Lodhra (Symplocos racemosa) is one of the ancient herbs in the Ayurveda which is an integral part of the Symplocaceae family. It is explained in Ayurveda that the entire plant of Lodhra is beneficial including the roots, leaves, stem bark, and flowers. It is also named ‘DivyaAushadi’ which stands for a divine herb in Sanskrit.
Lodhra is an evergreen tree of topical origin consisting of dried stem bark of Symplocos racemosa Roxb. (Fam. Symplocaceae): 6 to 8.5 m tall, found abundantly in plains and lower hills all over India. The stem is grayish-brown to pale whitish and is rough marked. The leaves of the plants are simple with a narrow apex and attenuate base with a slightly curved margin.
As per Ayurveda, Lodhra is indicated in Raktapitta, Jwara, Pravahika, Shwetapradar as internal medicine and for the external application it is indicated in Raktaja Vikara (disease), Twaka Vikara, Netra Vikara, and for Mukha Vikara as well.
Scientific Classification of Lodhra (Symplocos racemosa):
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Division: Spermatophyta
- Sub-division: Angiospermae
- Class: Dicotyledonae
- Sub-class: Metachlamydae
- Order: Ebenales
- Family: Symplocaceae
- Genus: Symplocos
- Spices: racemose Roxb.
Lodhra (Symplocos racemosa) Synonyms:
- Sanskrit: Rodhra, Paittka Lodhra, Sabara Lodhra, Tirita.
- Assamese: Mugam
- Bengali: Lodha, Lodhra
- English: Symplocos bark
- Gujrati: Lodhaz
- Hindi: Lodha
- Kannada: Lodhra
- Kashmiri: Kath
- Malayalam: Pachotti
- Marathi: Lodha, Lodhra
- Punjabi: Lodhar
- Tamil: Vellilathi, Vellilothram
- Telugu: Lodhuga
- Urdu: Lodh, Lodhpathani
Lodhra (Symplocos racemosa) Description:
a) Macroscopic:Mature stem bark are discovered in channeled or curved pieces, few fiat pieces also found in thickness up to 1 cm, the outer surface is rough and uneven due to fissures and cracks, grayish brown to grey externally, pale to whitish-brown internally, fracture short and granular in the cortical region and somewhat fibrous in the inner region, the taste is astringent and faintly bitter.
b) Microscopic:Transverse section of mature bark shows a wide cork of thin-walled, rectangular cells set out in radial rows, cork cambium 1 to 3 layered, secondary cortex comprises of thin-walled, tangentially elongated and oval parenchymatous cells directed to outer side and rounded cells towards inner side, a number of stone cells which are in singles or in groups are present, spread throughout the region having highly thickened walls with distinct pits, prismatic and cluster crystals of calcium oxalate, and starch grains, mostly simple attending in a number of cortical cells.
The secondary phloem wide consisting of sieve elements, phloem parenchyma, stone cells and phloem fibers, phloem parenchyama thin-walled, rectangular to oval, containing prismatic crystals of calcium oxalate spread in phloem parenchyma, phloem fibers lignified and present in singles or in groups, crystals not present in fibers, isolated fibers spindle formed with pointed ends, groups of stone cells as rounded patches spread throughout phloem region, medullary rays are uni to multiseriate consisting rectangular cells having brown coloring matter in some cells, broader medullary rays are dilating in direction of outer phloem region, a number of phloem cells also transfer starch grains, mostly arranged in groups, rarely solitary, simple and rounded.
Identity, Purity, and Strength of Lodhra (Symplocos racemosa):
- Foreign matter Not more than Nil percent, Appendix 2.2.2.
- Total Ash Not more than 12 percent, Appendix 2.2.3.
- Acid-insoluble ash Not more than 1 percent, Appendix 2.2.4.
- Alcohol-soluble extractive Not less than 9 percent, Appendix 2.2.6.
- Water-soluble extractive Not less than 15 percent, Appendix 2.2.7
Chemical Constituents of Lodhra (Symplocos racemosa):
Lodhra contains Alkaloids (loturine and colloturine) and red coloring matter.
Ayurvedic Properties and Action of Lodhra (Symplocos racemosa):
- Rasa: Kasaya
- Guna: Laghu
- Virya: Sita
- Vipaka: Katu
- Karma: Chaksushya, Grahi, Kaphapittahara
Ayurvedic Formulation made by Lodhra (Symplocos racemosa):
The most important formulations of Lodhra are Rodharasava (Lodhrasava), Pusyanuga Churna, Brihat Gangadhara Churna, Dashamoolarishta, and Arimedadi Taila.
Therapeutic Uses of Lodhra (Symplocos racemosa):
Lodhra is mentioned in Ayurveda to be beneficial for Sotha, Atisara, Netraroga, Raktapitta, Pradara.
Dose of Lodhra (Symplocos racemosa):
- 3-5 g of the drug in powder form.
- 20-30 g of the drug in for decoction.
Ayurvedic Pharmacopeia of India.
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