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Agnimantha Health Benefits and Uses
What is Agnimantha?
- Agnimantha is a large shrub or tree attaining a height of up to 9 m, with yellowish bark, dotted with lenticels, the branches sometimes spiny.
- The name Agnimantha is derived from its use during Vedic period, where its stem/ sticks were used to produce fire (The Wealth of India,1972).
- Other Sanskrit names of Agnimantha are Vahnimantha and Havirmantha also indicates, that the tree was used to produce fire in the sacrificial ceremonies by rubbing the sticks together (Sivarajan and Indira, 1996).
The Botanical Name of Agnimantha is Premna integrifolia
Agnimantha has the below properties
- cardio tonic
- Premna integrifolia
- Premna obtusifolia
- Premna corymbosa, Verbenaceae
Health benefits, Indications and uses
The different uses of Agnimantha were mentioned in Rig-Veda and Atharva-
Veda. In Astanga Sangraha, the plant is described by the name Arani which is the synonym of Agnimantha.
- flatulent colic
- skin diseases
- urinary disease
- The leaves of Agnimantha are very useful to relieve severe pain
- Useful to treat anaemia
- This herb boosts the immune system
- insufficient lactation
- inflammatory joint disease
- The decoction of its root is helpful in treating the painful micturition
- It pacifies kapha dosha
- Most helpful in treating the urinary tract infections
What Medical research:
- Studies conducted by Kar et al. (2003) revealed the hypoglycaemic activity of Premna integrifolia along with 24 known medicinal plants.
- Dash et al. (2005), studied the antihyperglycemic activity of the roots of Premna corymbosa which was conducted on both normoglycemic and hyperglycemic rats at dose levels 200-400mg/kg.
- As revealed in this study, the extract produced marked reduction in blood glucose concentration at tested dose levels in a dose dependent manner.
- However in normoglycemic animals the extract at 400mg/kg dose level produced significant reduction of blood glucose at the 8th hour of administration.
- Thiruvenkata and Jayakar (2010) studied the effect of extracts of Premna corymbosa on blood glucose levels and serum lipid profile (total cholesterol, triglycerides, phospholipids, low density, very low density and high density lipoprotein) in the diabetic and non diabetic rats.
- The study revealed significant reduction in Total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, VLDL cholesterol and improvement in HDL cholesterol in diabetic rats, there by proving the antidiabetic and antihyperlipidaemic activity of this medicinal plant in HDL cholesterol in diabetic rats (Thiruvenkata and Jayakar, 2010).
- Antipyretic, anti-inflammatory (Narayanan et al 2000)
- hypoglycaemic, hypotensive (Kapoor 1990)
Agnimantha is a constituent of the bṛhatpañcamūla (the roots drugs of 5 tree species) which in turn is a part of daśamūla used in Ayurvedic pharmaceutical practices.
Traditionally, the concept of bṛhatpañcamūla envisages the usage of root/ root bark of these tree species.
By and large, use of stem bark came into vogue many decades ago for this sub-group of daśamūla. Going by descriptions in Ayurvedic lexicon of medicinal plants- two species are considered as Agnimantha viz. Clerodendrum phlomidis L.f. (Fam.: Lamiaceae) and Premna integrifolia L. (Syn. Premna serratifolia L) (Fam.: Lamiaceae).
Objective: With an objective to address sustainability concerns associated with use of root or stem bark a comprehensive study was carried out on bṛhatpañcamūla group. This study kept the anti-inflammatory profile of candidate extracts in the centre-stage. As a part of this study, comparative assessment of two species used as Agnimantha was also carried out.
Study Methodology: Different plant parts (Root bark, Stem bark, Leaves and Young roots) of C. phlomidis and P. integrifolia were collected from different parts of India. Each sample was extracted successively into four solvents. These extracts were evaluated for their anti-inflammatory profile using a battery of in-vitro assays, involving inhibition of regulatory enzymes like 5-lipoxygenase (5-LOX), cyclooxygenase 1&2 (COX-1 & COX-2) and analysis of the expression of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines in LPS-stimulated RAW 264.7 cells.
Result and Conclusions: Both the species were observed to exhibit anti-inflammatory activity of varied degrees in this study. However, the sample of 12 months old roots of P. integrifolia was found to possess profound effect on all markers of inflammation. This sample was followed by 36 months old roots of C. phlomidis in terms of anti-inflammatory profile. Basing on these observations, the study suggests the use of 12 months roots of P. integrifolia (often referred to as Bṛhat-agnimantha) as part of daśamūla. Since the harvesting cycle is of 12 months, it is possible to produce the roots using High-Density Short-Term plantation protocols to address the sustainability concerns associated with use of root or stem bark.