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Department of Health in the Philippines
Scientific Research on Medicinal Herbs
Scientific name: Vitex Negundo
Lagundi is a shrub that grows in the Philippines. It is one of the ten herbal medicines endorsed by the Philippine Department of Health as an effective herbal medicine with proven therapeutic value. Lagundi has been clinically tested to be effective in the treatment of colds, flu, bronchial asthma, chronic bronchitis and pharyngitis. Studies have shown that Lagundi can prevent the body’s production of leukotienes which are released during an asthma attack. Lagundi contains Chrysoplenol D – a substance with anti-histamine properties and muscle relaxant.
Plant Description: The Lagundi plant can grow up to five meters tall. It has a single woody stem. Lagundi distinctive feature are the pointed leaves with five leaflets set like a hand.
• Relief of asthma and pharyngitis
• Relief of rheumatism, dyspepsia, boils diarrhea (roots)
• Treatment of chough, colds, fever and flu and other bronchopulmonary disorders
• Alleviate symptoms of Chicken Pox
• Removal of worms and boils
Hepatoprotective effect of Vitex negundo against carbon tetrachloride-induced liver damage
Leaf decoction for fever, headache, toothache, cough, asthma.
(1) For fever and toothaches, boil 6 tbsp of the chopped leaves in 2 glasses of water for 15 minutes; strain and cool. Divide the decoction in 3 parts and take one part every 3-4 hours. Also, bruised leaves may be applied to forehead.
(2) For asthma and cough: Take 1/4 of the decoction three times a day.
Pounded leaves applies on the forehead and temples for headaches.
(3) Aromatic bath or sponge bathing: Boil 4 handfuls of leaves in a pot of water for 5 minutes; use the lukewarm decoction for sponge bathing.
(4) Wounds and ulcers: Use infusion of leaves as wash.
• In Ayurveda and Unani, leaves and seeds used for rheumatism and joint inflammation. Decoction of leaves taken as a diuretic.
Lagundi has been proven to be an effective analgesic and antitussive (prepared as a pleasant tasting cough syrup) and has been considered as a replacement for dextromethorphan in the public health system.
Studies have shown benefit through reduction of coughing and relaxation of the bronchial smooth muscles. Being promoted by the Department of Health (DOH) for cough and asthma. One of a few herbs recently registered with the Bureau of Foods and Drugs (BFAD) as medicines.
• Anti-Venom: Snake venom neutralization by Indian medicinal plants (Vitex negundo and Emblica officinalis) root extracts: A methanolic extract study of VN showed it possesses potent snake venom neutralizing capacity and suggests further investigation.
• Anti-Inflammatory: Vitex negundo Linn (VN) leaf extract as an adjuvant therapy to standard anti-inflammatory drugs: VN significantly potentiated antiinflammatory activity of phenylbutazone and ibuprofen in albino rats.
• Anti-Inflammatory Activity: Anti-inflammatory Activity and Mechanism of Action of Vitex negundo Linn: Study suggests VN possess anti-imflammatory activity against acute and sub-acute inflammation probably due to prostaglandin inhibition and reduction of oxidative stress.
• Antibacterial: Essential oil composition and antibacterial studies of Vitex negundo linn. extracts: : Study showed the essential oils and extracts to have antibacterial activity. Ethyl acetate and ethanol extracts showed prominent antibacterial activity against all tested strains.
• Antifungal: (1) New antifungal flavonoid glycoside from Vitex negundo: Study found a new isolated flavone glycoside and a known compound to have significant antifungal activity against Tricophyton mentagrophytes and Cryptococcus neoformans. (2) Ethanol extract of fruit seeds showed significant activity against Fusarium solani and moderate response against Microsporum canis with no effect against C albicans.
• Larvicidal: Differential larvicidal efficacy of four species of Vitex against Culex quinquefasciatus larvae: The methanolic extracts of all Vitex species showed varying levels of larvicidal activity.
• Anthelmintic: Study of ethanolic extracts of Moringa oleifera and Vitex negundo on anthelmintic activity against Indian earthworm Pheritima posthuma showed both to have dose dependent activity, with Moringa oleifera showing more activity.
How to make lagundi syrup
• Clean fresh lagundfi leaves and chop.
• In 4 glasses of water, boil 4 tablespoons of minced lagundi leaves for 50 minutes.
• Strain the liquid extract and add 1 part honey to 4 parts extracts.
• Boil in an earthen pot or enamel-lined saucepan for 15 minutes until the desired viscosity is attained; cool.
• Pour the syrup in clear amber-colored bottles.
Chemical constituents and properties
Leaves contain a high percentage of potassium salts (0.7 gm in 100 grams of fresh leaves.
From dried leaves, a small amount of volatile oil and a bitter alkaloid, orthosiphonin.
Considered anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and hypoglycemic.
Decoction of leaves used for kidney and bladder problems and other afflictions of the urinary tract.
Also used for its diuretic effect.
Poultice of leaves or chewed leaves stuffed onto painful tooth.
