CASSYTHA FILIFORMIS L.

Family: Lauraceae

Bengali/Vernacular Name: Akasbel.

Description of the Plant

A parasitic, herbaceous, leafless plant; stem very long, cord-like, twined and matted together, dark green. Flowers small, sessile, in lax lateral divaricate spikes, 1.3-5 cm long. Fruit 6 mm across, white, globose, smooth, enclosed in the fleshy perianth-tube.

Using Information

The plant is alterative, tonic astringent, aphrodisiac and diuretic; used in bilious affections, urethritis, chronic dysentery, dropsy, anasarca, skin diseases, seborrhoea, congestion, rheumatism and waist pain. The plant is reported to be used as an insecticide. The plant contains an alkaloid, which produces cramps and in large doses even death. The stem powder mixed with sesame oil is used as a hair tonic.

Chemical Constituents

Plant contains alkaloids, cassythine, cassyfiline, nantenine, laurotetamine, cassamedine, cassameridine, cassythidine and its oxymethyl derivative, dulcitol (Rastogi & Mehrotra, 1990; Ghani, 2003).

Distribution

Mainly Chittagong, Khulna.


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