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Thursday, April 21, 2011

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Bryophyllum is a section in the genus of plant known as Kalanchoe of family Crassulaceae. This section comprises about 20 to 30 species. These are native to South Africa, Madagascar, and Asia. The plant is notable for its vegetative propagation through leaves.

Succulent herbs, subshrubs or shrubs. Leaves opposite, whorled or alternate, ± succulent. Inflorescence terminal, usually corymb-like. Flowers 4-merous, usually pendulous, brightly coloured. Calyx shorter than the corolla; sepals 4, usually connate below. Corolla gamopetalous; lobes usually shorter than corolla tube, spreading or reflexed. Stamens 8. Carpels 4, ± connate below.

Traditional Medicinal Value
Bryophyllum is a wonderful plant known for its medicinal values since ancient times Bryophyllum has been used in folk medicines.

Though it is not a native of India, it was introduced into the country by Europeans as an ornamental plant. Gradually it started finding its use in Indian traditional systems of medicine like Ayurveda, Unani and Homoeopathy.

Bryophyllum is also called immortal, Resurrection, and Azooba (wonderful) plant. Its leaf has been hailed as "Miracle Leaf". Bryophyllum leaves are used for treatment of problems related to skin and blood circulation, though it is also used to keep blood sugar level under check and control inflammation.

A recent study by the department of pharmacology, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, has found that the aqueous extract of Bryophyllum leaf can act as a pain-killer. "Bryophyllum leaf aqueous extract possesses 
antinociceptive (reduces sensitivity to pain), anti-inflammatory (reduces inflammation) and hypoglycemic (brings down high blood sugar levels) properties," the study pointed out. Other medicinal properties attributed to Bryophyllum include its ability to fight microbes, fungi, allergy, tumours, ulcers, bacteria, viruses and insects. It is also regarded as a natural sedative.

Key Words : Madagascar, traditional, medicinal value, anti-inflammatory, hypoglycemic

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