Indian Sarsaparilla/Anantamul

Botanical name : Hemidesmus Indicus.

Family: N.O. Asclepiadaceae

Subfamily: Asclepiadoideae
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Gentianales
Genus: Hemidesmus
Species: H. indicus

Indian Name: Magarbu
Sanskrit: Anantamul
Hindi: Kapuri
Telugu: Sugandhi-pala
Common names: Sariva, sarbia, ontomulo, naruninti Nannari, tygade beru, anant-vel, durivel

Synonyms: Hemidesmus. Periploca Indica. Nunnari Asclepias. Pseudosarsa.
Part Used: Dried root.
Habitat: All parts of India, the Moluccas, and Ceylon.

Description: 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.

Indian Sarsaparilla (Hemidesmus indicus) is a species of plant that is found in South Asia. It is a slender, laticiferous, twining, sometimes prostrate or semi-erect shrub. Roots are woody and aromatic. The stem is numerous, slender, terete, thickened at the nodes. The leaves are opposite, short-petioled, very variable, elliptic-oblong to linear-lanceolate. The flowers are greenish outside, purplish inside, crowded in sub-sessile axillary cymes.

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This plant has long been used in India as an antisyphilitic in place of Sarsaparilla, but was not introduced into England till 1831. The root is long, tortuous, rigid, cylindrical, little branched, consisting of aligneous centre, a brownish corky bark, furrowed and with annular cracks, odour aromatic, probably due to Coumarin and not unlike Sassafras or new-mown hay, 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.

It is a perinial creaping herb,with woody fragrant rootstock.It has a slender hairless stem, variable dark green leaves,greenish flowers and narrow cylinderical fruits. The dried roots constitute the drug. In the ancient Indian literature, the plant has been mentioned as an important medicine. The roots of the plant containt resins, tanin and glycoside.

Constituents-:Unknown. No satisfactory investigation has yet been made of the chemical properties. But a volatile oil has been found in it and a peculiar crystallizable principle, called by some Hemidesmine; others suggest that the substance is only a stearoptene. It also contains some starch, saponin, and in the suberous layer tannic acid.

Chemical analysis of the root showed the presence of coumarins, volatile oil the chief component of which is p-methoxy salicylic aldehyde, two sterols and a pregnane glycoside (Puri 2003).

It is occurring over the greater part of India, from the upper Gangetic plain eastwards to Assam and in some places in central, western and South India.

It is a good remedy for venereal diseases, herpes and skin diseases.
It also useful for arthritis, rheumatism.
It purifies the urino-genital tract.
Good remedy for gout , epilepsy, insanity, chronic nervous diseases.
It also effects nervous system.
It also cures intestinal gas, debility, impotence, turbid.
It is a good blood-cleanser.
Indian Sarsaparilla stimulates the production of sexual hormones.
The root extract has antibacterial activity.

The roots are sweet tonic and exercise a soothing effect on the skin and mucous membranes. They are useful in correcting disorders due to malneutrition, purify blood,promote flow of urine and restore normal body functions. The herb is very useful in syphilis, leucorrhoea and other geneto- urinary diseases. A decoction of it’s root is to be adminstered thrice a day . A syrup made from the roots is an effective diuretic. The drug is beneficial in the treatment of fevers. Its diaphoretic properities induces copious perspiration and reduces the temperature of the body.

Hemidesmus root is said to be tonic, diuretic, and alterative. It was introduced into Great Britain from India, and was employed for some time under the name of Smilax aspera . It is used for the same purposes as sarsaparilla, and in some instances it is said to have proved successful in syphilis when that medicine had failed, but it cannot be relied upon. The native practitioners in India are said to employ it in nephritic complaints, and in the sore mouth of children. It is used in the form of infusion or decoction, made in the proportion of two ounces of the root to a pint of water. A pint (500 mils) may be given in wineglassful doses in the course of the day. A syrup was official in the Br., 1898.

Medicinal Action and Uses-:–Appetiser, Carminative, aphrodisiac, Astringent.

It is Tonic, Diuretic, Demulcent, Disphoretic and Blood purifier. Employed in Nutritional disorders, syphilis, chronic rheumatism, gravel and other urinary diseases and skin afections. It is also employed as a vehicle for Pottasium Iodine.

Alterative, tonic and diuretic. Useful for rheumatism, scrofula, skin diseases and thrush; it is used as an infusion, but not as a decoction as boiling dissipates its active volatile principle. Two OZ. of the root are infused in 1 pint of boiling water and left standing for 1 hour then strained off and drunk in 24 hours.

It has been successfully used in the cure of venereal disease, proving efficacious where American Sarsaparilla has failed. Native doctors utilize it in nephritic complaints and for sore mouths of children.

Syrup, B.P., 1/2 to 1 drachm.

It is used to make beverages and also used in traditional medicine. In Ayurveda it goes by the name of ananthamoola or Anantmula. It is also called the False Sarsaparilla. The plant enjoys a status as tonic, alterative, demulcent, diaphoretic, diuretic and blood purifier. It is employed in nutritional disorders, syphilis, chronic rheumatism, gravel and other urinary diseases and skin affections. It is administered in the form of powder, infusion or decoction as syrup. It is also a component of several medicinal preparations.

It is one of the Rasayana plants of Ayurveda, as it is anabolic in its effect. It stimulates the flow of bile and removes toxins from the body. It is a good diuretic and increases flow of urine three to four times. When used with Tinospora, the herb’s effect is enhanced further. It relieves inflammation of urethra and burning micturition and is also helpful for third or fourth stages of syphilis.

It is sometimes confused with other Ayurvedic herb called white sariva.

The root is a substitute for Sarsaparilla (the dried root of the tropical species of Smilax, Smilacaceae; in India Smilax aspera L., and Smilax ovalifolia Roxb.).It should be distinguished from American Sarsaparilla Smilax aristolochaefolia Mill and Jamaican Sarsaparilla Smilax ornata Hook.f. (Puri 2003)

Particularly indicated for inveterate syphilis, pseudo-syphilis, mescurio-syphilis and struma in all its forms. Also valuable in gonorrhoeal neuralgia and other depraved conditions of the system as well as for other diseases treated by other varieties.

Powder, 30 grains three times daily. Infusion or syrup, 4 fluid ounces.

The herb contains a hair- growing hormone.A decoction of the root can be used as a hair-wash. It promots hair growth.

A paste extracted from the roots of the plant is applied locally in treating swelling, rheumatic joints and boils. Powder of roots which are small and black can be used in tea or syrup.

The information presented herein by is intended for educational purposes only.Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Miracles of Herbs,

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