What is Hemidesmus Indicus?
Anantmool botanical name is Hemidesmus Indicus Root, some other common names are Ushba, Indian sarsaparilla, Anantamul. It is mainly found throughout India commonly in Bengal and extending Maharashtra to Travancore. Indian Sarsaparilla is a perennial twining or creeping herb with a woody fragrant rootstock.
Its roots are traditionally used to treat a wide variety of illnesses in Ayurveda. In the ancient Indian Ayurveda science, the plant has been mentioned as an important medicine. In 1867 it was admitted to the British Pharmacopoeia.
The root of the Indian sarsaparilla plant contains a variety of compounds, including saponins, flavonoids, and alkaloids, which are believed to be responsible for its medicinal properties. It has been used to treat various ailments, including skin diseases, respiratory infections, digestive problems, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Indian sarsaparilla is typically consumed as a tea or decoction, and it can also be taken in the form of capsules or powders. While Indian sarsaparilla has been used for centuries in traditional medicine, scientific research on its effectiveness is still limited. As with any herbal supplement, it is important to talk to a healthcare professional before using Indian sarsaparilla for medicinal purposes.
Morphology and Chemical Constituent of Indian sarsaparilla
Indian Sarsaparilla Leaves
The leaves are simple, shortly petioled, opposite, variable, smooth, acute, and striated down the middle with white silvery color. The mature leaves are generally broad lanceolate, sometimes ovate or oval.
Indian Sarsaparilla Flower
They are greenish-purple crowded in axillary cymes with opposite axils. The flowering time of Indian Sarsaparilla is October.
Indian Sarsaparilla Fruits
Fruits are cylindrical and long up to 10 cm, are paired, cylindrical, pointed, and slender. Fruits are mature in January.
Indian Sarsaparilla Roots
The roots are cylindrical, slightly twisted aromatic roots, and brown-colored bark. The roots contain resins, tannin, and glycoside, it also contains essential oils that’s why the odor of the herb is due to coumarin. The roots yield a steroptency which is supposed to be a volatile acid.
Chemical Constituent of Indian sarsaparilla
Hemidesmus indicus Roots: The root of the plant contains several important chemical constituents, including saponins, coumarins, flavonoids, and alkaloids such as hemidesmine, hemidesminine, and beta-sitosterol. These compounds are believed to be responsible for the plant's medicinal properties, including their anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects.
Hemidesmus indicus Leaves: The leaves of the Indian sarsaparilla plant contain flavonoids, tannins, and triterpenoids, which have antioxidant properties and may help protect against cellular damage and oxidative stress.
Hemidesmus indicus Flowers: The flowers of the Indian sarsaparilla plant contain various chemical constituents, including flavonoids, alkaloids, and tannins. These compounds may have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, and some studies suggest that they may help protect against liver damage.
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What are the Benefits & Uses of Hemidesmus Indicus?
In Ayurveda, Indian Sarsaparilla Roots are mainly for medicinal treating fevers, due to their diaphoretic property, which has on the skin and mucous membrane. They are useful in correcting disorders due to malnutrition, purifying the blood, promoting the flow of urine, and restoring normal body functions.
The roots have alterative, astringent, diaphoretic, diuretic, tonic, anti-pyretic, blood purifier, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-acne, antipyretic, hepatoprotective, and antileprotic properties, roots have sweet-bitter taste and have cold potency.
It is one of the greatest detoxifying herbs which helps to clean the body, improve skin texture and purify the blood.
Here are some health benefits of Indian Sarsaparilla Root
Indian Sarsaparilla root is beneficial in treating fevers, due to its diaphoretic property, which has sweat-inducing properties and induces copious perspiration, thereby reducing temperature.
For Genito – Urinary Disorders
The Indian Sarsaparilla root is useful in syphilis, leucorrhea, and another Genito-urinary disease.
Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, it is beneficial in the treatment of swellings and on rheumatic joints, and boils.
