Shivlingi – Lingini (Bryonopsis laciniosa) Medicinal Uses and More

Bryonopsis laciniosa (Syn. Diplocyclos palmatus) is known as Lingini, Lingikaa, Ishalingi, Shivalingi, and Shivlingi in India. The seeds of plant are available in market as Shivlingi ke beej and mainly used to promote fertility and chances of conception. It is much valued drug for conception. In folk medicine, 4-5 seeds of Shivalingi are given with jaggery (gud) to woman immediately after the menstruation on 4 consecutive days, or on alternate days for 8 days. If conception does not take place the drug is repeated after the next menstruation. The ripe fruits are also used in pregnancy.

Bryonopsis laciniosa is a medicinal plant and also used in Homeopathy. The tincture prepared from the roots are used for treating painful menstruation, dysmenorrhea, pain in ovaries during menstrual period, inflammation of uterus, burning pain in the fundus of the uterus. The tincture is also prescribed for threatened abortion.

The main indication of the seeds is to treat reproductive disorders of females and to prevent miscarriage.

shivlingi plant

By Dinesh Valke from Thane, India (Diplocyclos palmatus) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

General Information

Plant Description: Bryonopsis laciniosa is a perennial tendril climber. It is a vine in the Cucurbitaceae family.

The plant has a large, tuberous root and very slender, glabrous, often spotted, dark green stems and long internodes. The tendrils are bifid.

Leaves are simple, alternate, membranous, 7.5-12.5cm long and about as broad, ovate-rotundate in outline. They are very deeply cordate at base, cut nearly to base into 5 lanceolate or linear, acute, coarsely serrate segments, the two basal ones deeply pedate. The petioles are 2.5-3.7 cm long, striate and slender.

It belongs to Cucurbitaceae family and bears both male and female flower. Flowers are regular and are green-pale yellow in colour.

Male flowers are in small fascicle of 3-6, stamens 3, quite distinct, cells sigmoid.

Female flowers are solitary or few and occur in clusters in the same axils. Sepals are 5, fused into a cup-shaped calyx, segments linear, filiform and glabrous. Petals are 5, fused to about 1/4 way up, segments oval-oblong, acute and pubescent. Ovary is inferior, globose, glabrous, style slender.

Fruit is globose, subsessile, 1.8 to 2.5 cm in diameter, smooth.

The fruits are initially green with white blotched stripes and later turn a bright red- orange colour when ripe. This resembles a lollipop hence the plant is also known as Lollipop Climber.

  • Seeds are 5-6 mm long, gibbous at the sides with a prominent raised band running round the edge
  • Part(s) used for medicinal purpose: Fruits, Seeds, whole plant
  • Plant type / Growth Habit: Tuberous climbing herb
  • Duration: Perennial
  • Distribution in India: Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Goa, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh.
  • Distribution outside India: Bhutan, China, Nepal, Pakistan, Thailand, South Japan, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, tropical Africa, Australia and Philippine Islands.
  • Habitat: Tropical and subtropical regions.
  • Flowering: August to October.

Chief Indications of Shivlingi Seeds

Gynecological problems (white discharge, menstruation problems, vaginal dysfunctions abnormal bleeding, heavy bleeding, painful periods, barrenness)

  1. Aphrodisiac, Sexual tonic
  2. As a fertility promoting medicine
  3. Female infertility
  4. Fever
  5. Inflammations

Vernacular names / Synonyms

Scientific name: Bryonopsis laciniosa

  1. Sanskrit: Apastambhinii, Bahupatra, Bakapushpa, Chandra, Chitraphala, Devi, Ishwari, Lingaja, Lingasambhuta, Lingi, Lingini, Pandeli, Shivalingee, Shaivamallika, Shivaja, Shivavalli, Sivavalli, Svayambhu, Tuttiiini
  2. Hindi: Gargumaru, Ishwaralingi, Shivalingi
  3. Bengali: Mala
  4. English: Indian Bryony, Lollipop Climber
  5. Kannada: Linga tondeballi, Lingatonde balli, Lingatonde, Shivalinga
  6. Malayalam: Iyiviralikkova, Namakai, Neyyunni, Pambuvalli, Sivalingakkaya
  7. Tamil: Iyveli/Iyvirali
  8. Siddha: Iyaveli, Iyaviraali
  9. Folk: Lingadonda
  10. Nepal: Ghurmi lahara, Ghuru

Scientific Classification

All plants are scientifically classified into main 7 levels. These levels are Kingdom, Division, Class, Order, Family, Genus and Species. A genus comprise of many species and botanical name consists of Genus (uppercase) followed by Species (lowercase). Genus consists of many species which are closely related and have lots of similarities. Species is the lowest level and represents the group of same plant.

