Overview

Brief Summary

Trichopus zeylanicus (family Dioscoraceae, a monocot family which includes yams) is a small, rare herbaceous plant native to wet, sandy river banks tropical forests of Malaysia, Sri Lanka and southern India.  The leaves, though usually heart-shaped (cordate), can vary between heart, oval, triangular, and lanceolate forms even within one location.  It produces a deep purple flower year round, and large grey-brown seedpods thought to be water-dispersed in floods and heavy currents (Sivarajan 1990).  Previously classified into its own family, Trichopodaceae, T. zeylanicus is one of two species in its genus (the other, T. sempervirens is native to Madagascar) and its distinctive and variable morphology has long confounded its taxonomic placement (Caddick et al. 2002).

In the late 1980s, researchers from the Indian Tropical Botanical Garden & Research Institute (TBGRI) learned of and developed T. zeylanicus as a medicinal herb, based on ethnomedicinal information retrieved from Kani people, a nomadic population indiginous to the Agasthymalai hills in southern India.  The Kani traditionally use the seeds of T. zeylanicus as an energy enhancer; their term for the herb, Arogyapacha, translates to “healthy green.”  The effects of the herb are compared to those of Ginseng (Martin et al. 2011).  Studies have found that T. zeylanicus seeds and leaf extracts are rich in Saponins (Martin et al. 2011) and contain antioxidant properties.  Rats fed the seeds show decreased fatigue (Tharakan et al. 2005, 2006) although no studies or trials confirm these results in humans (Web MD 2009).  The medicinal herb, patented under the name Jeevani is used to combat stress, improve stamina, boost immunity, and increase libido and other conditions (Web MD 2009, Evans et al. 2002).  The intellectual rights and of this drug were shared between and the Kani tribe and TBGRI (Jayaraman 1996), however this arrangement has stirred up controversy over profit sharing with indigenous tribes and justifications of piracy of tribal knowledge (Bijoy 2007).

  • Bijoy, C.R. 2007. Access and benefit sharing from the indigenous peoples’ perspective: the Tbgri-kani “model.” Law, Environment and Development Journal p. 1 Retrieved October 14, 2013 from http://www.lead-journal.org/content/07001.pdf.
  • Caddick, L.R., Rudall, P.J., Wilkin, P., Hedderson, TAJ., Chase, MW., 2002. Phylogenetics of Dioscoreales based on combined analyses of morphological and molecular data. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 138(2):123–144. DOI: 10.1046/j.1095-8339.2002.138002123.x
  • Jayaraman K. S., 16 May 1996. Indian Ginseng brings royalties for tribe. Nature 381(6579):182.
  • Martin, K.P. Pradeep, A.K., Madassery, J. 2011. High frequency in vitro propagation of Trichopus zeylanicus subsp. travancoricus using branch–petiole explants. Acta Physiologiae Plantarum 33(4):1141-1148
  • Sivarajan, V.V., Pushpangadan P., and Ratheesh Kumar, P.K., 1990. A Revision of Trichopus (Trichopodaceae). Kew Bulletin Vol. 45, No. 2 pp. 353-360
  • Tharakan, B., Dhanasekaran, M. and Manyam, B.V. 2005. Antioxidant and DNA protecting properties of anti-fatigue herb Trichopus zeylanicus. Phytotherapy Research 19(8):669-673.
  • Tharakan B, Dhanasekaran M, Brown-Borg HM, Manyam BV., 2006. Trichopus zeylanicus combats fatigue without amphetamine-mimetic activity. Phytother Res. 20(3):165-8.
  • Web MD. 2009. Trichopus zeylanicus. Retrieved October 14, 2013 from http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-1191-TRICHOPUS%20ZEYLANICUS.aspx?activeIngredientId=1191&activeIngredientName=TRICHOPUS%20ZEYLANICUS.
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Dana Campbell

Supplier: Dana Campbell

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Comprehensive Description

Brief

Flowering class: Monocot Habit: Herb
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© India Biodiversity Portal

Source: India Biodiversity Portal

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Distribution

"
Global Distribution

South West India to Peninsular Malaya

Indian distribution

State - Kerala, District/s: Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam

"
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© India Biodiversity Portal

Source: India Biodiversity Portal

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Endemic Distribution

Southern Western Ghats
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© India Biodiversity Portal

Source: India Biodiversity Portal

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Physical Description

Diagnostic Description

Diagnostic

"Perennial herbs, rhizome slender. Leaves ovate-lanceolate, acute or obtuse, apiculate, base deeply cordate, to 12 x 7 cm; 5-7 ribbed, petiole to 5 cm. Flowers fascicled at the base of the petiole. Perianth dark brown, campanulate, lobes lanceolate. Stamens 6, anthers apiculate. Fruit triquetrous, purple-brown; seeds dorsally grooved."
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© India Biodiversity Portal

Source: India Biodiversity Portal

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Ecology

Habitat

General Habitat

Evergreen and semi-evergreen forests
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© India Biodiversity Portal

Source: India Biodiversity Portal

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Flowering and fruiting: March-October
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© India Biodiversity Portal

Source: India Biodiversity Portal

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Trichopus zeylanicus

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Trichopus zeylanicus

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 2
Specimens with Barcodes: 2
Species With Barcodes: 1
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Uses

