Family: Acanthaceae

Bengali/vernacular name: Hargoza, Harkuch Kanta, Kotki.
English name: Holy-leaved Acanthus.

Description of the plant:
ACANTHUS ILICIFOLIUS L. is an erect prickly shrub, up to 1.5 m high, in clumps. Leaves 15 cm long, oblong or elliptic, pinnatifid or toothed, rigid with sharp spinous teeth on the margin. Flowers blue, in terminal interrupted spikes, 10-40.6 cm long. Capsules 3.7 by 1 cm, ovate-oblong.

Using information:
Root possesses expectorant properties; used in cough and asthma. Leaves are used as fomentation in rheumatism and neuralgia. As a stimulant the decoction of plant with sugarcandy and cumin is given in dyspepsia.

Acanthus Illicifolius

EtOH(50%) extract of aerial parts is diuretic; that of leaves graded analgesic in albino mice and antiinflammatory in carrageenin-induced oedema in rats (Asolkar et al., 1992). The crude extract of the root showed in vitro antihistamic activity on tracheal chain, but prevention of anaphylactic shock was partial (Ahmed et al., 2005).

Chemical constituents:
Aerial parts contain the alkaloids, acanthicifoline, oleanolic acid, ß-sitiosterol, lupeol, quercetin, its glucopyranoside and trigonelline. Roots contain triterpenoid, saponin and glycosides (Asolkar et al., 1992). Apigenin-7-O-glucuronide and a new flavone glycoside, methylapigenin-7-O- ß-D-glucuronate has been isolated from the leaves (Ghani, 2003).

In maritime swamps of southern Bangladesh.