Hibiscus hispidissimus (Comfort root)

Hibiscus hispidissimus



The flowering plant Hibiscus hispidissimus belong to the family Malvaceae. The synonyms for the plant are Wild Hibiscus aculeatus Roxb. Non Walter and Hibiscus furcatus DC. Non. The common name of H. hispidissimus is Comfort root, Wild hibiscus and Big thicket Hibiscus. H. hispidissimusis a large climber having reddish stems that are covered with hooked prickles. It is widely distributed in South-western parts of India in the plains, hills and in waste lands. It is also stated from South Africa. Sri Lanka, Tropical regions, Asia, Thailand and Myanmar. The leaves of Hibiscus hispidissimus are alternately arranged 6-8cm, hairy, palmately 3-5 lobed and heart shaped at the base. Leaf margins are toothed, lobes are long pointed, leaf stalks 5- 10cm long and prickly. Stipules of H. hispidissimus are lane shaped. Yellow flowers arise singly from leaf axils which are carried on 3-5cm long prickly stalks. 8-12 bracts below the flowers with leafy appendages. Hairy sepals and seed capsules are 1cm long, pointed, ovoid, enclosed in enlarged sepal cup.This plant is generally found in the evergreen forests of Western Ghats and it is distributed throughout India. The flowering period of H. hispidissimus is November-January.The method of propagation of the plant is by seeds.

Chemical composition of the plant

The leaf of Hibiscus hispidissimusdisplays the occurrence of Hibiscus acid, the chemical name being Tetrahydro-3-hydroxy-5-oxo-2, 3 -furandicarboxylic acid. The optical isomer of hydroxycitric acid, Garcinia acid is also an important organic acid present in the plant giving it the medicinal properties. Hibiscus hispidissimus is also a rich source of flavanoid and triterpene compounds like gossyptrin and hibiscatin which is giving the plant its antioxidant properties. Hibiscus hispidissimus also contains various acids like Malic acid, Citric acid, Tartaric acid and allo-hydroxycitric acid lactone (Hibiscus acid). The Flowers of Hibiscus hispidissimus reported the presence of gossypitrin, gossypin and hibiscatin. The plant also found to contain anthocyanins, quercetin and alkaloids. All these phytochemicals present in plant contribute to the medicinal properties.

Ethnomedicinal Uses of Hibiscus hispidissimus

The sour leaves of Hibiscus hispidissimus are used as food ingredient and used in the preparation of South Indian cooking. In India the leaves of Hibiscus hispidissimus are consider as the source of the ayurvedic drug Sathambasthi and constituent of Ayurvedic drug Abhram and Annabhedi sinduram. Sathambasthi is one of the five acid drugs (pancamla). It is a major constituent of pancamlatailam, an oil preparation for body-anointing. The leaves are also an The leaves are anthelmintic and anti-inflammatory. In Kerala Tribal people used this plant for treatment of Liver diseases. It can be improve digestion and have anthelmintic action. The Leaves of the plant are acidic and eaten after cooking. The juice of the leaves are mixed with honey and used in dealing of eye diseases. In summer the roots of Hibiscus hispidissimus infused in water is used as a cooling drink. Decoction of the root bark is considered as natural remedy for poisons, cleansing the kidneys and swellings.

Pharmacological properties of Hibiscus hispidissimus

Hepatoprotective activity of ethanol extract of Hibiscus hispidissimus whole plant was evaluated in Wistar Albino rats. The wistar albino rats were induced liver damage using Carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) and Paracetamol (PCM). The results of this study exhibited decreased levels of serum enzymes like SGOT, SGPT, ALP, and Serum Bilirubin which support significant hepatoprotective activity of the Plant extract. The different solvent extracts of the Hibiscus hispidissimus were evaluated for antioxidant effects using DPPH, Superoxide radical, ABTS, Hydroxyl radical, Lipid peroxidation inhibition assay and Nitric oxide radical scavenging activities. The Ethyl acetate extract of Hibiscus hispidissimus showed inhibition of H2O2 intermediated haemolysis and lipid peroxidation in RBC.

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