Strophanthus: biological sources,morphological features and MCQs


1. Biological sources:

• The botanical name of strophanthus is Strophanthus kombe oliv.
• The biological source of it is dried ripe seeds of it.
• It belongs to the apocynaceae plant family.
• It is also known as kombe seeds, strophanti semina, and semen strophanthi.

2. Morphological features:

• The word ‘strophanthus’ is derived from greek word strophes which means a twisted cord or rope and anthos means a flower.
• The limb of corolla of its flower divided into five ,long and tail like segments.
• The shape of seeds are lance-ovoid.
• Seed is flattened and obtusely edged (7-29 mm in length and 4 mm in breadth).
• The thickness of seeds are upto 2 mm.
• Seeds are light flawn in color externally with a dinstict greenish tinge.
• A dense coating of flat-lying hairs is present at one side of seed.
• Fractures are short and soft .
• The color of fractured surface is white and oily in nature.
• Taste is bitter and odour is heavy.

3. Chemical constituents:

• The chief chemical constituents of strophanthus are cardiac glycosides.
• The amount of cardiac glycosides present in strophanthus is 8-10%.
• K- strophanthin is the cardiac glycoside present in the strophanthus.
• It is the mixture of three glycosides which are cymarin, k-strophanthin, P and k – strophanthoside.
• It also contains a sugar cymarose that is methoxy digitoxose.
• Other chemical constituents are mucilage, resin and fixed oil.
• It also have choline, trigonelline and kombic acid.

4. Uses:

• It has an effect on circulation in case of chronic heart weakness.
• It also has diuretic action.
• It helps to treat arteriosclerosis.
• It also used to treat hypertension.
• Various types of heart problem are treated by this.
• It has property of heart stimulant.
• It influence blood circulation in case of chronic heart weakness.
• Its pulp roots and bark are also used to treat malaria, dysentery and gonorrhea.
• It is also used to treat rheumatic afflictions.
• When it is applied externally, it is used to treat skin disease, leprosy and ulceration.
• Its bark or leaf sap also is used as an antidote against the effects of snakebites.
• In eyes, it is used to treat conjunctivitis.
• Leaf and stem has laxative properties and also used to treat fever.

5. Adulteration:

• It is commonly adulterated by s. hispidus,s. nicholsoni, s.gratus, s. courmontii, s.emini and s. sarmentosus.


1. What is the botanical name of strophanthus?
(a) Dianthus chinensis
(b) Aubrieta deltoidea
(c) Lathyrus odoratus
(d) Strophanthus kombe oilv.

2. What is the biological source of strophanthus?
(a) Seeds
(b) Leaves
(c) Roots
(d) Bark

3. Match the following with respect to the chemical constituents of plants.
I. Vinca                                              A. ephedrine
II. Ephedra                                       B. vincristine
III. Cascara                                       C. anthranol
IV. Strophanthus                             D. cymarin

4. Choose incorrect statement with respect to the medicinal uses of plants.
i. Opium is used to treat constipation.
ii. Cascara is used to treat jaundice.
iii. Strophanthus is used to treat asthma.
iv. Coca is used to treat anaesthesia.

(a) Both i and ii
(b) Only iii
(c) Only iv
(d) Both iii and iv

5. What is the chief chemical constituent of strophanthus.
(a) Strychnine
(b) K- strophanthin
(c) Cocaine
(d) Protopine

6. What is the shape of seeds of strophanthus?
(a) Lance-ovoid
(b) Fusiform
(c) Spheroid
(d) Clavate

7. Strophanthus has the main property of
(a) Antimicrobial
(b) Cardio tonic
(c) Anti-histaminic
(d) Anti- inflammatory

8. What are the adulterants of strophanthus?
(a) Strophanthus gratus
(b) Strophanthus courmontii
(c) Strophanthus hispidus
(d) All of the above

9. Strophanthus belongs to the which plant family?
(a) Apocynaceae
(b) Rubiaceae
(c) Liliaceae
(d) Loganiaceae

10. Strophanthus used to treat
(a) Arteriosclerosis
(b) Hypertension
(c) Conjunctivitis
(d) All of the above


1. (d)
2. (a)
3. (b)
4. (b)
5. (b)
6. (a)
7. (b)
8. (d)
9. (a)
10. (d)

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Evans W.C, Editors. Trease and Evans Pharmacognosy. New York, Saunders Elsevier; 2009, p. 304,308,322,490,516.


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