A Bimonthly Digest on Natural Products

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May - June 2005





Research Article

Management of root knot nematode Meloidogyne incognita on tomato with botanicals
B Saravanapriya and M Sivakumar

IPC code; Int. cl.7— A01N 65/00                                                                                    158

Review Article

Medicinal uses and biological activities of Vitex negundo, Vishal

R Tandon

IPC code; Int. cl.7 A61K 35/78, A61P 1/00, A61P 17/00                                          162


Protective role of flavonoids in cardiovascular diseases
Mukesh Nandave, S K Ojha and D S Arya

IPC code; ¾ A61P 9/00, C07D 311/00                                                              166


Antimicrobial, antifungal and insecticidal investigations on essential oils: An Overview
Gurdip Singh and Sumitra Maurya

IPC code; ¾ C11B 9/00, A61K 35/78, A61P/00, A61P 31/04, A01N 65/00, A23L 3/3472                                                                                                                             179



Value added products from green tea
Merina Benny

IPC code; Int. cl.7―A23F3/00, A23F3/22, A23F3/30, A61K35/78                             177


Green Page: Article

Effect of corms weight on quality of Saffron (Crocus sativus Linn.)
R Omidbaigi

IPC code; Int. cl.7A01G 9/00                                                                                     193


Explorer: Article

Indigenous knowledge and medicinal plants used by Vaidyas in Uttaranchal, India
Chandra Prakash Kala, Nehal A Farooquee, and B S Majila

IPC code; Int. cl.7 A61K 35/78                                                                                  195


Unani Tips

Gastritis (warm-e-medah) ― Prevention and Cure

  Asad Abbas and Shakir Jamil                                                                                       205

Internet News

Researchers develop chemical process to use cotton-gin residue                                       226

Maximizing the anti-cancer power of broccoli                                                                   226

Potatoes pack a punch against hepatitis B                                                                         226

Herbal extracts for soil-borne diseases                                                                             227

Fats help body fight TB                                                                                                    227

Carrot component may reduce cancer risk                                                                       227



Post Harvest Technologies at CIPHET                                                                            228

NABARD Schemes                                                                                                        228



Workshop on "Public-Private Partnership: A Change Over to Value Added Oilseeds in India"                          230

Forthcoming Conferences, Seminars, Exhibitions and Trainings                                                                         232


Classified Digests


Beverage                                       207

Dye                                               209

Fishery                                          211

Food                                   212

Fruit                                               213

Insecticide/Larvicide                 215

Oil/Fats                                                                  216

Poultry                                          217            

Spices                                            217

Therapeutics                                 218

Vegetable                                      223


In Brief                                         224

Book review                                 229

Readers write                              156

Editorial                                       157

Subscription Form                        231

Guidelines to Authors                 233

Index                                             235





Natural Product Radiance
Vol.4, May-June
, 2005, pp. 158-161


Management of root knot nematode Meloidogyne incognita on tomato with botanicals


B Saravanapriya* and M Sivakumar


A field experiment was conducted for the management of Meloidogyne incognita infecting tomato with five botanicals, viz. leaves of Calotropis gigantea (Linn.) R. Br. ex Ait. , Tagetes erecta Linn. and  Azadirachta indica A. Juss. ; seeds of Citrullus lanatus ( Thunb.) Matsumura & Nakai and Areca catechu Linn. Results showed statistically significant increase in both seed germination as well as seedling establishment in all the treatments when compared with control. Seed treatment with dry powder of C. gigantea leaves gave the highest germination (98.0%) and high percentage of established seedlings (99.6%). Root dip treatment with leaf extract of C. gigantea resulted in significant reduction of the soil nematode population at 45 days after transplanting and at harvest (87.3% and 90.0%, respectively) and lowest gall index (1.7) with increase in fruit yield, 23.9%.


Keywords: Root knot nematode, Meloidogyne incognita, Tomato, Botanicals, Calotropis gigantea.


IPC code; Int. cl.7A01N 65/00


Review Article


Natural Product Radiance

Vol.4, May-June, 2005, pp. 162-165


Medicinal uses and biological activities of Vitex negundo


Vishal R Tandon


Vitex negundo Linn. is credited with innumerable medicinal activities like analgesic, antiinflammatory, anticonvulsant, antioxidant, bronchial relaxant, hepatoprotective, etc. The ethanolic extract of leaves has been found safe as LD50 dose (by oral route) of it was recorded in non-toxic dose range. Larger trials are required to prove its all activities before it is recommended in future for clinical use, but it carries a great potential to be developed as a drug by the pharmaceutical industry. In this paper general medicinal uses and pharmacological activities of various parts of the plant have been reviewed.


Keywords: Vitex negundo, Sambhalu, Nirgundi, Medicinal uses, Analgesic, Antiinflammatory, Anticonvulsant, Antioxidant, Insecticidal, Pesticidal.


