Gloriosa Superba (Kalihari) Gloriosa Lily (Flame Lily)

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Gloriosa Superba (Kalihari) is an ayurvedic herb used due to its muscle relaxant, anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.

THIOCOLCHICOSIDE used in the Modern Medicine is a semi-synthetic derivative of COLCHICOSIDE, an alkaloid and active substance present in the Gloriosa Superba (Kalihari). It is also used for its muscle relaxant, analgesic and anti-inflammatory action. It is a GLYCINE receptor antagonist and GABAA receptor antagonist.

COLCHICINE is also derived from Kalahari plant, which is used for gouty arthritis in modern medicine.

Gloriosa Superba (Kalihari) is a common ayurvedic herb used for hundreds of years for the treatment of muscular pain, joint inflammation and pain disorders. The first description of its use in History appears in Charaka Samhita. In ayurveda, it is also used in the treatment of ear diseases and skin disorders.

Botanical Description

Basic Information

Scientific NameGLORIOSA SUPERBA
Plant FamilyCOLCHICACEAE
Hindi NameKALIHARI, LANGALI
Sanskrit NameKALIHARI, AGNISHIKHA
English NameGloriosa Lily, Flame Lily, Glory Lily
Other NamesKAANTHAL, JIA LAN

Botanical Classification (Taxonomy)

KingdomPLANTAE
Sub-KingdomVIRIDIPLANTAE
Infra KingdomSTREPTOPHYTA  (land plants)
Super DivisionEMBRYOPHYTA
DivisionTRACHEOPHYTA/TRACHEOPHYTES (vascular plants)
Sub DivisionSPERMATOPHYTINA/SPERMATOPHYTES (Seed Plants)
ClassMAGNOLIOPSIDA
Super OrderLILIANAE/MONOCOTYLEDONS (monocots)
OrderLILIALES
FamilyCOLCHICACEAE
GenusGLORIOSA L. (flame lily)
SpeciesGLORIOSA SUPERBA L. (flame lily or gloriosa lily)

Medicinal Parts

  1. Roots
  2. Tuber
  3. Leaves
  4. Seeds (rare use)

Phytochemistry (Active Constituents)

COLCHICINE is present in all parts of Gloriosa Superba. THIOCOLCHICOSIDE is also a derivative of Kalihari plant.

PartsPhyto-chemicals
RootsCOLCHICINE
Tubers & SeedsCOLCHICINE, ISOPERLOLYRINE, TROPOLANE ALKALOIDS, SITOSTEROL, GLUCOSIDE, COLCHICOSIDE
FlowersLUTEOLIN, GLUCOSIDE, N-FORMYL-DE-ME-COLCHICINE, 2-DE-ME-COLCHICINE

0.15 to 0.3% COLCHICINE content is present in tubers and seeds contain 0.7 to 0.9% of COLCHICINE content. COLCHICOSIDE is extracted from the seeds of Kalihari. THIOCOLCHICOSIDE is a semi-synthetic compound and derivative of COLCHICOSIDE.

Medicinal Properties

Gloriosa Superba (Kalihari) has following medicinal characteristics.

  1. Anti-inflammatory
  2. Anti-arthritis
  3. Anti-gout
  4. Analgesic
  5. Muscle relaxant and antispasmodic
  6. Anthelmintic
  7. Antidote of snake bites
  8. Antidote of scorpion stings
  9. Anti-periodic
  10. Abortifacient

Therapeutic Indications

Gloriosa Superba (Kalihari) is helpful in following diseases.

  1. Muscular spasm or cramps
  2. Gout
  3. Low backache
  4. Jaundice
  5. Vulvodynia (pain in lower part of the female reproductive tract)
  6. Dysmenorrhea
  7. Intestinal worms
  8. Abscess (external) or chronic skin ulcers
  9. Snake bite
  10. Scorpion sting
  11. Arthritis
  12. Acne (pimples) and skin eruption (sap with coconut oil)
  13. Alopecia areata
  14. Human Ear Parasites

Medicinal Uses & Health Benefits

Kalihari is used in all health conditions described above in therapeutic indications. Its main effects are on parasites, pain and inflammation.

Dysmenorrhea (Painful periods)

Gloriosa Superba (Kalihari) has antispasmodic and muscle relaxant properties. It also acts as emmenagogue, so it promotes easy flow of menstrual blood and gives relief from abdominal cramps and lower abdominal pain during periods. To enhance its effectiveness, it is used with coral calcium in ayurveda. The dosage is used in dysmenorrhea is 125 mg four times a day with Praval Pisthi and honey.

Alopecia areata

Kalihari root powder pack (lep) is applied over the affected part of the scalp. It helps eradicating fungal infection and stimulates the growth of new hairs.

External Abscess

The Kalihari oil is useful in external abscess. The drainage of abscess before its application is required for maximum benefits.

Vulvodynia

Kalihari oil is also applied within the genital internal walls to get relief from pain of the lower part of the female reproductive tract.

How to prepare Kalihari Oil

IngredientsQuantity
Kalihari roots Paste100 grams
Nirgundi Juice1600 ml
Sesame Oil400 grams

Kalihari paste is prepared using Kalihari roots powder and water. All ingredients are mixed and heated until the oil remains with residues underneath. Then oil is strained out and residues are discarded. This oil is known as Kalihari oil. It is used externally as antiseptic and pain reliever.

Dosage

The dosage of Gloriosa Superba roots is 125 mg to 250 mg twice a day. The maximum dosage of Kalihar roots should not exceed from 1000 mg per day.

Leaves of Gloriosa Superba are used in jaundice treatment in traditional ayurvedic medicines. Its dosage should not exceed from 4 grams a day.

Safest Dosage of root powder125 mg to 250 mg
Safest dosage for leaves powder500 mg to 1000 mg

All these dosage are for therapeutic purposes only. You should not use it for a longer period. The maximum safest period of its use is about less than 30 days.

Caution & Side Effects

Gloriosa Superba or Kalhari is a therapeutic and medicinal herb, so you cannot use it as supplement in any health condition. Your doctor may help you finding the best solution for you according to your symptoms and health condition. The dosage may also vary in every individual. Some people may not have well tolerability for this herb. They can feel restlessness, vertigo and nausea 2 – 3 hours or immediately after its consumption. Excess dosage can also cause stomach pain and severe abdominal cramps.

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

Gloriosa Superba (Kalihari) is UNSAFE in pregnancy and breastfeeding. It has toxin effects and abortifacient properties, so it can lead to miscarriage. In breastfeeding, it can release into breast milk and may result in adverse effects for newborn child.

Contraindications

You should not use Gloriosa Superba (Kalihari) in following conditions.

  • Kidney diseases
  • History of allergic to any natural or herbal product
  • Liver cirrhosis (roots, tuber and seeds are not used in this case)
  • Alcoholism (alcohol with Kalihari can cause severe vertigo and nausea)
  • After or before surgery
  • Pregnancy or planning to being pregnant
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