Shaileya Parmelia perlata (Stone Flower) Medicinal Uses, Research

Shaileya- Parmelia perlata is a herb mentioned in Ayurveda for the treatment of skin diseases, cough, asthma, renal calculi, burning micturition and localized swelling. 

Latin name- Parmelia perlata Ach.
Family- Parmeliaceae

Names in different languages:
Hindi name- Chadila
English name- Stone flower
Assamese name- Bojhwar
Gujarati name- Chadilo
Kannada name- Kallu huvu
Marathi name- Dagad phool
Punjabi name- Dagar da phool
Tamil name- Kalpasi
Telugu name- Rati puvu
Urdu name- Ushn

Morphology of Parmelia perlata:
Shaileya is a small plant growing in between the rocks, tree trunks and land through-out the hilly regions of Himalaya and North east India. The outer covering of the plant is greenish black with white color inside. The thallus measures up to 15cm in diameter; loosely attached to the substratum only. It is orbicular, grayish white, smooth on upper surface. Lower surface is blackish brown and hairy. 

Medicinal properties of Parmelia perlata:
Rasa (Taste) – Tikta (Bitter), Kashaya (Astringent)
Guna (Qualities) – Laghu (Light for digestion), Snigdha (Slimy in nature)
Vipaka – Katu (Undergoes pungent taste after digestion)
Veerya (Potency) – Sheeta (Cold)
Karma (Actions) – Kaphapitta shamaka (reduces vitiated kapha and pitta dosha)

Part used- Whole plant
Dosage-
Powder of plant- 1 to 3 g
Decoction- 30 to 40 ml

Chemical composition of Parmelia perlata:
The drug Parmelia perlata contains the following chemical constituents-
Yellow pigment, Gum, Starch, Lichenin, Kryosophenic acid, Lecanoric acid, Atraric acid and Atranorine.

Uses of Shaileya:

  • The paste of Shaileya is applied over forehead to subside headache and over area affected with skin disease like itching with watery discharge, pigmentation of skin etc.
  • The freshly collected Shaileya is grounded and the paste is applied over wound as part of treatment.
  • The cold infusion prepared from Parmelia perlata is given in a dose of 40-50 ml to treat diarrhea, thirst and anorexia.
  • The dried powder of the herb is mixed with cow’s urine or hot water and applied over area with swelling as part of treatment.
  • The dried powder of Parmelia perlata is mixed with honey and given to treat cough and asthma.
  • The decoction of Shaileya is given in a dose of 50-60 ml mixed with cumin powder and sugar candy, to treat renal calculi and burning micturition.
  • Cold infusion of the herb is given in a dose of 40-50 ml to treat fever and burning sensation of the body.
  • The cold infusion of the herb is consumed to improve the strength of cardiac muscles.

Traditional uses:
Hrudya – acts as cardiac tonic, congenial for heart
Laghu – light to digest

Indicated in –
Visha – Toxic conditions, poisoning
Daha –  burning sensation, as in gastritis, neuropathy, burning sensation in eyes etc
Asra – blood disorders such as abscess, skin disorders, bleeding disorders such as menorrhagia, nasal bleeding etc.
Kandu – itching, pruritis
Kushta – skin diseases
Ashmari – Kidney and bladder stones
Vami – vomiting
Shwasa – asthma and chronic respiratory disorders
Vrana – Ulcers, wounds
Jvara – Fever of Kapha origin.

In sheetha: pradeha of Saileya, Ela, Agaru, Kusta, Chandana and Suradaru instantaneously alleviates cold sensation. [Cha. Su. 3/ 28]
In Shotha (vathaja shotha): oil processed with Shaileya, Kusta, Agaru, Devadaru etc or their paste is useful.
In Vathavyadhis: Balathaila prepared out of Balamula, Dashamula, Yava, Kulattha, Agaru, Sarjarasa, Devadaru and Shaileya is used.
[Cha.Chi. 28/152] [Su. Chi. 15/32]

In visha:
Mrithasanjeevana Agada Gutika prepared out of Sprikka, Plava, Sthouneya, Shaileya, Tagara etc. drugs is called Mrithasanjeevana Agada, which cures all types of Visha’s.

Tarkshya Agada: Sukshma churna of Prapoundarika, Suradaru, Mustha, Kalanusarya, Sindhuvara, Shaileya, Kusta, Tagara etc. drugs mixed with cures visha conditions.

Mahasugandhi Agada: Chandana, Aguru, Kusta, Tagara, Saileya, Trikatu, Ushira, Musta etc. drugs mixed with honey, ghee, bile of a cow and made into a paste form. This should be kept inside a shringa (horn) or receptacle made of that material.

This medicine consisting of eighty-five ingredients is the most potent of all anti-venomous remedies. It is capable of rescuing the patient even with dropped down shoulders, sunk and upturned eyes from the jaws of death.            [Su.Ka. 6/17]

In Bhagna (Fractures): Gandhataila prepared out of Shaileya, Rasna, Amshumati, Kaseru, Natapatra, kalanusari, Rodhra, Durva, Nalada along with milk cures Vatapittaja vikaras and gives strength to the bones. [A.H. 3-27/ 40-41]

In Upadamsha (soft chancre): Powder consisting of swarjika, Tuttha, Kasisa, Shaileya, Rasanjana and manasshila alleviate wound and its spread. [Su.Chi. 19/45].

In Netraroga (eye diseases):
Pills made of rock salt; Triphala, Trikatu, shankhanabhi, samudraphena, shaileya and sarja are useful in eye diseases caused by kapha. [Cha. Chi 26/ 242].

Vakradyanjana prepared by vakra (tagara), Maricha, Jata-mamsi, Saileya, Manah-sila, Patra, yasti-madhu and rasanjana is useful in eye diseases. [Su. U. 18/98].