IPC code; Int. cl.7A61K 35/78, A61P 1/00, A61P 17/00


Review Article


Natural Product Radiance

Vol.4, May-June, 2005, pp.166-176


Protective role of flavonoids in cardiovascular diseases


Mukesh Nandave, S K Ojha* and D S Arya


Flavonoids are low molecular weight, polyphenolic compounds present in all vascular plants. They are primarily recognized as the pigments responsible for autumnal burst of hues and yellow, orange and red shades in flowers and fruits. Flavonoids have been shown to possess a variety of biological activities at nontoxic concentrations in living organisms. Compelling data from various in vivo and in vitro experimental and several epidemiological studies have demonstrated the beneficial effects of dietary flavonoids. The mechanisms of their cardioprotective effect have been thought to stem from their free radical scavenging, antioxidant, anti-thrombotic, anti-apoptotic and anti-hypertensive effects. Based on the results of clinical studies, it would be suffice to say that flavonoids could be promising cardio-protective agents.


Keywords: Flavonoids, Cardioprotection, Cardiovascular diseases.


IPC code; ¾ A61P 9/00, C07D 311/00



Natural Product Radiance

Vol.4, May-June, 2005, pp. 177-178


Value added products from green tea

Merina Benny


In order to protect the quality of green tea, it can be made into standardized extracts based on the active ingredients like polyphenols and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), the major catechin. Value added products formulated from green tea extract form a new approach into the field of nutraceuticals. This increases the export potential as well as the sale in domestic markets. Value added products like organic green tea extract and green tea extract capsules developed by Arjuna Natural Extracts Ltd. have been included in this article for the interest of tea drinkers, researchers and entrepreneurs.


Keywords: Green tea extract, Green tea extract capsules, EGCG, Catechins.


IPC code; Int. cl.7A23F 3/00, A23F 3/22, A23F 3/30, A61K 35/78


Review Article

Natural Product Radiance

Vol.4, May-June, 2005, pp. 179-192


Antimicrobial, antifungal and insecticidal investigations on essential oils: An overview

Gurdip Singh* and Sumitra Maurya

            There is increasing interest both in the industry and in the scientific research for aromatic and medicinal plants because of their potential applications in medicine and plant disease control measures. The antimicrobial, antifungal and insecticidal properties of plant essential oils are well established against wide spectra of organisms such as fungi, bacteria and insects. These properties are mainly due to many active phytochemicals including vitamins, flavanoids, terpenoids, carotenoids, coumarins, curcumines, etc. and hence, they are of great importance in food industry and offer the possibility to substitute natural for synthetic preservatives and other products.


Keywords : Essential oils, Antimicrobial, Antifungal, Antibacterial, Insecticidal, Preservative.

IPC code; ¾ C11B 9/00, A61K 35/78, A61P/00, A61P 31/04, A01N 65/00, A23L 3/3472.

Green Page: Article


Natural Product Radiance

Vol.4, May-June, 2005, pp. 193-194


Effect of corms weight on quality of Saffron (Crocus sativus Linn.)

R Omidbaigi


                        The stigma of saffron flowers is not only used in food, confectionary and liquor industries but also has medicinal properties and is used as appetizer, digestive and sedative. Due to high economical efficiency of saffron, its cultivation is increasing in country. Corm weight has significant effect on the quality of stigma of saffron flowers. The results of present study conclude that by selecting corms of 15 g weight for planting high quality saffron stigma could be obtained.


Keywords: Saffron, Kesar, Crocus sativus, Corms.


IPC code; Int. cl.7A01G 9/00


Explorer: Article

Natural Product Radiance

Vol.4, May-June, 2005, pp. 195-204



Indigenous knowledge and medicinal plants used by Vaidyas in Uttaranchal, India

Chandra Prakash Kala*, Nehal A Farooquee, and B S Majila


The indigenous knowledge of Vaidyas (the traditional healers) on making the herbal drugs was studied in the Uttaranchal state of India. Interviews and semi-structured questionnaire surveys were conducted among 60 traditional Vaidyas on the preparation of various herbal drugs. The survey has resulted in compilation of 135 herbal drugs, which are used by them for curing 55 types of ailments. In Uttaranchal, generally the traditional Vaidyas follow some specific guidelines for collection of medicinal plants from wild. They frequently use Ocimum sanctum Linn., Piper nigrum Linn., Curcuma domestica Valet., Brassica campestris Hook.f. & Thoms. and Raphanus sativus Linn. for making various herbal drugs. There is a sharp decline in the number of recognized Vaidyas due to several reasons.


Keywords: Indigenous knowledge, Vaidyas, Traditional healers, Uttaranchal, Medicinal plants, Ailments, Herbal drugs.


IPC code; Int. cl.7A61K 35/78


Unani Tips

Natural Product Radiance

Vol.4, May-June, 2005, pp. 205-206


Gastritis (warm-e-medah)
Prevention and Cure

Asad Abbas, **Shakir Jamil


Gastritis is a mild irritation, inflammation or infection of the stomach lining. It may appear suddenly for short time or become chronic.



