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Asthisamharaka (Vitis quadrangularis): A Medicinal Plant with Promising Health Benefits and Therapeutic Potential

Introduction: Asthisamharaka (Vitis quadrangularis), also known as the Devil's Backbone or Hadjod, is a medicinal plant that has been widely used in traditional medicine systems for centuries. With its origins in India, this plant belongs to the Vitaceae family and is characterized by its unique four-angled stem. Hadjod holds significant importance in various cultures due to its potential health benefits and therapeutic properties. Its traditional use can be traced back to ancient Ayurvedic texts, where it is highly regarded for its ability to promote bone health and treat musculoskeletal disorders. Historically, Hadjod has been used as a natural remedy for fractures, bone loss, and joint-related conditions. In Ayurveda, it is classified as a 'Asthisandhaneeya' herb, meaning it has the potential to strengthen bones, promote fracture healing, and improve overall bone health. The plant's name, "Hadjod," is derived from the Hindi word "hadjod,"

Siras (Albizzia Lebbeck Benth): A Review of Its Taxonomy, Ethnobotanical Significance, and Pharmacological Potential


Siras (Albizzia Lebbeck Benth) is a tree species that belongs to the family Fabaceae. It is commonly known by various names such as Lebbeck, Indian Siris, Frywood, and Woman's Tongue Tree. Siras is native to Southeast Asia, particularly in India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, and Thailand. It is a medium-sized deciduous tree that can reach up to 30 meters in height. The tree has a smooth gray bark and compound leaves that are dark green and feathery in appearance. Siras produces fragrant, white to pale yellow flowers that bloom in clusters, and its fruits are flat, brown pods that contain several seeds.

Siras has been used traditionally in many cultures for various purposes, such as in Ayurvedic medicine and as a source of timber for furniture and construction. In recent years, the plant has gained attention for its potential therapeutic properties due to the presence of various phytochemicals. Siras contains several bioactive compounds such as flavonoids, alkaloids, saponins, and tannins, which have been reported to possess antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antipyretic properties.

The importance of Siras lies in its significant contribution to traditional medicine and its potential as a source of novel therapeutic agents. As such, the plant has gained considerable attention in the scientific community, and several studies have been conducted to explore its pharmacological properties and potential medicinal uses.

Taxonomy and Morphology


Siras (Albizzia Lebbeck Benth) belongs to the family Fabaceae, which is the third-largest family of flowering plants. The scientific name of Siras is Albizia Lebbeck Benth. The genus name "Albizia" honors Filippo degli Albizzi, an Italian nobleman who introduced the genus to Europe in the 18th century. The species name "Lebbeck" is derived from the Arabic name for the plant.


Siras is a medium-sized deciduous tree that can grow up to 30 meters in height. The tree has a straight trunk with a smooth gray bark. The leaves are compound, dark green, and feathery in appearance, measuring up to 15 cm in length. The leaflets are small and numerous, with up to 30 pairs on each leaf. The leaves of Siras are bipinnate, meaning that each leaflet is further divided into smaller leaflets.

Siras produces fragrant, white to pale yellow flowers that bloom in clusters. The flowers are bisexual, and each has five petals and numerous stamens. The flowers are about 2-3 cm in diameter and bloom during the summer months. The fruits of Siras are flat, brown pods that are about 20-30 cm in length and 3-5 cm in width. Each pod contains several seeds, which are oval in shape and about 1 cm in length.

Siras has a distinctive appearance due to its feathery compound leaves and fragrant flowers that bloom in clusters. Its flat, brown pods and oval seeds are also characteristic of the species.

Distribution and habitat

Geographical distribution:

Siras (Albizzia Lebbeck Benth) is native to Southeast Asia and is commonly found in countries such as India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, and Malaysia. It has been introduced to other parts of the world, such as Africa, the Caribbean, and Central and South America, where it is now naturalized.


Siras thrives in a variety of habitats, from dry forests to wetlands. It prefers well-drained soils that are rich in organic matter and can tolerate a wide range of soil pH levels. Siras is commonly found in open forests, woodlands, and savannahs, but it can also grow in disturbed areas such as roadsides and agricultural lands. It is a fast-growing species that can quickly colonize and dominate disturbed areas.

In its native range, Siras is commonly found in deciduous forests and savannahs, where it grows alongside other tree species such as teak, neem, and mango. It is also commonly planted as an ornamental tree in gardens and along roadsides due to its attractive foliage and fragrant flowers. In some regions, such as in parts of India, Siras is considered an invasive species due to its ability to rapidly colonize disturbed areas and outcompete native vegetation.

Traditional uses and ethnobotanical significance

Traditional uses:

Siras (Albizzia Lebbeck Benth) has been used traditionally for various purposes in different cultures. In Ayurvedic medicine, Siras is used to treat a range of ailments, including fever, inflammation, pain, and respiratory disorders. In traditional Chinese medicine, Siras is used to treat insomnia, anxiety, and depression. The bark and leaves of the plant have also been used in traditional medicine to treat skin diseases, wounds, and snakebites.

Apart from its medicinal uses, Siras has cultural significance in many regions. In India, Siras is considered sacred and is often planted near temples and holy sites. The tree is also believed to have protective properties and is planted around homes to ward off evil spirits. In Indonesia, Siras is used in traditional ceremonies and is believed to have the power to purify and cleanse the environment. In Thailand, the wood of Siras is used to make traditional musical instruments such as the xylophone and marimba.

Ethnobotanical significance:

Siras has significant ethnobotanical significance due to its medicinal and cultural value. The plant has been used for centuries in traditional medicine to treat a range of ailments, and its bioactive compounds have been the subject of many scientific studies. The pharmacological properties of Siras have been found to have potential therapeutic benefits, such as anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antipyretic activities.

