– PLANT DESCRIPTION:
Scilla maritima – Squill grows from a large bulb which can be up to 20 cm wide and weigh 1 kg. A few bulbs may grow in a clump and are generally just underneath the surface of the soil. In the spring, every bulb creates a rosette of around ten leaves each up to a meter long. They are dark green and leathery in texture. They die away by fall, when the bulb produces a tall, narrow raceme of flowers. This inflorescence can achieve 1.5– 2 m in height. The flower is around 1.5 cm wide and has six tepals each with a dark stripe down the center. The tepals are white, except for those on the red-flowered form. The fruit is a capsule up to 1.2 cm long. (1)
Easy to grown in a dry and sunny position, it can be grown in the ground (in warm atmosphere) or in an decorative pot. The bulbs are winter active and summer dormant, so they ought to be given supplemental water in the winter, but none in the summer. The bulbs can be planted lifted to uncover the top one half. When planting in the ground enable plentiful space for the bulbs to divide and multiply. Plant in a porous soil with good drainage.
The foliage is hardy to no less than 3° C, while the bulb itself can endure lower temperatures.
Urginea maritima can be grown in a cactus and succulent garden. It can be put in an ornamental pot and utilized as a winter focal point on a patio. Fragile flowers bloom in summer and the tall stalks dot the landscape making a wonderful sight. (2)
– CHEMICAL COMPOSITION:
The chemical constituents of Scilla maritima are incompletely known. the three bitter glucosidal substances are isolated Scillitoxin, Scillipicrin and Scillin. The initial two are amorphous and act upon the heart, the former being the more active; Scillin is crystalline and causes numbness and regurgitating. Different constituents are mucilaginous and saccharine matter, including a peculiar mucilaginous carbohydrate named Sinistrin, an Inulin-like substance, which called Laevulose on being boiled with dilute acid.
The toxicity of Scilla maritima has more recently been ascribed to a single, bitter, non-nitrogenous glucoside, to which the name Scillitinis given, and which is the active diuretic and expectorant principle. (3)
– SCILLA MARITIMA USES & BENEFITS:
Scilla maritima has demonstrated anticancer activity against human epidermoid carcinoma of nasopharynx in studies carried out in-vivo and in-vitro.
Squill incites vomiting which is then preceded by increase in flow of other secretions. In this way utilized as an ingredient in cough drugs and is likewise used to treat asthma.
Scilliroside and Scillirubroside present in Red Squill are toxic to rats. In this way utilized as rat poison.
- Strong Heart stimulant/cardiotonic:
The presence of cardiovascular glycosides (Scillaren A and proscillaridin) in bulb stimulates the heart and create positive inotropic and negative chronotropic impacts if there is an occurrence of heart insufficiency, angina pectoris, nephrotic edema, and it is emetic and cathartic in higher doses.
Nowadays it’s seldom utilized for its abortifacient properties as studies have indicated it to be risky and ineffectual.
When taken in little doses, it has an immediate stimulant impact on Kidney thereby acting as a diuretic.
- Treat Psoriasis:
Squill preparations are utilized as a part of the treatment of inflammatory disease, Psoriasis because of the presence of steroids (corticosteroids).
- Chronic bronchitis:
Stimulates bronchial mucous membrane in bronchial illnesses. When compared with digitalis extract, it demonstrates no cummulative activity and acts quickly.
- Insecticidal operator:
The phyto-bioactive mixes extricated from Squill indicated mosquito repellant activities. (4)
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