Vruddhadaru Argyreia speciosa: Uses, Remedies, Research

Vruddhadaru- Argyreia speciosa is a plant mentioned for the treatment of swelling, rheumatoid arthritis, general debility, leucorrhea, oligospermia and diabetes. 

Latin name- Argyreia speciosa Sweet. Some identify Argyreia nervosa as Vridha Daru.
Family- Convolvulaceae

Vriddha Daru Names in different languages:
Hindi name: Samudrashosh, Bidara
English name: Elephant creeper
Bengali name: Bichtarak Guguli
Gujarathi name: Samundar sosh
Kannada name: Samnudra balli
Malayalam name: Samudrapacha
Marathi name: Samudrasoah
Tamil name: Ambagar
Telugu name: Samudrapela

Vridd daru Sanskrit Synonyms:
Trikonakanda- the stem of the vine is triangular
Hasthi valli- The leaf is big like the palm
Samudra patra- The leaf resembles the foam in sea waves when viewed from a distance
Ajaantri, Mahashyma, Vallari, Deergha, Samudra palaka, Avegi, Jongaka, Jirnavalaka,
Antakotarapushpi – flower with a hollow inside
Mahishavallari, Ajantri, Mahashyama, Vellari, Deerghavalaka, Jeernadaru

Morphology of Argyreia speciosa: The plant is a perennial climbing vine and is native to Indian sub- continent and later introduced through- out the world. Hairs like small structures are seen over the stem of the plant. The leaves are wide, big and smooth at the top surface and have thin hair like structure on the lower surface. The flowers are bell shaped and purple to pink colored. The seeds of the plant are pale white and intoxicating in nature.

Properties:
Rasa (Taste) – Katu (Pungent), Tikta (Bitter), Kashaya (Astringent)
Guna (Qualities) – Laghu (Light for digestion), Snigdha (Slimy)
Vipaka – Madhura (Undergoes sweet taste after digestion)
Veerya (Potency) – Ushna (Hot)
Karma (Actions) – Kaphavata shamaka (reduces vitiated kapha and vata dosha)

Part used- Root, Seed powder
Dosage- 3 to 6 g of root powder, 1 to 2 g of seed powder

Chemical constituents of Argyreia speciosa
The plant contains tannins and resin. The roots yielded and resins of amber colour, soluble in either and benzole and partly soluble in alkaloids. The seeds are reported to contain alkaloids, chanoclavine, ergine, ergonovime and isoergine. The extract of seeds exhibits hypotensive and hallucinating activity. The leaf contains 1-triacont and epifredelinol and its acetate and   β-sitosterol.

Uses of Vruddhadaru:

  • The leaf of Argyreia speciosa is slightly heated and applied over wounds associated with pus for quicker ripening of the wound and proper healing.
  • The powder of the root is given in a dose of 3-5 g to treat oligospermia.
  • The cold infusion or the decoction of the plant is given in a dose of 40-5o ml to control diabetes.
  • The decoction of the root of Argyreia speciosa is useful to treat leucorrhea and fever.
  • The powder of the root is given with honey to treat cough and improve the voice.
  • The powder of the seed is given in a dose of 2-3 g to treat insomnia.
  • The decoction of Vruddhadaru is given in dose of 30-40 ml to treat nerve weakness and improve the strength of the cardiac muscles.
  • The juice of the leaf is used to treat indigestion, lack of appetite and constipation.
  • Ghee cooked with vruddhadaru root should be taken with milk. It is an excellent aphrodisiac and should be usually those desiring progeny.

Traditional uses:
Rasayana – anti aging, causes cell and tissue rejuvenation
Shukrakara – improves sperm and semen quality, quantity
Ayukara – improves life expectancy
Balakara – improves strength and immunity
Medhya – improves intelligence
Agnikara – improves digestion strength
Swarakara – improves voice tone and quality
Kantikara – improves skin complexion
Sara – induces mobility, causes diarrhea, purgation, relieves constipation

Indicated in:
Shopha  – inflammation
Amavata – Rheumatoid arthritis
Vatasra – Gout
Vatodara – Bloating

Adverse effects: The dried seeds are intoxicating and can cause hallucination and inebriated condition. Due to this reason the seeds are banned in some European countries.

Formulations containing Vruddhadaru:

Banovit capsule: It is a proprietary Ayurvedic medicine to regain loss of vigour, vitality and libido, and also it is a natural aphrodisiac.

Confido tablet: Confido Tablet is a proprietary Ayurvedic medicine. Confido increases sperm count and testosterone levels, thereby combating erectile dysfunctions. It regulates ejaculation via the neuroendocrine route and improves sexual drives.

Research articles related to Argyreia speciosa:
Anti- anxiety activity: Aim of the present study was a comparative evaluation of antianxiety activity of three traditionally used medicinal plants — Argyreia speciosa (Roots), Caesalpinia digyna (Roots) and Sphaeranthus indicus (Flowers). The activity of various extracts (petroleum ether, chloroform, ethanol and water) of all the three plants was evaluated using elevated plus-maze model. The studies were conducted on lacca mice, and the test materials were administered per oral route. Results indicate that the ethanol extract of C. digyna roots exhibited maximum and significant dose dependent effect at 200 and 400 mg/kg on elevated plus-maze, the results were comparable to the standard antianxiety drug diazepam (2 mg/kg).

Anti- inflammatory action: The study was carried out using male albino mice (20-25 gm) and male wistar rats (100-150gm). The ME was prepared using soxhlet extraction process. The effect of ME of A. speciosa was investigated for analgesic activity using acetic acid-induced abdominal constriction, tail immersion method and hot plate method. The anti-inflammatory activity of ME of AS roots was studied using carrageenan-induced rat paw edema. The ME of A. speciosa showed significant analgesic and anti-inflammatory activity in mice and rat.

Wound healing property: In order to find scientific evidence for the traditional utilization of leaves of A. speciosa in wound healing, this investigation was carried out. A simple ointment, developed by including ethanol, ethanol-water, and water extracts (10% each, separately) of A. speciosa, was applied topically to mice once daily for 14 days after wounding. The water extract of A. speciosa showed accelerated wound healing activity as evidenced by fast wound contraction, rapid epithelization period, greater wound breaking strength, and higher hydroxyproline content of granulation tissue. The present report supports the traditional use of Argyreia speciosa leaves for wound healing and signify its relevant therapeutic potential.

Classical categorization:
Charaka: Sukrajanana
Sushruta: Adhobhagahara
Bhavaprakash Nighantu: Guduchyal varga
Dhanwantri Nighantu: Karaveeradi varga
Bhavaprakash Nighantu: Guduchyadi varga
Raja Nighantu: Guduchyadi varga
Nighantu Adarsh: Vriddhadarukadi varga

Scientific classification:
Kingdom:            Plantae
Sub-kingdom    :             Phanerogamia
Division           :            Angiodpermia
Class                :             Dicotyledons
Subclass          :             Corolli florae /Gamopetpue
Order               :            Natural
Family             :            Convolulaceae
Genus              :            Argyeria
Species            :            Speciosa

Author:
Dr.B.K.Prashanth M.D (Ayu), Ph.D
E mail: drprashanthbk@gmail.com


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