Synonyms: Opuntia dillenii (Ker.- Gawl.) Haw.

Family: Cactaceae

Bengali/Vernacular Name: Phanimansa, Naghana.

English Name: Prickly Pear, Slipper Thorn.

Description of the Plant:
A spiny shrub with flattened, articulated, fleshy stems, up to 1.5 m high. Leaves 3.8 mm long, conical from a broad base. Joints 30-40 cm long, broadly obovate, not very thick, dull bluish-green. Aereoles large, bearing 4-6 prickles, the largest very stout, subulate, sharp, 2.5-3.8 cm long. Flowers 7.5 cm across, yellow tinged with orange. Berry pyriform, truncate, depressed at the apex.

Using Information:
The plant is digestive, carminative, diuretic and purgative; good for bronchitis of children, leucoderma, enlarged spleen, urinary burning, vesicular calculi and ophthalmia. Pounded plants are rubbed on scalp to clear dandruff. Leaves are used as a poultice to allay inflammation and heat; heated and applied to boils to hasten suppuration. Fruits are recommended as an expectorant and remedy for whooping cough, ashma and gonorrhoea (Yusuf et al. 2009).

Chemical Constituents:
Stems contain malate of manganese, a fatty acid, citric acid, wax, resin and sugar. Fruits contain carbohydrates (mucilage, sugars), albuminoids, fat, vitamin C and other fruit acids. Ripe fruits contain a red pigment, betanin. Flowers contain flavonoids, glycosides of iso-rhamnetin, quercetin, iso-quercitrin and narcissin. The plant also contains β-sitosterol, opuntiol and opuntiol acetate. A polysaccharide containing galactose and arabinose in 3:1 molar ratio has been isolated from pods (Ghani, 2003, Rastogi and Mehrotra, 1990 & 93).

Occasionally planted.


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Retutn from OPUNTIA ELATIOR to Medicinal Plants: Part O