Sehund or Thuhar (Euphorbia neriifolia) is a prickly, large, branched, erect, succulent leafless shrub that occurs in dry, rocky and hilly areas of North, Central and South India. This plant is extensively grown as a hedge plant. It is a medicinal plant with strong purgative action. For medicinal purpose the latex of plant is used.
By Frank Vincentz (Own work)[GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia C
The latex or milky juice is used for treating ear pain, skin diseases, warts, scabies etc. One of the very extensive medicinal use of this plant is for otalgia (pain in ear) and otitis (inflammation of the ear), for which juice extracted from the heated leaves is used as ear drop.
Latin name: Euphorbia neriifolia;SYNONYM E. ligularia
GENUS: Euphorbia FAMILY: Euphorbiaceae SUBFAMILY: Euphorbioideae TRIBE: Euphorbieae SUBTRIBE: Euphorbiinae
HINDI- Sehund, Thuhar, Thohar SANSKRIT- Snuhi, Vajradruma, Snuk ENGLISH- Milk bush, Milk hedge
GUJRATI: Thor, Kantalo
HINDI: Thuhar, Sehunda
KANNADA: Muru Kanina Kalli
MALAYALAM: Kalli, Kaikalli
ORIYA: Thor, Kantalothor
TAMIL: Elaikalli, Perumbu Kalli
SIDDHA: Ielaikkali, Perumbukalli.
Green and cylindrical stem;Spiral ridge portion;Sharp stipular thorns, with hollow space in centre containing white reticulate mass;plant is leafless for most part of the year, except during monsoon when fresh leaves appear;Inflorescence or the arrangement of flowers in a bunch on the plant is cyathium type (one female and several male flowers are found on a same bunch);Only terminal leaves present which are thick succulent, 6-12 inches long, ovular in shape.
PART USED: Stem juice, root
DISTRIBUTION: Throughout India
PLANT TYPE: Spiny Leafless shrubs
PLANT CONSTITUENTS: sugar, tannins, flavonoids, alkaloids and triterpenoidal saponin.
Ayurvedic Properties and Action on body
Sehund is used in Ayurveda for treating varieties of diseases. It is also used to prepare many Ayurvedic medicines such as Abhaya Lavan, Citrakadi Taila, Avittoladi Bhasma, Vajrakshara etc. For internal use, the milky juice is used in very small amount. External use on skin causes redness of skin due to increase in blood circulation.
Although topical use is safe but all care must be taken to avoid any contact with eye.
- Rasa (Taste): Tikta/Bitter, Katu (pungent)
- Guna (Characteristics): Guru/Heavy, Tikshna/Sharp
- Virya (Potency): Ushna/Hot
- Vipaka (Post Digestive Effect): Katu/Pungent
- Action on body: Laxative, Strong purgative, remove Ama, Kapha and Vata
USES IN AYURVEDA
Swelling, Gulma, Skin diseases, abdominal diseases
RECOMMENDED DOSES:125 -250 mg of the drug in powder form.
Medicinal uses of Thuhar
For medicinal purpose the leaves, roots and milky juice obtained from plant is used. The latex or juice is purgative, bitter, acrid, pungent, abortifacient (causes abortion), promotes digestion, expectorant ( bring up mucus and other material from the lungs), febrifuge/reduce fever, carminative, stomachic and anthelmintic in action. Its topical application has rubefacient (increases blood circulation on topical application). The latex is applied externally to remove warts and eruptions on skin. The latex is very hot in potency. Its internal intake increases vata, pitta and kapha. It should be used under medical supervision only.
For pain in ear, the yellow leaves of Sehund is used. The leaf is heated and then latex is extracted which is used as ear drop (3 drops).
The leaves of plant are heated and applied externally on affected areas.
Haemorrhoids and fistula-in-ano
The latex is mixed with haldi and applied externally on lesion OR the leaves are steamed, crushed and applied.
Psoriasis, eczema, skin diseases
For psoriasis, extract latex of plant. Take a thick bottom vessel and cook latex in one-fourth mustard oil (e.g. cook one litre latex in 250 ml oil) till all water is evaporated and only oil is left. This medicated oil is filtered and is applied externally on affected skin areas.
Cracks in soles
Latex is boiled in castor oil with salt. This medicated oil is applied on cracked heels.
The latex is applied at affected area.
Skin diseases, eczema, itching
In skin diseases, the latex (only 4 drops) is added to 1-2 spoon mustard oil. This oil is applied topically on affected skin areas.
The latex is applied directly on warts.
The latex of plant is used as purgative. For chronic obstinate constipation, in which many other medicines are ineffective, the latex of Sehund is used. The folk remedy is to soak Choti Harad/haritaki in latex. When haritaki absorbs latex, it is rubbed on stone and taken internally.
This has strong purgative action. So use it cautiously.
The plant should be handled carefully.
- The latex is very hot in potency and has strong purgative action.
- Latex is very irritant and can damage eyes in case of direct contact.
- Plant has abortifacient properties. It may cause abortion on internal use.
- This medicinal herb must be used under the supervision of Ayurvedic practitioner.