In addition to its medicinal properties, Siras has cultural significance in many regions and is an important part of local traditions and ceremonies. The plant is also valued for its timber, which is used in furniture making and construction. Siras has the potential to provide a sustainable source of income and livelihood for communities that depend on its resources. Therefore, the conservation and sustainable management of Siras populations are essential to preserve its ethnobotanical significance and the benefits it provides to society.

Phytochemistry and Pharmacology


Siras (Albizzia Lebbeck Benth) is known to contain a wide range of phytochemical constituents, including alkaloids, flavonoids, phenols, tannins, terpenoids, and steroids. Some of the major bioactive compounds identified in Siras include saponins, quercetin, kaempferol, rutin, catechin, epicatechin, and leucocyanidin.


Siras has been found to possess several pharmacological properties that could potentially be used for therapeutic purposes. Some of the major pharmacological properties of Siras include:


Siras exhibits anti-inflammatory activity due to the presence of flavonoids and other bioactive compounds. It has been shown to inhibit the production of inflammatory mediators such as cytokines and prostaglandins.


Siras contains various antioxidants such as quercetin, kaempferol, and rutin that help scavenge free radicals and prevent oxidative stress.


Siras has been found to have antimicrobial activity against a range of bacteria, fungi, and viruses. It has been shown to inhibit the growth of several pathogenic bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, and Salmonella typhi.


Siras contains various bioactive compounds that have been shown to have anticancer properties. Some studies have shown that Siras extract has cytotoxic effects on cancer cells and can induce apoptosis.


Siras has been found to have anxiolytic properties and has been shown to reduce anxiety-like behavior in animal studies.

Potential therapeutic uses:

Due to its pharmacological properties, Siras has the potential to be used for various therapeutic purposes. It could be used as a natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agent to treat inflammatory diseases such as arthritis and cardiovascular diseases. Siras extract could also be used as a natural antimicrobial agent to treat bacterial and fungal infections. Furthermore, its potential anticancer properties make it a promising candidate for the development of new cancer therapies. Lastly, Siras could be used as a natural anxiolytic agent to treat anxiety and related disorders. However, more research is needed to determine the efficacy and safety of Siras for these therapeutic uses.

Ayurvedic Medicines:

Rakt Nasak Gutika 60 tab is a product that contains Siras (Albizzia Lebbeck Benth) as one of its ingredients and is used in Ayurvedic medicine for the treatment of rakt pit dosha, a condition characterized by an imbalance of the blood element in the body. Siras has been traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine for its cooling and blood-purifying properties, which may help balance the blood element and alleviate symptoms associated with rakt pit dosha. Check ayurvedic medicine manufacturer detail here

Current research and future prospects

Current research:

There is a growing interest in the pharmacological properties of Siras (Albizzia Lebbeck Benth) and its potential therapeutic uses. Recent studies have focused on the identification of bioactive compounds in Siras and their effects on various diseases. Some of the recent research on Siras includes:

Anti-inflammatory activity:

A study found that the ethanolic extract of Siras leaves exhibited significant anti-inflammatory activity in animal models of inflammation.

Anticancer activity:

Several studies have investigated the anticancer properties of Siras. A study found that Siras extract induced apoptosis and inhibited cell proliferation in breast cancer cells.

Antimicrobial activity:

Siras has been found to have antimicrobial activity against various pathogenic bacteria and fungi. A study found that Siras extract exhibited antibacterial activity against multi-drug resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus.

Neuroprotective activity:

Siras has been found to have neuroprotective properties in animal models of neurodegenerative diseases. A study found that Siras extract improved memory and cognitive function in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease.

Future prospects:

The current research on Siras highlights its potential as a source of natural products for the development of new drugs and therapies. Some potential future applications of Siras include:

Development of natural anti-inflammatory agents:

The anti-inflammatory properties of Siras could be harnessed to develop natural anti-inflammatory agents for the treatment of inflammatory diseases.

Development of natural antimicrobial agents:

The antimicrobial properties of Siras could be utilized to develop natural antimicrobial agents to treat bacterial and fungal infections.

Development of natural anticancer agents:

The anticancer properties of Siras make it a promising candidate for the development of new cancer therapies.

Development of natural neuroprotective agents:

The neuroprotective properties of Siras could be utilized to develop natural agents to prevent or treat neurodegenerative diseases.

Future research directions could include further investigation of the bioactive compounds in Siras and their effects on various diseases. In addition, more studies are needed to determine the safety and efficacy of Siras for therapeutic uses. Further exploration of Siras could provide valuable insights into the development of new natural products for human health.


In conclusion, Siras (Albizzia Lebbeck Benth) is a plant with significant ethnobotanical, pharmacological, and therapeutic potential. The article discussed the taxonomy and morphology of the plant, its geographical distribution and habitat, as well as its traditional uses and ethnobotanical significance. The phytochemistry and pharmacological properties of Siras were also reviewed, with emphasis on its potential therapeutic applications such as anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anticancer, and neuroprotective activities.

Current research on Siras has revealed promising results in these areas, indicating its potential as a source of natural products for the development of new drugs and therapies. The article further highlights the potential future applications of Siras, including the development of natural anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anticancer, and neuroprotective agents.

In summary, Siras is an important plant with significant potential contributions to society. Its diverse pharmacological and therapeutic properties make it a valuable candidate for further research and development of new drugs and therapies.



The information provided here is for informational purposes only and should not replace professional medical advice. Always consult a qualified healthcare practitioner for personalized guidance.

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