Family: Loranthaceae
Genus: Dendrophthoe
Botanical name: Loranthus falcatus / Dendrophthoe falcata
Sanskrit: Vrikshadani, Vrkshadani
English: Mistletoe, Curved mistletoe, Honey suckle mistletoe
Hindi: Banda
Malayalam: Ittil, Ittalkkanni
Red Honey Suckle Mistletoe is a large branch parasite. It is a shrub which is much branched, 1-3 m long. Branches are swollen from the base, and the bark is dark gray. Oppositely arranged leaves are 7-15 cm long, variable in shape. Leaf stalks are 1 cm long, and the midriff is red. Flowers occur in stout racemes in leaf axils. The flowers buds look like long red tubes. Flower tube is 3-5 cm long, red, The five narrow petals or lobes of the flower tube, greenish or yellowish, are upturned. Stamens, 4-6 protrude out of the flower. The green style is slender and is longer than the stamens. The plant has a very close cousin with white flowers, Honey Suckle Mistletoe. Found Flowering: October
Dendrophthoe falcata possesses remarkable potentials as a medicinal plant evident from the wound healing, anti-microbial, anti-oxidant, antinociceptive properties of its ethanolic extracts (Pattanayak and Sunita, 2008, Shihab et al., 2006). Medicinal properties of this hemiparasite may vary in effects respective to different hosts it establishes a relation with (Mallavadhani et al., 2006).
The whole plant is used in indigenous system of medicine as cooling, bitter, astringent, aphrodisiac, narcotic and diuretic (Alekutty e al., 1993) and is useful in treating pulmonary tuberculosis,asthma, menstrual disorders, swelling wounds, ulcers, renal and vesical calculi and vitiated conditions of kapha and pitta (Anarthe et al., 2008; Sastry, 1952; Pattanayak et al. 2008 ). Also, the decoction of plant used by women as an anti-fertility agent has been evidenced to possess anticancer activity (Nadkarni, 1993). The leaf ethanolic extract significantly and dose dependently inhibits the acetic acid induced writhing in mice (Shihab et al., 2006) and has indicated a low level toxicity in the brine shrimp lethality assays. Besides, a more recent work by Pattanayak et al. (2008) shows significant tumor reduction in induced mammary carcinogenesis in Wistar female rats when fed with hydroalcoholic extracts of D. falcata.
The Whole plant of the Mistletoe is used for low blood pressure, kidney diseases, asthma, cough and blood sugar.
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