Java Tea is derived from Orthosiphon aristatus, touted for its diuretic action, kidney flushing benefits for kidney and bladder stones.
• Antihypertensive: Antihypertensive actions of methylripariochromene A from Orthosiphon aristatus, an indonesian traditional medicinal plant : Methylripariochromene A (MRC), isolated from the leaves of OA showed blood pressure lowering effect and a vasodilating action, decrease cardiac output and diuretic action. It supports the traditional use of the plant for hypertension treatment.
• Na+,K+-ATPase Inhibition: In the study of ten Thai indigenous medicinal plants, O aristatus showed high potent inhibitory activity .
• Three Indonesian medicinal plants were studied for their biologically active constituents. Three benzochromenes and four isopimarane-type diterpenes isolated from the leaves of Orthoshiphon aristatus were shown to exhibit inhibitory effects on
smooth muscle contractions caused by several stimulants
• Diuretic: O. stamineus extract exhibited dose-dependent diuretic activity with a significantly increased excretion of K. There was also slight increase of BUN, creatinine and blood glucose levels, although statistically significant when compared to control , the levels were considered within normal range. Although less potent than furosemide and HCTZ, care should be taken in its consumption because of alterations in kidney parameters.
• Nephrolitihiasis Study : In a randomized control trial of Orthosiphon versus placebo, no statistically significant difference was found.
• Hepatoprotective : A study on the methanol extract of leaves of Orthosiphon staminues against paracetamol-induced hepatotoxicity showed treatment with OS extract brought back the alterered biochemical markers in a dose-dependent manner suggesting hepatoprotective activity.
• Diuretic / Hypouricemic : A study on the methanol extract of OS showed significantly increased excretion of sodium and potassium excretion in a pattern comparable to hydrochlorothiazide. It also showed reduced serum urate level in hyperuricemic rats. Study provides evidence towards a diuretic and hypouricemic effect in rats.
• Chronic Toxicity Test : A study on the chronic toxicity of water extract of Orthosiphon aristatus on Wistar rats showed that high doses of the extract caused a reduction of serum sodium levels in all extract-treated groups and increase alklaine phosphatase level and incidence of hydrocalyx in male rats, therefore advising that the prolonged use of OA should be avoided.
Chemical constituents and properties
Roots are considered antihelminthic, expectorant, febrifuge, sedative, vulnerary.
Seeds are rich in carbohydrates (58%) and proteins (19%).
Fair source of calcium and iron; good source of vitamin B.
Chemical studies reveal: 2′-2’methylcajanone, 2′-hydroxygenistein, isoflavones, cajanin, cahanones, among many others.
Parts used and preparation
Decoction or infusionn of leaves for coughs, diarrhea, abdominal pains.
Tender leaves are chewed for aphthous stomatitis and spongy gums.
Pulped or poulticed leaves used for sores.
In Peru, leaves are used as an infusion for anemial, hepatitis, diabetes, urinary infections and yellow fever.
In Argentina, leaves used for genital and skin problems; flowers used for bronchitis, cough and pneumonia.
In China, as vermifuge, vulnerary; for tumors.
In Panama, used for treatment of diabetes (See study below).
In Indian folk medicine, used for a variety of liver disorders.
Used mainly for its edible young pods and seeds.
Vegetable food crop ( seeds and pods) in South-East Asia.
As forage or hay.
Branches and stems for basket and fuel. (Source)
• Clinical studies have reported seed extracts to inhibit red blood cell sickling and potential benefit for people with sickle cell anemia.
• Antiplasmodial constituents of Cajanus cajan: Study shows compounds from roots and leaves of CC showed moderately high in vitro activity against Plasmodium falcifarum strain.
• Hypocholesterolemic Effect: Study on the stilbenes containing extract-fraction of CC showed a hypocholesterolemic effect possibly through enhancement of hepatic LDL-receptor and cholesterol 7-alpha-hydroxylase expression levels and bile acid synthesis.
• Evaluation of traditional medicine: effects of Cajanus cajan L. and of Cassia fistula L. on carbohydrate metabolism in mice: Contradicting its traditional use for diabetes, CC did not have a hypo effect on sugar, aand at higher doses produced a hyperglycemic effect.
• Antimicrobial: Antimicrobial effect of leaf extracts of pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan (L.) millsp.) on some human pathogens : Study shows the plants extract to be inhibitory to some bacterial pathogens.
• Antimicrobial / Antifungal: Nigerian study on the antimicrobial effects of the ethanol and aqueous extracts of locally available plants, including C cajan, showerd inhibition against S aureus, P aeruginosa, E coli and C albicans. The extracts of C cajam produced wider zones of inhibition against C albicans.
• Hyperglycemic Effect: Study of the aqueous extract of C cajan leaves showed a hyperglycemic effect, suggesting a usefulness incontrolling hypoglycemia that may be due to excess of insulin or other hypoglycemic drugs.
