ALSTONIA SCHOLARIS (L.) R. Br.

Family: Apocynaceae

Bengali/Vernacular Name: Chhatim, Chhaitan; Khami, Satni, Chhatni (Sylhet).

Tribal Name: Sesna (Chakma); Chaile (Mogh); Sakehan, Sokchuan, Bor-chhak-chhan (Garo); Chong Laong, Chai Lang (Marma); Chenchana Gaith (Tanchangya).

Eng. Devil’s tree, Dita bark tree.

Description of the Plant:

A medium-sized, sometimes very tall, evergreen trees with copious white latex; branches whorled. Leaves 10-20 cm long, coriacious, oblong-lanceolate, whorled. Flowers small, greenish white, in many flowered capitate cymes. Fruits 30-60 cm long, narrow, cylindrical follicles, pendulous in clusters.

Using Information:

The bark is astringent, tonic, anthemintic, laxative, febrifuge, alterative and antiperiodic. It is a valuable remedy in chronic diarrhoea and the advanced stages of dysentery; also useful in catarrhal fever, skin diseases and malaria. The milky juice is applied to ulcers and mixed with oil in earache. Sap, gum and roots are used in cancer.

Leaves posseses potential antibacterial activities against Bacillus subtilis, B. cereus, B. magaterium, Shigella dysenteriae, Staphylococcus aureus and Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Tania, 2004). EtOH(50%) extract of the stem bark is hypotensive and anticancer. Strictamine, alkaloid present in flowers, showed monoamine oxidase inhibitor activity in vivo and in vitro; and antidepressant in CNS (Asolkar et al., 1992).

Chemical Constituents:

Principal constituents of leaf, barks of stems and roots are indole alkaloids, picrinine, nareline, akuammicine, scholarine, strictamine, tetrahydroalastonine, detamine, echitenine, echitamine, ditamine, echitamidine, stigmasterol, ß-sitosterol, campesterol, flavanols, a- & ß-amyrin, lupeol, lupeol acetate and phenolic acids. Fresh leaves also contain five alkaloids, including nareline, akuammidine, picralinal, picrinine and ?-akuammigine. Stem bark contains echitamine, a glycoside of venoterpine, sterols, ß-sitosterol, triterpenes, saponins, lactones, a-amyrin acetate. Bark has also been reported to contain a blood sugar reducing agent.

alstonia scholaris
ALSTONIA SCHOLARIS (L.) R. Br.

The non-alkaloidal constituents of the leaves are ß-sitosterol, betulin and ursolic acid. Flowers contain the alkaloids picrinine (reported to possess central nervous system depressant action), strictanine and tetrahydroalastonine. They also contain n-hexacosane, lupeol, ß-amyrin, palmitic and ursolic acids and an essential oil. Trunk bark and fruit contains rhazine (Ghani, 2003; Asolkar et al., 1992).

Distribution:

All over Bangladesh in forest and village thickets.