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Kantkari

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Solanu xanthocarpum is commonly known as Kantkari, belonging to the family Solanaceae is found throughout the country, but more abundantly in arid areas. It is a very prickly perennial herb somewhat with woody base. Stem branched much and younger ones clothed with dense, stellate and tomentose hairs. Prickles are compressed straight, glabrous and shining often 1-3 cm long. Leaves are ovate or elliptic, sinuate or subpinnatifid, obtuse or subacute, stellately hairy on both sides. Petiole is long, stellately hairy and prickly. Flowers are in cymes or some times reduced as solitary. Berry yellow, green blotched and surrounded by enlarged calyx. Seeds are glabrous.
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Botanical Names
Solanu xanthocarpum
Indian Names
Sanskrit: Kantakari Nidigadhika Hindi: Kateli, Katai Ringani Bengali: Kantakari Gujarati: Bhoyaringani Telugu: Pinnamulaka, Nelamulaka and Vankuda Tamil: Kandankattiri Malayalam: Kandankattiri
Chemical Constituents
Solanum xanthocarpum was phytochemically investigated. Phyto active compounds extracted from this plant include solanocarpine, solanocarpidine, disgenin, carpestrol and sitosterol and steroids. Plant contains alkaloids, sterols, saponins, flavonoids and their glycosides and also carbohydrates, fatty acids, amino acids etc. Coumarins, scopolin, scopoletin, esculin and esculetin were extracted from plant parts separated by crystallization and column chromatography and identification was carried out by paper and thin layer chromatography by preparing their derivatives. From the extracts of the fruits of Solanum xanthocarpum, cycloartanol, cycloartenol, sitosterol, stigmasterol, campesterol, cholesterol, sitosteryl glucoside, stigmasteryl glucoside, solamargin, and B solamargin were identified and an isolated steroid (1, 2). Steroidal alkaloid solasodine is the principal alkaloid found in S. xanthocarpum. Alcoholic extracts of plant contain fatty and resinous substances. Solasonine is present in S. xanthocarpum fruits. The presence of diosgenin in the plant has been reported. Seeds yield 19.3% of a greenish yellow semi drying oil with a characteristic odor. The unsaponifiable matter of fruit contains two sterols, one of which is carpesterol. S. xanthocarpum fruits yield solanocarpidine and a sterol, carpesterol (3).
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
Solanum xanthocarpum plant is one of the important herbs in Ayurveda. According to Ayurveda, it is bitter, appetizer, laxative, anthelmintic and stomachic. It is useful in bronchitis, asthma, fever, lumbago, pains, piles, thirst, urinary and heart diseases. S. xanthocarpum root is one of the constituents of Dasamulasava. It is pungent, bitter, digestive, diuretic, alterative, astringent and anthelmintic in action (4). Pharmacological studies on this herb have shown that aqueous and alcoholic extracts of the plant possess hypotensive effect, which is partly inhibited by atropine. Both glycoalkaloid and fatty acid fractions of the extract cause liberation of histamine from chopped lung tissue. The beneficial effect of the lung on bronchial asthma may be attributed to the depletion of histamine from bronchial and lung tissue. Solasodine is teratogenic in rars and guinea pigs (5). The antifungal activity of the steroidal compounds extracted from the fruits of S. xanthocarpum was investigated against Aspergillus niger and Trichoderma viride. The isolated compounds exhibited inhibitory effects on the radial growth of A. niger and Trichoderma viride (6).
Health Benefits
In local tribes Solanum xanthocarpum is considered as a most valuable herb for traditional healers in treatment of over 100 common diseases alone or in combination with other local and exotic herbs. Stem, flowers and fruits are bitter and carminative. It is employed in cough, asthma and pains in chest, being used in the form of a decoction. They are prescribed for relief in burning sensation in the feet. Leaves are applied locally to relieve pain. The juice of berries is used in sore throat. Like roots, seeds are also administered as an expectorant in asthma and cough. The plant is credited with diuretic properties and is used to cure dropsy. The leaf juice is beneficial in rheumatism. It is used to treat fever, cough, flatulence, costiveness and heart disease. Solanum xanthocarpum, is known to have multiple medicinal properties. The extract of various parts of it have been used against agricultural pests as repellant, contact poison and as molluscicide in public health. The plant extract is also used in the treatment of diseases like fever, asthma, tuberculosis, kidney disorders, cough, constipation, tooth-ache, sore-throat, rheumatism and gonorrhea (7, 8). The plant is known to have multiple medicinal properties and the extracts of various parts have been used against agricultural pests as repellant and contact poison, and as molluscicide in public health. S xanthocarpum as a powder of the whole dried plant or decoction are widely used to treat respiratory disorders by practitioners of the Sidda system of medicine in Southern India. The level of susceptibility of the larval stages to different phyto-derivatives is not yet assessed in this arid region (9, 10).
Research References
1. Kusano G., Beisler J. and Sato Y. Steroidal constituents of Solanum xanthocarpumPhytochemistry 1973, 12(2):397-401 2. Okram M. S. and Thokchom P. S. Phytochemistry of Solanum xanthocarpum: an amazing traditional healer Journal of Scientific and Industrial Research 2010, 69:732-740 3. Lalit M., Preeti S. and Srivastava C. N. COMPARATIVE EFFICACY OF SOLANUM XANTHOCARPUM EXTRACTS ALONE AND IN COMBINATION WITH A SYNTHETIC PYRETHROID, CYPERMETHRIN, AGAINST MALARIA VECTOR, ANOPHELES STEPHENSI SOUTHEAST ASIAN J TROP MED PUBLIC HEALTH 2007, 38(2):256-260 4. HIREN A. P., DARSHAN H. P., SAURABH R. M. and SUBRAMANIAN R. B. Larvicidal properties of a perennial herb Solanum xanthocarpum against vectors of malaria and dengue/DHF CURRENT SCIENCE, VOL. 84, NO. 6, 25 MARCH 2003 749-751 5. Huntley A. Herbal medicines for asthma: a systematic review E Ernst Thorax 2000; 55:925–929 6. Bansal S. K., Karam V. S. and Suresh K. Larvicidal activity of the extracts from different parts of the plant Solanum anthocarpum against important mosquito vectors in the arid region. J. Environ. Biol. 30(2), 221-226 (2009) 7. ASHWINI A. P. and ANITA S. G. Degradation of Solanum xanthocarpum Leaves Protein Asian Journal of Chemistry; 2011, 23(5):2198-2200 8. Kar D. M. Maharana L. Pattnaik S. and Dash G. K. Studies on hypoglycaemic activity of Solanum xanthocarpum Schrad. & Wendl fruit extract in rats Journal of Ethnopharmacology 2006, 108(2):251–256 9. Govindan S., Viswanathan S., Vijayasekaran V. and Alagappan R. Further studies on the clinical efficacy of Solanum xanthocarpum and Solanum trilobatum in bronchial asthma Phytotherapy Research 2004, 18(10):805–809 10. Mohan L., Sharma P. and Srivastava C. N. Evaluation of Solanum xanthocarpum extracts as mosquito larvicides. J Environ Biol. 2005, 26(2):399-401. 11. Govindan S., Viswanathan S., Vijayasekaran V. and Alagappan R. A pilot study on the clinical efficacy of Solanumxanthocarpum and Solanum trilobatum in bronchial asthma Journal of Ethnopharmacology 1999, 66(2):205–210