Leptadenia Reticulata Information, Benefits and Uses

Jivanti(Leptadenia reticulata) is an important medicinal plant used in Ayurveda. The mention of Jivanti is even found in Atharva Veda. Charak and Bhavprakash, describe it as best among leafy vegetables. It is included in Jivaniya Gana, which is the group of herbs used for promoting vitality and life.

Jivanti is considered a stimulant and tonic in Ayurvedic literatures. It is indicated in debility due to seminal discharge. It is described as an herb with sweet, cold, aphrodisiac, light to digest and rejuvenative properties. It enhances life, vigour and fertility. Jivanti is Tridoshahara and balances Vata, Pitta and Kapha. This is drug of choice for emaciation, weakness, fever, difficult breathing, burning sensation in body, and fertility issues.

Though it is an important herb but the botanical identity of this plant is highly disputed.

Nowadays, there are many plants which are used as Jivanti.

In Bhavprakash, Dregea volubilis (Synonyms Marsdenia volubilis (L.f.) Cooke., Wattakaka volubilis (L.f.) Stapf.) is described as Jivanti. In Sanskrit this plant is known as Hema, Hemavati, Hemalatha, Swarnika, Swarnalatha, Hemajivanti, Swarna jivanti.

This plant is found growing in moist places. It is a large woody twining perennial shrub belonging to family Apocynaceae. It has pale green flowers in dense drooping umbels. It is a medicinal plant and used as emetic, diaphoretic and diuretic.

In Bengal, Bihar, and Uttar Pradesh, Dendrobium macraei Lindl., Synonym Flickingeria macraei (Lindl.) Seidenf., belonging to Orchid family is available as Jivanti. The whole dried plant is used as Jivanti. The Panchang is yellow in colour and known as Swarn Jivanti.

In Gujrat, Leptadenia Reticulata is used as Jivanti. It is grown as pot herb and used to treat diseases of eyes and tuberculosis. Leptadenia reticulata is used as Jivanti in preparation of many Ayurvedic medicines. This drug is accepted as real Jivanti by many.

This page is about medicinal plant Leptadenia reticulata, which is most commonly used as Jivanti / Jeevanti.

Leptadenia reticulata is known as Jivanti, Jivniya, Jivapushpa, Jivana in Ayurveda due to its life promoting qualities.

Charak used Jivanti as an important Rasayana. Sushruta used it for increasing sperm count and enhancing breast milk in lactating mothers. Vagabhatta included Jivanti in Jivaniya Gana. It is also known as Shak Shreshtha as it is considered very nutritive as Saag. Jivanti is given to prevent habitual abortion in women.

Jivanti gives life and improves voice. It balances three Dosha, Vata, pitta and Kapha, and cures diseases of eyes, weakness, cough, difficult breathing, burning sensation, prolapse of uterus, habitual abortion and sperm disorders.

General Information

Leptadenia reticulata is a twining shrub with numerous branches. The leaves are ovate to cordate, 4 to 7.5 cm long, 2 to 5 cm and petiole 1 to 3 cm long. They are glabrous above and pubescent below. Stem is rough, longitudinally ridged, wrinkled, furrowed, transversely cracked, bent and cylindrical. It is 5 to 10 cm long, 0.5 to 2.5 cm in diameter. The bark is yellowish brown, corky, deeply cracked.

Its flowers are greenish yellow. Flowering occurs in May and June, and fruiting begins in October and continues up to November. The roots are externally rough, white or buff colored with longitudinal ridges and furros. The tubers contain fructosan of the insulin type and are used as vegetable.

Scientific Classification

The botanical name of Jivanti is Leptadenia reticulata. It belongs to plant family Apocynaceae (Dogbane family), consisting mainly of trees, shrubs, herbs, stem succulents, and vines. The family Asclepiadaceae (now known as Asclepiadoideae) is considered a subfamily of Apocynaceae and contains 348 genera. Below is given taxonomical classification of plant.

  1. Kingdom: Plantae
  2. Subkingdom: Tracheobionta
  3. Division: Magnoliophyta
  4. Class: Magnoliopsida
  5. Subclass: Asteridae
  6. Order: Gentianales
  7. Family: Apocynaceae
  8. Genus: Leptadenia
  9. Species: reticulata

Part(s) used for medicinal purpose: Whole Plant

Plant type: climber

Distribution: Sub-Himalayan tracts of Punjab to Sikkim, Khasi hills, Utter Pradesh, Gujarat and throughout the Deccan Peninsula up to an altitude of 900 m. Also found in Mauritius, Madagascar, Sri Lanka.

Habitat: Grows in sandy loamy-clay soil

Status: endangered

Vernacular names/Synonyms

  1. Latin name: Leptadenia reticulata
  2. Ayurvedic: Jivanti, Jivaniya, Jivapushpa, Hemavati, Jivana, Shakashreshtha, Payaswini, Maangalya, Madhusrava
  3. Siddha: Keerippaalai
  4. Hindi: Dori
  5. Bengali: Bhadjivai
  6. English: Leptadenia
  7. Gujarati: Methidodi, Dodi
  8. Marathi: Haranvel, Hiranvel
  9. Kannada: Hiriyahalle
  10. Tamil: Palaikkodi
  11. Telugu: Kalasa
  12. Folk: Dodishaak (Gujarat), Dodi saka / Dodi Saag, Dori, Methidodi

Constituents of Leptadenia reticulata

The herb contains n-triacontane, cetyl alcohol, beta-sitosterol, betaamyrin acetate, lupanol 3-O-diglucoside and lepitidin glycoside. Reticulin, Deniculatin and Leptaculatin are three novel pregnane glycosides isolated from Leptadenia reticulata.

