This article is written by Dr MS Krishnamurthy MD(Ayu), PhD.
Healthy people seek Ayurveda in two important contexts. One is to get the Rasayana benefit (rejuvenation) and the other is to promote the sexual vigor (Vajikaran). Hundreds of herbs are explained in Ayurveda in these two contexts separately. But there are a few herbs which do both. Elephant creeper (Vriddhadaru) is one such herb.
Botanical name – Argyreia speciosa Sweet. , Argyreia nervosa
This belongs to Convolvulaceae family.
This is a prostrating or climbing herb.
Part used: Stems, roots.
Elephant creeper Qualities and benefits:
Bhavaprakasha text explains it as a drug possessing bitter-pungent and astringent taste.
It is considered to be a drug of hot potency.
The roots are aphrodisiacs as well as rejuvenating.
It is widely used in treating neuro muscular disorders, hemorrhoids, inflammatory conditions, urinary disorders etc. The regular usage of the root and stem is considered to improve voice and skin complexion.
Few authors consider Ipomea biloba Forsk, Ipomea petaloidea Chois etc as Vriddhadaru.
However as they possess similar properties, in the absence of one another can be used in medicinal practices.
Read related: Vruddhadaru Argyreia speciosa: Uses, Remedies, Research
Few of the simple and effective remedies:
Root decoction in arthritis and joint pain:
The mature roots are collected and dried. 10-15 gram of the root powder (coarse) is taken and made into decoction. This decoction is administered in the dose of 30-40 ml, twice daily. This is found to be very effective in acute and chronic body pain, arthritis, aching pain etc.
General method of making decoction is – 1 tablespoon of coarse powder of herb is added with a cup of water, boiled and reduced to half a cup, filtered and consumed when still hot.
Fine powder of Vriddhadaru and Lodhra and Ashoka in gynecological disorders:
The drugs Vriddhadaru, Lodhra (Symplocos racemosa) and Ashoka (Saraca asoka) are taken in equal amounts and fine powder is made.
5 gram of this powder is mixed with equal amount of ghee and sugar candy and administered.
This is useful in Menorrhagia (heavy periods) and leucorrhea. This remedy can be continued for 1 week time.
Fine paste of leaves in headache and pedal edema:
Mature green leaves are taken and fine paste is made (little tamarind leaves can also be added). This paste is warmed a little and applied over forehead. This relieves acute headache. In pedal edema also its fine paste is applied over the foreleg and foot.
Read related: Pedal Edema: Feet Swelling Causes, Differential Diagnosis, Symptoms
Medicated milk in emaciation and loss of sexual libido:
This is a common practice in West Bengal and Kerala. The medicated milk of the roots is taken to improve the sexual vigor and to get good body strength and to increase the bulk of the muscles.
People take many multi vitamins, nutritional supplements, minerals and trace elements to keep cells healthy for long time. In Ayurveda, we use herbs such as Vriddhadaru for the same purpose.
Click to consult Dr MS Krishnamurthy MD(Ayu), PhD