Benefits, Uses and Side effects of Shalparni
Shalparni (Desmodium gangeticum) is a shrubby plant with a woody stem and is 2-4 feet tall. Its branches are covered with fine hair. The leaves are monoecious, ovate, oval, blunt and hairy below and up to 15 cm long, the lower side of the leaves is light green.. The pods are thin, flat, curved, having 6-8 nodes and also have a hairy structure on top. This plant bears its flowers and fruits in August and November.
Shalparni, being one of the Dashamoola herbs, is considered to be one of the most important Ayurvedic herbs used as an ingredient in many medicines. Shalparni is sweet, bitter, difficult to digest, oily, greasy and has a hot potency. It balances the tridoshas in the body. Shalparni leaves are similar to shaala leaves, which is why they are also called shalparni. This herb has a calming and soothing effect that regulates neurological imbalances. It has unique properties that can regulate the nervous system, veins and arteries.
Importance of Shalparni in Ayurveda
Shalparni is one of the most important herbs in Ayurveda. It is one of the Dashamoola herbs and is packed with innumerable Ayurvedic properties. This herb has anthelmintic, anti-catarrhal, digestive, diuretic, expectorant, antipyretic, tonic, antidiarrheal and gastric properties. In addition, using this herb is quite good for dealing with complications such as intestinal fever, respiratory complications and hemorrhoids.
Benefits of Shalparni
- Treats piles:Shalparni is effective in treating hemorrhoids (piles). It has anti-inflammatory as well as astringent properties that help relieve the symptoms of piles including itching and swelling around the anus.
- Improves heart health:Shalparni has been found to reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL or bad cholesterol) cholesterol levels while maintaining high-density lipoprotein (HDL or good cholesterol) and also helps maintain healthy blood cholesterol levels, blood pressure and the healthy heart. It is also believed that shalparni dilates blood vessels and strengthens the heart muscles.
- Improves digestion:Shalparni is said to be a laxative and has anti-inflammatory properties. Thus, because it facilitates bowel movements, and relieves constipation. It helps to improve digestive health and provide relief from gastritis, diarrhea, nausea and flatulence. Shalparni is also recommended to treat anorexia (loss of appetite).
- Increases immunity:Shalparni is called an excellent immune stimulant as it stimulates T cells, B cells, macrophages, etc. Along with its anti-inflammatory properties, it is excellent for boosting overall immunity.
- Better sexual health:Shalparni can help improve sexual health, especially in men. It is a natural aphrodisiac and regular consumption of shalparni root powder in decoction form is said to help with many problems like premature ejaculation and loss of libido (sexual desire).
- Prevents bronchitis:Shalparni is known to be hot. Consuming a decoction of shalparni root powder helps clear phlegm from the lungs, thereby relieving the symptoms of bronchitis.
- Reduces diabetes:Shalparni lowers blood sugar and facilitates insulin secretion. Therefore it is useful in the treatment of diabetes.
Good for dementia
Dementia refers to a group of conditions characterized by impaired social thinking and behavior that interferes with the individual's daily functioning. Shalparni has proven useful in the treatment and control of dementia due to the presence of bioactive constituents that have anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants. This helps to improve the signal transmission to the brain and help reduce neurological problems.
Other benefits of Shalparni are
- It is useful for relieving vomiting, fever and nausea.
- Shalparni is beneficial in the treatment of shortness of breath, chronic respiratory diseases, asthma, bronchitis and other lung diseases.
- It helps to relieve dysentery and diarrhea.
- It provides relief from burning, flatulence and gastritis.
- It helps boost immunity and promote a healthy weight.
- It is used to treat imbalances caused by Vata doshas, especially heart disease.
- It is helpful to treat kidney stones and postpartum complications.
- It helps to remove moisture and heat from the liver and gallbladder.
- It can be useful in treating seizures.
Side effects of Shalparni
- It is recommended to avoid using Shalparni while breastfeeding or during pregnancy.
- Shalparni has been shown to lower blood sugar levels when taken with antidiabetic drugs, so it is advisable to avoid Shalparni by people having low sugar.
Where is it found?
It is a subtropical and perennial herb that is found in tropical Africa, Indian subcontinent, China, Japan, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines and Australia. In India, it is typically found in the jungles of the Western Ghats to Sikkim.