Therapeutic Benefits of Bauhinia variegata for Dementia Patients

A group of researchers of India found great therapeutic potential of Bauhinia variegata to treat mental disorders like Alzheimer's disease
Research study of a group of scientists have shown the nootropic effects of a medical plant Bauhinia variegata.
Research study of a group of scientists have shown the nootropic effects of a medical plant Bauhinia variegata.(Image by Akashita Panjla)

Introduction 

Do you know about any plant that has properties to treat diseases like dementia? Scientists revealed that Bauhinia variegata, a medicinal plant that originated in south China, south-eastern Asia, and the Indian subcontinent, belongs to the Fabaceae family. All over the world, it is known by different names like orchid tree and mountain ebony, while in India, it is commonly known as kachnar and also has great potential to deal with brain-related issues like dementia. It is also famous for its culinary uses as in some regions of India such as Himachal Pradesh and Nort-eastern states, its flowers and buds are used to prepare pickles and chutney.

Medicinal benefits

In Ayurveda, the bark and flowers of kachnar are traditionally and extensively used to treat various other illnesses like goiter, tumor, cough, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), dysfunctional uterine bleeding, lymphadenopathy, and help in regulating pitta dosha. Because of its anti-tubercular properties, it can also help in treating tuberculosis. 

Kachnar, a medicinal plant traditionally used in India to treat mental and physical issues, has been used since ancient times in Ayurveda as a medicine. Therapeutic uses of Kovidara and Karbudara’s bark and flower (Kachnar) are mentioned by Maharishi Charaka and Sushruta in their Samhitas. These have a great potential to treat diseases like Gandamala (goiter), Kasa (cough), Krimi (worm infestation), Atisara (diarrhea), and Kushtha (leprosy) and regulate Kapha and Pitta dosha due to the presence of chemicals like hentriacontane, octacosanol, and amino acids. It is prescribed in various forms, like Kanchanara Kwatha and Kanchanara Guggulu.

Dr Ravi, BAMS, AIIA, New Delhi

Previous research reveals a variety of properties of Bauhinia variegata.

  • antidiabetic

  • antioxidant

  • anti-inflammatory

  • analgesic (pain relieving) 

  • anti-microbial

  • cytotoxic (cancer-fighting)

  • anti-dyslipidemic (controls lipid levels)

Alzheimer’s disease is a common type of dementia is a medical condition that defines a person’s thinking inability, causes the brain’s activities, and affects memory and speech. control and coordination, and body balancing by destroying the nerve cells of a person’s brain.
Alzheimer’s disease is a common type of dementia is a medical condition that defines a person’s thinking inability, causes the brain’s activities, and affects memory and speech. control and coordination, and body balancing by destroying the nerve cells of a person’s brain.(Representational Image: Unsplash)

Nootropic effects of Kachnar

In allopathy, there is no proper drug that can treat Alzheimer's but researchers tried to explore herbal medicines to find out the cure of this disease.

A study conducted by researchers from Shri Ram Murti Smarak College of Engineering & Technology, Bareilly (SRMS CET), Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Rohilkhand University, Bareilly, and the Himalayan Institute of Pharmacy and Research, Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India, has found great therapeutic potential to treat mental disorders like Alzheimer's disease. They conducted a behavioral memory test on Swiss albino mice that had been given colchicine to cause cognitive dysfunction to find out the neuroprotective effects of the ethanolic leaf extract of Bauhinia variegata. 

Alzheimer’s disease is a common type of dementia that becomes worse with time. It is a medical condition that defines a person’s thinking inability, causes the brain’s activities, and affects memory and speech. control and coordination, and body balancing by destroying the nerve cells of a person’s brain.

Epidemiology of Alzheimer's

Five percent of individuals aged 65-74, 13.1% aged 75-84, and 33.3% aged 85 or older have Alzheimer's dementia. Researchers say it begins with mild symptoms like memory loss, and in some cases, serious brain injuries are also reasons for this disease.

Reports define that the risk of dementia increases with age factors and medical conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, various heart illnesses, various drinking and smoking habits, and depression. Sometimes, due to drugs like antidepressants being overconsumed, having medicines frequently can be a serious cause of Alzheimer’s.

Scientists administered 48 Swiss albino mice with leaf extract. They injected colchicine into their brain to examine neuroprotective effects of Bauhinia variegata.
Scientists administered 48 Swiss albino mice with leaf extract. They injected colchicine into their brain to examine neuroprotective effects of Bauhinia variegata.(Representational Image: Wikimedia commons)

Research method: 

To conduct the research, scientists first prepared a leaf extract using various chemicals like petroleum ether, chloroform, methanol, and ethanol. Scientists divided the 48 Swiss albino mice into eight groups, each group containing six mice. Mice in group 1 were given carboxymethyl cellulose, a harmless substance. Group 2 was injected with 200 mg/kg paracetam to increase brain functioning. Group 3 provided 1 mg/kg of colchicine directly into the brain via injection. Group 4 administered 200 mg/kg of an ethanolic extract of Bauhinia variegata leaves. Group 5 administered the same leaf extract with an increased quantity of 400 mg/kg. Group 6 was given daily injections of 200 mg/kg paracetam for 28 days; after the 28th day, mice were given colchicine injections. Group 7 mice were administered 200 mg/kg of ethanolic leaf extract of Bauhinia variegata, and group 8 mice were administered 400 mg/kg of the same. 

Results: 

To find out the results, ANOVA and Tukey's tests were used to analyze the collected data. They found that mice administered an ethanolic leaf extract of Bauhinia variegata provided neuroprotective effects against memory loss, and throughout the study, they didn’t observe any mortal or abnormal behavior.

References:

  1. Nariyal, Vikas & Sharma, Priyanka. (2017). KANCHNAR (BAUHINIA VARIEGATA) AS A MEDICINAL HERB: A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW.. International Journal of Advanced Research. 5. 587-591. 10.21474/IJAR01/5364. 

  2. P, Kishore K, Sharma DK. Neuroprotective Effect of Bauhinia variegata Leaf Extract againstColchicine: An Experimental Study on Cognitive Dysfunction and Biochemical Alterations in Mice. Indian J of Pharmaceutical Education and Research. 2021;55(3s):s798-s806.

  3. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/dementia/?gad_source=1&gclid=Cj0KCQjwlN6wBhCcARIsAKZvD5g1upqg6gAP81j0LFJTw7uK47m0oSZ5mkwaD01DcAEJpp8nzDUjkvMaAs3XEALw_wcB

  4. Ramesh Chandra, T., Suresh, C., Sanghamitra, D., Gagan deep, K., & Rajnish Kumar, G. (2015). KANCHNARA (BAUHINIA VARIEGATA LINN.): A CRITICAL REVIEW. International Journal of Ayurveda and Pharma Research3(7). Retrieved from https://www.ijapr.in/index.php/ijapr/article/view/112

  5. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/9164-alzheimers-disease

  6. https://plants.usda.gov/home/classification/78128

(By Akashita Panjla)

Research study of a group of scientists have shown the nootropic effects of a medical plant Bauhinia variegata.
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