According to Unani system of Medicine gastritis is caused by Sue mizaj medah (derangement of temperament of stomach), Kasrat-e-ghiza (excessive intake of diet), excessive intake of strong tea, coffee, condiments and sauces, which causes the irritation or injury to the stomach. In Modern System of Medicine, gastritis can be caused by NSAIDs (Asprin, Ibuprofen, Indomethacin and Piroxycam), stress in ICU patients (Burn, massive haemorrhage, renal failure, sepsis, hypotension, trauma or  post surgical state), CNS trauma (cushing’s ulcer) by intracranial injury, increased intracranial pressure due to the brain tumour or sub-dural hematoma, gastric ischaemia, corrosive substances such as strong acids (HCl and H2SO4), strong alkalies (sodium hydroxide) and  bacterial infections.


General symptoms

Sometimes there are no symptoms at all.  However, some of the most common symptoms are abdominal upset, cramping and pain, belching, abdominal bloating, nausea and vomiting, mild fever, loss of appetite, feeling of fullness, burning in the upper abdomen and weakness. Blood in vomit or black stool may be a sign of bleeding in the stomach, which may indicate a serious problem requiring immediate medication. The physician may suspect gastritis by listening to the medical history. However, the only certain way to make the diagnosis is endoscopy and biopsy of the stomach lining.

Do’s & Don’ts

·        The patient should undertake a fast for two or three days or more during the illness

·        Drink warm water during the period of illness.

·        Fruit diet like apple, pear, grape, grapefruit, orange, pineapple, peach and melons may be taken. Curds and cottage cheese are useful.

·        Eat regularly and moderately.

·          If possible avoid drugs that are irritating to stomach.

·          Avoid foods, which are not easily digestible.

·          Don't eat solid foods on the first day of the attack, give stomach a rest and drink liquids only, milk or water are preferred.

·        Add bland foods to the diet slowly and as tolerated (cooked cereals, bananas, rice, potatoes and toast) and avoid greasy and spicy foods.

·        The patient should avoid the use of alcohol, tobacco, spices, condiments, meat, red pepper, sour foods, pickles, strong tea and coffee.

·        The patient should avoid the hard mental or physical work, anxiety, worry and anger.

·        Patient should be given complete rest.


Home made Unani formulations


Formulation 1


Saunf (Foeniculum vulgare Mill.) 1g, narkachoor [Zingiber zerumbet (Linn.) Smith] 1g, darchini (Cinnamomum zeylanicum Breyn. ) 1g, boil in 120 ml of water and strain it and then take twice daily after meals.


Formulation 2


Barg-e-tulsi (Ocimum sanctum Linn.) Q.S. grind with water and make paste and then apply on the gastric region.


Formulation 3


Saunf 2g, naushadar (Ammonium chloride) 2g and Soda khurdani (Sodium bicarbonate) 4g, make a fine powder and take 500mg with water two or three times daily.


Formulation 4


Make a fine powder of equal parts of naushadar, suhaga biryan and satte podina (Mentha longifolia Linn.) and take 500mg of this powder with water.


Formulation 5


Podina 1g, dana ilaichi khurd (Elettaria cardamomum Maton) 1g and saunf 1g; boil in 120 ml of water and strain it and take once or twice daily.


Formulation 6


Mastagi (Pistacia lentiscus Linn.) 12g, saunf 12g, dana ilaichi kalan (Amomum subulatum Roxb.) 12g; make a fine powder and take 3g with water twice daily after meals.


Formulation 7


Insert 125mg heeng (Ferula foetida Regel) in maweez munaqqa (Vitis vinifera Linn.) and take it with water.


Formulation 8


Grind gul-e-surkh (Rosa damascena Mill.) 4g in 60 ml of water, strain it and then take as such.


Formulation 9


Grind 3g Rai (Brassica nigra Linn.) with sirka (vinegar) and make a paste, then spread on a piece of cloth and apply on gastric region; remove the cloth after 5 minutes.


Formulation 10


Crush the fresh plant of Makoi (Solanum nigrum Linn.) and Kasni (Cichorium intybus Linn.), squeeze the juice and warm it. During boiling stage, mix 1g naushadar for removing foams and filter it. After filtration sprinkle 2g khaksi (Sisymbrium altissimum Linn.) and use 60 ml of this juice with 20 ml sharbat bazoori motadil.


Pharmacopoeial medicines


 Any one of the following pharmacopoeial medicines can be taken twice daily after meals: Jawarish Ood tursh (10g), Jawarish Kamooni (6g), Jawarish Jalinoos           (5g), Jawarish Bisbasa (5g), Jawarish amla (6g), Jawarish Ood shireen (6g), Habbe Hilteet (2 tab) or Habbe Kabid naushadri (2 pills).



Classified Digests


Natural Product Radiance

Vol.4, May-June, 2005, pp. 208

Effects of black tea consumption in patients with coronary heart disease


Numerous epidemiological studies have reported inverse associations between tea consumption and cardiovascular events. Among the many mono- and polymeric polyphenolic compounds found in green and black tea, investigators have recently focused on the catechins, in part because they are more readily measurable, but also because catechin intake correlates inversely with cardiovascular risk. Scientists working in USA and Netherlands conducted studies to investigate potential mechanisms of the effect of black tea consumption in patients with coronary artery disease. They recently reported that chronic black tea consumption improves endothelial function and increases total plasma catechins in patients with coronary artery disease. The present study was conducted to investigate the possible contribution of individual catechins to the observed improvement in endothelial function. In addition, they measured systemic markers of oxidative stress and inflammation to gain further insight into the potential mechanisms of benefit.


