Family: Cuscutaceae

Bengali/Vernacular Name: Swarnalata, Tarulata, Algusi, Halde Algushilata.

Tribal Name: Jigro (Marma); Ching oh sak (Tanchangya).

English Name: Dodder.

Description of the Plant

A slender leafless, greenish-yellow, epiphytic, parasitic, twining annual. Flowers small, white, solitary or in umbellate clusters of 2-4 or short racemes. Capsules small, depressed-globose.

Using Information

Plant is regarded as alterative, astringent, expectorant, carminative, tonic, purgative, diuretic and anthelmintic, and reported to have anti-fertility properties; used in jaundice in Rema-Kalenga. Decoction of stem is useful in constipation, flatulence, liver complaints and bilious affections.

Fruits are used in fever and cough. Seeds are depurative, sedative, emmenagogue, diuretic, carminative, tonic, diaphoretic and demulcent; useful in diseases of the liver and the spleen, chronic fever, griping, hiccup and stomachaches; the infusion is given in ophthalmia. The plant extract is used for stomach pain.

Water soluble portion of fresh alcoholic extract is relaxant and spasmolytic on guinea pig and rabbit ileum; also has an Ac-choline like action; extract has antifertility action in albino rats (Asolkar et al., 1992).

Butanol fraction of the extract of Cuscuta reflexa showed wide range of biological activities, such as relaxation of histamine induced Guineapig tracheal chain, inhibition of rabbit jejunum and contraction of rat uterus (Gafur et al., 1993).


Chemical Constituents

The plant contains flavonoids (including kaempferol and quercitin), hydroxycinnamic acid, coumarins and flavonoid glycosides, scoparone, melanettin, quercetin and hyperoside. It also contains a colouring matter, cuscutin; a lactone, cuscutalin, the glycosides, iso-rhamnetin-3-O-neohesperidoside and apigenin-7-O-rutinoside and lycopene. Seeds contain a fixed oil, a colouring matter, amarbelin, a bitter resin and reducing sugars (Ghani, 2003). Plant yields different compounds like D-mannitol, dulcitol, luteolin and kaempferol when grows on different hosts (Chopra et al., 1969). Plants grown on Mangifera indica contains mangiferine (Asolkar et al., 1992).


Grow as parasites on other plants throughout the country.

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