Mamira (Coptis teeta Wall.)

Coptis teeta Wall. belongs to the family Ranunculaceae and also known as golden thread herb, Mamira and Mishmi. It is an endangered species in India. It is recorded only from the state of Arunachal Pradesh. It is a perennial stemless herb with horizontal rootstocks and densely fibrous with yellowish brown externally and golden-yellow internally and very bitter in taste. Leaves are pinnatifid with long petiole, ovate-lanceolate leaflets are shiny and slippery. Flowers are white or yellowish with stalked follicles.

The plant has various indications in Indian System of Medicine i.e. Ayurveda, Unani & Siddha. Unsustainable, commercial exploitation of the plant for international trade is the main reason for its critically endangered status. This plant is now under cultivation.

Rhizome contains a number of alkaloids such as palmatine, berberine, epiberberine and jatrorrhizine. The plant has several medicinal uses as in cough, cold and also in backache, stomachache, cuts, wound, dysentery, cholera, diarrhoea, eye complaints, malarial fever, etc. It is also used as general bitter tonic. It regulates blood pressure and also helpful in anti-tumour and antibacterial activities.

Dr. Shiddamallayya N

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