The botanical name of Shivlingi is Bryonopsis laciniosa. It belongs to plant family Cucurbitaceae. Below is given taxonomical classification of plant.

  • Kingdom: Plantae (comprising all living or extinct plants)
  • Subkingdom: Tracheobionta (have lignified tissues or xylem for conducting water and minerals)
  • Superdivision: Spermatophyta (produce seeds)
  • Class: Magnoliopsida (flowering plant producing an embryo with paired cotyledons)
  • Subclass: Dilleniidae
  • Order: Violales
  • Family: Cucurbitaceae (Cucumber family)
  • Genus: Bryonia L.
  • Species: Bryonia laciniosa Linn.

Synonyms

  1. Bryonia laciniosa Linn.
  2. Bryonia palmata Linn.
  3. Bryonopsis courtallensis Arn.
  4. Bryonopsis vrythrocarpa Naud.
  5. Bryonopsis laciniosa Hook.
  6. Cucumis verrucosus
  7. Coccinia palmata
  8. Diplocyclos palmatus (L.) Jeffrey
  9. The Latin name Diplocyclos is derived fromGreek, Diplos=double and kyklos=ring, and signifies the tendrils coiling.

Constituents of Bryonopsis laciniosa

Bryonin is the bitter principle of the herb. The seeds have been reported to contain 12% oil, protein, goniothalamin, bryonin, punicicacid and lipids. Seed oil contains punicic acid (38.2 %). An ethanolic (50 %) extract of aerial parts is found to be spasmolytic.

The leaves contain p-coumaric, ferulic, syringic, caffeic and p-hydroxybenzoic acids, flavonoids (quercetin, kaempferol), n-hentriacontane, n-tritriacontane and alpha- and beta-amyrin and sitosterol.

Important Medicinal Properties

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

Seeds: antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, spasmolytic, febrifuge

Leaves: Astringent, anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic

Medicinal Uses of Bryonopsis laciniosa – Shivlingi

Bryonopsis laciniosa is medicinal plant and its leaves, fruits, seeds, roots, all are used for medicinal purpose. Whole plant is galactagogue and laxative. Plant is also used in venereal diseases.

It belong to Bitter gourd family and the leaves of plant are given in case of diabetes to control blood sugar. The leaves also exhibit styptic, antiseptic and astringent properties. The Powdered seeds and roots, are given to help conception in women.

It is a bitter plant and possesses tonic properties and used as a cathartic. The leaves are applied topically on inflammations. Plant is also valued as remedy for diarrhea, dysentery, convulsion etc. The paste of leaves is applied to wounds and abscesses.

1- Increasing chances of conception, promoting fertility in women

  • The seeds of Shivlingi, taken with milk, promote the conception.
  • After the periods, 6-9 seeds are given to the woman for 5 days.
  • Take 1 gram powder of Shivlingi beej + 1 gram powder of Putrajivak giri with milk of mulching cow having a calf daily early morning before eating anything. Also take 1 spoon Phala Ghrita.

2- Improving sperm count

The seed powder is used for increasing sperm count.

3- Pregnancy

  • Take seeds of the plant and make small pills with jaggery. Take 2 pills twice in a day for half month.
  • Take 3 seeds or ripe fruits and chew.
  • Take ripe fruits of the plant and chew. Do this twice a day for half month.

4- Sexual tonic, increasing fertility, all sort of gynecological problems, periods problems, vaginal disorders, heavy periods

Seeds ground in milk are given.

5- Biliousness

Leaf juice mixed with milk is taken.

6- Burn

Plant decoction is applied externally.

7- Carbuncles, furuncles

Whole plant paste is applied topically.

8- Cathartic

The leaf extract is used.

9- Cough, diabetes, abdominal gas

Leaf juice with honey or sugar is given.

10- Fever

Take seeds of the plant and make paste. Eat 2gm of this paste twice a day for 5 days.

Fruit is used for cooling body temperature.

11- Inflammation

Leaves are tied on affected body part.

12- Respiratory problems, asthma

Leaves are fried in coconut oil and taken.

13- Stomach ache

Leaf juice is given.

14- Vegetable

Leaves are used as vegetable.

15- Waist pain

Tender twigs are fried along with onion and eaten.

Dosage of Bryonopsis laciniosa

The recommended dosage of Shivling seeds is 3-9 seeds as a single dose.

Availability

Divya Shivlingi Beej 100 grams is available from Patanjali.

It is herbal and safe to take. The MRP / Price is Rs 50.00 for 100 grams.

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