–30 m tall with a trunk 50 cm to 1 m in diameter. The leaves are bipinnate, 7.5–15 cm long, with one to four pairs of pinnae, each pinna with 6–18 leaflets. The flowers are white, with numerous 2.5–3.8 cm long stamens, and very fragrant. The fruit is a pod 15–30 cm long and 2.5-5.0 cm broad, containing six to twelve seeds. Albizia lebbeck plant and pods.
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Botanical Names
Albizia lebbeck
Indian Names
Sanskrit : Shirish Bengali : Shirish Gujarati : Shirish Hindi : Saras, Shirish Kannada : Sirisa, Begemara Konkani : Siras Malayalam : Nenmeenivaaka, Vaaka Manipuri : Khok Marathi : Shiras, Shirish Tamil : Siridam, Vagai, Vel-venkai Telugu : Dorisena Urdu : Tinia
Chemical Constituents
lower contains triterpene, saponin, lebbekanin, saponin glycosides, and crocetin lebbekanin-D, F, G & H. Various other sterols like Taxerol, cycloartemol, lupeol, campesterol, sitosterol have also found reported in flowers. Flower on steam distillation gave 4.3% colorless sweet smelling oil and the residue gave lupiol. The plant also contains saponins, macrocyclic alkaloids, phenolic glycosides flavonols. The plant has been reported to possess anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, anti-histaminic, anti-tussive, anti-oxidant, anti-convulsant and anti-spermatogenic effect. Therefore a detailed investigation of powdered flowers of Albizia lebbeck has been carried out using various pharmacognostical and physico-phytochemical parameters. Previous phytochemical investigations showed that the pod of the A. lebbeck contains 3’, 5 dihydroxy 4’, 7 dimethoxy flavone and N-Benzoyl L phenyl alaninol. The beans of the plant contain albigenic acid-a new triterpenoid sapogenin. The plant also contains saponins, macrocyclic alkaloids, phenolic glycosides and flavonols. Different phytochemicals have been isolated from beans which include albigenin a triterpene and albigenic acid a triterpenoid sapogenin. Albiziahexoside is a bioactive saponin isolated from bark (1).
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
All the parts of Albizia lebbeck plant are recommended for the treatment of various diseases. It is reported to possess nootropic, anxiolytic, anticonvulsant, antifertility and antidiarrhoeal properties. It is also recommended for the treatment of snake-bite. Ethanolic extract of pods possesses antiprotozoal, hypoglycemic and anticancer properties. The methanolic extract of the pod was investigated for antifertility activity. Data from clinical studies suggested that Albizia lebbeck possesses significant antiarthritic activity. The possible mode of antiarthritic activity of methanolic extract of Albizia lebbeck appears to be, possessing anti–inflammatory activity showed in arthritic parameters like Paw edema, Arthritic index, Rheumatoid factor, improving bone erosion and by normalization of pro-oxidant and improving anti oxidant parameters indicating its anti-oxidant potency (2, 3).
Health Benefits
The Albizia lebbeck bark is bitter, cooling, alexiteric, anthelmintic, cures “vata”, diseases of the blood, leucoderma, itching, skin disease, piles excessive perspiration, inflammation, bronchitis, good in rat bite. The bark is good for opthalmia. The flowers are given for asthma and for snakebite. Albizia lebbeck is acts as an astringent, also used by some cultures to treat boils, cough, flu, gingivitis, lung problems and pectoral problems. It is used as a tonic, and is used to treat abdominal tumors. The bark is used medicinally to treat inflammation. Albizia lebbeck is also psychoactive (4). Albizia lebbeck barks are used in toothache and diseases of the gum. Decoction of the leaves and barks are protective against bronchial asthma and other allergic disorders. Barks and seeds are astringent and are given in piles and diarrhea. The plant extracts also evaluated in allergic rhinitis and memory and learning of mice. A. lebbeck has traditionally been used in the treatment of many types of pain and inflammatory conditions in Bangladesh (5).
Research References
1. Nimish L. P., Natvarlal J. P., Sanjay B. K., Niruddin P. J., Yagnik S. B. and Shailesh V. M. FREE RADICAL SCAVENGING ACTIVITY OF ALBIZIA LEBBECK METHANOLIC EXTRACT IN ARTHRITIC RATS International Journal of Pharma. Research & Development-Online (IJPRD) Platform for Pharmaceutical Researches and Developments International Standard Serial Number: 0974-9446 2. Shyamlal S. Y., Galib., Pradeep K. P. and Harisha C. R. Pharmacognostical and Physico-Chemical Investigations of Albizia lebbeck benth. Flower International Journal of Pharmaceutical & Biological Archives 2011; 2(5):1434-1438 3. ACHINTO S. and MUNIRUDDIN A. THE ANALGESIC AND ANTI-INFLAMMATORY ACTIVITIES OF THE EXTRACT OF ALBIZIA LEBBECK IN ANIMAL MODEL Pak. J. Pharm. Sci. 2009, 22(1):74-77 4. Kumar S., Bansal P., Gupta V., Sannd R. and Rao M. M. The Clinical Effect of Albizia lebbeck Stem Bark Decoction on Bronchial Asthma. Available online at www.ijpsdr.com International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Drug Research 2010; 2(1): 48-50 5. Iqbal M. Z. and Shazia Y. Differential Tolerance of Albizia Lebbeck and Leucaena Leucocephala at Toxic Levels of Lead and Cadmium Polish Journal of Environmental Studies 2004, 13(4):439-442 6. Venkatesh P., Pulok K. M., Kumar N., Bandyopadhyay A., Fukui H., Mizuguchi H. and Islam N. Anti-allergic activity of standardized extract of Albizia lebbeck with reference to catechin as a phytomarker. Immunopharmacology and Immunotoxicology (impact factor: 0.89). 01/2010; DOI: 10.3109/08923970903305481 Journal Article