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Gloriosa superba which is also known as Flame lily is a tuberous herb, which is spread widely in tropical Asia. The medicinal value of Gloriosa superba lies in its abundantly available Colchicine that yields a stable physiological act on humans. Colchicine, present in the seeds and tuberous root of Gloriosa superba is used for the remedial actions of sprains, bruises, colic, hemorrhoids, chronic ulcers, cancer, nocturnal seminal emission, leprosy and impotence.
This plant has gained the importance in medicine in recent years for the production of colchicines and Thiocolchicosides in large scale.
One of the very important exported medicinal plants of India that has become endangered within a very short span of the last 50 years is Gloriosa superba L., the codified systems of Indian medicine as well as in folk and tribal medicine
Thiocolchicoside is a natural derivative of colchicine and a semisynthetic derivative of the naturally occurring colchicoside extracted from the seeds of Gloriosa superba (Liliaceae). This medicinal plant has been used for a long time as a traditional medicinal herb to cure various diseases in Africa and Southeast Asia. The tuberous roots of Gloriosa superba are commonly used to cure snakebites, skin diseases and ulcers, or to treat inflammation. It is used clinically as a centrally acting muscle relaxant. It is a myorelaxant drug with anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties as well as pronounced convulsant activity.
Colchicine is an alkaloid prepared from the dried seeds of Gloriosa superba. The most common use of colchicine is as prophylaxis to prevent attacks of gout or pseudogout. These are types of arthritis caused by a buildup of crystals in the joints. Blood cells travel to these areas of inflammation causing pain and swelling. Colchicine prevents white blood cells from travelling into these areas, and therefore helps to reduce pain and tenderness.