Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Hemidesmus indicus R. Br.

English Name : Indian Sarsaparilla, East Indian sarsaparilla

Family : Asclepiadaceae

Origin : India, the Moluccas and Sri Lanka

A climbing slender plant with twining woody stems, and a rust-coloured bark, leaves opposite, petiolate, entire, smooth, shiny and firm, varying in shape and size according to their age. Flowers small green outside, deep purple inside, in axillary, sessile racemes, imbricated with flowers, followed with scale-like bracts. Fruit two long slender spreading follicles. The root is long, tortuous, rigid, cylindrical, little branched, consisting of aligneous centre, a brownish corky bark, furrowed and with annular cracks, odour aromatic, with a bitter, sweetish, feeble aromatic taste. One side of the root is sometimes separated from the cork and raised above the cortex and transversely fissured, showing numerous laticiferous cells in the cortex.

Within India, it is found in moist deciduous forests, scrub jungles, hedges and degraded sites from Upper Gangetic plains of North India to Assam and Peninsular India.

Parts Used : Roots, rhizome, powder, leaves and whole Plant

Herb Effects
Demulcent (root), antibacterial (essential root oil), antiviral (plant), diaphoretic, diuretic, purifies blood and restores normal bodily functions, alterative, tonic, has antibacterial and antilithic activity.

Active Ingredients
Alpha-amyrin, beta-amyrin, beta-sitosterol, lupeol (root); hyperoside, rutin (flower)

Medicinal Use
Syphilis, leucorrhea and as a snakebite antidote (root); as a tonic, demulcent, diaphoretic, diuretic, in purifying blood, stomach disorders, fever, gonorrhea, nutritional maladies, kidney stones, gravel and other urinary problems, chronic rheumatism and skin diseases, for relieving inflammation in the eye (milky latex); in asthma, bronchitis, gonorrhea and for sore mouths of children (plant).

30 - 60 ml per week
Extract (1:2): 3-6 ml per day
Infusion: use 2oz. of root boiled in 1 pint of water for an hour.


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