Amla Its Constituents and Usefulness
Biological Source :
The drug consists of the dried fruits and seeds of Psorcueo corylifolia Linn.
Natural Distribution :
The plant grows widely throughout India.
The plant is an annual herb attending a height of 60 cm to 1 m. Prominent groove of glands and white hairs are present on the stem and branches. Bluish purple flowers bloom from August to November. Fruits are minute, ovate, oblong, glabrous, rounded or mucronate and pitted; about 4 mm long, 2-3 mm broad; dark chocolate or black in color, with pericarp attached to seeds: odorless, taste is bitter, acrid and unpleasant. Seeds are kidney shaped. 2-4 mm long, 2-3 mm broad, smooth exalbuminous with straw colored hard testa.
Bavchi contains fixed oil (10%), essential oil (0.2), resin and the furanocoumarins like psoralen, isopsoralen, psoralidin, isopsoralidin and corylifolean. The seeds contain flavonoids such as bavachalcone, bavachinin, isobavachalcone, bavachin and isobavachin: monoterpenoid phenol named bakuchiol. Other compounds isolated from the seeds are 4-O-methylbavachalcone. 7-O-methylbavachin. neobavaisofiavone, bavachromene, triacontane, ß-sitosterol-D-glucoside and corylidine. The seed oil yielded limonene, a-elemene, ß-caryophyllene oxide, 4-terpineol. linalool, geranyl acetate, angelicin, psoralen and bakuchiol.
Fruits of Psoralea also contain isoflavones corylin. corylinal, neobavaisoilavone. psoralenoi and chalcones like 5-formyl-2,4-dihydroxy-4-methoxychalcone and bavachromanol.
Bavchi is used to cure leucoderma and other skin diseases. It is the principal constituent of the famous Ayurvedic restorative tonic called CHAYAVAN PRASH.Seeds are used as stomachic, deobstruent, anthelmintic. diuretic, diaphoretic, febrile conditions, bilious affections, in leprosy, psoriasis and inflammatory diseases of the skin and leucoderma. The drug in taken orally as well as locally applied in the form of paste or ointment. Psoralen and isopsoralen possess the curative action of Psoralea in leucoderma.