This relatively large and well-controlled study provides further evidence that consumption of black tea does not have a readily measurable systemic antioxidant or anti-inflammatory effect that would account for improved endothelial function or reduced cardiovascular risk. In addition, the study provides no evidence that catechins specifically account for the observed improvement in endothelial function during tea consumption, a finding that is consistent with their relatively low concentration in black tea. In contrast, total flavonoid intake correlates with endothelial function after adjusting for potential confounders. The plasma EC level also correlated with endothelial function and appears to relate to total flavonoid intake, although further studies will be needed to confirm and explain these observations. These findings are consistent with the possibility that complex polyphenols in tea, rather than individual monomeric components, may account for the benefit. This possibility is consistent with the recent recommendation by the American Heart Association suggesting that antioxidants should be consumed as whole foods rather than as purified individual components [Widlansky Michael E, Duffy Stephen J, Hamburg Naomi M, Gokce Noyan, Warden Beverly A, Wiseman Sheila, Keaney John F Jr, Frei Balz and Vita Joseph A, Effects of black tea consumption on plasma catechins and markers of oxidative stress and inflammation in patients with coronary artery disease, Free Radical Biol Med, 2005, 38 (4), 499-506].



Natural Product Radiance

Vol.4, May-June, 2005, pp. 209


Ultrasound energised dyeing of wool with Portulaca and Mirabilis jalapa flower extracts

In recent years, there is not only revival of natural dyes but also there is a drive for identifying newer natural dye sources. Every bright coloured flora is being considered for natural dyeing studies. Researchers at IIT, Kanpur studied the colouring potential of Portulaca (Portulaca oleracea Linn., Hindi ¾ Kulfa) and Mirabilis jalapa Linn. (Hindi ¾ Gulabash) for wool dyeing.


Portulaca flowers were crushed and dissolved in distilled water and allowed to stir in sonicator for quick extraction for 1 hour. This dye is inexpensive and their method of application is very simple producing no pollutants. Even the poor reproducibility of shade by ordinary dyeing has been overcome by the use of sonicator, where dyeing is very uniform. Stannous chloride mordanting gave good shade of colour. After dyeing process the samples were dipped in brine and then washed with plain water. This dye can be used for dyeing in various shades of red/orange for wool. Likewise Mirabilis flowers can be exploited as a good source of natural dye for wool dyeing ranging from bright red to black depending on the choice of mordants. The results are excellent with stannic chloride mordant [Shanker Rakhi, Shivani and Vankar Padma S, Ultrasound energised dyeing of wool with Portulaca flower extracts using metal mordants, Colourage, 2004, 51(10), 41-46, 66; Shanker Rakhi and Vankar Padma S, Ultrasonic energised dyeing of wool with Mirabilis jalapa flowers, Colourage, 2005, 52(2), 57-61].


Natural Product Radiance

Vol.4, May-June, 2005, pp. 210

Printing with reactive dyes using guar gum

In textile printing with reactive dyes sodium alginates or mixtures with carboxymethylated polysaccharides are usually used as thickening agent, but in some cases (using viscose and bifunctional reactive dyes) reaction occurs between the dyes and thickening agents resulting in unacceptable fabric handle. To prevent this, it is necessary to use synthetic thickeners (polyacrylic or polymaleic acids), which do not react with reactive dyes. The use of biodegradable thickeners is preferred because it would lead to an environmental-friendly printing process with reduced wastewater pollution.  Researchers at Germany and Slovenia have developed a new reactive printing process for reactive dyes on cellulosic textiles by using natural thickening agents and environmental-friendly additives. Printing trials with guar gums have shown that the use of different additives can prevent fabric stiffness. These additives have no significant influence on rheology and colour strength but contributed to soft fabric handle even when guar gums were used as thickening agent. The use of additives and guar gum provide good quality prints with reduced wastewater pollution [Schneider R and Sostar-Turk S, Good quality printing with reactive dyes using guar gum and biodegradable additives, Dyes  Pigments , 2003, 5(1), 7-14]


Natural Product Radiance

Vol.4, May-June, 2005, pp. 211

Co-drying fish silage for use in aquafeeds


The experimental use of fish silage as an alternative protein ingredient in aquafeeds has been widely reported. Feeding, digestibility and growth studies on warm water species including the Indian carp (Cirrhinus mrigala), tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus and O. aureus) and pacu (Piriactus mesapotamicus), have shown fish silage to be highly digestible and an effective replacement for up to 75% of fish meal in aquafeeds. Fish silage is prepared by combining minced fish or parts of fish with acid or lactic acid bacteria derived from fermentable carbohydrate substrates. At low pH the fish is liquefied through the action of digestive tract, proteolytic enzymes. The breakdown is accelerated by the acids, which in addition to reducing the pH also break down bones and cartilage and prevent the growth of spoilage bacteria. Liquid fish silage may be combined directly into moist diets, or condensed or dried for use as an animal feed ingredient. However, conventional methods of drying, using energy derived from fossil fuels, are generally too expensive and fish silage is usually manufactured and stored as a liquid, close to point of use. The limited use of fish silage in tropical aquaculture is surprising given its potential effectiveness as a method for the utilization of otherwise wasted fishery products. Fish silage can be manufactured using simple technologies on small amounts of raw materials in isolated areas or on-board fishing vessels. This limited use of silage in the tropics may result from failure to optimize methods of manufacture, use of spoiled raw materials or poor storage conditions.

