Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Ferula narthex BOISS.

Family : Apiaceae

Synonym(s) : Narthex assafoetida, Falconer.

English Name : Hingwastak


A very large herb. Root attaining a large size, 18 inches in length and 4 to 6 inches in diameter, tapering, branched, dark brown externally, white within, crowned above with the fibrous remains of the root-leaves of past years. Radical leaves several, spreading, large, 2½ feet long by 3 feet wide, stalked, compound; petiole about 9 inches long, triangular-cylindrical, solid, prominent in the middle line above, quite smooth, striate, not sheathing or stipulate but with a short, membranous, intra petiolar ligule the the base; rachis laterally compressed, double winged along the top with the narrow decurrent bases of the leaflets; primary divisions 3, the centre rather the longest, the two lateral ascending and curved horoizontally outwards; each division pinnate, leaflets opposite, ovate-or oblong-attenuate in outline, but cut down to the base into a few large linear-oblong, subacute, ascending lobes often again cut in a similar manner and much attenuated and tapering below into the narrow wings along the rachins, margin entire, much incurved, quite glabrous, thick, shining, somewhat bullate beneath, pale glaucous apple-green on both surfaces.


Grassy slopes at elevations around 3600 metres.

Parts Used : Gum and leaves.

Herb Effects

Anthelmintic, antispasmodic, carminative, contraceptive, diaphoretic, expectorant, nervine.

Medicinal Use

It is used in the treatment of asthma, whooping cough, flatulent colic, and in pneumonia and bronchitis in children. The leaves are carminative and diaphoretic. The plant is identified as a potential contraceptive.


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