Pongamia pinnata (Linn.) Pierre and Inflammation

Pongamia pinnata (Linn.) Pierre and Inflammation

C H A P T E R 34 Pongamia pinnata (Linn.) Pierre and Inflammation Sachin L. Badole* and Kalyani Yuvaraj Patil† *Department of Pharmacology, PES Moder...

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34 Pongamia pinnata (Linn.) Pierre and Inflammation Sachin L. Badole* and Kalyani Yuvaraj Patil† *Department of Pharmacology, PES Modern College of Pharmacy, Pune, Maharashtra, India †Department of Cosmetic Technology, Nikalas Mahila Mahavidhyalaya, Khamla, Nagpur, India

1. INTRODUCTION The Indian beech, Pongam seed oil tree or Hongay seed oil tree is a fast-growing, mediumsized spreading tree that forms a broad canopy casting moderate shade. The plant grows well in tropical areas with a warm humid climate and well-distributed rainfall. Though it grows in almost all types of soils, silty soils on river banks are ideal. The tree is tolerant to drought and salinity. Originally an Indo-Malaysian species, it is now found in many countries. Pongamia pinnata (Linn.) Pierre (Synonyms: Pongamia glabra Vent., Derris indica (Lam.) Bennet, Cystisus pinnatus Lam.) is a member of the Fabaceae family (Papilionacae; Leguminasae). Pongamia pinnata is a medium-sized, glabrous, semi-evergreen tree, growing up to 18 meters or more in height, with a short bole, spreading crown, and grayish-green or brown bark. The leaves are imparipinnate, alternate, with five to seven leaflets, ovate and opposite; flowers are lilac or pinkish white and fragrant, in axillary racemes. The calyx is cup-shaped, four- to five-toothed, with a papilionaceous corolla. There are 10 monadelphous stamens, and the ovary is subsessile, twoovuled, with an incurved, glabrous style ending in a capitate stigma. The seed pod is compressed, woody, indehiscent, and yellowish-gray when ripe; it varies in size and shape, being elliptic to obliquely oblong, 4.0 to 7.5 cm long and 1.7 to 3.2 cm broad, with a short curved beak. It usually contains one or, rarely, two elliptical or reniform

Polyphenols in Human Health and Disease. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-398456-2.00034-7

seeds, wrinkled with a reddish-brown leathery testa.1 The scientific classification and local names are given in Table 34.1.

2. PONGAMIA PINNATA AND INFLAMMATORY ACTIVITY Fruits, bark, seeds, seed oil, leaves, roots and flowers of Pongamia pinnata have been recommended for use as medicines.2 The fruits and sprouts are used in folk remedies for abdominal tumors in India, the seeds for keloid tumors in Sri Lanka, and powder derived from the plant for tumors in Vietnam.3 Ayurvedic medicine described the bark as anthelmintic and useful in abdominal enlargement, ascites, biliousness, diseases of the eye, skin and vagina, itching, piles, splenomegaly, tumors, ulcers and wounds. The bark is used internally for bleeding piles and beriberi.4 In the Unani system, seed ash is used to strengthen the teeth. The seeds are carminative and depurative, for chest complaints, chronic fevers, earache, hydrocele and lumbago. In India, the seeds are used for skin ailments, keratitits, piles, urinary discharges, diseases of the brain, eye, head and skin. Juice and oil from the plants are antiseptic. They are an excellent remedy for itching and herpes. Seeds are haematinic, bitter and acrid. Today the oil is used as a liniment for rheumatism. Seeds and seed oil are used as carminative, antiseptic, anthelmintic, antirheumatic, biliousness, eye ailments, itching, leucoderma, rheumatism, skin disease, worms, and wounds. Powdered seeds are used as a febrifuge, tonic, in the


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464 TABLE 34.1


Scientific Terms and Common Names Associated with Pongamia pinnata

Scientific Classification

Common Name


















Fabaceae, Papilionaceae


Karanja, Dittouri




Indian beech


Pongamia pinnata

Andhra Pradesh:

Gaannug, Pungu, Kangu

Botanical Name:

Pongamia pinnata




Pongamia glabra Vent,


Honge, Huligili, Batti, Uggemara

Derris indica (Lam.)


