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Lodhra

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Lodhra is botanically named as Symplocos racemosa, it belongs to the genus Symplocos and family Symplocaceae. Symplocos is a genus of flowering plants in the order Ericales, containing about 250 species native to Asia, Australia and the Americas. Symplocos racemosa is an evergreen tree or shrub. Leaves are dark green above, orbicular, elliptic oblong, and glabrous above. Flowers are white, turning yellow, fragarant, simple or compound racemes, the droops are purplish black, subcylindric, smooth and 1-3 seeded.
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Botanical Names
Symplocos racemosa
Indian Names
Sanskrit : Lodhra, Lodhrah Marathi : Lodhra Hindi : Lodhra Bengali : Lodhra Tamil : Vellattippattai, Vellilottiram, Velli-lodhram, Kacacankai, Kaya vilai Telugu : Lodduga, Lodhuga-chettu, Sabaramu, Sapara, Erralodduga
Chemical Constituents
Symplocos racemosa is a medicinal plant. Its bark is used to treat various ailments. The chemical constituents of the Symplocos racemosa bark led to the isolation of two new phenolic glycosides, Symconoside A and Symconoside B (1). The important chemical constituents of Symplocos racemosa are flavonoids, tannins, loturine, loturidine, and colloturine. Symplocos racemosa is proven to contain the dithiadiazetidin namely symploate, as well as linoleic acid, oleic acid, salireposide, symplocososide, betasito- glycoside, symponoside, symplososide, symploveroside, benzoylsalireposide and salireposide. The scientific literature data also proves the presence of phenolic glycosides, salireposide and benzoyl salireposide, which are found to be present in ethyl acetate extract ,
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
Symplocos racemosa (Fam. symplocaceae) is a widely used ayurvedic remedy for various ailments. It is also known as lodhra and is used as a single drug or in multicomponent preparations. It possesses cardiotonic, antipyretic, antihelmintic and laxative properties. It is beneficial in billow fever, urinary discharge, blood troubles, burning sensations, leucoderma, and jaundice. In Indian traditional medicine the bark is also useful in bowel complaints such as diarrhoea, dysentery, liver complaints, fever, ulcer etc (3). The bark of this plant also possesses anticancer activity. A study has been also carried out to evaluate the antitumor activity of the ethanol extract of Symplocos racemosa against Ehrlich’s Ascites Carcinoma (EAC) in mice. Treatment with ethanolic extract decreased the tumor volume and viable cell count thereby increasing the lifespan of EAC bearing mice. The study indicates that the ethanol extract of Symplocos racemosa exhibited antitumor effect by modulating lipid peroxidation and augmenting anti-oxidant defense system in EAC bearing mice (4). In addition, researchers have evaluated the antibacterial effect of S. racemosa extracts against acne inducing bacteria. Symplocos racemosa is used in Indian System of Medicine for various female disorders. In vivo effect of aqueous extracts of Symplocos racemosa on serum FSH and LH levels in immature female Sprague–Dawley rats under basal conditions has been observed. There are also lots of scientific literature data proving the different pharmacological activity of Symplocos racemosa extract, e.g. gonadotropin releasing, antioxidant, antiarthritic and antibacterial.
Health Benefits
Symplocos racemosa is a widely used as ayurvedic remedy for various ailments. Lodhra bark is acrid, digestible, and astringent to bowels. It is useful in treatment of fever, eye diseases, for spongy gums and bleeding. It cures diseases of the blood, leprosy, dropsy and liver complaints. It is also useful in abortions and miscarriages and for ulcers of vagina. Traditionally bark is given in menorrhagia and other uterine disorders. Unani medicine uses it as emmenogogue, aphrodisiac. It is also a potent remedy for inflammation and cleaning uterus. It contains salireposide and benzoyl salireposide which are inhibitors of phosphodiesterase I and have showed its depressant action on blood pressure and instestinal movements (6). symplocos racemosa also works as a natural antipyretic agent with reduced or no toxicity.
Research References
1. Viqar U. A., Muhammad Z., Muhammad A. A., Farzana K., Farman U., Naheed F., and Muhammad. I. C. Phenolic Glycosides from Symplocos racemosa 60b, 1101 – 1104 (2005) 2. M. VIJAYABASKARAN, K R. YUVARAJA, G. BABU, P. PERUMAL and B. JAYAKAR. Isolation and Characterization of Phenolic Glycoside from the Bark of Symplocos Racemosa Roxb E-Journal of Chemistry 2010, 7(S1):S255-S260 3. Khalid S., C.H Gopalakrishna, Kature D.V., Shaikh K. B., Suresh D.K., Loya P. Gastroprotective and antiulcer activity of mixture of Symplocos racemosa bark and Asarum europaeum root Journal of Pharmacy Research 2010, 3(7):1502-1505 4. M. Vijayabaskaran, Amol K. B., G. Babu, P. Sivakumar, P. Perumal1, T. Sivakumar R. Sampathkumar and B. Jayakar. Antitumor Activity and Antioxidant Status of Symplocos racemosa Roxb Against Ehrlich Ascites Carcinoma in Swiss Albino Mice Research Journal of Pharmaceutical, Biological and Chemical Sciences 2010 1(3):306-314 5. Kamlesh K. B., Atul N. J. and Vandana K. Effect of Symplocos racemosa Roxb. on gonadotropin release in immature female rats and ovarian histology Journal of Ethnopharmacology 2004 94(1):197-200 6. RAVAL P. B., PATEL D. J., PATEL A. B., GANURE L. A. POTENT IN VITRO ANTICANCER ACTIVITY OF SYMPLOCOS RACEMOSA BARK ROM. J. BIOL. – PLANT BIOL., 2009 54(2):135–140