Indian Squill Urginea indica Uses, Research, Side Effects

Vana palandu Urginea indica is an Ayurvedic herb used for the tretament of skin diseases, respiratory diseases, dysmenorrhea, intestinal worms and ascites. 

Latin name- Urgenia indica Kunth, Syn. Drimia indica
Scilla indica.Roxb, Scilla hyacinthiana (Rotha) machbr.
Urginea coromandeliana(Roxb) Hook. F
Urginea wightiana Hook are also used in the name of Vanapalandu.
Family- Liliaceae

Indian Squill: Names in different languages:
Hindi name – Jangli pyaz, Jangalikanela, Kanela
English name – Indian Squill
Bengali name – Banpiaaj, Janglipiaaj, Kande
Gujarati name – Janglikanda, Ranakando
Malayalam name  – Kanthanga, kattulli
Marathi name – Janglipyajha, Rankada
Punjabi name  – Kachwassal, Phaphor
Tamil name   – Nasivengayam
Telugu name  – Adavithellagadda, Nakkavalligadda
Urdu name  – Janglipiyoz 
Persia –  Piyazedashtiehindi, Piyazemoshehindi
Bombay name –  Kachinda, Kolkanada, Janglikanda, Tokesun
Bengal – Banpiaaj, Janglipiaaj, Kande
Arabic  – Aansalehindi, Basalefar, Basalelundal

Sanskrit synonyms:
Kolkanda- Food for wild animals
Krimigna- Kills the intestinal worms
Putalu, Suputa, Panjala, Vastrapanjala, Putakanada,

Morphology of Urginea indica (Jangli Pyaz)
It is a small plant growing to a height of 1.5 to 2.5 feet. The leaves are radical, appearing after the flowers, linear and acute. The flowers are small, pale green to white, very distant, on slender, laxly flowered racemes. The fruit is round, 0.5 to 0.8 inch in diameter having 6-8 flat seeds inside. The rhizome is round, fleshy, about 1-2 inch in diameter and brown in color. The plant is found all over India.

Medicinal Properties of Indian squill:
Rasa (Taste) – Katu (Pungent), Tikta (Bitter)
Guna (Qualities) – Laghu (Light for digestion), Teekshna (Strong)
Vipaka – Katu (Undergoes Pungent taste after digestion)
Veerya (Potency) – Ushna (Hot)
Karma (Actions) –Vata shamaka (reduces vitiated vata dosha), Pittavardaka (Increases pitta dosha)

Part used- Rhizome
Dosage-
Powder- 150 to 200 mg
Cold infusion- 40-60 drops
Syrup – 30- 60 drops
Tincture – 5-30 drops

Chemical composition:
The major chemical compositions of Vanapalandu are
Scillarenin
Scilliglaucosidins
Scillirosidins

Bulb contains Scillaren A and Scillaren B, two glycosides(0.03%), Mucilage matter 51%, sugar and ash 5% which contain crystals of calcium oxalate and calcium citrate.

Uses of Vana palandu:

  • The rhizome of Van palandu is made into paste and applied over the area effected with skin disease and localized swelling as part of treatment.
  • In condition of ascites, the fresh juice of the rhizome of Indian squill is given in a dose of 15-20 ml as part of treatment.
  • The rhizome of Urginea indica is heated and the juice is extracted which is given in a dose of 15-20 ml in conditions of rhinitis and cough.
  • In condition of difficulty in micturition, the cold infusion of Vana palandu is given in a dose of 40-50 ml.
  • The decoction of the rhizome of the plant is given in a dose of 30-40 ml to treat dysmenorrhea.
  • The herb acts similar to digitalis leaf; hence the rhizome of the plant is given in conditions of irregular heart beat and weakened cardiac muscles.
  • The decoction of Vana palandu is given in a dose of 25-30 ml to treat intestinal worms.

Pharmacology:
Cardio tonic stimulate
Expectorant
Diuretic properties

In larger doses, it is
emetic
cathartic
cardiac depression
The alcoholic extracts of the  bulbs possesses anticancer activity against human epidermoid carcinoma of the nasopharynx in tissue culture and against friend-virus  leukaemia in the mice.

Adverse effect: Increased dose administration of the rhizome can lead to nausea, vomiting and abdominal cramps.

Research on Urginea indica:
Gastro intestinal stimulant: The crude aqueous-methanol extract of Urginea indica bulb (Ui.Cr) was tested on mice and isolated gut preparations. Ui.Cr (0.01–1 mg/mL) caused a spasmogenic effect in guinea-pig ileum that was reproduced in rabbit jejunum (0.01–0.3 mg/mL) followed by relaxation at a higher concentration. These data, indicating the presence of a gastrointestinal stimulant effect in Urginea indica possibly mediated through a cholinergic mechanism, provide a rationale for the use of Urginea indica in indigestion and constipation.

Anti- oxidant activity: The present study was focused on the Antioxidant activity along with assessment of total Phenol, Vitamin C content of methanolic extract of two species of Urginea, U.indica and U.wightii bulbs. Urginea indica reported more DPPH scavenging activity about 92.24 % than Urginea wightii which is about 35.80 %. Similarly ABTS scavenging activity also more in U.indica (71.82 %) than U.wightii (9.95 %) in higher concentration respectively. The potential antioxidant activity may be due to the presence of more Vitamin C and the plant is capable of offering protection against free radical mediated damages.

Anti- inflammatory action: The anti-inflammatory action of the alcoholic Extract of the bulb of the plant Urginea indica was evaluated in rats (female) against carrageenan induced edema i.e., using plethysmographic method. The effects of the extract were compared with the classical anti-inflammatory drug – Ibuprofen. The crude extract and the standard drug were orally administered. A significant anti-inflammatory effect was produced with the   Alcoholic Extract of the plant part. This effect was then compared with the effect from the classical anti-inflammatory drug.

Classical categorization:
Raja Nighantu- Moolakadi varga
Nighantu Adarsha – Lashunadi Varga

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales
Family: Asparagaceae
Subfamily: Scilloideae
Genus: Drimia
Species: D. indica
Binomial name Drimia indica (Roxb.) Jessop

Habitat:
Bihar, Konkan, Himachal Pradesh, Bilaspur, Mandi of India.

Adulterants and substitutes:
Scilla indica is resembling with Kolakanda (Urgenia-indica Kunth) Small portion of scilla hyacinthiana is also sometimes admixtures. Squill bulbs of Scilla indica and most probably the bulks of both plant (Urgenia & Scilla) are replaced or inter mixed in market drug material.

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