Two resins, tannin and a bitter principle superbine allied to the bitter principle of squill, and alkaloid gloriosine. A white farinaceous starch is obtained from the root by repeated washings and grindings throwing away the supernatant liquid and washing residue carefully six times.
Root is a tonic, antiperiodic, cholagogue, alternative and purgative. According to the Nigbantus, root is purgative, hot light and pungent; it increase secretion of bile. Tubers are very bitter to taste. Contrary to popular belief, root is not poisonous in ordinary doses.
Action & Uses in Ayurveda and Siddha-
Katu rasam, trikshnoshnam, katu vipakam, snake poison, cutaneous diseases. Anthelmintic, abortive.
Action & uses in Unani:
Hot 4 degree. Dry 4 degree Diuretic, emmenagogue, abortive, resolvent in jaundice.
Propagate this plant from seed sown in September-October and be patient because the seed might take up to four month to germinate. Seedlings should be planted straight out in the garden in an equal mix of good garden soil and compost.
The flame lily must be allowed to scramble up through trees, alternatively provide a trellis in semi-shade area. In summer it needs to be well watered, however water should be withheld once the foliage begins to turn yellow.
The tubers are prone to rot under moist conditions during the winter months. The tubers are brittle and fragile and need to be handled carefully. Tubers can only be lifted and split or moved during the dormant period.
Gloriosa superba is a striking tuberous climbing plant with brilliant wavy-edged yellow and red flowers. There is also a more bushy, yellow-flowered form. The name Gloriosa comes from the word gloriosus, which means handsome and superba form the word superb clearly alluding to the beautiful flowers which appear from November to March.
Uses & Benefits :
The Tuberous root is one of the 7 minor poisons of Sanskrit writers and they mention its use as an abortifacient.
A paste of the root formed with water is used as an anodyne application in bites of poisonous insects, snake-bites, scorpion-sting, parasitic skin diseases and leprosy.
Root in thin slices soaked in salted butter-milk for 4 to 5 days by might and dried by day for 4 to 5 days is said to be freed from its poisonous properties.
So prepared and preserved, a piece or two given internally for cobra bite is said to be an effectual antidote against cobra-poison.
White powder obtained by repeated washings and grindings is given in gonorrhoea up to 12 grains mixed with honey.
Dose of the tuberous root(Starch) is5 to 10 grains.
It is generally employed as an anthelmintic for cattle.
In large doses it will be poisonous.
Root powdered and reduced to a paste is applied to the navel and suprapubic region with the object of promoting labour pains.
For the same purpose the paste may be applied to the palms and soles while powdered nigella seeds and long-pepper are given internally with wine.
Internally starch or root is useful when given in gonorrhoea, leprosy, piles, colic and to expel intestinal worms.
Rubbed with Chitraka bark in cow's urine it is applied to painful piles