Trillidium govanianum - Nag Chhatri (click to enlarge)

Trillidium govanianum – Nag Chhatri (click to enlarge)

Local name Nag Chhatri, Himalayan Trillium
Botanical name Trillium govanianum
Family Melanthiaceae
Description and uses Himalayan Trillium is a robust, trifoliate perennial herbaceous plant species with deep red and green coloured flowers on the axis and is found in the Himalayas, especially in India, Nepal, China and Bhutan at an altitude of 2700m-4000m.  Stocky 15 cm purple-red stems carry 3 green leaves just below a single, small, starry flower of deep red and green color.Roots contain Trillarin, which on hydrolysis yields 2.5% diosgenin – a cortico-steroid hormone. Reportedly, the cortico-steroid hormone isolated from the plant is used in various preparations like sex hormones; cortisone and allied preparation used in rheumatism, regulation of menstrual flow and in stomach related problems. Due to its effective medicinal properties, the demand of this drug is high in the international markets and is often smuggled out to markets in Punjab.