Kantakari is a very prickly, bright green, much branched perennial shrub with bluish-purple flower. It is a warm season plant that grow mainly in tropical and sub-tropical regions. In India, it occurs throughout the country in dry conditions. It can be found growing as a weed along the roadsides and wastelands. It is naturally propagated by seed in waste lands.
Although it is seen as weed but it is a very important medicinal plant of Ayurveda. It is one of the root (comes under Laghu panchamula) of famous Dashmula (group of ten roots). Acharya Charaka and Sushruta used whole plant and its fruits for internal use to treat bronchial asthma, digestive disorder, piles, inflammation of the middle ear, difficult urination and for rejuvenation.
The whole plant is useful in vitiated conditions of vata and kapha. Panchang (whole herb including roots) and berries, have anthelmintic property. The decoction of plant is used in gonorrhea. The leaves are applied for piles. The fruits are laxative. The plant is bitter, acrid, hot, anthelmintic, anti-inflammatory, anodyne, digestive, carminative, appetizer, stomachic, depurative, sudorific, febrifuge, expectorant, laxative, stimulant, diuretic, rejuvenating, emmenagogue and aphrodisiac.
Ayurvedic medicine Swasari Kwath contain Kantkari along with other herbs. It is also used in preparation of Chyavanprash. Dashmularista which is an Ayurvedic tonic contain roots of this plant.
This plant is non-toxic and safe for human use.
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Subkingdom: Tracheobionta
- Division: Magnoliophyta
- Class: Magnoliopsida
- Subclass: Asteridae
- Order: Solanales
- Family: Solanaceae
- Genus: Solanum
- Botanical Name: Solanum xanthocarpum
- Synonyms: S. surattense Burm.f., S. virginianum Linn., S. maccanni Sant.
Kantakari, Kantakarika, Vyaghri, Nidigdhika, Nidigdha, Duhsparsha, Dhaavani, Kshudraa, choti Keteri
Katai, Katali, Ringani, Bhatakataiya, Choti-kateri
Wild Eggplant, Yellow-Berried Nightshade, Febrifuge plant
Kantkariccunta, Kantakarivalutana, Kantankattiti
Whole Plant, Dried or Fresh
Root:10-45 cm long, few mm to two cm in diameter, almost cylindrical and tapering, bearing a number of fine longitudinal and few transverse wrinkles with occasional scars or a few lenticels and small rootlets, transversely smoothened surface shows a thin bark and wide compact cylinder of wood, fracture, short, taste, bitter.
Stem: herbaceous, prickly with prominent nodes and internodes, green when fresh, young branches, covered with numerous hairs, mature ones glabrous, furrows more prominent in young stem appearing almost circular towards basal region, stem pieces 8-10 mmthick of variable length, external surface light green, when dry, surface yellowish green and smooth, transversely smoothened surface shows a very thin bark and prominent wood, centre shows a large and distinct, pith, mr ture and dry stem often with hollow pith, fracture short to slightly fibrous.
Leaves: petiolate, exstipulate, ovate--oblong or elliptic, sinuate or sub-pinnatifid, subacute hairy, 4-12.5 cm long and 2-7.5 cm wide, green, veins and midrib full with sharp2 prickles, odour and taste not distinct.
Flower: ebracteate, pedicellate, bisexual, pentamerous, regular, complete, bright blue or bluish purple, calyx-persistent, gamosepalous, tube short, globose, linear-lanceolate, acute, hairy, 0.5-1 .3 cm long and densely prickly, corollagamopetalous, lobes deltoid, acute, hairy, 1-2 cm long and purple in colour, stamens 5, epipetalous, basifixed, filament short 1-1.5 mm long, anther, oblong lanceolate, 0.7-0.8 cm long, ovary superior, ovoid, glabrous, bilocular with axile placentation having numerous ovules.
Fruit: Berry globular, measuring 0.8-1 cm in diameter, surrounded by persistent calyx at base unripe fruits variegated with green and white strips, ripe fruit shows differentyellow and white shades.
Seeds: Circular, flat, numerous, embedded in a fleshy mesocarp about 0. 2 cm in diameter, glabrous taste, bitter and acrid.
