Putrajivaka: Putranjiva roxburghii Uses, Remedies, Research

Putranjivaka- Putranjiva roxburgii is an Ayurvedic Herb used for the for the treatment of eye disorders, burning sensation, elephantiasis, difficulty in micturition, azoospermia and habitual abortions. The name Putranjivaka denotes- which promotes or give life to progeny, which promotes fertility, both in men and women. 

Latin name- Putranjiva roxburgii Wall.
Family- Euphorbiaceae

Putrajeevak Names in different languages:
Hindi name- Jiyapeeta, Putranjeev
English name- Child life tree, Indian amulet plant
Gujarathi name- Putrajiva, Putramjeeva, Putranjiv,
Kannada name- Putrajiva, Putramjiva
Malayalam name- Pongalam
Marathi name- Putajan
Tamil name- Irukolli
Telugu name- Kuduru, Putrajivika

Synonyms of Putrajeevak:
Garbhakar, Garbhada, Sutajeevaka – Which strengths the uterus and retains the fetus
Yashtipushpa – flowers resemble licorice
Artha Sadhaka, Mantrartha Siddhikrut – used for spiritual purposes
Kuta, Pavitra – Sacred

Morphology of Putranjiva roxburghii:
Putrajivaka is a moderate sized evergreen tree growing to a height up to 12m with pendent branches and dark grey bark having horizontal lenticels. The leaves are simple, alternate, distichous, stipule triangular, acute, caduceus, petiole 0.4-1 cm long, nearly glabrous, planoconvex in cross section. The flowers are unisexual, male flowers in axillary clusters and yellow in color.

Flowers bloom in the month of March and April. The fruits are round or ovoid in shape, 0.5-0.8 inch diameter. The seed present inside is solitary and slimy. Fruits are seen in between January to March. The tree can be seen all over India till 3000 feet altitude.

Medicinal properties of Puntrajiva:
Rasa (Taste) – Madhura (Sweet), Katu (Pungent),
Guna (Qualities) – Guru (Heavy), Picchila (Slimy)
Vipaka – Madhura (Undergoes sweet taste after digestion)
Veerya (Potency) – Sheeta (Cold)
Karma (Actions) – Vatapitta shamaka (reduces vitiated vata and pitta dosha)

Part used- Seed, Leaf
Seed powder- 1 to 3 g
Leaf juice- 10 to 20 ml

Chemical composition of Putranjiv:
The oil extracted from seed contains isopropyl and2-butylisothio-cyanates as the main constituents and 2-methyl-butyl isothiocyanate as a minor component. The iso-thiocyanates are produced on enzymic hydrolysis of glycosidic progenitors present in the kernels, viz. gluco putranjivin, gluco-cochlearin and gluco jiaputin respectively. An additional glucoside, gluco- cleomin has been identified in the seed kernel. A glycosidic pattern similar to that in the seed is reported in the shoots and roots. The fruit pulp contains a large portion of mannitol and small quantities of saponin glucosides and alkaloids. The seed coat gave putranjivoside, putranoside A, B, C and D, beta- sitosterol and tis beta-D-glucoside. The leaves have amentoflavone and its derivatives, beta-amyrin and its palmite, polyphenols, putranjiva saponin A,B,C, and D and stigmasterol. The bark contains friedelin, friedelanol, friedelanone, friedelan-3,7-di-one (putranjivadione), 3-alpha-hydro- xyfriedelan- 7-one (roxburgholone), carboxylic acid, putric acid, putranjivic acid.

Uses of Putranjivaka:

  • Ayurvedic classics have highlighted the importance of Putranjivaka as the one which helps in progenation. The powder of the seed is given in a dose of 1-3 g with milk to improve the sperm count in males and help in maintain the fetus in pregnant women.
  • The paste of the leaf is applied over the area affected with burning sensation.
  • Fresh juice of Putranjivaka is given in a dose of 10-15 ml to treat elephantiasis and the paste of the leaf is applied over the affected leg.
  • Cold infusion prepared from the leaves of Putranjiva roxburghii is given in a dose of 20-30 ml to treat difficulty in micturition.
  • The seeds of the seed of Putranjivaka is made into paste and applied as collyrium to treat eye diseases.

Traditional uses:
Vrushya – aphrodisiac, improves vigor
Guru – heavy to digest
Vishtambhi – constipative.
Srushtavinmutra – causes production of urine and feces
Hima – coolant
Kaphavata prada – can increases Kapha and Vata Dosha
Pittashamana – balances Pitta Dosha
Dahahara – Relieves burning sensation, as in gastritis, neuropathy, burning sensation in eyes etc
Trushnahara – Relieves thirst

Adverse effects: No adverse effect is known or reported after the normal use of Putranjivaka.

Ayurvedic Medicines containing Putranjivaka:
Lucap capsule: This is a proprietary ayurvedic medicine useful to treat dysmenorrhea, iron deficiency anemia, vaginitis and menorrhagia and corrects post-partum disorders.

Research articles related to Putranjiva roxburghii:
Hypoglycemic activity: In the present study diabetes was induced in albino rat models with alloxan monohydrate. Putranjiva roxburghii Wall. has been claimed to possess antidiabetic properties by many of leaves of Putranjiva roxburghii. The results showed that it has significant antihyperglycemic effect in experimental model of diabetes mellitus.
Anti- bacterial and Anti- oxidant activity: For antibacterial activity the methanolic extracts of 12 plants leaves were extracted. The antibacterial testing in vitro was done following disc diffusion method against Bacillus subtilis, Erwinia herbicola, Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhi, Pseudomonas putida Staphylococcus aureus Klebsiella pnemoniae ,Vibrio cholera.Amongst the leaf methanolic extracts tested, the extracts of Aegle marmelos (L.) Corre, Anethum graveolens L and Eupatorium capillifolium (Lam.) Small showed significant antibacterial activity against the bacterial pathogen. Putranjiva roxburghii Wall showed highest antibacterial activity followed by Artabotrys hexapetalus (L.f.) Bhandari. The 2, 2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging assay was used to determine the antioxidant activity of potent extract. Putranjiva roxburghii Wall showed the appreciable antioxidant activity.

Cytotoxic action: The present study was designed to investigate the cytotoxicity of methanol extract of seeds of Putranjiva roxburghii Wall (Euphorbiaceae). The preliminary phytochemical screening of methanol extract showed the presence of phenols, alkaloids, saponins, steroids, flavonoids and glycosides. The extract showed cytotoxicity with LC50 of 427.74 μg/ml in brine shrimp lethality assay.

Classical categorization:
Bhavaprakasha Nighantu- Vatadi varga
Kaiyyadeva Nighantu- Oushadhi varga
Raja Nighantu- Prabadradi varga

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Malpighiales
Family: Putranjivaceae
Genus: Putranjiva Wall.

Author: Dr.B.K.Prashanth M.D (Ayu), Ph.D
E mail: drprashanthbk@gmail.com
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  1. Dear Doctor
    Thanks for the this info.
    Putranjivaka – Powder is available in market or not ?
    to extract powder from fruit is very complicated… plz suggest someone to bring powder of Putranjivaka in market.

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