Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Embelia ribes BURM.F.

Family : Myrsinaceae

Synonym(s) : Embelia glandulifera Wight, Samara ribes Kurz

English Name : False or Black False Pepper

Origin : India

A straggling shrub, almost a climber. The plant possesses petiolate leaves and has small, whity-pink flowers in racemes at ends of the branches. The berries (the drug) are minute, round, spherical fruits (not unlike peppercorns) and vary in colour from red to black - those of E. ribes have ovate, lanceolate smooth leaves and warty fruits. The reddish seed, enclosed in a brittle pericarp, is covered by a thin membrane; when this is taken off, the seed is seen covered with light spots which disappear after immersion in water. The seed is horny, depressed at the base and has a ruminated endosperm. Taste, aromatic and astringent, with a slight pungency, owing to a resinous substance present in them.

Forests, within the hills of India.

Parts Used : Fruit, root and seed

Herb Effects
Fights diarrhea (root), spermicidal, stimulates uterine contractions and diuretic (seed), contraceptive, astringent, stimulant, anthelmintic (kills Ascaris lumbricoides), antibacterial and carminative (fruit)alterative, stimulant.

Active Ingredients
Repanone, embelin, homoembelin, homorapanone and vilangin (fruit), quercitol, fats, christembine, a resinoid, tannins and a small amount of volatile oil.

Medicinal Use
Snakebite antidote, skin and chest diseases and fever (dried fruit decoction), for diarrhea (root); to expel tape worms (seeds).

Due to the strength of its active properties, using Vidanga past 3 months can eventually cause infertility. Safety in pregnant or nursing women, or those with severe liver or kidney diseases is not known.


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