Herbs & Plants


Part Used : Roots,Stem bark
Habitat : Throughout India upto 900 m, cultivated occasionally.
Description :
It is a perennial climber. It exudes a milky juice. The roots are long, slender, fleshy and much branched. Stems are very long, twining, twisted and tough and brown. The leaves are small and ovate. There are few flowering cymes with white flowers. The features of the plant have been studied. The stem of 0perculina turpethum was found to be identical with commercial black nisoth. The drug available as safed nisoth in the market is Marsdenia tenacissima. Powdered root when exposed to UV light has a bluish yellow fluorescence.

Characteristics and Constituents :
Turpethum roots contain a glycoside resin which is mainly concentrated in the root bark. It contains an ether soluble glycoside, turpethin, ?-turpethin and ?-turpethin.The total ash is 4.2%. Resin content 9-10.50%.

The ethanolic extract obtained from roots of Operculina turpethum (Convolvulaceae) were evaluated for hepatoprotective activity in rats by inducing liver damage by paracetamol. The ethanol extract at an oral dose of 200 mg/kg exhibited a significant protective effect by lowering serum levels of glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase, glutamic pyruvic transaminase, alkaline phosphatase and total bilirubin. These biochemical observations were supplemented by histopathological examination of liver sections. Silymarin was used as positive control.

Medicinal Uses :

In constipation, it is an effective laxative. It is used in periodic fevers. In the treatment of anaemia accompanied by splenomegaly, it is used along with other therapy. It is also used to relieve flatulence and colic. In the treatment of obesity, it is used to decrease fat.

It also has anthelmintic expectorant, antipyretic, anti-inflammatory and purgative properties. It is one of the plants mentioned in the literature having claims of activity against liver disorders.

Turpeth has long been used in India as a cathartic, a drug which induces active movement of bowels. Only the dried roots of the white variety with its bark intact finds its place there.

Dropsy:Turpeth is a valuable drug in the trteatment of dropsy.The tuberous root mixed with chebulic mycroban (harad) are specially beneficial in such disorders.

Gouts: For the treatment of gout it is adminstered in same way as for dropst affections.

Jaundice: In Ayurveda, turpet is considered to be one of the two major drugs with which the treatment of jaundice should be started, the other drug kutuki . One or two teaspoonful of the powder of both two drugs may be adminstered with hot water twice daily.

Constipation: Turpethis used as a purgative. It has almost the same properities as the true jalap (Laxative) and can be used with advantage as its substitute. It is superior to the herb rhubarb. Its powdered roos are used as a purgative and to relieve chronic constipation.

Rheumatic diseases: The drug is beneficial in treating rheumatic and paralytic diseases.A single dose of about 5 grams should be taken daily.

Other uses: Turpeth is also effective for other diseases like melancholia, leprosy, enlargement of spleen and paralysis.Its efficiency increases when mixed with chebulic myroblan.

Click to read research paper on Protective effect of root extract of operculina turpethum linn. Against paracetamol-induced hepatotoxicity in rats

Click to buy the herb

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.


Miracles of Herbs

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