Harvesting, phytochemical analysis and medicinal importance of Holarrhena antidysenterica (L.)
Sneha Singh and Neeta Singh
Holarrhena antidysenterica R. Br. Sans (Kutaj) belonging to family Apocyanaceae is a small tree or shrub. Its bark is used as an astringent, anthelmintic, stomachic, febrifuge, diuretic, and is useful for piles, dyspepsia, asthma, amoebic dysentery, and other stomach ailments. Increased demand and the harmful harvest of bark have led to the decline of this important tree. Research is being done to establish sustainable harvesting methods for stem bark and the suitability of other plant parts. Various methods were used to harvest the bark. In these methods the tree trunk was divided into three or four equal parts and the bark was removed from one part and the harvesting was done by removing the strands of length from the main trunk of the tree. Other fibers / resistors were also tested in small / small trees. Samples of harvested bark and parts of various plants such as branch bark, wood, flowers and leaves are analyzed to obtain tannins, phenols, total alkaloids and complete flavonoids. Phytochemical analysis revealed that the active ingredients in trunk bark were comparatively higher, i.e., total phenols (7.51±0.12%), total flavonoids (0.19±0.09%), total alkaloids (2.25±0.06%), and tannins (8.61±0.10%) than other plant parts studied. Strip harvesting was found to be the best method for harvesting and by this method the bark can be harvested on sustainable basis after every 18 months. Bark should be harvested by removing only outer and middle bark leaving the inner bark for regeneration.