The Wonderful Health Benefits of SANTAN: Heals Wounds, Anti-Diarrhea, Antibacterial, Antitumor and Many More!

Ixora, Flame of the Woods, Jungle Flame, Jungle Geranium or Santan (Ixora coccinea Linn.) is a species of flowering plant in the Rubiaceae family. Santan or Jungle flame is a common flowering shrub native to Southern India and Sri Lanka but has long become a popular hedging plant in tropical and subtropical regions such as in South Asia, Africa, southern America such as in Florida and other warmer climates.

Ixora, Jungle Flame or Santan is a dense, multi-branched evergreen shrub that is fairly small that grows about 4 to 6 ft (1.2–2 m) high but in some cases can reach up to 12 ft (3.6 m) in height. Santan or jungle flame takes a rounded form.

Ixora or santan leaves are green, leathery, glossy, oblong shaped are about 2 to 4 in (10 cm) long and about ½ to 2 inch wide. Santan leaves have margins, and is carried in opposite pairs or whorled on the stems.

Ixora or Santan flowers are tubular and bloom in dense rounded clusters about 2 to 5 inches across. Santan flowers are beautiful and bright. The colors depending on cultivars may be white, red, orange, pink or yellow. Santan flowers bloom all year round. Santan fruit is reddish, almost round, about 5 mm diameter

Availability of Santan: Wildly crafted, cultivated as garden plant.
Santan Used Parts: Leaves, stems, roots and flowers.
Preparation: As decoction, tincture, poultice or dried and powdered.

Decoction of santan leaves is used to treat the following:
  • wounds
  • skin ulcers
  • hiccups
  • Nausea
  • Anorexia
  • Sore throat
  • Bronchitis cough
  • Asthma

Decoction of santan flower is used to treat
  • Hypertension
  • Irregular menstruation
  • Female reproduction organ infections

Dried and powdered santan roots are used to treat
  • Dysentery
  • Diarrhea
  • Sores
  • Ulcers

Poultice of santan leaves and flowers or
  • Sprains
  • Eczema
  • Boils
  • Contusions

Wound Healing Effects of Santan

In a report published in “Fitoterafia 1999” entitled “Effect of Ixora coccinea flowers on dead space wound healing in rats”, the alcoholic extract of the flowers of Ixora coccinea was studied for its effect on wound healing, using a dead space wound model in rats. Significant increases in granuloma tissue weight, tensile strength, hydroxyproline and glycosaminoglycan content were observed. The prohealing actions seem to be due to increased collagen deposition as well as better alignment and maturation. The drug induced a hypertropic effect on the thymus gland but had no effect on the adrenals.

Anti-Diarrheal Effects of Santan

In a report entitled “Ant diarrheal activity of flowers of Ixora Coccinea Linn. in rats” published in “Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine, 2010” has shown that the aqueous extract of  Ixora coccinea (santan) showed significant inhibitor activity against castor oil induced diarrhea and there is a significant reduction in gastrointestinal motility in the charcoal meal test. This result substantiate the antidiarrheal effect of the aqueous extract and its use by traditional practitioners in the treatment of diarrhea.

Antibacterial Activity of Santan

In a report titled “Evaluation of wound healing and antimicrobial potentials of Ixora coccinea root extract., Asian Pacific Journal of Medicine, 2011” it is reported that

The ethanol extract of ix Ixora Coccinea Linn showed highly significant antibacterial activity against all bacterial strains used in the study when compared to standard. The aqueous extract showed significant inhibition against all bacterial strains when compared to standard. The ethanol root extract of I. coccinea showed pronounced wound healing and antibacterial activity. The probable reason to heal the wound was that the external application of the extract prevented the microbes to invade through the wound thus the protection of wound occurs against the infection of the various organisms.

Hepatoprotective and Cytotoxic Activity of  Santan

In a report “Ixorapeptide I and ixorapeptide II, bioactive peptides isolated from Ixora coccinea.” published in “Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters, 2010”, has showed that there are two novel derivative peptides isolated from Ixora Coccinea Linn extract. These compounds exhibited selective potency against Hep3b liver cancer cell line.

Anti Inflammatory and Anti Asthma effect of Santan

In a study titled “Evaluation of Anti-asthmatic Activities of Ixora coccinea Linn (Rubiaceae)” as published in “ Journal of Pharmacology and Toxicology, 2011”, the
Ixora coccinea L. (Rubiaceae) hydro alcoholic leaf extract is studied in an ovalbumin (OVA)-induced asthmatic rat model.  Santan suppressed eosinophilia and significantly inhibited AHR in rat with OVA-induced asthma. I. coccinea reduced inflammatory cell infiltration and repaired epithelial cells damaged. This experiment provides evidence that I. coccinea has anti-asthmatic properties and then can support its use in folk medicine to treat asthma.

Chemo Protective Effect of Santan

In a study entitled “Chemo protective effect of Ixora coccinea L. flowers on cisplatin induced toxicity in mice” as published in “Phytotherapy Research : 2001” has reported that the active fraction from Ixora coccinea flowers prevented a decrease in body weight, hemoglobin levels and leucocytes counts of mice treated with cisplatin. It also significantly prolonged the life span of cisplatin treated mice and maintained their blood urea nitrogen levels in the near normal range, indicating its chemo protective effects.

Cytotoxic and Antitumor Effects of Santan

In a report “Cytotoxic and antitumor principles from Ixora coccinea flowers.” published inn “Cancer Letters, 1998”, the antitumor activity of Ixora coccinea L. (Rubiaceae) flowers was studied in comparison to intraperitoneally transplanted Dalton's lymphoma (ascitic and solid tumors) and Ehrlich ascites carcinoma tumors in mice.  The same active fraction showed 50% cytotoxicity to Dalton’s lymphoma, Ehrlich ascites carcinoma and Sarcoma-180 (S-180) cells in vitro. It was not toxic to normal lymphocytes, whereas it was toxic to transformed lymphocytes from leukemic patients, acute lymphoblastic leukemia and chronic myelogenous leukemia and K-562 suspension cell cultures. The active fraction inhibited tritiated thymidine incorporation in cellular DNA.

Note: No known side effects even at prolonged usage. The roots, leaves and flowers do not contain toxic and heavy metals.

Source: Medical Health Guide

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