Minnari, Punnu

Bennet, Cystisus

Tamil Nadu:

Puggam, Pongam, Ponga, Kanga

pinnatus Lam, Millettia



pinnata L. Panigrahi

West Bengal:

Dehar karanja, Dalkarmcha



Karanj, Sukhchain, Papri

Maharashtra, M.P., U.P., Gujarat and Rajasthan:

Karanj, Karanja

Trade name:

treatment of bronchitis, and whooping cough. Seed oil is styptic and depurative. Karanjin is the principle responsible for the curative properties found in the oil. The oil is known to be valuable in folk medicine for the treatment of rheumatism as well as human and animal skin diseases. It is effective in enhancing the pigmentation of skin affected by leucoderma of scabies. The leaves are used as anthelmintic, digestive and laxative, for inflammation, piles, and wounds. Leaves are active against Macrococcus; their juice is used for cold, coughs, diarrhea, dyspepsia, flatulence, gonorrhea and leprosy. The Karanja root is an ingredient in Dhanvantaram Ghritam, available in the South of India, and prescribed for rheumatic disease. The roots are used for cleaning gums, teeth, and ulcers. Juices from the root are used for cleansing foul ulcers and closing fistulous sores. Young shoots have been recommended for rheumatism.4 7 Different solvent-fractionated seed extracts from Pongamia pinnata have significantly prevented chemically induced paw inflammation in rats. Antiinflammatory effects of Pongamia pinnata were most effective against bradykinin and PGE1-induced inflammation.8 In contrast, fewer effects were observed against histamine and 5-HT-induced inflammation, while different extracts from the roots (ethanol, petroleum ether, benzene extracts and others) of P. pinnata have been reported to have anti-inflammatory activity.9

The ethanol extract of Pongamia glabra Vent leaf gall (PG) (100, 200, and 400 mg/kg) possessed antiinflammatory activities against carrageenan-, histamine- and serotonin-induced paw edema acute models, and cotton pellet-induced granuloma chronic models in rats. The acetic acid-induced writhing and hot plate method using mice were observed to have analgesic activity. The higher doses of PG (200 and 400 mg/kg, p.o.) inhibited carrageenan, histamine and serotonin-induced paw edema, as well as cotton pellet induced granuloma. PG (200 and 400 mg/kg, p.o.) attenuated the writhing responses induced by an intraperitoneal injection of acetic acid in mice.10 Oral administration of aqueous extract of Pongamia pinnata stem bark (PPSB) (400, 800 mg/kg, p.o.) exhibited significant anti-inflammatory activity in acute (carrageenin-induced hind paw edema) and chronic (cotton pellet granuloma) rat models of inflammation. Neither acute nor chronic administration of PPSB (400 and 800 mg/kg, p.o.) produced any gastric lesion in rats. PPSB showed anti-inflammatory activity without causing ulcerogenic activity.11 Methanolic extracts from Pongamia pinnata stem bark (PSBE) (200, 500 and 1000 mg/kg) exhibited dose-dependent antiinflammatory activity in acute and chronic studies. PSBE (200, 500 and 1000 mg/kg) increased the pain threshold after 30 min, 1, 2, and 4 hours of administration in tail flick models.12



Ethanolic extract (70%) from Pongamia pinnata leaves (PLE) (300, 1000 mg/kg) exhibited significant antiinflammatory activity in acute (carrageenin-, histamine-, 5-hydroxytryptamine- and prostaglandin E2-induced hind paw edema), subacute (kaolin-carrageenin- and formaldehyde-induced hind paw edema) and chronic (cotton pellet granuloma) models of inflammation. PLE did not show any signs of toxicity or mortality up to a dose level of 10.125 g/kg, p.o. in mice. Neither acute nor chronic administration of PLE (100, 300 and 1000 mg/kg, p.o.) produced any gastric lesion in rats. These results indicate that PLE possesses significant anti-inflammatory activity without ulcerogenic activity, suggesting its potential as an anti-inflammatory agent for use in the treatment of various inflammatory diseases.13 Alcoholic extracts from the stem bark of Pongamia pinnata (300 and 1000 mg/kg) showed significant analgesic and anti-inflammatory activity. Pongamia pinnata exhibited a significant reduction in serum TNF-α and IL-1β levels in carrageenan-induced rat paw edema. Pongamia pinnata combated inflammation via regulation of inflammatory reactions. Therefore, analgesic and anti-inflammatory activities from Pongamia pinnata can be attributed to its phytochemicals such as flavonoids, isoflavonoids, alkaloids, polyphenolic compounds, or triterpenes.14 The methanolic leaf extract of Pongamia pinnata (200 mg/kg/day) showed wound-healing activity in albino rats in excision and incision wound models.15

