Vol. 7 No. 02 (2022): Dec-Sri Lanka Journal of Indigenous Medicine (SLJIM)
Cover story : Maha Daluk
Euphorbia neriifolia Linn.
Vernacular names: Sinhala: Ma Daluk, Maha Daluk, Kola Pathok; Sanskrit: Snuhi, Vajraduma, Guda, Nagarika, Nanda, Nistrinsapatra, Patrasnuhi; English: Indian Spurge Tree, Common milk hedge;
Tamil: Ilaikalli, Perumbu Kalli Hindi: Sehund, Danda thukar
Plant shown in the cover page is Euphorbia neriifolia Linn. It is a large, glabrous, fleshy, erect shrub or small tree approximately 1.8-4.5 m in height. It has saccular branches having a pair of strong stipular spines on spirally arranged tubercles. The young leaves are dark green in color, having a leathery texture and a reticulate venation. The flowers are yellowish green in colour. Male and female flowers occur concurrently inside the same bunch. Fruits are looking like capsule. Style 3-fid, stigmas slightly dilated and minutely toothed. Seeds are flat containing soft hairs. Latex is a milky sap-like fluid.
Euphorbia neriifolia grows in dry, rocky hill areas of South Asia; found and cultivated in India, Sri Lanka, Burma, Bangladesh, Thailand and Malaysia. Ethnomedicinal uses of latex, leaves, roots and whole plant of E. neriifolia are documented. The latex of E. neriifolia is used in Ayurvedic formulations like Avittoladi bhasma, Jatyadi varti, Snuhi ghrta and Jalodarari rasa. This plant is useful in abdominal troubles, bronchitis, tumors, loss of consciousness, asthma, leucoderma, piles, inflammation, enlargement of spleen and flatulence etc. Latex is also famous as an ingredient for preparation of Kshara Sutra used for treating sinuses and fistula in ano. Externally latex and juice of leaves are applied for earache, ulcers, warts, scabies and to prevent suppuration.
This plant has the phytoconstituents such as flavonoids, monoterpenoids, diterpenoids, triterpenoids, and alkaloids. The plant consists of proven anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic, antidiabetic, antiarthritic, anticonvulsant, and antioxidant properties that can be attributable to its phytochemical profile. The latex of the plant is toxic and it can cause skin and eye irritation with intense inflammation. Therefore, the processing and use of raw materials should be done with precautions. In Sri Lanka traditionally Daluk (Euphorbia antiquorum) is used in place of Snuhi while we have the same plant species in the country.
Cover story and Photograph by Dr. B.M.S. Amarajeewa
Cover page designed by Mr. K.K.P.R.K. Kohombakanda
1. Prashant Y. Mali, Shital S. Panchal, Euphorbia neriifolia L. (2017) Review on botany, ethnomedicinal uses, phytochemistry and biological activitie; Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine, Volume 10, Issue 5, Pages 430-438
2. Veena Sharma V, Pracheta Janmeda P. (2017) Extraction, isolation and identification of flavonoid from Euphorbia neriifolia leaves; Arabian Journal of Chemistry, Volume 10, Issue 4, May 2017, Pages 509-514
3. Sultana A., Hossain M.J., Kuddus M.R., Rashid M.A., Zahan M.S., Mitra S., Roy A., Alam S., Sarker M.M.R., Naina Mohamed I. (2022) Ethnobotanical Uses, Phytochemistry, Toxicology, and Pharmacological Properties of Euphorbia neriifolia Linn. against Infectious Diseases: A Comprehensive Review. Molecules. PMC – PubMed
Protective activity of Tinospora cordifolia (Willd.) Hook. f. and Thoms. and Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal against lipid peroxidation, protein oxidation and deoxyribose oxidation Wijesekara M.A.,1* Soysa P.,1 Jayasena, S.,1 Kottahachchi D.U.,2 Perera D.,3 Jayasiri A.P.A.,4 Wimalachandra M.1 and Gooneratne L.V.1