Chopachini (Madhusnuhi), Dveepantara Vacha Uses, Research, Side Effects

Chopachini Smilax glabra / Smilax china is a plant mentioned for the treatment of cancer, syphilis, skin diseases, constipation, urine retention, disease of joint etc.  It is known as Dvipantara Vacha and Madhusnuhi. 

Latin name- Smilax glabra Roxb., Smialx china, Smilax chinensis
Smilax malabarica is used in the name of Dvipantar Vacha / Chopchini in South India.
Family- Liliaceae

Names in different languages:
Hindi   name : Chopchini, Chobchini, Madhusnuhi
English name: China root, Bamboo Bariar root, Sarsaparilla, China root \ Bamboo Bariar root
Arabic name: Kashussini, Kashab chinac
Bengali name:  Harha shukohina khohini
Kannada name: Cinipavu
Malayalam name: China paivu or pairu
Marathi name: Gootti
Punjabi name: Chobchini
Tamil name: Parangichekkai, Pariniki patte, Shuk china
Telugu name: Pirangi- chekka
Chinese name – Tu Fu Ling, Toofup
Persian name – Chob – Chinae
Arab name – Kashussini\kashab chinac

Sanskrit Synonyms of Chopachini:
Dwipantara vacha- As the plant is a habitat of Indonesian island and brought to India
Dveepantara Vacha
Madhusnuhi, Chopachini
Dveepantara vacha – This rhizome was first brought from Java and Sumitra Islands to India.
Madhusnuhi – It possess all the pharamacological properties of shuhi. But it is madhura rasa.

Morphology of Smilax glabra:
The plant is a thick climber with the stem branched, terete, 1-4 m, woody, smooth. The petiole is 5-15cm, narrowly winged for 1/4th-3/5th its length. The tendrils are well developed. Leaf blade is elliptic or ovate-lanceolate, 6-15cm long, 1-7 cm wide. The tendrils are inflorescence of 1 umbel, peduncle 1-5, strikingly shorter than petiole. Male flowers are greenish white, slightly 6 angled. The fruits are bluish black in color.

Madhusnuhi / Chopchini medicinal properties
Rasa (Taste) – Tikta ( Bitter)
Guna (Qualities) – Laghu (Light for digestion), Ruksha (Dry in nature)
Vipaka – Katu (Undergoes Pungent taste after digestion)
Veerya (Potency) – Ushna (Hot)
Karma (Actions) – Tridosha shamaka (reduces all the vitiated dosha)

Part used- Rhizome/ Tuber
Powder- 3 to 6 g
Decoction- 20 to 40 ml

Chemical composition of Smilax glabra:
The root contains Astilbin, ca?eoyl shikimic, ferulic, palmitic, shikimic and succinic acids; engeletin, isoengeletin; glucose; daucosterol, beta-sitosterol and stigmasterol.

Uses of Dwipantara vacha:

  • The powder of Chopachini is given in a dose of 3-6 g with honey internally to treat syphilis.
  • Decoction of the tuber of Smilax glabra is given in a dose of 30-40 ml to treat cases of arthritis and schizophrenia.
  • The paste of choapchini is mixed with hot water and applied as paste over joints with pain and inflammation.
  • The powder of the rhizome is given in a dose of 3-5 g with hot water to relive constipation, distention of abdomen and flatulence.
  • To relive retention of urine, cold infusion of the rhizome of Smilax glabra is given in a dose of 30-40 ml.
  • Chopachini powder is boiled in milk and consumed to treat skin disease, impotency and seminal disorder.

It helps in Schizophrenia, epilepsy, mild laxative, antimicrobial, carminative, improves appetite, useful in fatuance, abdominal colic, constipation and intestinal parasites;
It is used for the treatment of syphilis.
Milk boiled with chopchini is used in skin diseases, impotency and other seminal disorders. A special preparation made from its tuber is used in gonorrhea and associated arthritic symptoms, fever and general debility.

Adverse effect:
Because it is a mild laxative, people with diarrhea should use this with precaution. 
No adverse effect is known or reported after the normal use of Dwipantara vacha.

Ayurvedic Medicines containing Dwipantara vacha:
Boostex capsule: It is a proprietary Ayurvedic medicine which Promotes vigour for improved performance and fertility aspects. It also increase libido and improve mental and physical health.

Mulakadyarishta: It is an Ayurvedic medicine used for the treatment of allergic skin disorders, scabies, boils etc.
Madhusnuhi rasayana is used in the treatment of diabetic carbuncles, fistula, piles, tumors, goiter, itching.

Research articles related to Smilax glabra:
Anti- oxidant and anti- inflammatory action: In the present study, phenolic-enriched extract of S. glabra (PEESG) was extracted with 70% ethanol and purified by HP-20 column chromatography. Its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities were evaluated by radical scavenging assay, reducing power determination, and lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced RAW264.7 cells assays, respectively. PEESG exhibited obviously scavenging capacity for DPPH and ABTS radicals, as well as significant reducing power for ferric ion. These findings strongly suggest the potential of PEESG as a natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent.

Anti- allergic action: The objective of the study was to investigate the in vitro anti-allergic activities of crude extracts andpure isolated flavonoid compounds from SG by determination of inhibitory effect on antigen-induced release of ?-hexosaminidasefrom RBL-2H3 cells.
The 95% and 50% ethanolic extracts of SG showed strong anti-allergic activity, but two flavonol constituents did not show any significant anti-allergic activity. These findings suggest that a combination of effects of various phytochemicals in crude extracts used in traditional medicine, are responsible for the purported anti-allergic activity of SG herbal preparations.

Hypoglycemic effect:
The hypoglycemic effect of the rhizomes of Smilax glabra ROXBURGH (Liliaceae) was investigated in normal and KK-Ay mice, one of the animal models of non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) with hyperinsulinemia.The methanol extract of rhizomes of Smilax glabra ROXBURGH (SM, 100 mg/kg body weight) reduced the blood glucose of normal mice 4 h after intraperitoneal administration (p<0.05), and also significantly lowered the blood glucose of KK-Ay mice under similar conditions (p<0.001). 

Cytotoxic effect:  A decoction of Nigella sativa seeds, Hemidesmus indicus root and Smilax glabra rhizome is used by traditional medical practitioners in Sri Lanka to treat cancer and has been shown to prevent chemically induced carcinogenesis in rats. The cytotoxicity of the decoction and the individual plant extracts were tested on the human hepatoma HepG2 cell line.

The effects of 24 h incubation with different concentrations (0-50 mg/ml) of the extracts on HepG2 cells were determined. Results from MTT and SRB assays, and [C-14]-leucine and [H-3] thymidine uptake demonstrated that the decoction had a strong dose-dependent cytotoxic activity.

Classical categorization:
Bhavapraksha- Hareetakyadi varga
Priya nighantu  – Shathapushpadi varga
Nighantu Adarsha – Lashunadi varga

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Liliales
Family: Smilacaceae
Genus: Smilax
Species: S. glabra

Distribution / Habitat:
Plant grows in China & Japan. It’s found in India in Assam, Bengal, Sylhet, lower Shasi hills.

Substitute & adulterants
Sarsaparilla  – Smilax glabra.
Indian Sarsaparilla – Sariva – Hemidesmus indicus

Other non-official special of smilax are also substituted, namely, s. aspera (portuyuese sarsaparilla) s. prolifers talian saspera (Portuguese sarsaparilla)
s. excelsa (Spanish of sarsaparilla) s. rotundifolia (Syrian sarsaparilla) & S. gluca (Macedoniar sarsaparilla).

Author: Dr.B.K.Prashanth M.D (Ayu), Ph.D
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