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Kantkari (Solanum Xantho-carpum) is one of the members of the dasamula (ten root) of the Ayurveda. It is a very spiny diffuse herb up to 1.2 m tall, commonly found throughout India. The juice of berries is used in sore throat. Roots and seeds are administered as an expectorant in asthma and cough and pain in chest. Stem flowers and fruits are bitter and carminative and are prescribed for relief in burning sensation in the feet. Leaves are applied locally to relieve pain. The drug is collected mainly from the wild plants, as there is no systematic cultivation of the herb. They are 3-5cm long and 1.6-6 mm thick, dull grayish in colour with a soft fibrous structure. Pharmacological studies on this herb have shown that aqueous and alcoholic extracts of the plant possess hypotensive effect, which is partly inhibited by atropine (The Wealth of India).
The herb is known as Kantakari and Nidigadhika in Sanskrit, in Hindi it is known as Kateli, Katai and Ringani, in Bengali Kantakari, in Marwari Bhuiringani, in Gujarati Bhoyaringani, in Telugu Pinnamulaka, Nelamulaka and Vankuda, in Tamil and Malayalam Kandankattiri, in Oriya Bhejibegun and Ankranti. In Punjab it is known as Kandyali, Mahori and Warumba and in Bihar Rengnie, Bhat-khataya and Rangaini Janum. English name is yellow berried nightshade.
A total of four patents have been located; two patents granted in US, one in Russia and one application filed in India.
One patent titled "Freeze-dried ginseng berry tea" had 108 herbs in one of the claims; kantkari is one of them. This was granted to E. Excel International Inc, USA in April 2001 and inventor is Jau-Fei Chen. This patent was discussed earlier also in the series of patents related to different herbs covered in one of the earlier issues of IPR (Vol 7 No. 5, May 2001).
Second US patent entitled "Blood flow amount-improving agent comprising steroid derivative and cosmetic using same" is granted to Pola Chemical Industries of Japan and Mr. Kuniro Tsuji of Japan jointly. Kantkari is referred in one of the animal and plant origins of various steroid derivatives used for the purpose of the patent.
Interestingly one Russian Patent RU2157226 entitled "Anticoughing preparation and method of its preparing" has been located. This has been granted to DZH B Kemikals Ehnd Farmas Jut, an Indian company. Inventors of the patent are Dr. Milind Dattaraja Joshi, Shri Shirish Bkhagvangal Modi and Dr. Madkhukant Mansukhlal Doshi; all Indians. This describes the invention as an ayurvedic medicinal preparation of plants taken among Solanum xanthocarpum (kantkari), Curcuma longa, Glycyrrhiza glabra, Adhatoda vasika, Zingiber officinale, Terminalia belerica, Solanum indicum, Ocimum sanctum, Saussurea lappa, Piper cubeba, Aloe barbadensis, Inula racemosa and Piper longum.
JB Chemicals & Pharma-ceuticals Ltd had also filed one patent application in India on kantakari entitled "An improved process for the manufacture of the extract obtained from ayurvedic medicinal plant viz kantkari".