For Stomach Disorder
Indian Sarsaparilla root is beneficial for treating stomach disorders like dyspepsia and loss of appetite. It is helpful in stomach pain and diarrhea.
Indian Sarsaparilla root contains hair-growing hormones, regular wash promotes hair growth and makes strong hair.
Indian Sarsaparilla roots contain anti-diabetic property that helps to control blood sugar and maintain blood glucose level.
Indian Sarsaparilla roots have protective activity against arthritis. This is probably due to the presence of terpenes, sterols, and phenolic compounds.
How to use Indian Sarsaparilla?
Dosage and uses depend upon the health problems and conditions or as recommended by an Ayurvedic doctor. The general recommended dosage is 3-6 grams of Indian Sarsaparilla daily once a day.
Traditional uses of Indian Sarsaparilla roots include treating digestive problems, diarrhea, blood disorders, cough, fever, anorexia, asthma, itching, and skin diseases like leprosy.
- Make a decoction of Indian Sarsaparilla root powder and wash the hair with this decoction. Helps to prevent hair falls.
- Take 5-6 grams of root powder of Indian Sarsaparilla with milk, which gives relief from dyspepsia and loss of appetite.
- Take 5-6 grams of root powder of Indian Sarsaparilla and mix it with water to make a paste, apply it to the pain area, which gives relief from arthritis.
- Make a decoction of Indian Sarsaparilla root powder and take 50-60ml thrice a day, is effective in syphilis, leucorrhea, and another Genito-urinary disease.
Side Effects of Anant Mool
All Ayurveda herbs are plant-based, and they don’t have any side effects but they may react with some allopathy or homeopathy medicine. It is better to consult the doctor if you are on any medications or have special health issues.
Overdose or consumption in the wrong way may cause health problems, some are included.
Stomach upset: Indian sarsaparilla can cause stomach irritation and digestive upset in some people, particularly when consumed in high doses.
Allergic reactions: Some individuals may experience allergic reactions to Indian sarsaparilla, which can cause symptoms such as skin rash, itching, and difficulty breathing.
Blood sugar changes: Indian sarsaparilla may affect blood sugar levels, and individuals with diabetes should use it with caution and monitor their blood sugar levels closely.
Hormonal effects: Indian sarsaparilla may have hormonal effects and should be avoided by pregnant or breastfeeding women.
Interactions with medications: Indian sarsaparilla may interact with certain medications, including blood thinners and diabetes medications, and should be used with caution in individuals taking these medications.
Some of the reported side effects of Indian sarsaparilla include:
Some side effects are mentioned below
- Do not take Indian Sarsaparilla root along with digoxin can increase the heartbeat to a greater extent, which can lead to trouble.
- Consult the doctor if you are breastfeeding.
- Do not take without a doctor’s prescription if you are pregnant.
- Do not take Indian Sarsaparilla root along with lithium supplements, consult the doctor before taking.
- If you are on diabetes or on hypertension medication. Consult first with the doctor before consuming.
- Indian Sarsaparilla root should be avoided in patients with kidney disease as it can worsen the condition.
- It is not suggested for children below 12 years of age, the elderly, or physically or mentally weaker persons.
Note: As with any herbal supplement, it is important to talk to a healthcare professional before using Indian sarsaparilla for medicinal purposes, especially if you have any pre-existing medical conditions or are taking any medications.
Refreshing Tea Recipe of Indian Sarsaparilla
This is a very easy and simple tea recipe; you can add or replace your evening tea with this refreshing herbal tea. Here is the recipe for tea.
- Indian Sarsaparilla root powder – 40 grams
- Rose Petals – 1 tbsp
- Lotus Petals – 1 tbsp
- Milk Lukewarm – ½ cup
- Water – 2 cups
- Honey or Palm Sugar – 1 tsp
- Heat the pan and add water and boil it.
- Add all the ingredients except milk and honey.
- Boil it and make a decoction of that.
- Strain in a cup and add milk and honey.
- Enjoy the tea.
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