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Paeonia lactiflora
Panax ginseng
Plantago afra
Platycodon grandiflorum
Piper methysticum
Polygala senega
Prunus africana
Prunus armeniaca
Plantago ovata
Pimpinella anisum
Passiflora incarnata
Psidium guajava
Punica granatum


 

 

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Untitled Document Platycodon grandiflorum (Jacq.) A. DC. (Campanulaceae)

Synonyms
Platycodon chinensis Lindl, P. autumnalis Decne., P. sinensis Lem., P. stellatum, Campanula grandiflora Jacq., Campanula glauca Thunb., Campanula gentianoides Lam.

Local names
Balloon-flower, chieh keng, Chinese bell flower, gil gyeong, Japanese bellflower, jiegeng, jieseng, kikiyou, kikyo, kikyokon, kikyou, platycodon radix

Description
Perennial herb wholly glabrous, slightly glaucescent; root white, fleshy, radishshaped, finger-thick, with abundant milky juice; stems ascending from base or straight, simple, 40–50 cm, herbaceous, glabrous or smooth, longitudinally striate in lower part; radical leaves alternate or sometimes nearly opposite, arranged along the lower half of stem or even higher, ovate-lanceolate, sessile, tapering at base, 2.5–3.4 cm long, 2–3 cm wide, rather large-toothed, pale beneath, glaucescent, upper leaves reduced. Flowers usually 1, sometimes 2, large, lengthily pedunculate, broadly campanulate or deeply saucer-shaped; calyx in 5 segments; corolla 5-lobed, violet-blue, 4 cm long; stamens 5; ovary many-celled. Fruit an ovoid capsule dehiscent at the top; seeds ovoid, compressed, obtuse, first violet then brown; albumen fleshy

Plant material used
dried root

Chemical assays
Triterpene saponins, not less than 2%. Saponin content of the root can be evaluated by thin-layer chromatography–densitometry

Major chemical constituents
The major chemical constituents of Radix Platycodi root are triterpene saponins based on the sapogenins platycodigenin and polygalacic acid; examples are platycodins A–I and polygalacins D and D2

Dosage forms
Dried roots, extracts, and other preparations.

Medicinal uses
Uses supported by clinical data
None.

Uses described in pharmacopoeias and well established documents
As an expectorant and antitussive used to treat coughs, colds, upper respiratory infections, sore throats, tonsillitis, and chest congestion. In Chinese traditional medicine, Radix Platycodi has been used to treat cough with sputum, tonsillitis, pertussis, and asthma. Also used to treat stomatitis, peptic ulcers, and chronic inflammatory diseases.

Uses described in traditional medicine
Other medical uses for Radix Platycodi include the treatment of viral infections and high blood pressure

Proven pharmacological activity
Animal studies
Anti-inflammation, Expectorant and antitussive, Antiulcer, Antihypercholesterolaemic and antihyperlipidaemic

Human studies
Lung abscesses, lobar pneumonia, and pharyngitis

Toxicity
The median lethal dose of a decoction of Radix Platycodi given orally was 24 g/ kg in mice. The median lethal doses of platycodins in mice and rats were 420 and 800mg/kg (oral), or 22.3 and 14.1 mg/kg (intraperitoneal), respectively. Crude platycodins have been reported to have sedative side-effects in mice, such as inhibition of movement and a decrease in respiration after both intraperitoneal and oral administration. These side-effects were less pronounced after oral administration, suggesting that platycodins are poorly absorbed through the gastrointestinal tract. Crude platycodins have a highly haemolytic effect in mice, of which the haemolytic index is 1.2 times that of a commercial reagent-grade saponin used as a reference. Radix Platycodi preparations should therefore be givenonly orally, after which the drug loses its haemolytic effect owing to decomposition in the alimentary tract

Contraindications
No information available.

Warnings
Playtcodon extracts have a very pronounced haemolytic effect, and therefore the drug should not be administered by injection.

Precautions
General
Radix Platycodi reportedly depresses central nervous system (CNS) activity. Patients should avoid using alcohol or other CNS depressants in conjunction with this drug. Patients should be cautioned that the combination of the drug and alcohol may impair their ability to drive a motor vehicle or operate hazardous machinery.

Drug interactions
Because of the CNS depressant activity, Radix Platycodi may act synergistically with other CNS depressants such as alcohol, tranquillizers, and sleeping medications. Radix Platycodon is also reported to be incompatible with Gentiana scabra and Bletilla hyacinthina.

Carcinogenesis, mutagenesis, impairment of fertility
To date, no genotoxic effects have been reported. Platycodon root extracts were not mutagenic in the Bacillus subtilis rec-assay or the Salmonella/microsome reversion assay (28). Nor were they mutagenic in the SOS chromotest (E. coli PQ37) and in the SOS umu test (S. typhimurium TA 1535/pSK 1002).

Pregnancy: teratogenic effects
Platycodon extracts are not teratogenic in vivo.

Pregnancy: non-teratogenic effects
No data available; therefore Radix Platycodi should not be administered during pregnancy

Nursing mothers
Excretion of the drug into breast milk and its effects on the newborn infant have not been established; therefore the use of the drug during lactation is not recommended.

Other precautions
No information available on drug and laboratory test interactions or on paediatric use.

Adverse reactions
No information available.

Posology
The usual dose range is 2–9g daily

 

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