3. SUMMARY POINTS • Pongamia pinnata is a medium-sized, glabrous, semievergreen tree. • Different parts of the plant are recommended for medicinal used. • Different extracts from Pongamia pinnata showed anti-inflammatory and analgesic activity. • Pongamia pinnata showed wound healing activity in rats.


References 1. Badole SL, Bodhankar SL. Hongay oil tree (Pongamia pinnata Linn.) seeds in health and disease benefits. In: Preedy VR, Watson RR, Patel VB, editors. Nuts and Seeds in Health and Disease Prevention. 1st ed. London, Burlington, San Diego: Academic Press; 2011. p. 647 52 2. Chatterjee A. The Treatise of Indian Medicinal Plants, vol. 2. New Delhi: Council of Scientific and Industrial Research; 1992. p. 110 2 3. Buccolo G, David H. Quantitative determination of serum triglycerides by the use of enzymes. Clin Chem 1973;19 (5):476 80. 4. Khare CP. Encyclopedia of Indian Medicinal Plants. New York: Springer-Verlag; 2004. p. 378 9 5. Joy PP, Thomos J, Mathew S, Skaria BP. Medicinal Plants. Pongamia pinnata. Kerala, India: Kerala Agriculture University, Aromatic and Medicinal Plant Research Station; 1998. p. 73 4 6. Kirtikar KR, Basu BD. In: Blatter E, Caius JF, Mhaskar KS, editors. 2nd ed. Indian Medicinal Plants, vol. 1. Allahabad, India: Basu, LM; 1987. p. 830 2 7. Krishnamurthi A. The Wealth of India, vol. 8, raw materials. New Delhi, India: Council of Scientific and Industrial Research; 1998. p. 206 11 8. Singh RK, Pandey BL. Anti-inflammatory activity of seed extracts of Pongamia pinnata in rats. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol 1996;40(4):355 8. 9. Singh RK, Pandey BL. Anti-inflammatory potential of Pongamia pinnata root extracts in experimentally induced inflammation in rats. J Basic Appl Biomed 1996;4:21 4. 10. Ganesh M, Vasudevan M, Kamalakannan K, Kumar AS, Vinoba M, Ganguly S. Anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects of Pongamia glabra leaf gall extract. Pharmacologyonline 2008;1:497 512. 11. Nadagouda SG, Karigar AA, Sikarwar MS, Geetanjali SS. Antiinflammatory activity of Pongamia Pinnata stem bark in rats. J Pharm Res 2010;3(4):828 30. 12. Sagar MK, Kumar P, Upadhyaya Ashok K. Anti-inflammatory and analgesic activities of methanolic extract of Pongamia pinnata stem bark. Int J Pharm Profes Res 2010;1:5 9. 13. Srinivasan K, Muruganandan S, Lal J, Chandra S, Tandan SK, Prakash VR. Evaluation of anti-inflammatory activity of Pongamia pinnata leaves in rats. J Ethnopharmacol 2001;78 (2 3):151 7. 14. Badole SL, Zanwar AA, Ghule AE, Ghosh P, Bodhankar SL. Analgesic and anti-inflammatory activity of alcoholic extract of stem bark of Pongamia pinnata (L.) Pierre. Biomed Age Pathol 2012;2(1):19 23. 15. Prasad MS, Venkateshwarlu G, Dhanalakshmi CH, Kumar DS, Alekhy K, Kumar PB, et al. Wound healing activity of Pongamia pinnata in albino Wistar rats. Res J Pharm Biol Chem Sci 2011;2 (3):1096 100.