Jun 11, 2017

Shankhapushpi - Vishnukiranthi

Botanical Name: Evolvulus alsinoides
Common Name: Dwarf morning glory
Sanskrit: शङ्खपुष्पी Shankhapushpi, विष्णुगन्धि Vishnugandhi, विष्णुक्रान्ता Vishnukranta
Hindi: शंखपुष्पी Shankhapushpi, विष्णुक्रान्त Vishnukranta
Tamil: விஷ்ணுகிரந்தி Vishnukiranthi
Kannada: ಶನ್ಕ್ಹಪುಷ್ಪಿ Shankhapushpi, ವಿಷ್ಣುಕ್ರಾಮ್ತ Vishnukranta
Gujarati: કાળીશંખ વલ્લી Kalisankha vali
Marathi: शंखवेल Shankhavel, विष्णुक्रांत Vishnukranta
Malayalam: വിഷ്‌ണുക്രാന്തി, Vishnukrandhi, കൃഷ്‌ണക്രാന്തി, Krishnakranthi
Telugu: విష్ణుక్రాంత Vishnu kranta

The botanical name of Vishnukraanti  is Evolvulus alsinoides. The genus name comes from the Latin word “evolvulus” meaning “to unroll” and is referring to the species nonvining habit. It belongs to plant family Convolvulaceae. Below is given taxonomical classification of plant.

It is prostrate, much branched herb with small woody rootstock. The stem is spreading, wiry, hairy more than 30 cm long. Leaves are numerous, oblong-elliptic or lanceolate, 1.0-3.5 x 0.3-1.0 cm, obtuse at apex, densely covered with appressed silky hairs, petioles is short.  It is widely distributed in tropical and subtropical regions throughout the world. It grows commonly as a weed in open and grassy places throughout India, ascending to 6,000 ft. Its occurance is very rare in damp conditions.

It is mainly indicated in in loss of memory, sleeplessness, chronic bronchitis, asthma, and in syphilis. It is also used in the treatment of epilepsy, leukoderma, cuts and ulcers.

The name of this herb translates as "Vishnu's' step" in Sanskrit (Vishnu is the preserver in Hindu mythology) . In the 'Nighantas' it has the synonym of 'Nila-Pushpa' the blue flowered. In Vedic times it was known to promote conception. The terms 'Mangalyapusphi', 'Supusphi' and 'Mangalyakusuma' indicate that the flowers were sacred and were used in worship.

The leaves, stalks and roots were used in medicine in South India and were supposed to possess virtues in certain bowel affections. It was also a remedy for dysentery and was used to enhance intelligence and improve memory.

Important Medicinal Properties
Vishnukranti is rich in medicinal properties. The understanding of these properties will help us to better utilize this herb. It promotes intelligence, enhances memory and retention, reduces stress, anxiety, depression, confusion and induces peaceful sleep.

Medicinal Uses of Vishnukraanti
Vishnukraanti / Shankhapushpi / Morning Glory, plant is used in Ayurveda and Unani system of medicine to treat mental disorders, nervous weakness, insomnia, fever, cough, asthma and skin diseases. It helps is a general tonic and gives good health.

In nervous and brain disorders, memory loss, low I.Q., mental retardness, the dried powder of plant is given in dose of 3-6 grams or 10 grams of fresh paste is taken along with the cow’s milk for 1 month at bed time.

For cold and cough, the decoction of roots, is given thrice a day for three days.

In fever, with digestive disorder, its decoction with Tulsi leaves juice is given.

In chronic bronchitis and asthma, the leaves are made in to cigarettes and smoked.

As a general tonic, the decoction of plant is used.

For cuts, ulcers, the paste of whole plant is applied externally to stop bleeding.

In toothache, the paste of plant is applied on the affected teeth

For hair growth, the leaf paste is applied 30 minutes before bath for 1 month.

The oil containing, Shankhapushpi is used to promote hair growth and as hair tonic. Massaging with this oil strengthens hair and reduces stress.

There are no known side-effects of this herb.

The medicated oil of this herb is useful as a hair tonic, to promore hair growth. Hair oil prevents the premature graying and falling of hair.

Its paste is applied externally in skin diseases.

It is used to cure minor memory disturbances, nervous debility and amentia.

It is useful to promote intelligence, enhance memory and retention. It also curbs the agitation and anxiety and induces peaceful sleep.

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