Ipomoea muricata L Jacq Convolvulaceae

Common name: Purple moonflower. The seeds of Ipomoea muricata are largely imported into Bombay, from Iran, under the name of tukm-i-nil.

Distribution: Native to eastern India and Bangladesh.

Botany: Perennial vining climber to 30 feet. It is a rare climber, sporting unusual aerial rootless and white, funnel-shaped blossoms in the second year.

Phytochemistry: Work done in the Philippines has demonstrated the presence of indolizidine alkaloids in the seeds. Two resin glycosides and muricatins VII and VIII have been isolated from the seeds

Actions: Aphrodisiac.

Therapeutics: The juice of this plant is used to destroy bedbugs, and the seeds are said to be identical in their medicinal properties with those of the official plant. Ipomoea muricata (L.) Jacq, locally known as 'Tonkin', has been used for generations by the Dominicans in the Philippines for medicinal purposes. The seeds, stems and leaves are said to be effective in treating several types of skin ailments such as chronic and gangrenous wounds, cuts and blisters due to burns.

Ethnopharmacology: Analgesic, antiseptic, antimicrobial and antifungal.

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