Mukharoga’s (Diseases of mouth): Snaihika dhuma with Tintuka leaves, Priyala, Guggulu, sarja-rasa, saileya, bee wax etc. drugs pounded together and mixed with snehadravya destroys the deranged vayu and kapha and cures all affections of the mouth. [Su. Chi. 2/ 61].

In Yakshma: Chandanadya taila prepared out of Chandana, Nakha, Kusta, Madhuka, Saileya, Padmaka, Manjista, Nagakesara, Silhaka, Musta, Haridra, Daruharidra, Sariva etc drugs paste along with four times masthu and equal Laksharas destroys grahas, improves strength and luster, provides longevity and compactness, alleviates apasmara, jwara, unmade, witchcraft, inauspiciousness and is a good charming agent.

In Vatavyadhi: Narayana taila prepared out of saileya and other drugs is used as intake, enema, and massage and with edibles. Men or animals affected by vata recover by its use.

It is effective in vata affecting lower, middle or upper part, toothache, lockjaw, torticollis (manyasthambha), galagraha, emaciation, abnormal movements, weakness of sense organs, diminished semen, wasting caused by fever, deafness, stiffness of tongue, idiocy, female sterility, scrotal enlargement and hernia.      [Chakradatta 22/ 121-131].

In Vatavyadhi: Ashtadashashathika Prasarani taila prepared out of Prasarini, saileya etc. drugs alleviates the eighty diseases caused by vata and those caused by kapha, pitta and sannipata. [Chakradatta 22/ 234-244]

Shodhana (purification)
Shaileya decoction is prepared with Kanjika (sour gruel), fried and then sprinkled with decoction of Haritaki mixed with jaggery and in the last it should be scented with various flowers. [Chakradata 22/ 288].

Side effect: No adverse effect is known or reported after the use of Shaileya.
Ayurvedic medicines containing Shaileya:
Sarvamayantaka ghrita: This is a medicated ghee useful to treat gout, Parkinson’s disease, neck stiffness, locked jaw, paralysis, thigh cramps, muscle cramps, liver diseases, dyspnea, asthma, chronic bronchitis, vaginitis, pain in urinary bladder region, abdominal pain, pain in chest, in all types of fevers. This is effective in insanity and epilepsy.

Mahabala tailam: This is a medicated oil used in the treatment of male and female infertility, gout, cough, arthritis, etc. The oil is used both externally and internally.

Crush syrup: This is a proprietary ayurvedic medicine useful to treat recurrent UTI and facilitates smooth diuresis.
Criston capsule:  This is a proprietary ayurvedic medicine useful to treat renal calculi, burning micturition, relieves colic, spasm and pain.

Research articles on Parmelia perlata:
Anti- bacterial activity: Different solvents such as methanol, ethyl acetate and acetone were used for extraction of P. perlata. The sensitivity of the test bacteria to solvent extracts of P. perlata was tested by measuring the zone of inhibition on growth media and by determining the minimal inhibitory concentration and minimal bactericidal concentration.

The results of the present study indicate that P. perlata has potential antibacterial compounds against S. aureus that causes multitude of skin infections among human beings. Development of drugs from natural compounds can help us to combat antibiotic–resistant bacteria.

Anti- diabetic action: The ethanol extract of the herb showed promising result 21.5% at 500 mg/kg in STZ-s model. The most active fraction was chloroform fraction.

Hepato- protective action: In the present study, heapto-protective activity of aqueous slurry of P. perlata was investigated in CCl4 intoxicated Albino Wistar rats and the results were compared with, Silymarin. Intraperitoneal injection of CCl4, produced a marked elevation in the level of biochemical markers such as Serum Glutamate Oxaloacetate Transaminase (SGOT), Serum Glutamate Pyruvate Transaminase (SGPT), bilirubin, cholesterol and triglycerides. Oral administration of P. perlata aqueous slurry at 0.7 g / kg and 1.0 g / kg in CCl4 intoxicated rats showed marked decrease in the level of biochemical markers and results were at par with the effect shown by Silymarin.

Anti- oxidant and cytotoxicity study: Methanolic extract of P. perlatawas prepared and used in DPPH assay, total phenolic content and total antioxidant potential assays. In vitro anti-cholesterol and cytotoxic assay using HCT 116 cell lines were performed. The results revealed that P. perlata contain high phenolic contents and antioxidant potential.

Classical categorization of Saileya:
Bhavaprakasha- Karpooradi varga
Dhanvantari Nighantu- Chandanadi varga
Kaiyyadeva Nighantu- Dhatu varga

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Fungi
Division: Ascomycota
Class: Lecanoromycetes
Order: Lecanorales
Family: Parmeliaceae
Genus: Parmotrema
Species: P. perlatum

Sanskrit Synonyms of Shailey:
Shiladadru, Shilapushpa- Flowers are seen in between the rocks. This is the reason it is called Stone flower in English.
Kalanusaryakam, Vruddha, Sthavira, Vruddha, Palita, Gruha

Controversies

  1. Some other species are also named and used similarly.
  2. Shitarasa has also been used its place.
  3. In Kerala isaphagul seeds (plantago ovata) are used in the place of Saileya. However, the properties and uses attributed to Saileya are not seen in isaphagul seeds.
  4. Kala has been accepted as synonym of several drugs like Saileya, Tagara, and Krishnasariva.
  5. Kalanusarya is used as a synonym of saileya in some yoga’s both kalanusarya & saileya words have been mentioned. Kalanusarya is also used as synonym of tagara.
  6. Though it is sheethaveeryadravya it is used along with astaveeryadravyas.

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