Researchers at Department of Marine Science & Fisheries and Department of Bioresource Engineering, College of Agricultural and Marine Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat in Oman evaluated a practical solar-drying method using poly-tunnels. They conducted drying experiments in a poly-tunnel on three co-mixtures of fish silage and wheat bran. Initial moisture contents of the mixtures ranged from 516 to 638g/kg and an experiment was designed to measure drying times of aquafeed ingredients in a dry, tropical environment. Moisture levels of the co-dried mixtures were reduced to less than 100g/kg within a drying period of 2 or 3 days. Temperature, solar radiation and relative humidity values during the experiment ranged from 30 to 48°C, 110 to 650W/m2 and 40 to 92%, respectively. These results show that solar drying of fish silage products can be conducted effectively in standard poly-tunnels. This potential method for large-scale drying could greatly enhance the use of fish silage as an aquafeed ingredient, if applied in tropical regions [Goddard JS and Perret JSM, Co-drying fish silage for use in aquafeeds, Anim Feed Sci Technol, 2005, 118 (3-4), 337-342].


Natural Product Radiance

Vol.4, May-June, 2005, pp.213

Buckwheat sprouts as a new vegetable

Buckwheat, Fagopyrum esculentum Moench. (Hindi — Kuttu) is not a cereal but it  has been used both as  food and a traditional medicine. In Korea, it is milled into flour and is used largely for noodles and curds, in addition its pericarp is used for pillow stuffing materials. Buckwheat is abundant in nutrients, such as protein, amino acids and minerals. Buckwheat is cited as an origin plant of rutin which is a kind of flavonol glycoside compounds used in preventing edema, haemorrhagic diseases and stabilizing high blood pressure due to its effectiveness in controlling blood vessel. Based on high lysine contents present in Buckwheat sprouts they are recommended as new source of vegetable. The sprouts have a soft and slightly crispy texture and an attractive fragrance, but do not have beany flavour as soybean sprouts do. Buckwheat sprouts are abundant in amino acids, minerals and crude fiber. Researchers at Republic of Korea have studied further the changes in free sugars, fatty acids, free amino acids, water-soluble vitamins and flavonoids during cultivation to evaluate the nutritional properties of buckwheat sprouts.

Linoleic acid was found to be the major fatty acid of buckwheat sprouts and increased up to 52.1% at 7 days after seeding (DAS) and total unsaturated fatty acid composition was greater than 83%. Free amino acid contents in buckwheat sprouts were almost four-times higher than those of buckwheat seeds. Based on the results, it is concluded that the abundance of lysine, small gamma, Greek-amino-n-butyric acid (GABA) and sulfur containing amino acids in buckwheat sprouts provides a high nutritional value as a new vegetable. Rutin (quercetin-3-O-rutinoside), quericitrin (quercetin-3-O-rhamnoside), chlorogenic acid and two unknown compounds are also presented in both buckwheat seeds and sprouts. Among the water-soluble vitamins, vitamin B1+B6, vitamin C and two kinds of unidentified compounds are present in the buckwheat sprouts. Vitamin C contents of buckwheat sprouts were increased and its maximum content (171.5 mg/100g) was observed at 7 DAS. On the other hand, vitamin B1+B6 contents were moderately increased [Kim Sun-Lim, Kim Sung-Kook and Park Cheol-Ho, Introduction and nutritional evaluation of buckwheat sprouts as a new vegetable,  Food Res Int, 2004, 37(4), 319-327].


Natural Product Radiance

Vol.4, May-June, 2005, pp. 213

Value added ripe mango powder


Mango is the most popular tropical fruit and is very much relished for its succulence, exotic flavour and delicious taste throughout the world. Moreover it is a very good source of beta-carotene. Researchers at Department of Food Science and Nutrition, ANGRAU, Hyderabad carried out studies to develop mango powder for incorporation in recipes and to study the acceptability. Mango powder was prepared by using mango pulp, milk concentrate (Khoa) and wheat flour in 80:5:15 ratio. The mango pulp was prepared from three varieties of mangoes ‘Baneshan’, ‘Suvarnarekha’, ‘Totapuri’ and their blends in 50:50 ratio. The dried pulp was then scrapped and made into powder and packed in flexible packaging material.


The study revealed that there was good sensory and consumer acceptance of mango powders incorporated recipes like, laddu, payasam, porridge, sandwich, stuffed parantha and vegetable fry at 15%. The powder could be easily incorporated at the end of preparation or just before the final stage. Further as the addition of these powders improve the colour of the recipes this can serve as a colourant in general for many recipes. In addition, these powders can also be incorporated in preparations like ice cream, custard and infant mixes. These powders can be promoted as health food [Hymavathi TV and Khader Vijaya, Studies on Acceptability of value added ripe Mango (Mangifera indica Linn.) powders, Beverage Food World, 2005, 32(2), 32-34].

