Bada Gokhru, Brihat Gokhru, Large caltrops, Peru-neranji, Kaitu nerinjil are few common names of Pedalium murex. It is a medicinal plant and used in Ayurveda, for treatment of calculi, spermatorrhoea, amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, inflammation, ulcers, fever and other disorders of genitourinary system. It has significant diuretic properties due to which it increases flow of urine and hence used in urinary, kidney stones and dropsy. The decoction of the fruits is used as demulcent, diuretic, antispasmodic and aphrodisiac. According to Ayurveda, it is cooling, improves appetite, purifies blood, tonic and aphrodisiac. The fruits of the plant are found to be very effective to cure spermatorrhoea.
Bada Gokhru is completely different from Tribulus terrestris Linn. which is known as Gokshura or Chota Gokhru, Trikantak, Land caltrops and Puncture vine.
Fruits of T. terrestris are the genuine source of the drug Gokshura. In classical texts the fruits of Brihat Gokhru are mentioned as a substitute but in practice it is considered as an adulterant of Chota Gokhru. Read in Hindi about Chhota Gokharu.
Tribulus terrestris, is a prostrate, annual or biennial plant found growing as a weed in hot, dry and sandy regions in the rainy season. It belongs to plant family Zygophyllacease, the bean caper family and grows in hot, arid land whereas Pedalium murex belongs to Pedaliaceae, the sesame family and grows in dry and hot coastal areas. When the leaves, fruits, young twigs of Pedalium murex are agitated in water or milk, a viscid mucilage is formed. This mucilage is diuretic, demulcent and tonic.
Perhaps both the plant share the name Gokhru (differentiated by Bada / large and Chota / small) due to similarity in appearance (fruits conical with four spines), medicinal uses (curing diseases of urogenital system) and flower colour (yellow).
Bada Gokhru is annual, fleshy, succulent diffuse, much branched herb, growing up to 38 cm in height. Its roots are white in appearance and emit musk like sweet aroma. The leaves of plant are fleshy, simple, opposite, alternate, ovate-oblong, 3.2-5.3 cm x 1-2.7 cm. The inflorescence is axillary and terminal. Calyx is deeply 5 lobed. Corolla is yellow in colour, tubular and round lobes. Stamens are four.
Fruits are bluntly four angled with stout, sharp, conical horizontal spines from the angles.
The leaves and stems when agitated in cold water turn into tasteless, colorless thick mucilage. This mucilage is of medicinal importance.
The botanical name of Bada Gokhru is Pedalium murex. It belongs to plant family Pedaliaceae. Below is given taxonomical classification of plant.
- Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
- Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
- Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
- Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
- Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
- Subclass: Asteridae
- Order: Lamiales
- Family: Pedaliaceae – Sesame family
- Genus: Pedalium
- Species: murex
- Pedalium microcarpum Decne.
- Pedalium muricatum Salisb.
- Rogeria microcarpa Klotzsch
- Part(s) used for medicinal purpose: Seeds and leaves
- Plant type: Succulent herb
- Distribution: Found all over India, especially in sea-coasts of Southern India; Also found in many tropical countries such as Sri-Lanka, Tropical Africa, Madagascar, Mexico.
- Habitat: coastal soil
- Flowering: May to December
- Fruiting: June to January
- Latin name: Pedalium murex
- Sanskrit: Brihat Gokshru, Gaja Daunstree, Kshouraka, Trikantaka, Gokantaka, Swadukantaka, Bhakshantaka
- Hindi: Bara Gokhru, Bada Gokshru, Kadva Gokhru, Pila gokhru, Vilayati gokhru
- English: Large Cattrops
- Bengali: Baraghokru, Barogokhur
- Marathi: Hatticharatte, Mothe Gokharu, Moto
- Gujarati: Motto Gokharu, Kadvaghokru, Mothan Gokhru
- Oriya: Gokara, Gokshur
- Panjabi: Gokru Kalan
- Telugu: Enugupalleru, Pedda Palleru, Kaitu neinjil
- Tamil: Anainerinji, Anai nerunji, Peru Nerunji Ananerinnil
- Arabic: Khasake-Kabir
- Persian: Khasake-Kalan
- Burmes: Sulegi
- Singapor: Ati neranchi
- Siddha: Peru-neranji, Annaineringi
- Urdu: Farid Booti / Buti
- Unani: Khaar-e-khasak Kalan, Gokharu Kalaan
Constituents of Pedalium murex
Leaves contain several flavonoids, alkaloids, steroids, resins, saponins, protein, Dinatoin glycoside, diosmetin glucuronides.