Plant is widely distributed throughout India in dry situation as weed ascending to 1500 meter on the Himalaya, abundant by road sides and wastelands, mainly in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana.
Glucoalkaloids and sterols. Fruits give solasonine, solamargine, betasolamargine, and solasodine;petals yielded apigenin;stamens gave quercetin diglycoside and sitosterol. (+)-
solanocarpine, carpesterol, solanocarpidine, potassium nitrate, fatty acid, diosgenin, sitosterol, isochlorogenic acid, neochronogenic acid, chronogenic acid, caffeic acid, solasodine, solasonine, solamargine, quercetin, apigenin, histamine, acetylcholine.
Medicinal Properties of Kantakari
Treat or prevent asthma attacks
Blood sugar lowering
Capable of relieving or suppressing coughing
Relieve spasm of involuntary muscle
Counteracting the effects of histamine
Blood pressure lowering
Capable of inhibiting the biological effects of androgens
Ayurvedic Properties and Action on body
Kantakari is used in treating tamaka swasa (bronchial asthma), kasa (cough) and hikka (hiccough), jwar (fever), Shoth (swelling) etc. It is used as a single drug and also as an ingredient in various compound formulation for various diseases like kasa, shwasa, jwara, swara beda, Gulma, udharam, kushta, shopha, Hrdroga etc. The powder of plant is administered to cure chronic bronchitis.
Tikta/Bitter, Katu (pungent)
Vipaka (Post Digestive Effect)
Action on body
- Useful in vitiated conditions of vata and kapha
- Vedanasthapana (pain reliever), Shothahara (reduces swelling)
- Swedajanana (increases sweating), Jwaraghna (Anti-pyretic)
- Deepana (appetizer), Pachana (digestive), Rechana (purgative)
- Bhedana, Krimighna (anthelmetic)
- Amadoshanashaka, Raktashodhaka (blood purifier)
- Kasahara (relieves cough), Shwasahara, Kanthya (Throat),
- Hikkanigrahana, Mootrala,
- Garbhashayasankochaka, Vajikarana (aphrodisiac) etc.
Kantakari Avaleha, Panchatikta Ghrita, Vyaghri Haritaki Avaleha
Medicinal Uses of Kantakari
Kantkari is used in Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani to treat variety of diseases. It is useful in treating worms, cough, hoarseness of voice, fever, painful urination, enlargement of the liver, muscular pain, and stone in the urinary bladder.
In migraine, asthma and headache, leaves juice of kantari is administered through nasal.
The paste of whole plant is applied on swollen and painful joints in arthritis. This gives relief in the swelling and pain.
The juice of berries is used in curing sore throat. The fruits of Kantkari plant are edible and used as folk medicines to treat throat infections and other inflammatory problems. A decoction of the fruits of the plant is used by tribal and rural people of Orissa, India for the treatment of diabetes. The fruits are eaten as an anthelmintic and for indigestion.
Roots and seeds are used as an expectorant in asthma, cough and pain in chest.
Take whole kantkari plant or panchang (3-4 gm) and boil in water (200 ml) till water reduces to 50 ml, filter and drink twice a day. . This is very good remedy for chronic cough.
Or take fresh kantkari plant juice (1-2 ml) mixed with honey (1 tbsp).
Put fresh kantkari leaves juice (2 drops) in each nostril empty stomach in morning. Do it regularly.
Liver Swelling and infection
Kantkari is very good liver tonic. Its decoction is very beneficial in liver swelling and infection.
Vomiting and nausea during pregnancy
Take Kantkari panchang (5 gm) and munakka (5-6) and make decoction by boiling in water. This helps to cure nausea, vomiting and low appetite.
For chronic migraine put fresh kantkari juice (4 drops) in each nostril.
Take fresh kantkari leaves juice and massage on scalp to cure hair fall and dandruff.
Take fresh leaves of kantkari and grind to extract juice. Now soak cotton in this juice and apply on tooth.
How to extract juice
Take fresh leaves and wash to remove all dirt. Now put clean leaves in mortar and pestle and grind. Press crushed leaves to get the juice.