Insecticide/ Larvicide

Natural Product Radiance

Vol.4, May-June, 2005, pp. 215


Potential larvicidal action of Indian lilac and Neem kernels against dengue mosquito


The incidence of dengue fever (DF) has increased dramatically over the last decade. It has become endemic in more than 100 countries and more than 2.5 billion people are at risk, mainly in Africa, the Americas, the western Mediterranean, South and East Asia and the west Pacific.


Ethanolic extracts from the kernels of ripe fruits from the Indian lilac, Melia azedarach Linn. (Hindi ¾ Bakain, Drek) and from the well-known Neem tree, Azadirachta indica A. Juss. were assayed against larvae of Aedes aegypti, the mosquito vector of dengue fever by scientists of Belgium and Japan. The lethality bioassays were carried out according to the recommendations of the World Health Organization. Extracts were tested at doses ranging from 0.0033 to 0.05g% in an aqueous medium for 24 and 48hr, at 25 or 30°C, with or without feeding of the larvae. LC50, LC95 and LC99 were determined. Both seed extracts proved lethal for third to fourth instar larvae. Non-fed A. aegypti larvae were more susceptible to Azadirachta extracts at both temperatures. Under a more realistic environmental situation, namely with fed larvae at 25°C, the death rates caused by the Melia extract were higher, although at 30°C the extract of Azadirachta had an even higher lethality. The LC50 values for the crude extracts of these two members of the Meliaceae ranged from 0.017 to 0.034g% while the LC99 values ranged from 0.133 to 0.189g%. Since no downstream processing was undertaken to purify the active agents in the extracts, their findings seem very promising, suggesting that it may be possible to increase the larvicidal activity further by improving the extraction and the fractionation of the crude limonoids, for instance removing the co-extracted natural fats.


The present findings therefore suggest that it is worthwhile to purify the limonoids from the ethanolic extracts of M. azedarach and undertake broader bioassays, including antifeeding and feed deterrence studies, in order to elucidate the role of these limonoids in the larvidical effects described in the present work [Wandscheer Carolina B, Duque Jonny E, da Silva Mario AN, Fukuyama Yoshiyasu, Wohlke Jonathan L, Adelmann Juliana and Fontana José D, Larvicidal action of ethanolic extracts from fruit endocarps of Melia azedarach and Azadirachta indica against the dengue mosquito Aedes aegypti, Toxicon, 2004, 44(8), 829-835].



Natural Product Radiance

Vol.4, May-June, 2005, pp. 217

Ginger oil is effective in post-operative nausea and vomiting


The powdered root of ginger is as effective as Metaclopamide in the prevention of post-operative nausea and vomiting (PONV) in certain settings. Ginger juice produces anti-motion sickness action possibly being central and peripheral anticholinergic and has antihistaminic effects. There appears to be a difference between the potency of ginger preparations and the degree of the effects they mediate when comparing the various preparations administered orally, such as ginger juice, ginger powdered root and syrup of ginger. To date no studies have examined the efficacy of ginger essential oil, Zingiber officinale Rosc., administered naso-cutaneously for prevention of nausea and vomiting in conjunction with surgery and general anaesthesia. Researchers at Banner Desert Medical Center, Integrative Therapy, Mesa, USA carried out clinical trials on ginger oil in the prevention of PONV in high risk group adult patients.


The results of the clinical experience showed improvement gained in patient response as measured by lower incidence of nausea and vomiting in the post-anaesthesia recovery unit (PACU). The group treated with the essential oil of ginger experienced approximately less than 20% nausea in the PACU. This low percentage of high risk PONV patients that experienced nausea in the ginger group mostly required only one single intravenous supplemental medication to control nausea. Approximately, 80% of high risk patients had no complaint of PONV and therefore, did not require any further intravenous therapy during recovery from anaesthesia through discharge from PACU. The non-ginger oil treated patients in this clinical experience had a roughly 50/50 chance of PONV. It is proposed that a 5% solution of essential oil of ginger, is an effective post-operative nausea and vomiting prevention when administered pre-operatively, naso-cutaneously concurrently with conventional therapies to general anaesthesia patients at high risk for PONV. Ginger essential oil might effectively treat the three major components of PONV surrounding surgical interventions related to general anaesthetic agents, narcotics and motion sickness [Geiger James L, The essential oil of ginger, Zingiber officinale, and anaesthesia, Int J Aromather, 2005, 15 (1), 7-14].


Natural Product Radiance

Vol.4, May-June, 2005, pp. 219

Toxicological studies on Artemisia extract used as dietary supplement


Russian Tarragon, Artemisia dracunculus Linn. has a traditional Persian history of use as a natural cleanser of the blood and for the treatment of headaches and dizziness. Studies done on rats showed that an extract of this artemisia has anticoagulatory and anti-hyperlipidemic activities. Thus the extract appear potentially useful as agent to help decrease the incidence of coronary disease in humans since a reduction in serum cholesterol of 15% and serum triglycerides of 25% was observed in rats treated with extract and maintained on a hyperlipidemic diet.