• Hepatoprotective: Study of the methanol-aqueous fraction of C cajan leaf extract showed it could prevent the chronically treated alcohol induced rat liver damage and presents a promise as a non-toxic herb for therapeutic use in alcohol-induced liver dysfunction.
Nutritional Value of Pigeon Pea (Red Gram, Toor, Congo Pea, Gunga Pea)
Pigeon Pea commonly known as Red Gram, Toor, Congo pea or Gunga Pea is yellow colored legume. It is cooked and used as food in day to day life.
Nutrition Facts and Information about Pigeon Pea: Pigeon Pea is rich is potassium, phosphorus, magnesium and calcium. It has good amount of iron and selenium and small amount of zinc, copper and manganese.
Vitamin Content of Pigeon Pea: Pigeon Pea has good amount of Vitamin A, Niacin and small amount of thiamin, riboflavin, Vitamin B6, folate and pantothenic acid.
Calorie Content of Pigeon Pea: 100g of Pigeon Pea has 343 calories. Calories from fat are 12.
Health Benefits of Pigeon Pea: Pigeon Pea cures cough, poisoning effect, gas troubles, acidity, stomach pain and piles. It makes a balanced human food, quells swelling of internal organs and with water it cures intoxicating effects.
Chemical constituents and properties
• From the seed is produced a bitter fixed oil, nimbidin, known as “Oil of Margosa” or neem oil.
• Neem seeds yield a fix oil of glycerides and bitter compounds including nimbin, nimbinin and nimbidol.
• Neem bark and leaves contain tannin and oil.
• Azadirachtin, the insecticide constitutent of the seeds, is biodegradable, non-mutagenic, and nontoxic to birds, fish, and warm-blooded animals. The EPA has approved a neem formulation (Margosan-O) as a pesticide for limited use on nonfood crops
• Antiinflammatory (nimbidin, sodium nimbidate, gallic acid, catechin, polysachharides).
• Antiarthritic, hypoglycemic, antipyretic, hypoglycemic, diuretic, anti-gastric ulcer (nimbidin)
• Antifungal (nimbidin, gedunin, cyclic trisulfide)
• Antibacterial (nimbidin, nimbolide, mahmoodin, margolone, margolonone, isomargolonone)
• Spermicidal (nimbin, nimbidin)
• Antimalarial (nimbolidfe, gedunin, azadirachtin)
• Antitumor (polysaccharides)
• Immunomodulatory (NB-II peptoglycan, gallic acid, epicatechin, catechin)
• Hepatoprotective (aequeous extract of neem leaf)
• Antioxidant (neem seed extract)
Parts used and preparation
Poultice of leaves for swollen glands, brusies and sprains.
Fresh leaf-tea used for malaria.
Tree and root barks have been used for malaria, jaundice, and for intestinal parasitism.
Edible pulp of the fruit used for hemorrhoids.
Leaf- leprosy, intestinal parasites, eye problems, skin ulcers
Bark – pain and fever.
Flower – bile suppression, intestinal worms and phlegm.
Fruit – piles, intestinal worms, urinary disorder, nose bleeding , phlegm, eye problem, diabetes, wounds and leprosy.
Twig – cough, asthma, piles, intestinal worms, spermatorrhoea, urinary disorders, diabetes.
Gum – ringworms,scabies, wounds and ulcers.
Seed pulp and oil- leprosy and intestinal worms.
Young tender branches are chewed for toothbrushing use.
Leaf’s oil is used as a local antiseptic and insecticide.
Neem oil may be useful for gingivitis.
In the rural areas, burning of leaves and seeds used as mosquito repellant.
Neem oil has been shown to possess some spermicidal and contraceptive properties when used intravaginally.
Use of neem oil in animals showed lowering of glucose
Neem extracts used in the manufacture of toothpaste for its antibacterial properties.
Fresh seed oil has a strong garlic odor and is an ingredient for insect sprays.
• Studies have suggested hypoglycemic, antiulcer, antifertility, antimalarial, antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral, anticancer and antioxidant effects.
• Effect of essential oils from two Nigerian medicinal plants (Azadirachta indica and Morinda lucida) on growth and aflatoxin B1 production in maize grain by a toxigenic Aspergillus flavus: Oils from A indica completely suppressed aflatoxin synthesis.
• Lipid Effects / Antiviral: Effect of Supplemental Garlic and Neem Leaves in Broiler Feeds on Blood Cholesterol, Triglycerids and Antibody Titer: Study showed neem had greater potential than garlic in reducing cholesterol, triglycerides and increasing the antibody titers against viruses.
• Anti-ulcer: Mechanism of antiulcer effect of Neem (Azadirachta indica) leaf extract: effect on H+-K+-ATPase, oxidative damage and apoptosis: Study suggests antiulcer activity is achieved by blocking acid secretionn through inhibition of H+K+ATPase and preventing oxidative damage and apoptosis.
• Anti-candidal: Anticandidal activity of Azadirachta indica: Study suggested hexane and alcoholic extracts to have anticandidal potential.