Crateva magna Lour DC

[After kratevas, a Greek root gatherer of antiquity and from Latin, magnus = great]

Physical description: It is a small and handsome riverside tree found in India, South China, Burma, and Malaysia. The bark is smooth; the inner bark mottled with yellow and white. The wood is white and hard. Leaves: deciduous with 3 folioles. The folioles are large elliptic, entire, glabrous, slightly bluish beneath, reticulately veined and 8cm-17cm x 4cm-8cm. The petiolules are 3mm-6mm long and the petiole 3.8cm-7.6cm long. The lateral folioles are oblique at the base, and the folioles show 10-15 pairs of secondary nerves. The flowers are arranged in long pediceled terminal heads, which are 5 cm large and showy. The flowers comprise of a disc-shaped receptacle, several green white ripening cream sepals, and 13-25 thread-like, pinkish purple and showy stamens. The fruits are glo bose, 4 cm long capsules supported by a 12 cm long gynophore. The seeds are numerous, horseshoe-shaped and embedded in a pulp (Fig. 123).

Fig. 123. Crateva magna (Lour.) DC. From: KLU 36620. Field collector & botanical identification: Lynwood M. Hume, 10 Oct 1983. Geographical localization: Kg. Panji Alam, Kuala Terengganu, in house yard, apparently cultivated, altitude C. 10 m, East Malaysia.

Synonymy: Crateva nurvulana Buch-Ham.

Common names: Kadet (Burma); cadat, dangla (Malay); ajapa (Sanskrit); varanam (Tamil).

Fig. 123. Crateva magna (Lour.) DC. From: KLU 36620. Field collector & botanical identification: Lynwood M. Hume, 10 Oct 1983. Geographical localization: Kg. Panji Alam, Kuala Terengganu, in house yard, apparently cultivated, altitude C. 10 m, East Malaysia.

Uses: In India, the bark of Crateva magna (Lour.) DC. is used to relieve the bowels of costiveness and to expel intestinal worms. The flowers are used to assuage liver congestion. In Indonesia, the bark of Crateva magna DC. is pounded with water and applied to the skin to treat fever and muscular pain. The leaves and other ingredients are used to make an external remedy to cure mental illnesses. In Malaysia, the leaves, the roots and the bark are boiled in oil and the mixture obtained is applied to the body to stop flatulence. The bark is bitter and flavoring, and the juice expressed from it is drunk to stimulate appetite and to relieve the bowels of costiveness. The leaves are counter-irritant.

Pharmaceutical interest: Lupeol isolated from the stem bark of Crateva magna (Lour.) DC. reduces the foot-pad thickness and complement activity in arthritic rats suggesting that the anti-inflammatory activity of triterpenes may be due to their anticom-plementary activity (GeethaT etal., 1999). Lupeol, given at 25 mg/Kg decreases the levels of lactate dehydrogenase, inorganic pyrophosphatase, alkaline phosphatase, y-glutamyl transferase and p-glucuronidase in the urine of rats, experimentally poisoned with oxalic acid (Malini MM etal., 1995).

Lupeol
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