Introduction

Botanical description

Salacia reticulata belongs to category of climbing woody shrubs and has distinct morphological appearance of dichotomous branching pattern. The Bark of the plant is thin, smooth and appears greenish grey in colour. The leaf morphology is elliptic-oblong with oppositely arrangement. Leaf-base is acute, apex abruptly acuminate, margin are toothed with minute rounded teeth. The flowers are hermoprodites, with both stamens and pistils, greenish-white to greenish-yellow in colour and are arranged as 2-8 clustered in leaf axils. The fruit consists thin skin and a central stone, and is globose and tubercular in shape.

Habitat

S. reticulata is an indigenous, flowering plant of the genus Salacia grown in dry zone forests in India and Sri Lanka. In the vernacular, it is known as Ponkoranti (Tamil), Anukudu cettu (Telugu), Ekanayakam (Kannada), and Ekanayakam, Ponkoranti, or Koranti (Malayalam).

Traditional use

S. reticulata is known as Vairi or Pitika in Sanskrit and has been shown to be utilized in various traditional practices around the globe to treat various human ailments. The plant has been used in the treatment of early diabetes, rheumatism and gonorrhea in Ayurveda and also various research studies have validated its implication in obesity, rheumatism, gonorrhea, itching and swelling, asthma, thirst, amenorrhea and dysmenorrhea. Traditional medicinal practices have found that the stem and the roots of the plant have potential in management of normal blood glucose levels.