TARRALIN™ is an ethanolic extract of Russian Tarragon an ancient herb that has been safely and widely used as a medicine, flavour and fragrance. In addition to historical use documentation, we now have a formal toxicological evaluation of the preparation in animals reinforcing its safe use as a dietary supplement or in functional foods. As an herb, its well-known flavor and fragrance are, in part, attributed to the presence of the compounds, estragole and methyl eugenol, that comprise the major constituents of the herb's essential oil. Estragole and methyl eugenol are common components of many herbs and as such are widely consumed in foods but do raise serious questions of safety. Estragole is effectively removed from TARRALIN during processing.


Researchers from USA and Germany evaluated the safety of TARRALIN, to be used as an herbal preparation to help normalize elevated blood glucose concentrations. Since safety information of A. dracunculus and its extract is limited to historical use, TARRALIN™ was examined in a series of toxicological studies. Complete Ames analysis did not reveal any mutagenic activity either with or without metabolic activation. TARRALIN™ was tested in an acute limit test at 5000 mg/kg with no signs of toxicity noted. In a 14 day repeated dose oral toxicity study, rats appeared to well tolerate 1000 mg/kg/day. Subsequently, TARRALIN™ was tested in an oral subchronic 90-day toxicity study (rat) at doses of 10, 100 and 1000 mg/kg/day. No noteworthy signs of toxicity were noted in feeding or body weight, functional observational battery or motor activity. Gross necropsy and clinical chemistry did not reveal any effects on organ mass or blood chemistry and microscopic examinations found no lesions associated with treatment. Therefore, TARRALIN™ appears to be safe and non-toxic in these studies and a no-observed adverse effect level in rats is established at 1000 mg/kg/day. This data suggests that adverse human health effects at lower levels of daily exposure would not be expected [Ribnicky David M, Poulev Alexander, O'Neal Joseph, Wnorowski Gary, Malek Dolores E, Jäger Ralf and Raskin Ilya, Toxicological evaluation of the ethanolic extract of Artemisia dracunculus L. for use as a dietary supplement and in functional foods, Food Chem Toxicol, 2004, 42 (4), 585-598].



Natural Product Radiance

Vol.4, May-June, 2005, pp. 220

Fenugreek seeds for gastric ulcer

The seeds of fenugreek, Trigonella foenum-graecum Linn. (Hindi ¾ Methi) are commonly used to treat a number of gastrointestinal disorders, diabetes and hypercholesterolaemia.   Scientists at Department of Biochemistry, Annamalai University, and Department of Pathology, Rajah Muthiah Medical College, Annamalai University, Tamil Nadu evaluated gastric antiulcer potential of this ancient drug. The protective effect of fenugreek seeds was studied against ethanol-induced gastric damage in rats. Omeprazole, which is a commonly prescribed drug for increased gastric acid secretion and gastric ulcer was used as a reference drug for comparison.

The seeds were cleaned of extraneous matter, dried and ground in to a fine powder. The powder was mixed with distilled water (1g of seed powder per 100 ml of water). After thorough mixing in a vortex cyclomixer the extract was centrifuged at 3000 rpm for 10 minutes. The supernatant was used as the aqueous extract for feeding the animals.

The aqueous extract and a gel fraction isolated from the seeds showed significant ulcer protective effects. The cytoprotective effect of the seeds seemed to be not only due to the anti-secretory action but also to the effects on mucosal glycoproteins. The fenugreek seeds also prevented the rise in lipid peroxidation induced by ethanol presumably by enhancing antioxidant potential of the gastric mucosa thereby lowering mucosal injury. Histological studies revealed that the soluble gel fraction derived from the seeds was more effective than omeprazole in preventing lesion formation [Pandian R Suja, Anuradha CV and Viswanathan P, Gastroprotective effect of fenugreek seeds (Trigonella foenum graecum) on experimental gastric ulcer in rats, J Ethnopharmacol, 2002, 81(3) , 393-397].

Natural Product Radiance

Vol.4, May-June, 2005, pp. 222

Wound healing potential of Common Purslane

            Common Purslane, Portulaca oleracea Linn.  (Hindi ¾ Kulfa) is a cosmopolitan plant distributed in Africa, China, India, Australia, Middle East, Europe and United States. It is reported to possess many medicinal properties. In folk medicine a poultice made from the leaves is applied to draw the pus out of infected sores, useful for burns and skin diseases. The scientists working at Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Jordan, and Faculty of Science, Amman, Jordan investigated the claimed medicinal use of this plant as a wound healing promoter that had been cited in folkloric literature. The homogenous mixture of the fresh plant was applied to the excision wound created on the shaven dorsal back of the male albino Swiss mice (Mus musculus JVI-1) weighing 23–26g and the healing effect was observed at 3-day intervals throughout the 15 days of the experiment, which was compared with that of untreated mice. The results indicated that Common Purslane accelerates the wound healing process by decreasing the surface area of the wound and increasing the tensile strength. The greatest contraction was obtained at a single dose of 50mg and the second greatest by two doses of 25mg. Measurements of tensile strength and healed area were in agreement [Rashed AN, Afifi FU and Disi AM, Simple evaluation of the wound healing activity of a crude extract of Portulaca oleracea L. (growing in Jordan) in Mus musculus JVI-1, J Ethnopharmacol, 2003, 88(2-3), 131-136].


