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Family Boraginaceae
Indian borage
Trichodesma indicum (Linn.) R. Br.

Scientific names Common names
Trichodesma indicum (Linn.) R. Br. Indian borage (Engl.)
Trichodesma hirsutum  
Trichodesma amplexicaule  
Borago indica Linn.  

Other vernacular names
GUJARATI: Undhanphuli.
HINDI: Chhota kalpa.
KANNADA: Katte tume soppu.
SANSKRIT: Adhapuspi.
TAMIL: Kavizhthumbai.

Trichodesma indicum is an erect, spreading, branched, annual herb, about 50 centimeters in height. Leaves are stalkless, opposite, lanceolate, 2 to 8 centimeters long, pointed at the tip, and heart-shaped at the base; the upper surfaces clothed with stiff hairs arising from circular tubercles, the lower surfaces less densely villous. Flowers occur singly in the axils of the leaves. Calyx is green, hairy, and 1 to 1.3 centimeters long, with pointed lobes. Corolla is pale blue, with the limb about 1.5 centimeters in diameter, and the lobes pointed. Fruit is ellipsoid, and enclosed by the calyx. Nutlets are about 5 millimeters long, and rough on the inner surface.

- In the Rizal, Quezon and Laguna Provinces in Luzon, as a weed in cultivated grounds, especially in peanut plantations.
- Also occurs in Iran, India, and Mauritius.

- Phytochemical screening yielded steroidal, ß-sitosterol and phenolics, catechin and gallic acid. (9)
- Yielded hexacosane, ethyl hexacosanoate and 21,24-hexacosadienoic acid ethyl esters. Seed oil yield oleic, linoleic, palmitic, stearic, and linolenic acid. (10)

- Acrid and bitter tasting.
- Considered thermogenic, emollient, alexeteric, anodyne, anti-inflammatory, carminative, constipating, diuretic, depurative, ophthalmic, febrifuge and pectoral.
- Flowers considered sudorific and pectoral.
- Leaves considered depurative.

Parts used
Roots, leaves, flowers.


- Leaves and flowers are edible.

- In the Philippines, used in the same manner as Tichodesma zeylanicum.
- Leaves and roots are used as remedy for snake bites; also used as diuretic.
- Cold infusion of leaves considered depurative.
- Crushed roots, in decoction or infusion, used for dysentery in children.
- In Indian traditional medicine, decoction of roots used for diarrhea, dysentery and fever.
- In Deccan, plants is used as emollient poultice.
- In Chutia Nagpur, roots are crushed and made into a paste, and applied externally to swollen joints, inflammations and superficial skin injuries.
- Used for arthralgias, inflammations, dyspepsia, diarrhea, dysentery, dysmenorrhea.
- In Tamil Nadu, Southern India, root decoction taken internally to treat bloody dysentery.

Study of methanol extract of the whole plant of Trichodesma indicum on sulfur dioxide-induced cough reflex in Swiss albino mice showed significant inhibition of cough frequency in all tested doses compared with the untreated control group, in an effect comparable to codeine phosphate. (2)
Anti-inflammatory / Alkane: Study isolated triterpenoids and aliphatic phytoconstituents. Results showed the alkanoic acid significantly inhibited the carrageenan-induced acute arthritis. Alkane, the major phytoconstituent in in vivo studies, suppressed the development of chronic arthritis induced by CFA. (3)
Anti-diarrheal: Extract study showed significant inhibition of castor oil-induced diarrhea and decreased propulsion of charcoal meal through the GI tract. There was also reduction of castor oil-induced enteropooling. Results support the use of the herbal remedy as a nonspecific treatment for diarrhea in folk medicine. (4)
Anti-Inflammatory: The chloroform extract of T. indicum root exhibited significant anti-inflammatory activity in acute and chronic inflammatory models. (5)
Antispasmodic / Lipoxygenase Inhibitory Activity: Study of some Pakistani medicinal plants showed the extract of T. indicum caused reduction in spontaneous and acetylcholine-induced contractions, with 78% inhibition of intestinal contractions and good lipooxygenase inhibitory activity. (6)
Phytotoxic / Insecticidal: In a study for the agrochemical potentials of ethanolic extracts of selected plants, T. indicum showed excellent herbicidal activity against Lemna minor. It also showed good insecticidal activity against Rhizopertha dominica. (7)
Antimicrobial: Study evaluated antimicrobial activity of Trichodesma indicum and T. sedgwickianum against bacteria and fungi. The ethanol extract of both species was more active against gram positive bacteria, S. aureus and B. subtilis while the aqueous extract showed strong inhibitory activity against gram negative bacteria like E. coli. (9)
Antivenom Potential: Study evaluated 29 Pakistani medicinal plants for antivenom potential antivenom potential. T. indicum extract showed restoration against anticoagulation behavior, i.e. decreased anticoagulation from 92% to 20%. (10)
Corrosion Inhibitor: Study evaluated the corrosion inhibitor effect on C38 steel of an alkaloid extract part of Trichodesma indicum compared with that of imidazole compounds. Results showed the plant extract acted as a better inhibitor in comparison to selected organic inhibitors and suggested a good green inhibitor. (11)