Stigmasterol has lactogenic properties on lactating mammary glands. It produces a significant galactopoietic response without any changes in the composition of milk or blood.

Dosage of Leptadenia reticulata

  • The dried root powder is taken in dose of 3-6 grams.
  • The decoction is taken in dose of 50-60 ml.
  • The leaves of plant are used as vegetable. The maximum dose of raw herb that should be taken per day to treat disorders in 10-30 grams.

Ayurvedic Properties and Action

Jivanti is sweet in taste (Rasa), sweet after digestion (Vipaka), and is cool in effect (Virya). This herb works on all Dhatu.

It is a Sheet Virya herb and balances Tridosha. It supports building of body fluids. Sheet Virya herb gives nourishment to body and steadiness.

Rasa (taste on tongue): Madhura (Sweet)

Guna (Pharmacological Action): Laghu (Light), Snigdha (Unctuous)

Virya (Action): Sita (Cooling)

Vipaka (transformed state after digestion): Madhura (Sweet)

Ayurvedic medicines containing Jivanti (Leptadenia reticulata)

  1. Anu Oil / Taila
  2. Chyawanprash
  3. Dabur Ratnaprash
  4. Himalaya Confido
  5. Himalaya Speman
  6. Manasamitra Vataka
  7. Unjha Sarpalin
  8. Leptaden

Important Medicinal Properties

Jivanti is rich in medicinal properties. The understanding of these properties will help us to better utilize this herb.

  1. Anti-abortificant: Clinically trials using Leptaden found to be effective in treatment of threatened and recurrent abortion.
  2. Antimicrobial: It has strong bactericidal activity.
  3. Antiepileptic: It prevents or reduces the severity of epileptic fits.
  4. Anti-implantation: It possess strong anti-implantation and uterotropic activity but no anti-estrogenic activity.
  5. Anti-cancer: The study shows, ethanolic extract of the leaves significantly increase life span and decrease the cancer cell number and tumor weight. The extract also normalized Hematological parameters.
  6. Anti-depressant: Leptadenia is effective in depression along with other herbs without producing any side effect and also showed in marked improvement in hysteria or epilepsy.
  7. Antiulcer: tending to prevent or heal ulcers.
  8. Diuretic: It increases urine volume significantly.
  9. Hepatoprotective: It significantly reduces elevated serum glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase (SGOT), serum glutamic pyruvic transaminase (SGPT), alkaline phosphatase (ALP) levels.
  10. Hypotensive: lowers blood pressure.
  11. Lactogenic: improve the lactation.
  12. Spermatogenic: improves sperm count.
  13. Immunomodulatory: It acts as a modulator and alleviates the immunosuppressive conditions.
  14. Galactagogue: Leptadenia significantly increases milk flow due to lactogenic, anabolic and galactagogue effect.

Benefits of Jivanti (Leptadenia reticulata)

  1. It is a tonic that boosts energy level of the body.
  2. It gives the general strength to the body.
  3. It is galactagogue and stimulates increase in milk production.
  4. It has antibacterial and antifungal activities.
  5. It promotes production of the male gametes and the male sexual hormones (androgens).
  6. It improves sperm count, sperm motility and treats involuntary seminal discharge / spermatorrhoea.
  7. It reduces phlegm and used as single drug in treatment of asthma.
  8. The roots are antidiabetic due to presence of fructosan of the insulin type.

Medicinal Uses of Jivanti (Leptadenia reticulata)

Jivanti is stimulant, galactagogue, and restorative. It is used as single drug in treatment of Asthma. Jivanti is prescribed as a tonic in debility due to seminal discharges. It is recommended to treat General weakness, Cough, Asthma, Constipation, Abdominal tumors, Piles, Diarrhea, and Sperm Disorders.

  1. Externally, the paste is applied topically for various skin diseases, wounds, allergies and inflammation of the skin. It is anti-abortifacient and prevents abortion.
  2. The plant is used as a stimulant and tonic.
  3. The fruits of plant are used in Kapha Dosha such as chest congestion, cough and cold.
  4. The stem reduces blood pressure.
  5. The leaves paste and roots are taken orally with water to cure gangrene.
  6. The leaves and roots are antibacterial against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria.
  7. Ayurvedic medicine Leptaden, which contains Jivanti as chief ingredient is effective in preventing threatened and recurrent abortion. Leptaden with Progesterone found to be effective against abortion problem and seem to have brought down the incidence of recurrent abortion. It is safe to use throughout pregnancy.
  8. Another famous medicine is Himalaya Speman tablets. It is cost effective medicine that treats deficiency of sperm cells in the semen. It shows remarkably improved the total count and the motility of the sperms. It does not show any side effects.
  9. In case of diarrhea, the root powder is taken in dose of 3-6 grams with water.
  10. In fever, the decoction of root is taken in dose of 20 ml.
  11. On cut, bleeding wounds, the leaves are applied.
  12. In Gangrene, the paste of leaves and seeds are applied externally.
  13. The leaves and roots are given to cattle for increasing milk-yielding capacity.
  14. The plant is used as Saag or vegetables. Leptadenia is an edible plant and safe to eat.
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