Medicinal
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© India Biodiversity Portal

Source: India Biodiversity Portal

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Wikipedia

Trichopus zeylanicus

Trichopus zeylanicus is a small herbaceous plant, which is one of only two species of its genus, Trichopus. Formerly it was placed in its own family, Trichopodaceae, but is now included in the Dioscoreaceae family. The leaves are about 20 centimetres (7.9 in) long and grow from a rhizome. The shape of the leaves can be highly variable even within one location, but the most common shape is cordate. The herb grows on sandy soil near rivers and streams in shady places in lowland and intermediate altitude forests. It flowers year long and the fruits are thought to be dispersed by water. The unusual flowers are purplish black.[1]

Distribution[edit]

T. zeylanicus grows in Malaysia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and the Southwestern Ghats mountains of South India.[1]

Traditional medicine[edit]

It has been in use for centuries by the Kaani tribal community of the Agastya Koodam ranges in Kerala, India, for its medicinal properties.

The medical properties of Trichopus zeylanicus were discovered by modern Indian scientists only recently on a scientific expedition to the Agasthia Hills in the Western Ghats in December 1987. They noticed that their guides, belonging to the Kaani tribe, were very energetic in sharp contrast to themselves. They had walked for several hours with the scientists, but the difference was that they ate the fruits of a wild plant T. zeylanicus as they walked. It was found from the Kaani men that it was indeed the fruits they were eating that made them energetic, a fact about the plant well known to the tribe for ages. The Malayalam name of the plant is "Arogya pacha", literally meaning "the green that gives strength".

Detailed chemical and pharmacological investigations showed that the leaf of the plant contained flavonoid glycosides, glycolipids and some other non-steroidal compounds.[citation needed] In the article published in www.ijpcbs.com showed the antibacterial and antifungal activities of the leaf extract against 8 bacterial and 8 fungal strains (Manza and Saj, 2013)

Legal issues[edit]

The Indian commercial and scientific interest in the herb caused misguided suspicions of bio-piracy in Sri Lanka, where it is called Bimpol, and exports of the herb were forbidden in 1998.[2]

Images[edit]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

  1. Indian Patent 1996 - A process for preparation of "JEEVANI" a novel immunoenhancing antifatigue antistress and hepatoprotective drug from the plants Trichopus zeylanicus ssp, Travancoricus, Withania somnifera, Piper longum and Evoluvulus alsinoides.
  2. Indian Patent 1996 - A process for preparation of an antidiabetic drug from the plants Trichopus zeylanicus ssp, Travancoricus, Withania somnifera, Piper longum
  3. Pushpangadan P., Rajasekhran S., Ratheesh Kumar P. K., Jawahar C. R., Velayudhan Nair V., Lakshmi N., and Sarad Amma L., 1988, “Arogyapacha (Trichopus Zeylanicus Gaertn.). The Ginseng of Kani Tribes of Agasthyar Hills (Kerala) for Eevergreen Health and Vitality.” Ancient Sciences of Life, 7 1988: 13-16.
  4. Pushpangadan P., Rajasekaran S., Latha P. G., Evans D. A. and Valsa Raj R., 1994, “Further Studies on the pharmacology of Trichopus zeylanicus.” Ancient Sciences of Life, Vol. 14xiv(3) 1995: 127-135
  5. Subramoniam A., Madhavachandran V., Rajasekharan S., Pushpangadan P., “Aphrodisiac property of Trichopus zeylanicus extract in male mice.” Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Vol. 57(1). Issue: June 1997: 21-27.
  6. Subramoniam A., Evans D.A., Valsaraj R., Rajasekharan S., Pushpangadan P., “Inhibition of antigen-induced degranulation of sensitized mast cells by Trichopus zeylanicus in mice and rats.” Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Vol. 68(1-3). Issue: December 15, 1999: 137-143.
  7. Susan Chacko.; M.G. Sethuraman.; V. George.; P. Pushpangadan. “Phytochemical constituents of Trichopus zeylanicus ssp. Travancoricus”, J. Med. Arom. Plant Sci., 2002, 24, 703–706.
  8. Jayaraman K. S., “Indian Ginseng brings royalties for tribe.” Nature, 381, May 16, 1996.
  9. Meenakshi Ganguli, 1998, “Descendants of “God’s Physician” Share Their Secrets.” Time. Nov 9, 1998. Reprinted in Japanese-language version, No 38, February, 1999.
  10. “Jeevani: The Anti-Stress/Pro-Energy Botanical Complex”, Natural Body building and Fitness. New York, February, 2000.
  11. Antimicrobial properties of Trichopus zeylanicus was proved by Saj and Mansa (2007) University college, Thiruvananthapuram Kerala, {M.Phil thesis, University of Kerala.

12. CYTOTOXIC AND ANTIMICROBIAL STUDIES ON AROGYAPACHA OR KERALA GINSENG LEAF EXTRACTS MM. Manza and Oommen P Saj Department of Botany, University College, Trivandrum-695003, Kerala, India(www.ijpcbs.com).

Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Source: Wikipedia

Unreviewed

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Disclaimer

EOL content is automatically assembled from many different content providers. As a result, from time to time you may find pages on EOL that are confusing.

To request an improvement, please leave a comment on the page. Thank you!