Botanical name – Phyllanthus urinaria Linn.
Family – Euphorbiaceae
Common names –
English – Chamber bitter
Hindi – Bhooi Amla
Sanskrit – Bhumyamlaki
Parts used – Whole plant
- It grows mainly in tropical regions such as India, Sri Lanka, Indochina, Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia and the United States.
- In the United States, it is found in southern states such as Virginia, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, New Mexico or Texas. It is a warm-season, annual, broadleaf weed that emerges from warm soils beginning in early summer.
- Although of Asian origin, the plant is widely found in all tropical regions of the world.
- It contains Flavonoids, Carboxylic acids, Tannins, Coumarins, and Lignans. Polyphenols are considered the main bioactive compounds in urinaria, and include 9 flavonoids and 17 tannins. Flavonoids constitute the major chemical components and Quercetin, Rutin and Kaempferol were isolated from whole plant extracts of the plant.
- More than 510 compounds have been isolated from Phyllanthus, the major being the Triterpenoids, & Flavonoids. Lignins and tannins exhibit various activities and are considered to be the biologically active compounds of this genus. Corilagin, Geraniin, Gallic acid, Phyllanthin, Niranthin, & Geraniin are the most prevalent compounds in this genus.
Uses of Bhumi Amla
Phyllanthus help prevents liver inflammation and damage, protects liver cells from oxidative stress. It exhibits hepatoprotective activity against drugs or toxins and this property was majorly attributed to Phyllanthin and Hypophyllanthin.
The chemicals present in plant include Antibacterial Tannins, Saponins, and Alkaloids. It is rich in phytochemicals that have antioxidant and antimicrobial activity. It’s extracts mainly contain Alkaloids, Triterpenoids and Flavones, which are highly efficient to treat dysentery, rheumatism, inflammation and gut worms in children in traditional medication systems. Furthermore, active Triterpenoids in the chloroform extracts from the bark possess strong antibacterial activity and control the proliferation of S. aureus at an optimum concentration (1000 ppm). The leaf methanolic extracts of P. niruri showed a well-defined antimicrobial activity against Coney lunata and Salmonella typhi.
The ethanol extracts were analyzed and reported to be enriched with Ellagic acid fractions which successfully inhibited the growth of HBV-infected cells. It has been traditionally used for treating a variety of diseases including hepatic disorders due to the presence of anti-hepatic viral compounds such as Phyllanthin and Hypophyllanthin. P. amarus extracts prepared in ether and acetone have strong antiviral effects in WSSV viral infections.
Ethanol and water extracts obtained from whole plant of P. urinaria inhibit α-glucosidase. The enzyme, α-glucosidase cleaves carbohydrates into glucose and elevates the blood glucose level. A 50% aqueous methanol-soluble extract of the leaves of P. urinaria inhibits porcine pancreatic amylase. Oral administration of a 50% methanol extract of P. urinaria whole plant decreases blood glucose. It protects pancreatic β-cells against oxidative damage and insulin secretion and postprandial blood glucose levels.
The ethanolic extract of P. urinaria whole plant has antioxidant and cardioprotective effects against doxorubicin toxicity in H9C2 cardiac myoblasts. The ethanolic extract from the aerial parts of P. urinaria increases the activity of catalase/superoxide dismutase, increases total glutathione concentration and inhibits lipid peroxidation. The extract induces apoptosis in H9c2 cells through the NF-κB and caspase-3 activation signaling pathway. Thus it has cardioprotective potential and might lead to promising agents for therapeutic development to treat cardiac complications.
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