What is Operculina Turpethum? Benefits, Uses & Side Effects, Indian Jalap Tea Recipe.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. What is Operculina Turpethum? 
3. Ayurvedic properties of Operculina Turpethum Root
4. Health Benefits of Indian Jalap
5. Uses of Operculina Turpethum Root
6. Side Effects of Operculina Turpethum Root
7. Indian Jalap Tea Recipe
8. Frequently Asked Question

1. Introduction

Are you curious about Operculina Turpethum, a traditional herbal medicine, and its many benefits? Look no further than Operculina Turpethum, also known as Indian Jalap. This versatile plant has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine to treat a wide range of health issues, from constipation to respiratory problems. In this article, we'll delve into the world of Operculina Turpethum, exploring its many benefits, how to use it in various forms, and even a tasty Indian Jalap tea recipe. Whether you're a long-time fan of herbal remedies or simply looking to expand your knowledge, you won't want to miss out on all that this powerful plant has to offer. So, let's dive in and explore the wonders of Operculina Turpethum!

2. What is Operculina Turpethum?

Operculina Turpethum, also known as Indian Jalap, is a medicinal plant that has been used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. It is a climbing plant that belongs to the Convolvulaceae family and is native to India and other parts of Southeast Asia. The roots of the plant are the main part used for medicinal purposes, and they contain a compound called turpethin, which has potent laxative, diuretic, and expectorant properties. Indian Jalap has been used to treat a wide range of health issues, including constipation, respiratory problems, liver disorders, and skin diseases. The plant is available in various forms, such as powder, decoction, and oil, and can be used both internally and externally depending on the condition being treated.

Habitat and Morphology of 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.


3. Ayurvedic properties of Operculina Turpethum Root

Turpeth or Nisoth, is a medicinal plant used in Ayurveda for its various therapeutic properties. The root of Operculina turpethum is particularly valued for its medicinal benefits.

Ayurvedic properties of Operculina turpethum root:

1. Rasa (Taste): The root of Operculina turpethum is primarily bitter (Tikta) and pungent (Katu) in taste.

2. Virya (Potency): It is heating in nature (Ushna Virya).

3. Vipaka (Post-digestive taste): The post-digestive taste is pungent (Katu Vipaka).

4. Dosha Effects: Operculina turpethum root primarily balances Kapha dosha and, to a lesser extent, Vata dosha. However, in excess, it may increase Pitta dosha.

Ayurvedic Uses:

  1. Laxative: The root of Operculina turpethum is a potent laxative and is used to relieve constipation and promote bowel movements. It helps in clearing the bowel and removing accumulated waste from the intestines.

  2. Detoxification: It is believed to have detoxifying properties and is used in certain Ayurvedic detoxification therapies to eliminate toxins from the body.

  3. Anti-inflammatory: Operculina turpethum root possesses anti-inflammatory properties and can be used to manage inflammatory conditions.

  4. Liver Health: It is considered to have hepatoprotective properties, which can support the health and function of the liver.

  5. Respiratory Health: In Ayurveda, the root is used to support respiratory health and manage conditions like asthma and bronchitis.

  6. Antimicrobial: Operculina turpethum root has antimicrobial properties and can be used in the management of infections.

4. 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 JaundiceIndian 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.
Buy Operculina Turpethum Root Powder

5. How to Use Operculina Turpethum?

Dosage and uses depend upon the health problems and conditions or as an Ayurvedic doctor recommends. The dosage of Operculina Turpethum or Indian Jalap varies depending on the form of the plant used and the condition being treated. Here are some general guidelines for using Indian Jalap:

  1. Powder: The recommended dose of Indian Jalap powder is around 250-500 mg per day, which can be taken with warm water or milk before bedtime to relieve constipation.

  2. Decoction: To prepare a decoction, boil 1-2 grams of Indian Jalap root in 250 ml of water for about 15-20 minutes. Strain the mixture and drink it once a day to treat respiratory problems, such as coughs and bronchitis.

  3. Oil: Indian Jalap oil can be applied topically to treat skin diseases, such as eczema and psoriasis. Apply a small amount of oil to the affected area and massage gently.

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.

6. Side Effects of Operculina Turpethum

All Ayurveda herbs are plant-based and don’t have any side effects but 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.

Indian Jalap or Operculina Turpethum can cause some potential side effects, particularly if taken in high doses or for an extended period.

Here are some of the possible side effects:

  1. Gastrointestinal discomfort: Indian Jalap has strong laxative properties that can cause diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal cramps. It may also cause dehydration if not taken with enough fluids.

  2. Dehydration: Indian Jalap may cause excessive loss of fluids and electrolytes, leading to dehydration. It's important to drink plenty of water or other fluids while taking Indian Jalap.

  3. Electrolyte imbalances: Prolonged use of Indian Jalap can cause electrolyte imbalances, particularly low levels of potassium, which can lead to muscle weakness, irregular heartbeat, and other complications.

  4. Allergic reactions: Some people may be allergic to Indian Jalap and experience symptoms such as skin rashes, itching, and swelling.

  5. Interactions with medications: Indian Jalap may interact with certain medications, such as diuretics and heart medications, which can lead to adverse effects.

Some other side effects:

  • 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.

7. 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.

8. Frequently Asked Question

Q - What is Operculina Turpethum Root Powder, and how is it used in Ayurvedic medicine?

Operculina Turpethum Root Powder is a versatile herb that is commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine. It is obtained from the roots and stems of the Operculina turpethum plant, which is native to India. The herb is used in Ayurvedic medicine for its cleansing and purgative properties and is believed to support digestive health, liver function, and overall wellness.

Q - What are the health benefits of Operculina Turpethum Root Powder?

Operculina Turpethum Root Powder is believed to have several health benefits. It is primarily used for its digestive and laxative properties, as it helps to promote bowel movements and relieve constipation. It is also believed to support liver function, aid in weight loss, and improve skin health.

Q - Is Operculina Turpethum Root Powder safe to consume?

Operculina Turpethum Root Powder is generally safe when consumed in moderation. However, it is important to consult a healthcare professional before using any new supplement or herb, especially if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have an underlying medical condition.

Q - How much Operculina Turpethum Root Powder should I take?

The recommended dosage of Operculina Turpethum Root Powder can vary depending on the individual's age, weight, and health status. It is recommended to start with a small dose and gradually increase it over time, as per the instructions provided on the packaging or by a healthcare professional.

Q - Can Operculina Turpethum Root Powder be used for weight loss?

Operculina Turpethum Root Powder is believed to aid in weight loss, as it helps to improve digestion and eliminate toxins from the body. However, it is essential to follow a healthy diet and exercise regimen along with consuming this herb for best results.

Q - Does Operculina Turpethum Root Powder have any side effects?

Operculina Turpethum Root Powder may have side effects such as diarrhea, stomach cramps, and dehydration if consumed in excess. It is important to follow the recommended dosage and consult a healthcare professional if you experience any adverse effects.

Q - What are the active compounds in Operculina Turpethum Root Powder?

The active compounds in Operculina Turpethum Root Powder include resin, turpethin, volatile oil, and glycosides. These compounds are responsible for its purgative and laxative properties.

Q - Can Operculina Turpethum Root Powder be used to treat constipation?

Operculina Turpethum Root Powder is commonly used to treat constipation due to its laxative properties. It helps to promote bowel movements and relieve constipation by increasing the water content in the intestines.

Q - What is the recommended storage method for Operculina Turpethum Root Powder?

Operculina Turpethum Root Powder should be stored in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and moisture. It is recommended to keep it in an airtight container to maintain its freshness and potency.



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