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February 2012
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Anamirta Cocculus – a climbing plant, is native to the Southeast Asia and India.

Image of Anamirta Cocculus plant at Google

Anamirta cocculus is a plant that is native to the Southeast Asia and India and is a climbing plant. Its fruit which is known as Cocculus indicus, is known to be the source of picrotoxin which is a poisonous alkaloid with stimulant properties.

The stems of this plant are large and about 10 cm in diameter. The bark is corky gray in color. The wood is white. The plant bears yellowish white colored flowers that are small and sweet scented. They are about 6 to 10 centimeters across. The fruit is 1 cm in diameter.

The stem and the roots contain quaternary alkaloids like:
• Berberine
• Palmatine
• Magnoflorine
• Colunibamine

The seeds:
• Picrotoxin
• Sesquiterpene

The seed shells contain tertiary alkaloids:
• Menispermine
• Paramenispermine

Common names of Anamirta Cocculus:
• English : Levant berries, Fish berries, Crow killer
• Hindi : Kakamari
• Kannada : Kakamari Kayamari
• Malayalam : Pala, Kallakkaya Pettumarunnu
• Sanskrit : Garalaphala Kakamari
• Tamil : Kakamari
• Telugu : Garalaphala Kakinicampacettu

According to ayurveda it contains:
• Gunna (properties)- laghu (light) and ruksh (dry)
• Rasa (taste) – tickta (bitter)
• Virya (potency) – ushan (hot)

Medicinal Uses
– The leaves, fruits & seeds are the parts used for medicines.
– The fruits are bitter, astringent, thermogenic, expectorant, anti-fungal, anthelmintic, depurative.
– They are used in vitiated conditions of kapha and vata, bronchitis, dermatophytosis, foul ulcers, inflammations, flatulence, chronic skin diseases and ringworm.
– The tender leaves are used for the contraction of the uterus immediately after delivery usually by tribes.

The wood is used for fuel and carving.

Growing/Caring conditions for Anamirta Cocculus:
– Presoak the seeds in sterile water for a day.
– Germinate the seeds in a medium with no organic matter.
– Germinate on a damp tissue paper.
– Horticultural sand, perlite and vermiculite are ideal.
– Keep the soil moist but not wet.
– The soil should be a well drained type.
– Keep the location in full sunlight.
– Water regularly and sparingly.
– The location should not be too hot as they might wilt or die.
– Feed with a fertilizer during summer months.
– Once seedlings are well established, move them to individual pots.
– Transplant once the seedlings emerge.
– 50% cactus compost, 50% perlite or 50% peat substitute, 25% coconut coir and 25% perlite can be provided for well draining of the soil.
– These plants are best planted outside as transplanting them is a problem.

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