Carissa spinarum / Wild Karanda

Even een drankje drinken en je bent genezen van alle verschrikkelijke ziektes die je je maar kan bedenken. Dat beweert medicijnman Mwasapile. Het klinkt als een wonder, maar als bijvoorbeeld hiv-patiënt wil je daar natuurlijk graag in geloven. Of kan dit middel echt wonderen verrichten?Dit middel gemaakt door medicijnman Mwasapile houdt de gemoederen in Tanzania in ieder geval behoorlijk bezig. Is het een wonderdrankje of is deze man weer één van de vele oplichters?Het drankje is in ieder geval niet gevaarlijk. De plant die voor dit middel gebruikt wordt, is de ”carissa spinarum” en is enkele jaren geleden door wetenschappers geïdentificeerd als middel tegen geslachtsziekten als gonorroe, syfilis en herpes. Daarnaast wordt het door diverse stammen al eeuwen gebruikt tegen allerlei andere kwaaltjes.

Common name: Wild Karanda • Hindi: Jungli Karonda जंगली करौंदा • Telugu: Kavali •Oriya: Karamdika • Marathi: karvand • Tamil: சிருகிலா Chirukila

Botanical name: Carissa spinarum Family: Apocynaceae (Oleander family)

Synonyms: Carissa hirsuta, Carissa diffusa, Carissa opaca

Wild Karanda is the wild cousine of the Karanda (Carissa carandas). It is an erect thorny shrub, with forked branches, 2-3 m in height. Wood is very hard; bark, light brown to green, can be stripped off longitudinally by hand, exposing the white to light-green wood underneath; thorns, 3.2 cm long, brown to greenish at the base and deep brown towards the tip. Leaves, ovate, 4.5 cm long, 2.5 cm broad, leathery; venation, reticulate pinnate; margin, entire; petiole 3 mm long; leaves exuding a white latex, when plucked from the stem. Flowers with five white narrow petals. The thorny bushes of Wild Karanda are found commonly growing in the forests and wastelands up to elevations of 1,500 metres. They are highly drought-resistant. They bear small fruits which are eaten by all and are also offered for sale at many places. This shrub is found wild in most parts of India, especially in the dry foothills of the Punjab, the sub-Himalayan tract up to 4,000 feet in the trans-Indus territory and also on the coast of the southern Andamans.

Antioxidants and a new germacrane sesquiterpene from Carissa spinarumR. Jagadeeshwar Rao; U. Sampath Kumar; S. Venkat Reddy; Ashok K. Tiwari; J. Madhusudana Rao. Natural Product Research: Formerly Natural Product Letters, 1478-6427, Volume 19, Issue 8, 2005, Pages 763 – 769

Ethanolic extract of the roots of C. spinarum was evaluated for hepato-protective and antioxidant activities in rats. Oral pre-treatment with ethanolic extract (100, 200 and 400 mg/kg) showed significant hepatoprotective activity against CCl4 and paracetamol-induced hepatotoxicity by decreasing the activities of bilirubin and lipid peroxidation, and significant increase in the levels of uric acid, glutathione, super oxide dismutase, catalase and protein in a dose dependent manner, which was confirmed by the decrease in liver wet weight and histopathological examination. The extract possessed strong antioxidant activity. This suggests that the hepatoprotective activity of C. spinarum is possibly attributed to its free radical scavenging properties.