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  Latin Name Mesua ferrea
English Name Cobraís saffron
Hindi Name Nagkesar
Part Used Flower

Cobra's saffron is a medium sized to large evergreen tree with short trunk; itís named after the heaviness of its timber and is cultivated in tropical climates for its form, foliage, and fragrant flowers.

1,2The flowers of Mesua ferrea are astringent and stomachic. Dried powered flowers are given in dysentery with mucus (Amoebic dysentery-Giardia/Entamoeba histolytica). The volatile oil from flowers showed antibacterial, antifungal and anthelmintic activities. Phenolic constituents of seed oil produced anti-asthmatic effect. The oil is also used against rheumatism. The stamen constitute, drug Nagakeshar. The plant as one of the ingredients of an indigenous formulation is used to treat non-specific leucorrhoea, another ayurvedic drug with Mesua plant as one of the ingredients reputed haemostatic was tested clinically; the activity was confirmed giving 90% success.

3The extract of Mesua ferrea flower caused statistically significant reduction in viable count of the strain (Salmonella spp) in liver, spleen and heart blood of challenged mice. 4It could inhibit a large number of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria at concentration ranges of 100 to 50 microg/ml, or even lower, as against vibrios and Escherichia coli. 54-Alkyl- and 4-phenylcoumarins from Mesua ferrea has shown promising multidrug resistant antibacterials.



1. The Wealth of India, Raw Materials, Vol. 6, 349-352, 2005
2. The Wealth of India, First Supplement Series (Raw Materials) Vol. 4: J-Q, page 128, 2006
3. PMID: 15991585, Indian J Exp Biol. 2005 Jun;43(6):566-8.
4. PMID: 15551387, Phytother Res. 2004 Oct;18(10):824-6.
5. PMID: 15501254, Phytochemistry. 2004 Nov;65(21):2867-79.

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