Botanical Name: Evolvulus alsinoides
Species: E. alsinoides
Common Names: Dwarf morning-glory and Slender dwarf morning-glory.
*Hindi name: Phooli, Sharikha-pushpi
*Ayurvedic name: Vishnugandhi, Shankhapushpi
*Unani name: Sankhaholi
*English name: English Speed-wheel
*Trade name: Shankhapuspi
Habitat:Evolvulus alsinoides is native to tropical and warm-temperate regions of Australasia, Indomalaya, Polynesia, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Americas.
The species inhabits a wide range of habitats, from marshland and wet forests to deserts. A number of varieties and subspecies are recognised. It may become a weed in some situations. It is one of the plants included in Dasapushpam, the ten sacred flowers of Kerala.
Evolvulus alsinoides is a herbaceous plant, annual or perennial, with more or less numerous, prostrate or ascending stems, slender, with appressed and spreading hairs. The leaves, petiolate or subsessile, are 0.7 to 2.5 cm long and 5 to 10 mm long.
The flowers are isolated or grouped in pauciflorous cymes, borne by filiform peduncles, 2.5 to 3.5 cm long. The calyx is formed by villous, lanceolate sepals 3 to 4 mm long. The rounded corolla, with pentameric symmetry, blue in color, rarely white, is 7 to 10 mm in diameter. The stamens, with filiform filaments, are united at the base of the corolla tube. The ovary, glabrous, is surmounted by two free styles. The fruit is a globular capsule, with four valves, generally containing four seeds that are black and smooth.
Cultivation: The plant prefers shady and humid climatic conditions. Growth is slow and becomes restricted when the environmental conditions become unfavourable.
Propagation: Through Seeds : Collected during October-November from natural habitats.
The whole bitter plant is used extensively as an alterative, anthelminthic, antidiarrhoeal, bitter, febrifuge, tonic and vermifuge. It is taken in an infusion to cure bowel complaints, for which it is said to be a sovereign remedy – especially for dysentery. Combined with cumin and milk, it is used as a treatment for fevers, nervous debility, loss of memory, and also for syphilis, scrofula, etc. A decoction is taken as a remedy for gonorrhoea.
An infusion of the plant is applied as a treatment for syphilis, scrofula, snake bites. An infusion prepared with oil is applied to promote hair growth.
The powdered leaves are applied topically to treat sores. The mashed leaves are applied as a poultice on enlarged glands in the neck.
The leaves are made into cigarettes, which are smoked to relieve bronchitis and asthma.
The plant is reported to contain flavonols and saponins.
Cultured tissues of the plant accumulate ergot alkaloids: amides of the indole derivative D-lysergic acid, which is biosynthetically derived from the amino acid tryptophan. Although the best known source of the ergot alkaloids is the sclerotium of the fungus Claviceps purpurea or related fungi, several lysergic acid alkaloids have also been isolated from members of the family Convolvulaceae.
The ethanol extract of the whole plant shows anti-ulcer and anticatatonic activity.
The fragrant smoke from burning leaves is used to perfume houses.
A water extract of the corolla inhibited spore germination and mycelial growth of the fungi Alternaria brassicae, Alternaria brassicicola and Fusarium oxysporum.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.