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Kalanchoe laciniata is known as Parnabija, Zakhm-e-Hayaat, Malakalli in Ayurvedic, Unani and Siddha system of medicine respectively. It is medicinal plant with succulent leaves and belong to plant family Crassulaceae, commonly referred as Stonecrop or Orpine family and Genus Kalanchoe.
The genus ‘Kalanchoe’ consists of about 125 species of plant found in tropical parts. Previously this genus was divided into three genera (Kalanchoe, Bryophyllum, Kitchingia). But now it is recognized as only one genus Kalanchoe. Kalanchoe are primarily ornamentals and houseplants. They can be planted in pots.
Another important medicinal plant belonging to its genus is, Kalanchoe pinnata / Bryophyllum pinnatum (Pattharchatta, cathedral bells) which is used to expel urinary stones.
It is important to note, Kalanchoe pinnata and Kalanchoe laciniata are to different species but are used in the same way. Also as described in classical texts, species of Kalanchoe viz. Kalanchoe lanciniata, Kalanchoe integra, or Kalanchoe pinnata can be equated to the botanical source of Parnabija.
Parnabija (Parna=leaf; bija=seeds, the naming is due to the fact that plant leaf produces roots and baby plants which becomes independent plants, so the leaf acts as seeds) plant possess diuretic, astringent, and hemostatic properties. Due to all these properties they are used in treatment of urinary diseases, bleeding disorders and wound healing. Kalanchoe laciniata is found only in few regions of India.
Kalanchoe laciniata is a succulent herb. The plant grows up to a height of 0.9–1.2 m.
The stems are succulent, glabrous or more or less pubescent and slightly branched.
Leaves are numerous, large and very succulent, 7.5 cm–10 cm long. The petiole is 2.5 cm–3.8 cm long, flattened above, fleshy and amplexicaul. The blade is narrow oblong, acute, dentate, serrate or crenate.
The leaves are glossy and pale glaucous to green in colour. The lowest leaves are divided into segments. The middle leaves are more or less deeply pinnatifid and the uppermost leaves are with narrow almost cylindrical segments.
Flowers are regular, bisexual, large, bright in colour yellow and occur in paniculate cymes. The calyx is 3-5 mm long, glabrous or glandular- pubescent. Corolla is 1.6 cm long. Sepal and petals are four in number. A few hypogenous scales of 3-4 mm long are present. Stamens are eight, inserted in two rows on the tube of the corolla. Ovary is superior.
The botanical name of Hemsagar is Kalanchoe laciniata.
Latin word laciniata is derived from lacer meaning ‘fringed or very deeply cut, torn or slashed into narrow divisions’. Since the leaves are fringed and divided, the species is given name Kalanchoe (name of genus) laciniata (type of leaf).
It belongs to plant family Crassulaceae. Below is given taxonomical classification of plant.
- Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
- Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
- Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
- Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
- Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
- Subclass: Rosidae
- Order: Rosales
- Family: Crassulaceae – Stonecrop family
- Genus: Kalanchoe Adans. – widow’s-thrill
- Species: Kalanchoe laciniata (L.) DC. – Christmas tree plant
Kalanchoe schweinfurthii Penzig.
Cotyledon laciniata Roxb
- Part(s) used for medicinal purpose: Leaves
- Plant type / Growth Habit: Herb
- Duration: Perennial
- Distribution: It is found in India (Maharashtra, Deccan Peninsula, Bengal), Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Java and tropical Africa.
- Habitat: Warm, moist regions
- Soil: Prefer sandy soil
- Leaves: Decompound and pinnatifid
- Flower: Yellow, with 4 sepals and petals.
- Urinary disorders
- Common cold and cough
Vernacular names / Synonyms
- Scientific name: Kalanchoe laciniata
- Sanskrit / Ayurvedic: Hamsagar, Asthibhaksha, Hemasagara, Parnaviji, Parnabija, Vatapatri
- Unani: Zakhm-e-Hayaat
- Siddha: Malakalli
- Tamil: Malakalli, Mala-kulli
- Sri Lanka: Akkapana
- English: Christmas tree plant
- Marathi: Parnabij, Ghaimari, Ghaipat, Aranmaran
- Folk: Hemasaagar
Constituents of Kalanchoe laciniata
The leaves contain a yellow organic acid, cream of tartar, sulphate and oxalate of calcium, tartaric acid, fat and malic acid.
Flavonoids, triterpenoids, lignins, phenols, saponins and glycosides are also present.
Important Medicinal Properties
Kalanchoe laciniata is rich in medicinal properties. The understanding of these properties will help us to better utilize this herb. These also indicate the conditions in which we should avoid it.
Below is given medicinal properties along with the meaning.
- Anti–dysenteric: Relieving or preventing dysentery.
- Astringents: Constrict tissues; styptic.
- Anti–inflammatory: Reducing inflammation by acting on body mechanisms.
- Antiseptic: Capable of preventing infection by inhibiting the growth of infectious agents.
- Antiulcer: Tending to prevent or heal ulcers.
- Anti–irritant: Reduces signs of inflammation, such as swelling, tenderness, pain, itching, or redness.
- Diuretic: Promoting excretion of urine/agent that increases the amount of urine excreted.
- Emollient: Soothing and softening effect on the skin or an irritated internal surface.
- Hemostatic: Checking blood flow.
Medicinal Uses of Kalanchoe laciniata (Christmastree plant)
Kalanchoe laciniata is used in the same way as Kalanchoe pinnata or Patharchatta.
- The leaves are used both internally and externally. Externally, roasted or crushed leaves are applied on cuts, wounds, abrasions, ulcers and bites of poisonous insects. They are antiseptic, astringent and helps to stop bleeding. Internally, leaf juice in given to treat diarrhea, dysentery, and stones.
- The leaves and roots are used for the treatment of urinary diseases.
- The intake of leaves help to dissolve stones in the bladder.
- The decoction of the whole plant is drunk in gastric pain and heart discomfort.
- The leaves juice is given in dose of 3 ml to 10 ml with 6- 20 ml melted butter in in diarrhea, dysentery, and cholera.
- Leaf paste is applied to chronic sores and ulcers.
- Leaf poultice is applied to the chest for coughs and colds.
- The juice of the roasted leaves is applied to bruises and contusions.
- The leaf paste is applied topically on itch.
- The leaves are used as lotion in small pox.
- Crushed leaves are used in headache.
- Leaf juice is applied externally for joint pain.
- Pounded leaves are applied in indolent ulcers.