Herb Information Indian Sarasaparilla or Hemidesmus Indicus

Indian Sarasaparilla is important medicinal herb of Ayurveda. It is climbing herb found throughout India and more commonly in Bengal and Assam. The other common Ayurvedic names of this herb are Anantamul and Shwet Sariva. For the medicinal purpose the root, root-bark and juice of the plant are used.

Scientific name: Hemidesmus Indicus (L.) R.Br. Synonym: Periploca indica L.

Family: Asclepiadaceae, Periplocaceae

Vernacular names

Sanskrit : Ananta, Gopasuta, Sariva, Assamese : Vaga Sariva, Bengali : Anantamul, Shvetashariva, English : Indian Sarasaparilla

Gujarati : Upalsari, Kabri, Hindi : Anantamul, Kannada : Namada veru, Bili Namadaberu, Anantamool, Sogadeberu, Namadaberu

Kashmiri : Anant mool, Malayalam : Nannari, Nannar, Naruneendi, Marathi : Upalsari, Anantamula

Oriya : Dralashvan Lai Anantamool, Punjabi : Anantmool, Ushbah, Tamil : Ven Nannar, Telugu : Sugandhi Pala, Tella Sugandhi, Urdu : Ushba

Hemidesmus Indicus has the following properties

  • Blood purifier
  • Anti-syphilitic, anti-leucorrhoeic
  • Galactogenic
  • Anti-diarrheal, Anti-rheumatic
  • Febrifuge and alterative.

Ayurvedic Properties and Action

Rasa: Tikta, Madhura, Guna: Guru, Snigdha

Virya: Sheeta, Vipaka: Madhura

Karma: Vishagna, Deepana, Pachana, Raktashodhaka, Shothahara, Jwaraghna

The plant Root

Roots occur in pieces, about 30 cm long and 3-8 mm in diameter; cylindrical, thick, hard, somewhat tortuous, sparsely branched; provided with few thick rootlets and secondary roots; external appearance dark brown, sometimes with violet grey tinge, centre yellow, woody, surrounded by a mealy white cortical layer, bark brownish, corky; odour, characteristic, taste, sweetish, slightly acrid and aromatic.The constituent of roots are Essential oil, saponin, resin, tannins, sterols and glucosides.

Uses of the plant

The root and root-bark are useful in the treatment of broad variety of diseases. Roots are prescribed in loss of appetite, impaired digestion, fever, skin diseases, ulceration, syphilis, rheumatism, gout, leucorrhoea and improving quality and quantity of breast milk.

Root-bark taken in the form of hot infusion with milk is alterative and tonic. The root powder is prepared by pulverising air dried roots. This powder is easy to avail and useful in urinary diseases, kidney problem, digestive diseases and many other diseases. The roots are rubbed on stone to make paste. This paste can be applied in eyes, on ulcers, and swellings. Milky juice of the plant can be dropped in eyes for eye diseases.

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