Suranjan (Colchicum luteum)

Latin Name Colchicum luteum, Colchicum autumnale
Sanskrit Name Hiranya-tuttha, Tutham, Tuthanjana
English Name Hermodactyls, Colchicum, Meadow Saffron, Golden Collyrium
Common Name Surinjan, Haran Tutiya, Suranjaan Talkh


It contains the powerful alkaloid Colchicine5. The fresh corms and aerial parts of a sample from Jammu yielded 0.94% and 0.70% of total alkaloids, the major being colchicine 0.40% and 0.20% respectively. Colchicine analogs-decteyl thiocolchicine (DTC), decetylmethylcolchicine (DMC) and trimethylcolchicinic acid (TMCA) were effective in the treatment of gout.1

Pharmacological Actions:

It is non-steroidal antiinflammatory, anti-gout, anti-chemotactic, antiphlogistic, inhibitor of mitosis.1,3

Medicinal use:

It relieves inflammation and pain of acute gout and also used to lessen inflammation and pain. (German Commission E.)1,3
It is useful in acute gout; rheumatism, without much fever, occurring in gouty individuals; tearing pain, aggravated by heat.2,5
It is the remedy for acute gout, temporarily giving quick relief if administered short of purgation, it almost magically relieves the paroxysms. It is useful for disorders depending upon a gouty diathesis, in rheumatism, give excellent results after failure with the usual antirheumatic, in cases where pain persisted in one part for longer periods than usual, in acute articular rheumatism with but little fever. It is also used in most cases of fingers, wrists, and abdomen the most painful locations, in rheumatoid arthritis, in rheumatoid headache and in rheumatic iritis, swollen joints, with or without effusion, muscular pain, Sub acute and chronic sciatica.5

They are used to treat gout, rheumatism and diseases of the liver and spleen6.

It is a good remedy in some cases of rheumatism. In gout it is specific; on account of its eliminative action it removes from the body the morbid material upon which the disease depends. The best results come from its slow and silent action. In rheumatism of the heart, when there are indications for alkalies, this remedy may be given in alternation with an alkali. This agent is a good one to employ in chronic rheumatism with effusion into the joints and pain of a tearing character. The joint is swollen, and the pain aggravated by heat. It is also useful in rheumatic iritis7.

Clinical / experimental study:

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder, characterized by symmetrical, erosive synovitis, and in some cases, extra articular involvement. In early onset of disease analgesics and anti inflammatory drugs are used in modern medicine. While in late stages, therapeutic strategy is related to lowering generalized immunity by corticosteroids or by cytotoxic drugs. These drugs provide symptomatic relief but did not have any significant effect on the underlying disease process. In addition, they caused a fair degree of side effects. Amongst several useful herbal drugs, Colchicum luteum is one, which is claimed to be effective in this ailment. On an average the oral use of Colchicum luteum showed benefits in 82.4% cases in 90 days without any side effect.3

In vitro enzymes inhibition activities of the crude methanolic extract and various fractions of Colchicum luteum Baker (Liliaceae) including chloroform, ethyl acetate, n-butanol and aqueous were carried out against acetyl cholinesterase, butyryl cholinesterase, lipoxygenase and urease enzymes. A significant enzyme inhibition activity (89%) is shown by the crude methanolic extract and its fractions against lipoxygenase, while low to significant activity (32-75%) was evident against butyryl cholinesterase. The crude methanolic extract and its various fractions demonstrated low activity (29-61%) against acetyl cholinesterase and no activity against urease4.


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Colchicum luteum is one the ingredient of the Rhue capsule