E-HERBARIA

  • Name : Amaltas
  • English Name :Purging Fistula, Indian Laburnum, Pudding Pipe Tree, Golden Shower Tree
  • Scientific Name :Cassia fistula

 

Habitat:

A medium sized deciduous tree, 6 to 9 m tall with bright yellow flowers in long pendulous racemes, and long cylindrical blackish-brown pods of 25 to 50 cm in length and upto 3 cm in width; found wild and also commonly planted as ornamental tree in most parts of the country up to an altitude of 1200 m.1

 

Morphology Description (Habit):

Stem Bark - Drug occurs in flat or curved thick pieces; outer surface smooth to rough with warty patches; greenish-grey to red; inner surface rough, reddish with parallel striations; fracture, laminate; odour, sweet and characteristic; taste, astringent.

Fruit - A many celled, indehiscent pod, 35-60 cm long and 18-25 mm diameter, nearly straight and sub cylindrical, chocolate-brown to almost black in colour, pod surface smooth to naked eye, but under lens showing minute transverse fissures, both dorsal and ventral sutures evident, but not prominent, short stalk attached to base of fruit and rounded distal end mucronate, pericarp thin, hard and woody, fruit initially divided by transverse septa about 5 mm, apart, each containing a single seed attached to ventral suture by a long dark, thread-like funicle about 8-12 by 6-8 mm, circular to oval, flattened, reddish-brown, smooth, extremely hard and with a distinct dark brown line extending from micropyle to base, seed initially embedded in a black viscid pulp consisting of black, thin, shining, circular disc like masses having central depression of seed on both surfaces or as broken pieces adhered with each other, when dipped in water makes yellow solution which darkness to brownish-yellow to dark brown, on keeping, pulp fills the cell but shrinks on drying and adheres to both sides of testa, seeds often lye loose in their segments, odour faint, sickly, taste, sweet.1

 

Parts Used:

Fruit Pulp, Stem Bark, Leaf

 

Phytochemistry:

Stem Bark - Anthraquinones, tannins, sterols.

Fruit Pulp - Sugar, mucilage, pectin and anthraquinone.1

Gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometric (GC-MS) analysis of C. fistula oil revealed the presence of antimicrobial compounds like beta-sitosterol, stigmasterol, ergosterol, betulinic acid, lupeol, fucosterol, alpha-amyrin and friedelin.2

 

As per Ayurveda:

           Rasa (Taste)                 : Stem Bark ? Bitter, Fruit Pulp ? Sweet, Bitter

           Guna (Property)           : Heavy

           Veerya (Potency)         : Stem Bark ? Cold, Fruit Pulp - Hot

           Vipaka (End Result)      : Stem Bark ? Pungent, Fruit Pulp ? Sweet

 

Pharmacological Actions:

Cassia fistula is well known for its laxative and antifungal properties due to anthraquinone compounds in the pods.3

Amaltas is Vatapittahara; its primary pharmacological actions are summarized as under:

 

Digestive System: 

i. The emulsion has been observed to be more efficacious than mineral oil in the management of functional constipation in children.4

ii. The leaf extract possesses hepatoprotective activity. 5

iii. Leaf also possesses significant anti-ulcer activity. 6

 

Endocrinal System:

i. C. fistula gold nanoparticles have promising antidiabetic properties. 7

 

Urinary System:

i. The fruit extract exerts nephroprotective effect. 8

 

Skin and Hair: 

i. The pod pulp exhibits significant antidermatophytic activity.3

 

Others: 

i. The leaves possess antiplasmodial and antimalarial activities. 9

ii. The fruit pulp?s extract exhibits considerable antibacterial and antifungal activities. 10

iii. C. fistula seed extract possessed good anticandidal activity and is a potential candidate for the development of anticandidal agents. 11

iv. Along with the other activities such as antitumor, antioxidant, hypoglycemic, hepatoprotective, antibacterial, hypocholesterolaemic, and antidiabetic activity, the healing potential of C. fistula provides a scientific rationale for the traditional use of this plant in the management of infected dermal wound. 12

 

Indications:

Constipation

Fever

 

References:

1. The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India, Part-1, Vol-1,5.

2. Irshad M, Ahmad A, Zafaryab M, et al. Composition of Cassia fistula oil and its antifungal activity by disrupting ergosterol biosynthesis. Nat Prod Commun. 2013 Feb;8(2):261-4.

3. Chewchinda S, Wuthi-Udomlert M, Gritsanapan W. HPLC Quantitative Analysis of Rhein and Antidermatophytic Activity of Cassia fistula Pod Pulp Extracts of Various Storage Conditions. Biomed Res Int. 2013;2013:821295.

4. Mozaffarpur SA, Naseri M, Esmaeilidooki MR, et al. The effect of cassia fistula emulsion on pediatric functional constipation in comparison with mineral oil: a randomized, clinical trial. Daru. 2012 Dec 3;20(1):83.

5. Pradeep K, Raj Mohan CV, Gobianand K, Karthikeyan S. Protective effect of Cassia fistula Linn. on diethylnitrosamine induced hepatocellular damage and oxidative stress in ethanol pretreated rats. Biol Res. 2010;43(1):113-25.

6. Karthikeyan S, Gobianand K. Antiulcer activity of ethanol leaf extract of Cassia fistula. Pharm Biol. 2010 Aug;48(8):869-77.

7. Daisy P, Saipriya K. Biochemical analysis of Cassia fistula aqueous extract and phytochemically synthesized gold nanoparticles as hypoglycemic treatment for diabetes mellitus. Int J Nanomedicine. 2012;7:1189-202.

8. Kalantari H, Jalali M, Jalali A, Salimi A, et al. Protective effect of Cassia fistula fruit extract on bromobenzene-induced nephrotoxicity in mice. Hum Exp Toxicol. 2011 Oct;30(10):1710-5.

9. Grace MH, Lategan C, Graziose R, et al. Antiplasmodial activity of the ethnobotanical plant Cassia fistula. Nat Prod Commun. 2012 Oct;7(10):1263-6.

10. Bhalodia NR, Nariya PB, Acharya RN, Shukla VJ. In vitro antibacterial and antifungal activities of Cassia fistula Linn. fruit pulp extracts. Ayu. 2012 Jan;33(1):123-9.

11. Jothy SL, Zakariah Z, Chen Y, Sasidharan S. In vitro, in situ and in vivo studies on the anticandidal activity of Cassia fistula seed extract. Molecules. 2012 Jun 7;17(6):6997-7009.

12. Senthil Kumar M, Sripriya R, Vijaya Raghavan H, Sehgal PK. Wound healing potential of Cassia fistula on infected albino rat model. J Surg Res. 2006 Apr;131(2):283-9.

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