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Gandarussa

Plant Part Used

Leaves, twigs, and roots

Active Constituents

The leaves have beta-sitosterol; lupeol; friedelin; 2-amino-0-methyl-benzyl alcohol; 2-(2’-amino-benzylamino)-0-methyl-benzyl alcohol; 2-amino-benzyl alcohol; 2-(2’-amino-benzylamino)-benzyl alcohol, justicineand high potassium content. The root contains justicine and volatile oil. (1) , (2) , (3)

Introduction

Gendarussa vulgaris probably originated from China. However, nowadays it grows throughout southeastern Asia and Malaysia. It is widely cultivated into ornamental plants as hedges. There are two types of Gendarussa vulgaris, the one with purplish sap and named gandarusa hitam (Malay); the other green, and called gandarusa puteh (Malay). They are branched shrubs, 0.6 – 1.2 m high and the leaves are 8-12.5 cm long and 1.2 – 2 cm wide. The flowers are white or pink and spotted red in the throat and lip.

In Malaysia Gandarussa is used both as magic and medicine. The plant is made into a brush for stroking the sick man's body to chase the devil causing sickness out of him. The leaves are ground with Nigella seeds and an onion to make a poultice for headaches. A decoction of the leaves is used in a bath to treat worm infestation in children; rubbed on the abdomen for stomach problems; applied as a lotion for swellings and rheumatism and mixed with betel leaves in a bath after confinement. The leaves are taken internally as a diaphoretic, febrifuge, and purgative. It is also reported as a remedy for amenorrhea, stomachache, hemoptysis, cough, and asthma. (4) , (5) , (6) , (7)

Dosage Info

Dosage Range

Not supported by experimental or scientific data.

The twigs of Gandarusa are made into a poultice for backaches. The poultice may be applied midway along the patient’s back for about 1 hour. The fresh leaves are used for bone fractures, sprains and cuts. The leaves are pounded then rubbed and spread onto the affected area and bandaged. The fresh leaves or decoction of the leaves are taken orally and regularly as an antidote for drunkenness and food poisoning.

Most Common Dosage

Not supported by experimental or scientific data.

The twigs of Gandarusa are made into a poultice for backaches. The poultice may be applied midway along the patient’s back for about 1 hour. The fresh leaves are used for bone fractures, sprains and cuts. The leaves are pounded then rubbed and spread onto the affected area and bandaged. The fresh leaves or decoction of the leaves are taken orally and regularly as an antidote for drunkenness and food poisoning.

Standardization

No standard marker have been reported. Other standard profiles have been documented in the Malaysian Herbal Monograph. (8)

Toxicities & Precautions

Introduction

The herb should be used with caution as it was shown in a rat study that the decoction or alcoholic extract of the root of doses of 10-20g/kg was antipyretic and depressant which could cause violent diarrhea and eventually death. (9)

Side Effects

Information is not available

Pregnancy/ Breast Feeding

Use of this herb should be avoided in pregnant and lactating women unless recommended or after consultation with physician.

Age Limitations

Safety in children and the elderly has not been established.

Pharmacology

There are no pharmacological studies reported in humans, but the decoction or alcoholic extract of the root was shown to have an antipyretic effect in doses of 10-20/kg in rats. (10)

References

  1. Chakravaty AK, Dastidar PPG, Pakrashi SC. Simple aromatic amines from Justiciagendarussa, 13C NMR spectra of the bases and their analogues. Tetrahedron. 1982;38:1797–1802.
  2. Perry LM. Medicinal Plants of East and Southeast Asia. Cambrige, Massachusetts: The MIT Press; 1980:3–4.
  3. Jayaweera. Medicinal Plants (Idigenous and Exotic) Used in Ceylon. The National Science Council of Sri Lanka, Colombo. 1981;(1):17.
  4. Perry LM. Medicinal Plants of East and Southeast Asia. Cambrige, Massachusetts: The MIT Press; 1980:3–4.
  5. Jayaweera. Medicinal Plants (Idigenous and Exotic) Used in Ceylon. The National Science Council of Sri Lanka, Colombo. 1981;(1):17.
  6. Burkill IH. A Dictionary of the Economic Products of the Malay Peninsula. Government of the Straits Settlements and Federated Malay States. Millbank, London. 1935;1(A-H):1065–1067.
  7. Burkill IH. Malay Village Medicine Gardens’ Bulletin Straits Settlements. 1929;6:237, 458.
  8. Ismail Z, Ismail N, Lassa J. Malaysian Herbal Monograph. Malaysia Monograph Committee. Kuala Lumpur. 1999;1:33–34.
  9. Hutchins LG. The effect on the body temperature of rats of certain drugs described in the Pen-tsao. Chem Abs. 1937;31:2688.
  10. Hutchins LG. The effect on the body temperature of rats of certain drugs described in the Pen-tsao. Chem Abs. 1937;31:2688.

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