Sankapushpi(Hemidesmus indicus)

Botanical Name : Hemidesmus indicus
Family Name: Asclepiadaceae
Vernacular Name: Sans-Sariba ,Hind -Anantamula , Eng– Indian sarasaparilla
Parts used –roots, leaves, stem

Habitat :A twining perennial herb, Convolvulus pluricaulis occurs in the plains of Northern Indian and Bihar.

Botanical Description: A prostrate herb, woody in nature.

Branches: 4″-12″ in length and hairy.
Leaves: Linear, lower pairs opposite, 0.5″-1.5″ length
Flower: Light pink or white
Calyx: Hairy

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The whole plant is one of the most important Medha Rasayana drugs in Ayurveda. Its use impro.ves the balance and vitiation in Kapha-vata-pitta doshas and the herb is astringent and bitter

Constituents:
Chemical studies of whole plant have shown the presence of glycosides, coumarins, flavonoids and alkaloids. Shankha pushpine, (the alkaloid) has been identified as active principle. B. sitosterol glycoside, Hydroxy Cinnamic acid, Octacosanol tetracosane alongwith glucose, sucrose also have been isolated from the plant drugs.
Pharmacological and Clinical Studies
The extract reduced the spontaneous activity of mice, the reduction being more marked in amphetamine treated hyperactive mice. The extract also exhibited potentiation of phenobarbitone hypnosis in mice and morphine analgesia in albino rats. The extract caused reduction on the fighting response of mice and abolished conditioned avoidance response without affecting the escape response. The electrically induced seizures in rats and induced tremors in mice were antagonized by the extract (Sharma et at -1965). Different types of stress including psychological, chemical and traumatic were produced in Rats and Rabbits treated with Shankhapushpi, active principles showed marked reduction in I-131 uptake, Acetylcholine, etc.

This suggests that probably the drug affects various glands through neuro-humors particularly acetylcholine (Jour Res. Ind. Med J. 1974). A study on a series of 30 cases of Anxiety status was conducted with the syrup of Shankhapushpi. A significant reduction in symptoms as well as anxiety level was found which established its psychotropic property. A comparative study of barbiturate Hypnosis potentiation effect of Medhya Rasayana drugs Shankhapushpi (Convolvulus pluricaulis) and Mandukaparni (Hydrocotyle asiatica) – (Shukla S.P.). Clinical evaluation of Medhya Rasayana in cases on Non-Depressive Anxiety neurosis significant clinical relief and favorable shift of grade of clinical of Anxiety and Depression scale were also found reduced (Kaushik K. E. Singh R. H. Ancient Science of Life, May 1992).

Medicinal Uses:
Shankpushpi is used traditionally to treat nervous debility, insomnia, fatigue, low energy level.
The whole herb is used medicinally in the form of decoction with cumin and milk in fever, nervous debility, loss of memory.

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Shankhapushpi is used as a brain tonic. Is used as a tonic, alterative and febrifuge. It is a sovereign remedy in bowel complaints especially dysentery. The plant is reported to be a prominent memory improving drug. It is used as a psychostimulant and tranquilizer. It is reported to reduce mental tension. The ethanolic extract of the plant reduces total serum cholesterol, triglycerides, phospholipids and nonesterfied fatty-acid.

The roots are bitter, sweet, cooling, aromatic, refrigerant, emollient, depurative, carminative, appetizer, diaphoretic, expectorant.

Useful in vitiated pitta, burning sensation, leucoderma,leprosy, skin diseases, pruritis, asthma, opthalmopathy, hyperdipsia, hemicrania, epileptic fits, dyspepsia, diarrhea, dysentery, haemorrhoids, leucorrhoea, syphilis, abscess, arthralgia, nad general debility.

Leaves are useful in vomiting, wounds, leucoderma  and Latex is good for conjunctivitis.

Stems are bitter, diaphoretic, laxative useful in unflammations, cerebropathy, hepatopathy, nephropathy, syphilis, leucoderma, odontalgia, cough, asthma.

Shankhapushpi or Convolvulus pluricaulis is an indigenous plant commonly mentioned in Ayurveda, an ancient system of Indian medicine, as a rasayana which is mainly advocated for use in mental stimulation and rejuvenation therapy. Little human research has been published in the Western medical literature regarding this plant. One study shows shankhpushpi to have anti-ulcer effects due to augmentation of mucosal defensive factors like mucin secretion and glycoproteins. Another study showed that shankhapushpi may be helpful in improving symptoms of hyperthyroidism by reducing the activity of a liver enzyme

The whole herb is used medicinally in the form of decoction with cumin and milk in fever, nervous debility, loss of memory, also in syphilis, and scrofula. ‘. Shankhapushpi is used as a brain tonic. Is used as a tonic, alterative and febrifuge. It is a sovereign remedy in bowel complaints especially dysentery. The plant is reported to be a prominent memory improving drug. It is used as a psychostimulant and tranquilizer. It is reported to reduce mental tension. The ethanolic extract of the plant reduces total serum cholesterol, triglycerides, phospholipids and nonesterfied fatty-acid.

Disclaimer:The information presented herein 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.

Reources:
http://www.rubalherbal.com/shop/index.php?act=viewProd&productId=832
http://www.ayurvedakalamandiram.com/herbs.htm#sankapushpi
http://shankhapushpi.com/aboutsankhapushpi.html
http://www.garrysun.com/shankhapushpi.html
http://www.ayurvedas.com/Prajnaforte.htm

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