AGROECONOMICS OF SOLANUM LACINIATUM AIT - A NEW MEDICINAL PLANT IN DARJEELING HILLS
Solasodine is the N. anologue of diosgenin and effectively serves as the substitute of diosgenin. In 1967, about two-thirds of the world's total production of steroid drug came from diosgenin and was available in sufficient quantity wild sources at low price. As the world sources gradually depleted and the demand for diosgenin increased, the need for alternative sources of steroid drugs is being increasingly felt.
About 5 percent of the world's total steroid production goes into antifertility drugs, the sale of which gives back 25 percent of the sale value of the total steroid products. The remaining 95 percent of the drug is utilised to manufacture corticosteroids that are used in the treatment of arthritis, skin inflammation etc. Solasodine derived from Solanum laciniatum, has been reported to be the sole source of cortisone and progesterone in USSR (Alesoenko et al., 1976b).