Herbs & Plants

Aparajita (Clitoria ternatea)

Botanical Name:Clitoria ternatea
Family Name : Fabaceae,Pipilionaceae.
Subfamily: Faboideae
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Fabales
Tribe: Cicereae
Genus: Clitoria
Species: C. ternatea
Parts Used : Root, Leaf, Seed.

Synonyms: Aparajita has several synonyms in Ayurvedic scriptures like gokarnika, ardrakarni, girikarnika, supuspi, mohanasini, sveta etc. It is one of the herbs mentioned in all ancient scriptures of Ayurveda.
Aparajita (Hindi)
Gokarna (Marathi)
Butterfly pea (English)
Blue pea vine (English)
Bunga telang (Malay)
Dok anchan (Thai)
Pigeon wings (English)

Common Name: Sankhapusphi

Habitat:Asia, but has been introduced to Africa, Australia and the New World. It grows well in moist neutral soil and requires little care. Aparajita grows throughout India. It is a beautiful-looking plant, hence cultivated in gardens.

Description: It is a perennial twining herb having 7 leaflets, which are elliptic and obtuse; There are few varieties with white, violet and blue flowers. The pods are 5-7 cm long, flat with 6 to 10 seed, in each pod. The flowers resemble in shape to cow’s ear, hence the synonym- gokarnika.Propagates through Seeds

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Chemical Constituents :
Roots contain Taraxerol and taraxerone while seeds contain cinnamaic acid and an anthoxanthin glucose. Palmitic, Stearic, Oleic, Linoleic and Linolenic acids are said to be found from the seed oil. Leaves contain glycosides of kaempferol. Flowers furnished with a blue anthocyanin and flavonols. A lactone, aparajitin and clitorin can also be found on the leaves

The root bark contains starch, tannin and resin. The seeds contain a fixed oil, a bitter acid resin (the active principle), tannic acid, glucose (a light brown resin) and ash. The taste of the seeds is brittle and contains a cotyledon, which is full of granular starch. From leaves, clitorin and kaempferol have been isolated. A lactone-aparajitin from leaves, sitosterol from seeds, taraxerol from roots and sitosterol and anthoxanthin from seed are isolated (Ind. J. Pharm. 1968, 30, 167.) Isolation and identifi-cation of cyanine chloride and kaempferol from the flowers has been done. From seed-oil palmitic, stearic, oleic, linoleic and linolenic acids are yielded. Six acylated anthocyanins A, B, C, D, E and F are isolated from blue flowers along with kaempferol and its 3- glucoside, robinin, quercetin and 3-glucoside and ternatins A and B are partially characterized

Uses : The roots are bitter, refrigerant, ophthalmic, laxative, intellect promoting, alexeteric, diuretic, strong cathartic, anthelmintic, depurative, aphrodisiac, and tonic, useful in ophthalmology, tubercular glands, amentia, hemicriana, strangury, helminthiasis, leprosy, leucoderma, bronchitis, asthma and fever, also used in poultices for swollen joints. The leaves are useful in otalgia, hepatopathy and eruptions. Seeds are cathartic, and useful in visceralgia. Powdered seeds mixed with ginger are powerful laxative.

It is grown as an ornamental plant and as a revegetation species (e.g., in coal mines in Australia). It fixes nitrogen and is therefore also used . in southeast asia the flowers are use to colour food. In Malay cooking, an aqueous extract is used to colour glutinous rice for kuih tekan (also known as pulut seri kaya) and in nonya chang. In Thailand, a syrupy blue drink is made called nam dok anchan.

Medicinal Uses:
The roots, seeds and leaves are used for medicinal purpose; Aparajita is used both, internally as well as externally. Externally, the paste of the roots, of white flowered variety, is applied in skin diseases and simultaneously, the seeds fried in ghee are powdered and given orally, with hot water. The same variety of roots is salutary in guinea worm infestation, to expel them out, by their topical application. The paste of its leaves, combined with little salt is applied in retroauricular adenitis, with great benefit. The seeds mashed with honey, applied topically, in tonsillitis render excellent relief. In migraine, the root juice instilled into nostrils helps to ward off kapha.

Internally, aparajita is used in various diseases. It works well as an appetizer, digestant, and vermicide and digests ama. The powder of its roots or seeds, combined with sunthi of fennel is recommended in ascites, with hot water. Being sharp in attribute, it breaks down the accumulations of dosas and malas. The sticky phlegm in cough and asthma is relieved, when the root juice with milk is given. It works well as febrifuge especially in gout. In glandular swellings like cervical adenitis, the root powder or juice is valuable. The decoction of its roots alleviates the burning sensation in the vagina, effectively. In habitual abortion, the roots of white varity, mashed in milk are given orally to avert the abortion and stabilize the foetus. The juice of its leaves mitigates the toxins. The fresh leaves juice, combined with ginger juice, effectively controls the excessive sweating. It is also used to promote the intellect (medhya).

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


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