AaduthinnapalaiAristolochia bracteolataLam. (Aristolochiaceae) used as Indian System of Medicine

Gajarajan M., 25 April 2019 கட்டுரை Read Full PDF

Gajarajan M.,

Damodaran R.,

Jayaraman P.,

Amarjothy S.,

Saraswathy A.,



India has a rich flora of medicinal plant species that are widely distributed throughout the country. The term Pharmacognosy and Pharmacodynamics were probably first coined by Johann Adam Schmidt (1959-1809). It is a vital link between Indian and Allopathic systems of medicine. Aristolochia bracteolatabelonging to the family Aristolochiaceae. Aristolochia bracteolata (Syn. name Aristolochia bracteata Retz).A. bracteolata is a slender perennial, stem 12-18 cm long, weak, prostrate, branched, striate and glabrous. Botanical standardisation on whole plants of A. bracteolatawas carried out in this paper.



diseases, rheumatism, scorpion bites, dental caries and scabies.


           Department of Plant Biology and Plant Bio-Technology, Preseidency College, Chennai.

           Plant Anatomical Research Centre (PARC), West Thambaram, Chennai.

           Captain Srinivasa Murti Drug Research Institute of Ayurveda, Arumbakkam, Chennai.



In all parts of the world, indigenous people discovered and developed the medicinal uses of native plants, but it is from the herbal medicine of ancient Greece that the foundations of Western medicine were established. Western medicine can be traced back to the Greek physician Hippocrates (460-377 BC), known as the Father of Medicine. According to data of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), more than 50,000 plant species are being used in the traditional folk medicine throughout the world (Schippmann et al., 2002).

Ayurveda, the ancient Indian therapeutic measure is renowned as one of the major systems of alternative and complementary medicine.Indian herbs and curry spices were also found to have other medicinal benefits for the treatment of cancer,Alzheimer's disease, heart disease, diabetes, indigestion, flu cold and fever.Pharmocognosists, being trained in both botany and phytochemistry, are able to make valuable contributions in the rapidly developing fields (Trease and Evans, 2001).


Vernacular name:


Sanskrit name : Dhumapatra
Hindi & Bengali name : Kiramar
Tamil name : Aaduthinna palai
English name : Bracteated birthwort


Fig: Field collection of Aristolochia bracteolata Lam. – Whole plant



The family Aristolochiaceae has 7 genera and 500 species. The principle genera Aristolochia with 350 spp.Genus Aristolochia includes perennial herbs or shrubs, prostrate or climbing. Leaves alternate, entire or lobed, often with a stipule like leaf of an undeveloped bud in the axil. Species of A. bracteolata Lam., Syn. name Aristolochiabracteata Retz., was put forward first (Hendry et al., 1987).A. bracteolata is a slender perennial, stem 12-18 cm long, weak, prostrate, branced, striate and glabrous. A. bracteolata are distributed in India from Hariyana, Utter Pradesh, West Bengal, Penninsula, Gujarat, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu (Vaidya Ratnam, 1994; Asima Chartterjee, 1991 and Anonymous, 1962).


Medicinal uses of A. bracteolata:

A. bracteolata is used as purgative, anthelmentic and emmenagogue. Juice of the leaves is applied to foul and neglected ulcers (Chopra et al., 1956). The leaves are also said to be analgesic, vermifuge and abortifacient (Anonymous, 1982; Dirdiri et al., 1987; Kirtikar and Basu, 1935).Decoction of the root is used as a tonic, stimulant, expelling roundworms and antiperiodic. It is also said to be useful in snake bite. (Chopra et al., 1956; Vaidhya Ratnam and Murugasa Mudaliyar, 1936).


Chemical constituents of A. bracteolata:

The leaves and fruits are reported to contain ceryl alcohol, β-sitosterol and aristolochic acid (Asolkar et al., 2000). The fatty acid constituents of the seeds is-myristic, palmitic, stearic, lignoceric and oleic acids. A nitrogen containing compound magnoflorine has also been reported in the seeds (Asima Chartterjee, 1991).



Botanical identity of the phytodrug is an essential prerequisite for undertaking the analysis of medicinal properties of any plants.The plant was identified and authenticated by Prof. Dr. P. Jayaraman, Plant Anatomy Research Centre, West Tambaram, Chennai-45, India.

A voucher specimen number A. bracteolatahave been deposited in the herbarium of Captain Srinivasa Murti Drug Research Institute for Ayurveda, Arumbakkam, Chennai-106.The paraffin embedded specimens were sectioned with the help of rotary microtome. Powdered materials of different parts were cleared with NaOH and mounted in glycerine medium after staining. Different cell component were studied and measured.




The species of Aristolochia have the common morphological features such as simple leaves, trimerous, bisexual, zygomorphic flowers; the plants are mostly woody veins.



The microscopic features of the midrib and lamina had much reliable diagnostic of plants are species level and at generic level (Metcalfe and Chalk, 1950, 1979).


Powder microscopy

The whole plant showed the presence of fibres, vessel elements and parenchyma in both plants. A. bracteolata shows vessels 130 to 280 µm in length and 50 to 189 µm in width, fibres 350 to 500 µm in length and fibre-tracheids 800 in µm


Fig. Vessel elements and Fibres
(Fi. Fibres; VE. Vessel Element)



A. bracteolata belongs to the Aristolochiaceae. Traditional uses of the whole plant A. bracteolata can be used as purgative, anthelmentic, emmenagogue, analgesic, vermifuge and abortifacient.



The micro-morphological studies and histochemical studies thus gave an indelible clue for the identification of the crude drugs.



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