CLITORIA TARNETEA L.

Family: Fabaceae

Bengali/Vernacular Name: Aparajita, Nila.

Tribal Name: Bay Song Kra (Murong); Amio (Marma).

English Name: Butterfly Pea.

Description of the Plant

A perennial twining herb. Leaves imparipinnate; leaflets 5-7, subcoriaceous, 2.5-5 cm long, elliptic-oblong, obtuse. Flowers large, axillary, solitary; corolla 3.8-5 cm long, cobalt blue or pure white. Pods 5-10 cm long, flat, nearly straight, sharply beaked.

Using Information:

White Flowered Variety: The root is cooling, laxative, diuretic, alexiteric, anthelmintic and tonic to the brain; good for ulcers of cornea, tuberculous glands, elephantiasis and headache; cures leucoderma, burning sensation, pains, biliousness, inflammations and ulcers. Roots are used as a contraceptive by the tribal in Madhupur.

Blue Flowered Variety: The root has all the properties of that of the white flowered variety; in addition, it is considered aphrodisiac; useful in dysentery, bronchitis, asthma, consumption, ascites, abdominal enlargement and fever; used as poultice for swollen joints. Decoction of the root bark is given as a demulcent in the irritation of the bladder and urethra.

Leaf juice mixed with the juice of fresh ginger is administard in cases of colliquative sweating in hectic fever and mixed with common salt is applied warm all around the ear in earaches. Flower juice mixed with mother's milk or honey is given for three days to alleviate cough of children. The seeds are purgative, aperient and cathartic.

Powder of the roasted seeds is used in cases of ascites, enlargement of abdominal viscera, weakness of sight, sore-throat, tumours, affections of the skin and dropsy.

CLITORIA TARNETEA L.
CLITORIA TARNETEA L.

Chemical constiteunts

Leaves contain a lactone aparajitin, glycosides of kaempferol, stigmastone, ß- and ?-sitosterols and d-lactone compounds. Seeds contain a fixed oil, tannins and a bitter resinous principle. They also contain cinnamic acid, flavonaol glycosides; hexacosanol, ß-sitosterol, ?-sitosterol and an anthoxanthin glucoside. A phenol glycoside, 3,5,7,4'-tetrahydroxyflavone-3-rhamnoglycoside, an alkaloid, ethyl a-D-galactopyranoside and p-hydroxycinnamic acid polypeptide have been isolated from defatted seeds.

Root bark contains tannin, taraxerol and taraxerone. Malvidin-3ß-glucoside, delphinidin-3ß-glucoside and 3'-methyl ether of delphinidin-3ß-glucoside have been isolated from blue flowers. Plant also contains stigmast-4-ene-3,6-dione. (Ghani, 2003; Rastogi & Mehrotra, 1990 & 93).

Distribution

Cultivated in gardens all over the country.


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