Natural Product Radiance

Vol. 4, May-June, 2005, pp. 223

Cooking in iron utensils increases iron contents and bioavailability in leafy vegetables

Inadequate dietary intake and poor bioavailability of iron from food are considered as prime etiological factors of anaemia. Research has suggested that bioavailability of iron from food systems is an outcome/resultant of the interaction of its components. Of the dietary components, oxalates, tannins and phytates are known to inhibit iron absorption whereas organic acids, such as ascorbic acid, citric acid, malic acid and lactic acid are known to enhance the absorption of iron. Green leafy vegetables are good sources of iron, providing around 5–10 mg per 100 g on an average. A daily intake of 100 g of greens is recommended in an adult’s diet. However, bioavailability of iron in greens may depend upon ascorbic acid content, which is a promoter and dietary fibre, oxalates and tannins, which are inhibitors of iron absorption. Greens are generally low-cost and cooking in iron pots could be an effective strategy to increase iron intake.


The effects of cooking utensils on the total and bioavailable iron contents of five green leafy vegetables [Amaranth (Amaranthus gangeticus Linn.), Kilkeerai (Amaranthus tricolor Linn.), Shepu (Peucedanum graveolens Linn.), Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum Linn.) and Chakotha (Chenopodium album Linn.)], along with related promoters and inhibitors, were investigated by scientists working at Department of Studies in Food Science and Nutrition, University of Mysore, Manasagangotri, Mysore. The cooked and fresh greens were analysed for moisture, total and bioavailable iron, ascorbic acid, dietary fibre, tannins, total oxalates and soluble oxalates by standard techniques. Moisture content of fresh greens ranged from 80–90%, total dietary fibre (5–11g/100g), oxalates (0.022–1.37g/100g) and tannin (41–166mg/100g). Cooking in different utensils had no effect on these parameters. Ascorbic acid content ranged from 8.7 to 88.3mg/100g in fresh greens and was reduced by 18–64% on cooking. The total and ionisable iron contents of greens ranged from 3 to 13mg/100g and 0.43 to 2.7mg/100g, respectively, and increased on cooking in iron utensil to 9.7 to 17.5mg/100g and 1.50 to 8.56mg/100g, respectively. The availability of iron, in relation to total iron, of greens cooked in iron utensils was either comparable or marginally higher than those cooked in other metallic utensils. Since the total iron content of greens cooked in iron utensils was high, the actual amount of available iron also increased. It can be concluded that cooking in iron utensils increases the total as well as the available iron content of greens [Kumari Mamatha, Gupta Sheetal, Lakshmi A Jyothi and Prakash Jamuna, Iron bioavailability in green leafy vegetables cooked in different utensils, Food Chem, 2004, 86 (2), 217-222].


In Brief

Natural Product Radiance

Vol. 4, March - April, 2005, pp. 224

Control of Aeromonas on minimally processed vegetables


In recent years, Aeromonas species are increasingly recognized as putative enteropathogens. They can cause acute diarrhoea in children and adults, and may be an important cause of traveler's diarrhoea. As such, the prevalence of psychrotrophic putative enteropathogenic Aeromonas spp. in ready-to-eat, minimally processed vegetables with a prolonged shelf-life could present a food hazard. Although the intrinsic and extrinsic factors of minimally processed prepacked vegetable mixes are not inhibitory to the growth of Aeromonas species, multiplication to high numbers during processing and storage of naturally contaminated grated carrots, mixed lettuce, and chopped bell peppers was not observed. Scientists working at Laboratory of Food Microbiology and Food Preservation, Faculty of Agricultural and Applied Biological Sciences, Gent University, Gent, Belgium studied to determine whether Aeromonas species are introduced into, and are enabled to grow during, the production and storage of minimally processed vegetables. Decontamination procedures were also evaluated to control the microbial quality and, particularly, Aeromonas contamination in minimally processed vegetables.


Aeromonas was shown to be resistant towards chlorination of water, but was susceptible to 1% and 2% lactic acid and 0.5% and 1.0% thyme essential oil treatment, although the latter provoked adverse sensory properties when applied for decontamination of chopped bell peppers. Lactic acid decontamination is found effective to control the microbiological quality of fresh produce, although it cannot guarantee elimination of all pathogenic bacteria. It was reported that rinsing in 1% and 2% lactic and acetic acid, respectively, reduced total counts of sprouts by 96%. Integration of a decontamination step with 2% lactic acid in the processing line of grated carrots was shown to have the potential to control the overall microbial quality of the grated carrots and was particularly effective towards Aeromonas. It also guarantees prolonged shelf-lives of fresh-cut vegetables without affecting the sensory properties [Uyttendaele M, Neyts K, Vanderswalmen H, Notebaert E and Debevere J, Control of Aeromonas on minimally processed vegetables by decontamination with lactic acid, chlorinated water, or thyme essential oil solution, Int J Food Microbiol, 2004, 90 (3), 263-271].