Last Update January 2014

IMAGE SOURCE: File:Trichodesma indicum (Chhota Kalpa) in Bhongir, AP W IMG 2963.jpg / J M Garg / 6.12.08 / GNU Free Documentation Licens / Wikimedia Commons
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: / File:Trichodesma indicum in Hyderabad, AP W2 IMG 7916.jpg / J M Garg / 20.7.08 / GNU Free Documentation License / Wikimedia Commons

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Adhakpuspi, Indian Medicinal Plant / IndianetZone
Effect of Trichodesma indicum extract on cough reflex induced by sulphur dioxide in mice / K Srikanth, T Murugesan et al / Phytomedicine, Volume 9, Issue 1, Pages 75-77 (2002)
Anti-inflammatory activity of alkanoids and triterpenoids from Trichodesma amplexicaule Roth / Singh, B.; Sahu, P.M.; Lohiya, R.K.; Sharma, M.K.; Singh, H.L.; Singh, S. / Phytomedicine: International Journal of Phytotherapy & Phytopharmacology / FreeLibrary by Farlex
Evaluation of antidiarrheal potential of trichodesma indicum root extract in rats / JB Perianayagam, SK Sharma, KK Pillai / Methods Find Exp Clin Pharmacol (2005) 27: 533-7.
Anti-inflammatory activity of Trichodesma indicum root extract in experimental animals / James Perianayagam, S K Sharma and KK Pillai /
Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Volume 104, Issue 3, 6 April 2006, Pages 410-414 / doi:10.1016/j.jep.2005.08.077
Preliminary evaluation of the antispasmodic and lipoxygenase inhibitory effects of some selected medicinal plants / Taous Khan, Mansoor Ahmad et al / Pharmaceutical Biology (Formerly International Journal of Pharmacognosy), Volume 47, Number 12, December 2009 , pp. 1137-1141(5)
Phytotoxic and Insecticidal Activities of Medicinal Plants of Pakistan, Trichodesma indicum, Aconitum laeve and Sauromatum guttatum / Taous Khan et al / J. Chem. Soc. Pak., Vol 30, No 2, 2008.
Indian Borage / Indian common names / Flowers of India
Antimicrobial Potential of Tropical Plant Trichodesma indicum and Trichodesma sedgwickianum / S.S. Saboo, G.G. Tapadiya and S.S. Khadabadi / Research Journal of Microbiology, 2013, Vol 8, No 1, pp 63-69 /
DOI: 10.3923/jm.2013.63.69
Anti-venom potential of Pakistani medicinal plants: inhibition of anticoagulation activity of Naja naja karachiensis toxin / Muhammad Hassham Hassan Bin Asad, Muhammad Tahir Razi, Durr-e-Sabih, Qazi Najamus-Saqib, Sheikh Jawad Nasim, Ghulam Murtaza,* and Izhar Hussain / CURRENT SCIENCE, VOL. 105, NO. 10, 25 NOVEMBER 2013
Comparative Corrosion Inhibition Effect of Imidazole Compounds and of Trichodesma indicum (Linn) R. Br. on C38 Steel in 1 M HCl Medium / S. Alarmal Mangai and Subban Ravi / Journal of Chemistry, Volume 2013 (2013) / http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/527286

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