Cucumis trigonus Roxb. (Fam. Cucurbitaceae) commonly known as “Thummittikai” in Tamil, and “Vishala” in Sanskrit is reported to possess a number of medicinal values. In Indian Traditional Systems of Medicine the fruit pulp of the plant is used as expectorant, liver tonic, stomachic and purgative
HISTORICAL AND MYTHOLOGICAL REVIEW:
The Caraka Samhita quotes it among virechana dravya, mulini dravya and tikta varga. Susrutha Samhita refers the drug under Adhobhagahara, Urdhwabegahara and Shyamedi group of drugs. Vaghbata Acharya also referred about its vamana and virechana properties.
Later at the period of nighantus, further knowledge of the drug like its synonyms, pharmacological properties and uses were unleashed. In most nighantus, the drug have been said to be useful in kamala, udara, pleeha, etc. highlighting its virechana property. There is also stress on the vishahara property of the drug and the "vishaharatwa" is called as the visishta karma of the drug.
In Dhanvantari Nighantu, 3 varieties are mentioned; Indravaruni – Citrullus colocynthis Linn. Vishala – Trichosanthes palmata Roxb. Svetapushpi – Cucumis trigonus Roxb.
But some other nighantus like Bhavaprakasha, Raja and Saligrama nighantu mentions two varieties namely Indravaruni and Mahendravaruni. The drug is also mentioned in Sadak, Kaiyadeva, and Madanapala nighantu. The drug have been quoted in Amarakosam also.
The plant is reported to possess analgesic, anti-inflammatory and diuretic activity which
was attributed to a glycoside fraction contained in the alcoholic extract of this plants.
Though the seed propagation is easy, fast and reliable, the successful seed
germination depends on numerous internal and external factors. Seeds are the
principle means of regeneration and propagation of cucurbits however; the
seeds are poorly viable and undergo dormancy (Mulimani, 2007)
cucumis rely on insects especially honeybees for pollination.;
Linoleic acid,lectin,cephalin and cerebroside
Plant contains Alnusenone and alnusenol, fruits contains cucurbitacine D and E,
steroids, seeds contain fatty oil. The ethanolic extract of this plant showed the presence
of alkaloids, flavonoids, tannins, saponins, steroids. Terpenoids, resin and glycosides
(Deshpande, 2007; Ulubelen, 1976).
1. Narayana churna
2. Madhuyashtyadi taila
3. Mrtasanjivini arista
Parts used for medicinal purpose
Fruit, Root, Seed, ,
0.125 – 0.5 g. of powder.
0.25 – 0.5 g. of powder .
Some consider INDRAVARUNI as Citrullus colocynthis Schrad.
Cucumis trigonus Roxb., is a drought underexploited vegetable growing abundantly during rainy season in arid and semiarid regions throughout India and having edible and medicinal potential
Annual, herbaceous creeping herb Leaves sub orbicular, 3-6cm across, scabrous, 5-7 shallowly lobed, margin dentate or lobulate, hispid; petioles 2-5 cm long slender, hispid . Stem slender, scabrous. Flowers are small, yellow, solitary or rarely in pairs or threes. Male flowers in fascicle; peduncles 5-10 mm long. Calyx tube campanulate, 2-3 mm long, teeth subulate, corolla yellow, 2-7 mm long, lobes ovate oblong, acute. Anthers 1.5 mm long; appendage of the connective shorter than the anthers; pistillode 1 mm long.
Female flowers are solitary, peduncles 2-3 cm long, densely hairy .Fruits pepo, oval-round, sometimes obscurely trigonus, variable in size smooth and glabrous, 4 x 2.5 cm, longitudinally variegated with 10 green strips ,Pale yellow or red when ripe (Plate: I-g-J). Seeds ovate–oblong, compressed smooth, pale yellow
to India found in and upper gangetic plain, and the latter on the lower range of western
Himalayas. Also found in areas of Ceylon, Afghanistan, Persia, and North Australia
(Kiritikar and Basu, 1999).
Cucumis trigonus commonly found in cultivated fields or on waste lands
In Indian traditional systems of medicine the fruit pulp of the plant is used as expectorant,
liver tonic, stomachic and purgative. The fruit pulp is useful in leprosy, jaundice, diabetes, bronchitis and amentia
. Fruit pounded and boiled with cow’s milk and applied to the head is supposed to prevent insanity, strengthen the memory and remove vertigo. The drug is also used in snake bite.
The green fruits, slightly sour; stomachic; cures “Kapha” and
biliousness; increases “Vata”. The dried fruit is indigestible; astringents to the bowels;
improves taste; cures “Kapha’ and biliousness (Ayurveda).the pulp of the fruits is very
bitter and is a drastic purgative
The fruits are used in flatulence, leprosy, fever, jaundice,
diabetes, cough, bronchitis, ascites, anaemia, constipation, other abdominal disorders and amentia.
A decoction of the roots is preferred as being milder in
its operation and causing less irritation. The seeds are cooling and astringents, and
useful in bilious disorders
fruit pulp is bitter, acrid, thermogenic,
anthelmintic, liver tonic, cardio tonic, appetizer, expectorant and intellect promoting
(Kirtikar and Basu, 1999).
Cardioprotective Effect of Cucumis trigonus Roxb on Isoproterenol-Induced Myocardial Infarction in Rat by B.S. Thippeswam, S.P. Thakker,S. Tubachi,G.A. Kalyani