Saponins, herman, phytosterols, tannins and carbohydrates are present in stem.
Roots of the plant contain Reducing sugars, phenolic compounds, saponins, xanthoproteins, alkaloids, triterpenoids and flavonoids.
Fruits contain Alkaloids 3.5%–5%, stable oil, aromatic oil, resins, glycosides, carbohydrates, saponins and triterpenoids. Nonacosane, tritriacontane, triacontanoic acid, sitosterol-beta-D-glucoside, rubusic acid, luteolin are the major constituents of seeds.
Flowers contain dinatin, quercetin and quercetin-7-glucoside.
Important Medicinal Properties
Brihat Gokhru is rich in medicinal properties. The understanding of these properties will help us to better utilize this herb.
Antibacterial: active against bacteria.
Anti-hyperlipidemia: promoting a reduction of lipid levels in the blood.
Anti-nephrolithiatic: Effective against kidney stones
Anti-inflammatory: Reducing inflammation by acting on body mechanisms.
Antioxidant: neutralize the oxidant effect of free radicals and other substances.
Antiulcer: tending to prevent or heal ulcers.
Aphrodisiac: stimulates sexual desire.
Hepatoprotective: prevent damage to the liver.
Nephroprotective: protects the kidneys
Tonic: Restore or improve health or well-being.
Medicinal uses of Bada Gokhru
Bara Gokhru or fruits of Pedalium murex are used traditionally for the treatment of genitourinary disorders, spermatorrhoea, nocturnal emissions, menstrual irregularities, puerperal disorders, ulcers, fever, wounds, other ailments and general debility.
The juice of leaves, or stem is used as sexual tonic, aphrodisiac, and to improve sexual performance. The infusion or decoction of plant is used in spermatorrhoea, painful urination, gonorrhea, calculi, urinary disorders etc. Infusion of the leaves and stem in cold water is demulcent, diuretic and used for the treatment of gonorrhea.
Fresh leaves and young shoots of plant are soaked in in boiling milk for few minutes and used as an aphrodisiac.
Aphrodisiac, Sexual dysfunction
The fruits powder (5 gram) is boiled in milk and taken twice a day.
Boil Shatavari (10 gram) + Bada Gokhru (10 gram) in one glass milk. Take once – twice a day.
The powder of fruits (5 grams) is taken with 1 spoon honey, followed by Goat milk, thrice a day.
The decoction of fruits is given in dose of 50-100 ml twice a day for 2-3 days.
Gonorrhea, painful urination
The infusion of leaves and stem is taken for ten days.
For making the infusion, 4-8 fresh leaves of plant are agitated in one cup water.
Always use freshly prepared infusion.
Impotence, seminal weakness, premature ejaculation, nightfall, spermatorrhoea (involuntary discharge of semen)
For sexual disorders of males, a simple Ayurvedic formulation known as Vriddha Dand Churna is made and taken daily in dose of 5-10 grams with milk.
For making this medicinal powder, 7 ingredients viz. Bada Gokhru + Kevanch beej + Safed musli + Safed Semar ki Jad + Giloy Satva + Anvla / Amla + Mishri, are taken in equal amount and ground to make powder. This powder is stored in air tight container and taken in recommended amount.
The plant is boiled in milk and taken orally with honey, twice a day for 30 days.
Powder of fruits are mixed in ladoos (local sweet) and eaten.
Fresh plant crushed and soaked in water is given in rheumatism.
Ashwagandha plant root powder mixed with powder of Bada Gokhru seeds are taken orally.
Decoction of fruits (10-20 grams) and sonth is made by boiling in 400 ml water till water is reduced to 100 ml. This is filtered and taken twice a day.
The decoction of fruits with the roots of Abrus precatorius is taken orally.
Ulcers, swelling, itching
Paste of leaf is applied on affected body area.
Dosage of Pedalium murex
- The recommended dosage of roots / fruits is 3-5 grams.
- The decoction is taken orally in dose of 50-100 ml.
- Powder of leaves is taken in dose of 10 grams.
- Brihat Gokhru is used since time immemorial to treat variety of diseases. All parts of plant are edible and safe for oral intake.