BARRINGTONIA ACUTANGULA (L.) Gaertn.

Family: Barringtoniaceae

Bengali/vernacular name: Hijal, Kumia.

Description of the plant:
BARRINGTONIA ACUTANGULA (L.) Gaertn. is a small to medium evergreen tree, with spreading crown. Leaves about 12.5 cm long, cuneate-elliptic, minutely denticulate-crenate. Flowers small, fragrant, dark scarlet, in slender pendulous many-flowered racemes, up to 30 cm long. Fruit 2.5-3.7 cm long, bluntly quadrangular, broadest in the middle.

Using information:
Juice of the leaves is given in diarrhoea and dysentery. Roots are cooling, aperient and expectorant, stimulating and emetic; supposed to be similar to Chincona in its properties. The fruit is astringent to the bowels, lactagogue, vulnerary, anthelmintic; useful in biliousness, bronchitis, sore eyes, gleet, lumber pain, nasal catarrh and hallucinations. Seeds are carminative and emetic; with juice of ginger used in catarrh of the nose and respiratory passages; applied to chest to relieve pain and cold; to the abdomen to relieve colic and flatulence. Seeds are also reported to relieve seminal weakness and gonorrhoea. The bark is given as astringent in diarrhoea and blenorrhagia, and as a febrifuge in malaria.


Barringtonia Acutangula
BARRINGTONIA ACUTANGULA (L.) Gaertn.


EtOH(50%) of root is hypoglycaemic and that of stem bark is antiprotozoal (Asolkar et al., 1992).

Chemical constituents:
Leaves contain a trihydroxy triterpene monocarboxylic acid, acutangulic acid, and other organic acids, barrigtogenic, tangulic and oleanolic acids; saponins and sapogenins, acutagenol A and acutagenol B, three triterpenoid sapogenols, barringtogenols, B, C and D, E, two triterpenoid acid sapogenins, stigmasterol glucoside, ß-sitosterol and ß-amyrin. Fruits contain barringtogenol D, C and B, saponins and barrigenic acid. Seeds contain triterpenoid glycosides, barringtogenin. Bark contains tannins and a small amount of sapogenin. Wood contains a triterpenoid dicarboxilic acid, barrigtonic acid and other tirterpenoids, barrigenic acid and hexa-hydorxytriterpene, tanginol. Branch wood cotains barringtogenol E and triterpenic acid, barrinic acid (Ghani, 2003; Rastogi & Mehrotra, 1993).

Distribution:
Occur in the fresh water swamp forests of Sylhet ("Haor"). Also occur along the canels and roadside ditches throughout the country.