HEMIDESMUS INDICUS (L.) R. Br.

Family: Asclepiadaceae

Synonyms: Periploca indica L.

Bengali/Vernacular Name: Anantamul.

Tribal Name: Chikondudhia (Chakma); Maittal (Garo).

English Name: Indian Sarsaparilla.

Description of the Plant:
A slender perennial, prostrate or slightly twining; rootstock woody. Leaves very variable, from elliptic-oblong to linear-lanceolate, 5-10 cm long. Lower leaves narrow, often variegated with white above; upper leaves broader, obtuse, dark green, not variegated. Flowers crowded in subsessile cymes in the opposite axils; corolla 5-6 mm long, greenish outside, purple inside. Follicles 10-15 cm long, cylindric, tapering to a point at the apex.

Using Information:
The roots are used as a substitute for sarsaparilla. It is valuable alterative, tonic, purgative, demulcent, diaphoretic, diuretic, antipyretic, aphrodisiac, antidiarrhoeal and blood purifier. It is employed in nutritional disorders, loss of appetite, syphilis, leucoderma, itching, chronic rheumatism, gravel and other urinary diseases, leucorrhoea, fever, asthma, bronchitis and skin diseases; useful in hemicrania, pain in the joints and piles; juice is given to children in tonsillitis. The leaves are good for vomiting, colds, wounds and leucoderma. The stem is diaphoretic, diuretic and laxative; lessens inflammation; useful in leucoderma, paralysis, cough, asthma (Yusuf et al. 2009).

Aquous extract of the root is bacteriostatic against Mycobacterium leprae. EtOH(50%) extract is antiviral (Asolkar et al., 1992).

Chemical Constituents:
The roots contain coumarins and an essential oil consisting principally of hydroxymethoxybenzaldehydes. It also contains the coumarino-lignoids, hemidesmins I & II, sitosterols, hexatriacontane, lupeol its octacosanoate, α and β-amyrins and its acetate, triterpenes, tetracyclic  triterpene alcohols, resin acids, fatty acids, tannins, saponins, a glycoside and ketone. The stems contain triterpene lactone, lupanone and its acetate derivative, lupeol, dehydrolupeol acetate, ketolupeneolide, hexadecanoic acid, 4-hydroxy-3-methoxybenzaldehyde and 3-hydroxy-4-methoxybenzaldehyde. Leaves contains significant amount of rutin (Ghani, 2003).


HEMIDESMUS INDICUS
HEMIDESMUS INDICUS (L.) R. Br.


Distribution:
Sal forests of Dhaka-Tangail; hittagong and Chittagong Hill Tracts.


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Retutn from HEMIDESMUS INDICUS to Medicinal Plants: Part H