Erythrina subumbrans Hassk Merr
[From Greek, eruthros = red]
Physical description: It is a tree grown in Burma, Malaysia and the Philippines. The crown is upright. Leaves: trifoliate and stipulate. The folioles are as long as they are broad, each with a pair of glands at the base. The flowers are conspicuous, scarlet with whitish stripes, 2.5cm-5cm long and arranged in racemes. The standard is large, and the wings and the
Synonymy: Erythrina lithosperma Miq.
Common names: Coral bean.
keel are short. The andrecium consists of 10 stamens which project beyond the keel. A single stamen is free and the other are united into a tube where 5 long stamens alternate with 4 short ones. The pods are 8 cm-16 cm x 1.5 cm, more or less constricted between seeds, with the lower half empty and seedless, while the upper half contain 2-3 seeds.
Pharmaceutical interest: The pharmacological potential of Erythrina subumbrans (Hassk.) Merr. remains unexplored til today, and will be worth studying as the Erythrina species are known to produce flavonoids and alkaloids of pharmacological interest.
Pterocarpan flavonoids: Erycristagallin from Erythrina mildbraedii inhibits car-rageenan and phospholipase A2-induced mouse paw oedema, ear oedema and inhibits chronic inflammation through the inhibition of arachidonic acid metabolism via 5-lipoxygenase pathway (Njamen D etal., 2003). Phaseollidin from Erythrina burana displays cytotoxic properties (Dagne E et a/., 1993). Another cytotoxic flavonoid is wighteone from Erythrina indica which inhibits the growth of KB cells cultured in vitro with an IC50 value of 0.78 ^g/mL.
Isoquinoline alkaloids: Most Erythrina species contain tetracyclic isoquinoline alkaloids which paralyze the motor nerves. One such alkaloid is ^-erythroidine, which has been used to anaesthetize (Dripps etal., 1947).
Continue reading here: Indigofera tinctoria L
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