What is Operculina Turpethum?
Nisoth botanical name is Operculina Turpethum and some other common names are terpeth root, Indian jalap, nishothra, pithori, trivrt, turbud. Turpeth is also known as Indian Jalap, it is a large, stout twining perennial herb with sap. It grows wild throughout India up to 1,000 m.
It is also grown in gardens. It is a vata and pitta moderator. It helps in improving the peristaltic movements in the body and therefore is used as a laxative.
The Leaves - Operculina turpethum leaves are quadrangular, winged stems, ovate, 5 to 15 centimeters long, narrowing to a pointed tip, broad, and somewhat heart-shaped or straight at the base. The active principle of the leaves is a cardiotonic substance named oleandrin.
The Flowers - Operculina Turpethum flowers are white funnel-shaped and are borne in the axils of the leaves. Its fruit is roundish and usually with four seeds. This herb is also known as Indian Jalap because of its purgative characteristic. Flowering and fruiting occur twice a year from September to November and then from March to May.
The Root - Operculina Turpethum Dried root constitutes the drug, there are two types of varieties of this plant, with either white roots or with black tuberous roots. Only roots of white variety are used, the trade name is based on its scientific name.
The pieces of root are cylindrical, somewhat twisted, and dull grey outside. The drug has a faint odor, and the taste becomes nauseous after it has been in the mouth for some time, though less so than the true jalap.
The Bark - Operculina Turpethum bark contains a glycoside resin, which has ether insoluble glycoside turpethein and two ether soluble glycosides. Besides, it also contains a small amount of volatile oil, glucose, and fructose.
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What are the Benefits of Indian Jalap Root?
Turpeth / Indian Jalap root has antidiabetic, laxative, antidiarrheal, antiulcer, antinephrotoxic, antihepatotoxic, antimicrobial, cytotoxic, analgesic, anti-arthritic, and anti-inflammatory properties.
It has long been used in India as a cathartic, which is a drug that induces active movement of the bowel. However, it was officially recognized in the list of the Pharmacopoeia only in 1946, only dried roots of the white variety with bark intact find a place in that list.
The roots have laghu (light), tikshan (sharp), and ruksha (dry) properties and katu (pungent) tickta (bitter) in taste and it has hot potency. They are useful in chronic constipation, dropsy, vitiated conditions of Vata, paralysis, myalgia, arthralgia, bronchitis, obesity, helminthiasis, gastropathy, ascites, inflammations, intermittent fever, leukoderma, and pruritic, ulcers, hemorrhoids, jaundice, and consumption.
Here are some benefits of Turpeth / Indian Jalap
- For Arthritis - Indian Jalap is beneficial in treating rheumatic and paralytic diseases.
- For Chronic Constipation – The root powder is used as a purgative and to relieve chronic constipation. Its pulverized roots are used as a laxative and to alleviate any acute constipation.
- For Dropsy – Indian Jalap is a valuable herb in the treatment of dropsical affections.
- For Gout – It is also beneficial in gout due to its anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic properties.
- For Jaundice – Indian Jalap is one of the major drugs which are used in the treatment of jaundice.
- Other Health Aliments - Operculina Turpethum is also effective for other diseases like melancholia, leprosy, enlargement of the spleen, and paralysis. Its efficacy increases when mixed with chebulic myrobalan.
- Anti-Venom - Indian Jalap helps in purgation and is most efficacious for a scorpion or snake bite.
- For Worms – Due to its anti-worm property, it helps to kill and control intestinal worms and infections.
- For Cough & Cold - Due to its antioxidant property, it gives relief from respiratory problems like cough, bronchitis, asthma, and breathlessness caused due to excess mucus.
- For Diabetes – Indian Jalap has antidiabetic properties which are beneficial to controlling and treating diabetes and blood sugar.
- For Piles - Operculina Turpethum gives relief from piles and their symptoms like itching, burning, and swelling in the anus region.
How to Use Operculina Turpethum?
Dosage and uses depend upon the health problems and conditions or as recommended by an Ayurvedic doctor. The general recommended dosage is 5-10 grams of Operculina Turpethum root twice a day before an hour of a meal.
Here are some home remedies of Indian Jalap
- Take 3 to 4 grams of Operculina Turpethum root powder with water daily, beneficial in arthritis.
- Take 5 grams of Indian Jalap root powder with lukewarm water after meal and twice a day, beneficial in chronic constipation.
- Take 2-4 grams of Indian Jalap root powder with chebulic myrobalan (harad) daily, beneficial in dropsy.
- Take 5-6 grams of Indian Jalap root powder with chebulic myrobalan (harad) daily twice a day, beneficial in gout.
- Take one tsp of each powder, Indian Jalap, and Picrorhiza kurroa (Kutki), mix them and take them with water daily, beneficial in jaundice.
- Take 5-6 grams of each powder, Indian Jalap root with chebulic myrobalan (harad), which helps to treat leprosy, enlargement of the spleen, and paralysis.
Side Effects of Operculina Turpethum
All Ayurveda herbs are plant-based, and they don’ 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.
Some side effects are mentioned below
- Consult the doctor if you are breastfeeding.
- Do not take without a doctor’s prescription if you are pregnant.
- If you are on diabetes or on hypertension medication. Consult first the doctor before consuming.
- If you are suffering from kidney disease, consult the doctor first before consuming Indian Jalap
- Do not take Indian Jalap with liquor, it may interact with it and cause drowsiness.
- Do not take Indian Jalap if you are suffering from diarrhea, bleeding per rectum, rectal prolapse, or fecal incontinence.
- It is not suggested for children below 12 years of age, the elderly, or physically or mentally weaker persons.
Indian Jalap Tea Recipe.
Here is a simple and easy recipe for Indian Jalap tea, you can make it at home.
- Indian Jalap Root Powder – 1 tsp
- Water – 1 cup
- Green Tea – ½ cup
- Take a tea pan and add water to boil.
- Add all the items and boil them for 2 minutes.
- Strain the tea in a cup and enjoy the taste.
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