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Gloriosa superba is a plant belongs to the genus Gloriosa and family Colchicaceae. Gloriosa superba is a semi-woody herbaceous branched climber, reaching approximately 5 meters in height. G. superba is a native of tropical Africa and is now found growing naturally in many countries of tropical Asia including Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Myanmar. It is one of the oldest ingredients of species from ancient time

Listing Details

Botanical Names
Gloriosa superba
Indian Names
Hindi : Kalihari, Kathari, Kulhari, Languli Bengali : Bishalanguli, Ulatchandal Gujarati : Dudhio, Vacchonag Marathi : Indai, Karianag, Khadyanag Kannada : Karadi, Kanninagadde Telugu : Adavi-nabhi, Kalappagadda, Ganjeri Malayalam : Mettoni, Kithonni Tamil : Kalappai-Kizhangu, Kannoru Punjabi : Kariari, Mulim
Chemical Constituents
A wide variety of phytochemicals are found in Gloriosa superba. It is considered as rich source of colchicines and gloriosine, silosterol, its glucoside and beta and gamma lumicolichicines, beta silosterol, its flucoside and 2-H-6-MeO benzoic acid. The tubers or dried roots contain colchicines, benzoic and salicylic acid, sterols and resinous substances-colchicines, 3-demethyl colchicine, 1,2-didemethyl colchicine, 2,3- didemethyl colchicine, N-formyl, N-deacetyl colchicines, colchicocide, gloriosine, tannins and superbine. Glory lily is also known for its colchicine content which finds used to treat arthritis; therefore glory lily is plant of choice for isolation of colchicines (1, 2).
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.
In traditional medicine system, Gloriosa superba tuber is used for the treatment of bruises and sprains, colic, chronic ulcers, hemorrhoids, cancer, impotence, nocturnal seminal emissions and leprosy. The plump roots of the plant have been used in the treatment of parasitic skin infections, leprosy, and internal worms. In Ayurveda and Unani systems of medicine, the tuber of plant is well known due to its pungent, bitter, acrid, heating, anthemintic, laxative, alexiteric and abortifacient nature. Gloriosine and colchicine are two commonly used phytochemicals obtained from G. superba used for treatment of gout & rheumatism (3). The methanolic extract and subsequent fraction of glory lily has shown promising antibacterial and antifungal potential. Excellent antifungal sensitivity of G. superba has been reported against Candida albicans and Candida glaberata. Phytochemicals from root tubers have wide spectrum against Gram-positive and Gram-negative along with antifungal and mutagenic potential. Methanolic and aqueous extract of G. superba has displayed anticoagulant property which may be due to inhibition of thrombin induced clotting. The various extracts of this plant have been screened and found to have inhibitory effects against lipoxygenase, acetylcholinesterase, butyrylcholinesterase and ureas (4).
Health Benefits
The roots and tubers of Gloriosa superba have been used in traditional Indian medicine for the treatment of gout, in diseases of skin, and several other purposes. Scientists have reported colchicine-like activity in the hexane, dichloromethane, and methanol fractions of Gloriosa superba. G. superba also possess anti malarial activity (4, 5). It is widely used in the treatment of ulcers, leprosy, piles, inflammations, abdominal pains, intestinal worms, thirst, bruises, infertility and skin problem. Various fractions of G. superba have proved to have potent neutralizing effect of rattlesnake venom, when administered subcutaneously to mice. It is one of the useful plants to treat various respiratory disorders. The wide spread use of this plant as chemotherapeutic, anti tumor and various other disorders has lead a scientific approach towards its use as medicinal plants. Seeds and root tubers contain a valuable alkaloid, colchicine, as the major constituent. Colchicine is occasionally used in cytological and plant breeding research. Medicinally, the tuber is used as abortifacient, and in smaller doses it acts as a tonic, stomachic and antihelmintic. It is also used in the treatment of gout because it contains colchicines (6). The tuberous root stocks of G. superba is applied twice a day on the joints, affected with arthritis reduces pain. It is also used to treat intestinal worms, bruises, infertility, skin problem and impotence. The tuberous roots are useful in curing inflammation, ulcers, skin diseases, leprosy, indigestion, helminthiasis, snake bites, baldness, intermittent fever and debility. Seeds are used for relieving rheumatic pain and as a muscle relaxant (5, 6). The tuber is used traditionally for the treatment of bruises and sprains, colic, chronic ulcers, hemorrhoids, cancer, and leprosy.
Research References
1. GLORIOSA SUPERBA LINN. – A PHARMACOLOGICAL REVIEW Alok P. J. and Satish S. International Journal of Pharma, Research and Development. 24-30 2. Hari S. L. and Mishra P. K. Gloriosa Superba – an Endangered plant spotted for the first time from forest of Tpchanchi, Hazaribag (Jharkhand) India Science Research Reporter 1(2): 61-64, 2011 3. Sayeed Hassan A. K. M. and Shyamal K. R. Micropropagation of Gloriosa superba L. Through High Frequency Shoot Proliferation Plant Tissue Cult. 15(1): 67-74, 2005 4. Asokan B., Abdul A. R., Naveen Kumar K. and Dinkar S. In vitro antimalarial activity of medicinal plant extracts against Plasmodium falciparum Parasitol Res (2011) 108:15–22 5. SHANMUGAM H., RATHINAM R., CHINNATHAMBI A. AND VENKATESAN T. ANTIMICROBIAL AND MUTAGENIC PROPERTIES OF THE ROOT TUBERS OF GLORIOSA SUPERBA LINN. (KALIHARI) Pak. J. Bot., 41(1): 293-299, 2009. 6. Jomy C. J., Jennifer F., Tanaji N., Samir R. N., Alok S. and Pradeep T. D. Analgesic and Anti-inflammatory activities of hydroalcoholic extract from Gloriosa superba Linn. International Journal of Green Pharmacy 2009, 215:219
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