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Abies pindrow Royle.

 

Synonym A. pindrow Spach.
A. webbiana Lindl. var. pindrow Brandis.
Pinus pindrow Royle.
Family Pinaceae.


English names - Pindrow-Fir, Silver-Fir, The West-Himalayan Low-Level Fir.
Ayurvedic  names-Taalisha (related sp.).

Folk Badar, Morinda, Raisalla, Ransla.

 

Morphology

It is a large evergreen tree growing to 40–60 metres (130–200 ft) tall, and with a trunk diameter of up to 2–2.5 metres (6 ft 7 in–8 ft 2 in). It has a conical crown with level branches.

The shoots are greyish-pink to buff-brown, smooth and glabrous (hairless). The leaves are needle-like, among the longest of any fir, 4–9 centimetres (1.6–3.5 in) long, flattened in cross-section, glossy dark green above, with two whitish stomatal bands on the underside; they are arranged spirally on the shoots, but twisted at the base to lie in a flat plane either side of the shoot. The cones are broad cylindric-conic, 7–14 centimetres (2.8–5.5 in) long and 3–4 centimetres (1.2–1.6 in) broad, dark purple when young, disintegrating when mature to release the seeds 5–7 months after pollination.

The closely related Gamble's fir occurs in the same area but on somewhat drier sites; it differs in shorter leaves 2–4 cm long with less obvious stomatal bands and arranged more radially round the shoot. The cones are very similar.

West-Himalayan Silver Fir is a slender pyramidal tree which can grow up to 50 m tall, but generally smaller. Upper branches are horizontal and branchlets horizontal and flattened. Bark is longitudinally deeply grooved. It is distinguished by the branchlets which are hairless in the grooves, and by the leaves borne on the upper part of the branchlets, erect or directed forward, loosely overlapping. Tips of the leaves have two sharp tapering points. Leaves are 4-7 cm long, shining dark green above, with two faint silvery line beneath. Cones are dark purple, erect, cylindrical, 10-20 cm long, 4-7.5 cm in diameter. West-Himalayan Silver Fir is found in the Himalayas, from Afghanistan to W. Nepal, at altitudes of 2100-3600 m. Flowering: April-May.

 

Action Uses

Expectorant, bronchial sedative, decongestant, anticatarrhal, antiseptic, carminative.
Key application Fir (Abies alba Miller) needle oil—in catarrhal illness of upper and lower respiratory tract (internally and externally); externally in rheumatic and neuralgic pains. Contraindicated in bronchial asthma and whooping cough. (German Commission E.)


Terpenoids, flavonoids, glycosides and steroids of the leaf were found to have mast cell stabilizing action in rats. Terpenoids and flavonoids offered bronchoprotection against histamine challenge in guinea pigs.

The ulcer protective action of petroleum ether, benzene and chloroform fraction has been attributed to steroidal contents. Terephthalic acid demethyl ester (TADE), isolated from the leaf, exhibited protection against inflammation and bronchospasm in guinea pigs. Ethanolic extract of leaves showed significant anxiolytic effects on all the paradigms of anxiety, barbiturate hypnosis potentiation.


Pindrolactone, a lanostane-based triterpene lactone, isolated from the leaves, showed mild activity against Gram-positive bacteria but exhibited potent antibacterial activity against Gram-negative bacteria E. coli.