Parpataka – Uses, Research, Side Effects, Medicines

Parpataka is an effective Ayurvedic herb used in fever, high Pitta conditions such as fever, gastritis, diarrhea, excessive thirst etc. Its famous herbal remedy – Shadanga Paneeya (drink made out of six herbs) is used in treating fever and associated thirst. 

Botanical name-
There are many botanical species used with the name Parpataka –
Fumaria parviflora Lam., Fumaria officinalis, Fumaria indica Pugsley, Justicia procumbens, Oldenlandia corymbosa, Polycarpaea corymbosa – All these are used in the name of Parpata.
Mollugo cerviana and Mollugo oppositifolia are used in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh as Parpataka.
Hedyotis corymbosa is used as Parpataka in Kerala.
Rungia repens is used in Gujarat
Rungia parviflora – in Maharashtra
Fumaria officinalis, also called as Common Fumitory. It is found in Europe.

Distribution:
Fumaria indica and Hedyotis corymbosa are commonly found weeds throughout India and Pakistan.

Dry Specimen of Fumaria indica

Dry Specimen of Fumaria indica

Names in different languages:
English name –  fineleaf fumitory, fine-leaved fumitory and Indian fumitory.
Hindi name- Pitta Papada, Dham Gajara, Pitpapra
Arabic name- Sahtaraj
Tamil name- Tura
Telugu name- Parpatakamu, Chatarasi
Punjabi name – Shahtara
Farsi name – Shah Taraj
Malayalam name – Parppadakam

Fumaria indica

Fumaria indica

Sanskrit Synonyms-
Sutiktaka, Varatikata – greatest bitter tasting herb
Sookshma Patra – pointed small leaves
Pittaha – balances Pitta Dosha
Sheetavallabha, Charmahva, Rajo Renu, Varma Kantaka

Common Fumitory - Fumaria officinalis

Common Fumitory – Fumaria officinalis

Fumaria parviflora – chemical constituents
Adlumidiciceine,(-) adlumine,(+) biscuculline, Cochaurine, Coptisine, Cryptopine, Furmaramine, Fumaramidine, Fumaridine, Fumariline, Lahoramine, Lahorine, Parfumidine, parfumine, Parviflorine, Narceimine etc
(Reference: Illustrated Dravyaguna VIjnana, Vol. II, by Dr JLN Shastry)

Fumaria officinalis - Fumitory

Fumaria officinalis – Fumitory

 

Classical categorization
Charaka-  Trushna nigrahana – group of herbs useful in quenching thirst
Raja Nighantu – Parpatadi Varga
Kaiyyadeva Nighantu – Aushadhi Varga
Bhavaprakasha Nighantu, Dhanvantari Nighantu – Guduchyadi Varga
Madanapala Nighantu – Abhayadi Varga

Fumaric acid molecule - conventional color coding: hydrogen (white), carbon (grey), oxygen (red).

Fumaric acid molecule – conventional color coding: hydrogen (white), carbon (grey), oxygen (red).

Parpata – Medicinal Properties
Guna (qualities) – Laghu (lightness)
Rasa (taste) – Tikta (bitter)
Vipaka-Katu – Undergoes pungent taste conversion after digestion
Veerya – Sheeta – cold potency
Effect on Tridosha – Balances Kapha and Pitta Dosha. Slightly increases Vata Dosha.

Part used- whole plant
Dosage-
Powder 3-6 g
Decoction  – Kashaya – 50-100 ml in divided dose per day.

parpataParpataka Benefits:
Parpataka is best to treat Fever of Pitta origin.
Musta (cyperus rotundus) and Parpataka are best herbs for fever
Sangrahi – absorbent, bowel binding, useful in IBS, diarrhoea
Vatala  – increases Vata Dosha

As per Ashtanga Hrudaya 6/75-78 – Parpata is cold in potency, bitter in taste, pungent at the end of digestion, with hold the movement of fluids, increase vatta and mitigate kapha and pitta.

Parpataka kashaya  (decoction of Parpata) subsides the poisonous effects caused by Bhallataka seeds or oil. – Vaidya Sara Sangraha – Parishishta.

It is indicated in –
Daha – Burning sensation
Kaphaja Jwara – fever of Kapha origin
Pittaja Jwara – fever  of Pitta origin
Pipasa – excessive thirst
Arochaka – anorexia, lack of interest in food
Chardi – vomiting
Raktapitta  – bleeding disorders like nasal bleeding, Ulcerative colitis and menorrhagia
Mada – intoxication
Bhramai – dizziness, psychosis
Glani – tiredness, weakness of sense organs

Its red flowers are indicated in
Atisara – dysentery, diarrhoea

Fumaria officinalis, also called as Common Fumitory, is useful against abdominal spasmoidic pain, skin disorders, eye disorders, cardiac disorders.

Mollugo oppositifolia is used as laxative, antiseptic, used in earache, itch & dermatitis.

Ayurvedic medicines with Parpata as ingredient:
Parpatakarishtam –
used in anemia, jaundice, hepatomegaly, splenomegaly
Chinnodbhavadi Kashayam – It is used in the Ayurvedic treatment of fever, chronic recurrent fever.
Pachanamrita Kashayam –  used in early stages of fever, where digestion is severely impaired.
Panchatiktaristam – Acts as antipyretic and blood purifier.
Gulma Kalanal Ras –  used in the Ayurvedic treatment of abdominal distension, bloating, etc.

Research:

Antimicrobial Activity of Mollugo cerviana – Ethanolic extracts of aerial shoots of Mollugo cerviana and its leaf derived callus showed antibacterial activity against Bacillus subtilis and Escherichia Coli.

Side effects:
There are no known side effects with this herb.
It can be used in children (since it is an ingredient of Pediatric medicine called Aravindasavam) and during lactation period.
Seek medical guidance for its usage during pregnancy.


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