Plants

Vitex negundo (Root)

NIRGUNDI (Root)
Nirgundi consists of dried root of Vitex negundo Linn. (Fam. Verbenaceae), a large aromatic shrub or sometimes a small tree, upto 4.5 m in height, common throughout the country ascending to an altitude of 1500 m in the lower Himalayas.It is common in waste places around village, river bank, moist localities and deciduous forests.

SYNONYMS
Sanskrit : —
Assamese : Aslak
Bengali : Nirgundi, Nishinda
English : Five leaved chaste, Indian Privet
Gujrati : Nagod
Hindi : Nirgundi
Kannada : Lakkigida, Nekkigida, Lakkimara
Kashmiri : —
Malayalam : Indranee
Marathi : Lingad, Nigad
Oriya : —
Punjabi : Sambhalu
Tamil : Karuno chchil
Telugu : Nallavavilli
Urdu : Sambhalu

DESCRIPTION

a) Macroscopic
Roots cylindrical, hard, tough with irregular fractures; external surface rough due to longitudinal, narrow, cracks and small rootlets; cut surface shows cork region greyishbrown, middle region greyish-white, and xylem region cream coloured; bark thin, easily separates from wood; wood hard, forming major part of root.

b) Microscopic
Root shows 10 to 18 or more tangential rows of rectangular to cubicular, moderately thick-walled cork cells with a few rows of radially arranged cork cells also being present, inner 3 to 5 rows of cork cells thin-walled; cork cambium consists of single row of squarish to transversely elongated cells; secondarycortex composed of 4 to 12 rows of rectangular to elongated cells, some contain starch grains; numerous, small groups of stone cells found scattered in this zone; stone cells vary in shape and size; secondary phloem consists of sieve tubes with companion cells, fibres and phloem parenchyma traversed by phloem rays; distal portion of phloem conical, due to dilating  phloem rays; each band of phloem composed of thin-walled, phloem tissues alternating with transverse strips of thick-walled phloem fibres; a few tangential strips of obliterated phloem tissues also present in outer-phloem region; each fibre group composed of 6 to 60 or more thick-walled, long and short fibres, short fibres comparatively thick-walled, a few fibres show forked tips; inner zone of phloem omposed of intact, thin-walled, phloem tissues mainly sieve tubes, companion cells and phloem parenchyma; cambium composed of one, or sometimes two, rows of cells; central major part of root consists of xylem; vessels varying in size, scattered throughout xylem region, either in small groups of 2 to 4 or singly; a few xylem vessels show tail on one or both the ends; xylem fibres long, having thick-walls and pointed tips; xylem parenchyma contains starch grains similar to those found in cortical region; medullary rays are uni-to triseriate, almost straight, extend from pith to cork, medullary rays in xylem region radial while in phloem region they dilate; cells contain starch grain, simple and compound, oval to circular, having 4 components and measuring 8 to 12 µ in dia.
Powder – Pale yellow; shows parenchymatous cells containing simple oval to round and compound starch grains with 4 components, measuring 8 to 12 µ in dia; stone cells elongated, rectangular and squarish in shape with wide and narrow lumen, radiating canals and conspicuous striations; xylem vessels with pitted thickening, xylem and phloem fibres with thick walls.

PROPERTIES AND ACTION
Rasa : Katu, Tikta, Kashaya
Guna : Laghu, Ruksha
Virya : Ushna (Nila), sita
Vipaka : Katu
Karma : Vatahara, Pittavinasana, Kesya, Netrya, Sleshmaha, Pidahara

IMPORTANT FORMULATIONS – Mahavishagarbha Taila, Manasa Mitra Vaaka

THERAPEUTIC USES – Adhmana, Kasa, Krimi Roga, Kustha, Pradara, shula Roga, Kandu, sleshmaja Jvara

DOSE – 10-20 ml.