Botanical name: Ipomoea capillacea Ipomoea hederacea Ipomoea turbinata
“Kaladana consists of the dried seeds of Ipomoea hederacea, Jacq.” Br.
Ipomoea hederacea (ivy-leaved morning glory) is a flowering plant in the bindweed family. The species is native to tropical parts of the Americas, and has more recently been introduced to North America. It now occurs there from Arizona to Florida and north to Ontario and North Dakota. Like most members of the family, it is a climbing vine with alternate leaves on twining stems. The flowers are blue to rose-purple with a white inner throat and emerge in summer and continue until late fall. The leaves are typically three-lobed, but sometimes may be five-lobed or entire. Flowers occur in clusters of one to three and are 2.5-4.5 cm long and wide. The sepals taper to long, recurved tips and measure 12–24 mm long. The species shares some features with the close relative Ipomoea purpurea
Closely allied to Ipomoea hederacea is I. muricata, the seeds of which are largely imported into Bombay, from Persia, under the name of tukm-i-nil. The juice of this plant is employed to destroy bedbugs, and the seeds are said to be identical in their medicinal properties with those of the official plant.
Ipomoea hederacea Jacq. (I. caerulea Kon.; Pharbites Nil, Choissy) is a twining annual plant belonging to the Convolvulaceae. It has large blue flowers whence the specific name Nil which signifies in Hindustani blue. The leaves are three-lobed and the plant, while common throughout India, is found throughout the tropical regions of both hemispheres. Flückiger found it to contain 8.2 per cent. of resin which corresponded in its various properties to the resin of jalap.
Kaladana seeds are in the form of the segment of a sphere, black, somewhat hairy, weighing from one-half drachm to nearly one drachm.
They are described by the British Pharm., 1914, as follows: “Seeds in the form of a segment of a sphere; usually about five millimetres long, but sometimes much smaller; nearly black. In transverse section, minute dark resin-cells in the plaited cotyledons. Slight odor; taste acrid.” Br.
From them is prepared pharbitisin, kaladana resin (Kaladanae Resina, Br.), by digesting the seed with alcohol until exhaustion, and precipitating with distilled water.
Uses.—Kaladana seeds were used by the Arabian physicians, under the name of Habbun-nil, and have been recommended as a safe and active cathartic by various English physicians resident in India. Their action is probably similar to that of jalap.