Bandaka: Dendrophthoe falcata Uses, Remedies, Research

Bandaka- Dendrophthoe falcata is a herb mentioned in Ayurveda for the treatment of diarrhea, swelling, renal calculi, epilepsy and protection of the fetus. 

Latin name- Dendrophthoe falcate Linn.
Family- Loranthaceae

Names in different languages:
Hindi name: Bandaa, Banda, Banda Patha
English name: Mistletoe, Honey Suckle
Bengali name: Maandaa, Bandha, Pharulla
Gujarathi name: Baando, Bando
Kannada name: Badanike, Maduka
Konkani name: Bemdram
Kashmiri name: Ittikkanni, Itil
Malayalam name: Itil, Ittikkanni
Marathi name: Bandagul, Bandgul, Vanda
Punjabi name: Pulluri
Tamil name: Baadanikaa, Jiddu
Telugu name: Jeevakamu, Badanika, Jiddu, Yelinga

Sanskrit Synonyms of Bandaka:
Padaparuha, Vrksadani, Vrksaruha, Vrikshabakshya, Taruruha – Plant is parasitic in nature
Samharsa, Gandhabhedini, Tarubhaksha, Drupadi, Shekhari, Kamarupaka, Kamini, Padmarupini,

Morphology of Dendrophthoe falcata:
Banda is indigenous to India, Srilanka, Thialand, Indo-China border and Australia. It is a much branched, bushy flowering hemi-parasitic plant classified as mistletoes.

Though it photosynthesizes but depends on host plant for water, nutrients and minerals. It sucks the tree by penetrating through xylem and phloem.

Leaves are simple, leathery, entire, thick, persistent, sessile or semi sessile, 7.5 – 18 by 2 – 10 cm, petiolate, exstipulate, alternate or in whorls of three or opposite, and evergreen.

Flowers are large, tubular, bisexual and bright red colored, develop in clusters, red in color and are arranged in spike. Fruits are pseudocarp, where ovary got fused with receptacular cup developing a berry like fruits which are single seeded. The disease for which Vanda is used depends on the host plant as it draws water and minerals from the host plant.

Properties:
Rasa (Taste) – Kashaya(Astringent), Tikta (Bitter), Madhura (Sweet)
Guna (Qualities) – Laghu (Light for digestion), Ruksha (Dry in nature)
Vipaka – Katu (Undergoes Pungent taste after digestion)
Veerya (Potency) – Sheeta (Cold)
Karma (Actions) – Kaphapitta shamaka (reduces vitiated kapha and pitta dosha)

Part used- Whole plant
Dosage-
Fresh juice- 10 to 20 ml

Chemical composition of Dendrophthoe falcata:
The plant contains several flavonoids. Being parasitic, different flavonoids have been recorded in plants growing on different host plants. Quercitrin has been found to be the major common constituent. The plant also contains gallic, ellagic and chebulinic acids. The plant also contains kempferol, rutin11, tannins, β-sitosterol, stigmasterol, β-amyrin and oleanolic acid.

Uses of Bandaka:

  • The paste of the leaf of Bandaka is applied over wounds for quick healing.
  • The juice of the leaf of Dendrophthoe falcate is given in a dose of 10-15 ml to treatrenal calculi and retention of urine.
  • Fresh juice in a dose of 5-10 ml is given with buttermilk to treat diarrhea.
  • The paste of Bandaka is applied over area affected with swelling and pain.
  • The juice of the plant is used to treat epilepsy and psychiatric diseases.
  • The juice of Bandaka is used to retain fetus in patients having chances of abortion.

It is to be noted that the medicinal use of Bandaka depends on the plant in which the plant is found.

Adverse effects: No known adverse effect is reported after the normal use of Bandaka

Research articles related to Dendrophthoe falcata:
Neuro- behavioral toxicity: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the neurobehavioral toxicity of the hydroalcoholic extract from D. falcata growing on the host plant Azadirachta indica, after subacute exposure. The LD50 was assessed in female wistar rats and was found to be 4550mg/kg by oral route. The plant extract was administered in three different doses i.e. 250mg/kg, 475mg/kg and 950mg/kg body weight/day for a period of four weeks. Our results suggest that hydroalcoholic extracts from aerial parts of D. falcata should be relatively free from any serious neurobehavioral toxicity and safe to use.

Anti- inflammatory study: Methanolic and aqueous extracts of Dendrophthoe falcata Linn. leaves which belongs to the Loranthaceae family, were evaluated through DPPH (1, 1-diphenyl -2-picryl-hydrazyl), antilipid peroxidation and nitric oxide scavenging methods to assess the antioxidant activity. Methanolic and aqueous extracts of Dendrophthoe falcata leaves were also evaluated for their anti-inflammatory activity by carrageenan and cotton pellet induced granuloma tests for their effect on the acute and chronic phase inflammation models in rats. It was found that the methanolic extract of Dendrophthoe falcata leaves demonstrates potent antioxidant activity as compared to aqueous extraction of Dendrophthoe falcata leaves for DPPH (1, 1-diphenyl-2-picryl-hydrazyl) radical scavenging, anti-lipid peroxidation and nitric oxide scavenging activity respectively (having IC50 value 77.8, 79.36 and 86.2, 144, 87, 104).

Anti- tumor action: The objective of the present study is to explore the anticancer activity of the ethanolic and aqueous extracts of the Dendrophthoe falcata in Swiss albino mice against Ehrlich Ascites Carcinoma (EAC) cell line. Anticancer activity of ethanolic and aqueous extracts of D. falcata was evaluated in EAC Swiss albino mice at the doses of 200 and 400 mg/kg body weight orally. The results demonstrated that the extract has potent dose dependent anticancer activity comparable to that of cisplatin. Aqueous extract at both doses (200 and 400 mg/kg) and ethanolic extract at 400 mg/kg dose showed potent anticancer activity.

Contraceptive action: This study evaluated the antifertility effects of a methanolic extract of Dendrophthoe falcata stem in male albino rats. Testicular sperm count, epididymal sperm count, and sperm motility were observed to significantly decline (p < 0.001), resulting in reduction of male fertility by 100 percent as compared with that of control animals not treated with the plant extract. The extract arrested spermatogenesis at various stages of development. The results suggest that oral administration of crude methanol extract of D. falcata stem can lead to a sterile state in the male rat.

Classical categorization:
Dhanvantari Nighantu- Karaveeradi varga
Bhavaprakasha- Guduchyadi varga
Raja Nighantu- Parpatadi varga

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Santalales
Family: Loranthaceae
Genus: Dendrophthoe
Species: D. falcata

Author:  Dr.B.K.Prashanth M.D (Ayu), Ph.D
E mail: drprashanthbk@gmail.com
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