Prized for its medicinal roots, Anantamul literally means ‘eternal roots’. It goes by the botanical name Hemidesmus indicus and belongs to the Periplocaceae family. It is intrinsically blessed with Ropana (healing) and Raktashodhaka (blood purifying) qualities which makes it a highly powerful ayurvedic herb that has been used for centuries by several Ayurvedic sages and physicians. It is not only used in folk medicine but also forms a vital ingredient in Ayurvedic and Unani preparations. It is widely used externally as well as internally for the treatment and management of a host of skin problems like psoriasis, eczema, ringworm, thrush, and bacterial-related skin disease. Let this 2minute read enlighten you about the incredible medicinal qualities of the Eternal Root Plant!
How To Identify Anantamul?
Anantamul is a climbing vine with aromatic and woody roots which possesses a sweet, demulcent and cooling quality. Stems are usually slender, numerous, terete and thickened at the nodes. Leaves of Anantamul are short-petioled, elliptic-oblong to linear-lanceolate. Flowers are greenish outside and purplish inside and are crowded with sub-sessile axillary cymes. Anantamul is found growing in the Upper Gangetic plain, eastwards to Bengal, Sundarbans and from Central provinces to South India and Travancore.
Common Names Of Anantamul
Anantamul is known by different names in different parts of the world. A few of the common names include:
English: Hemidesmus indicus, Indian sarsaparilla, Tylophora, False sarsaparilla, Pseudosarsa, Periploca indica, Magarbu, etc.
Hindi: Anantamul, Sugandi Pala
Tamil: Suganthi Paalaa, Suganthipaalaa, Nannari
Oriya: Suguddimalo in Oriya
Marathi: Anantavel, Upalsari
Sanskrit: Anantamula, Balyam, and Shariva.
Ayurvedic Indications Of Anantamul
Since the Vedic period, Anantamul denoted as "Infinite Root” has been mentioned by the ancient Indian sage and physician, Charaka, as a powerful "rejuvenative herb" that confers potent detoxifying effects. Several ayurvedic scriptures and journals mention this root for various indications which includes:
- Pandu (treats skin disorders)
- Varnya (improves complexion)
- Raktadoshahara (blood purifying)
- Yakrit Vikara (prevents liver infections)
- Kamala (prevents jaundice)
- Shwasha (relieves breathing difficulties)
- Anulomana (improves breathing)
- Kantya (relieves sore throat)
- Kasahara (Relieves cough)
- Amahara (treats indigestion)
- Dahahara (relieves burning sensation)
- Deepana (enhances stomach fire)
- Pachana (helps in digestion)
- Rochana (stimulates appetite)
- Kupachan (prevents bloating, and indigestion)
- Shonitasthapana (prevents bleeding)
- Hridaya (treats heart problems)
- Vran Ropana (heals wounds)
- Mehahara (treats urinary tract disorders)
- Prameha (manages diabetes)
- Balya (improves muscle strength)
- Triptighno (relieves pseudo-satiation)
- Vamanopaga (treats emesis)
- Krimihara (relieves intestinal worms)
Bio-chemical Components Of Anantamul
This incredible herb shows a wide array of bio-active constituents. The root contains fatty acids, tannins, saponins, sterols, β-sitosterol and stigmasterol, whereas the stem part contains glycosides, emdine and hemidescine. While the Anantamul leaves contain hyperoside, rutin, tanins, saponins, hemidesmine and hemidesminine, the blooms of Anantamul usually contain hyperoside, rutin and isoquercitin.
Enriched with these phyto-chemical components, Anantamul portrays potent digestive, anti-inflammatory, broncho-dilatory, pain-relieving, hepatoprotective, detoxifying, anti-microbial, chemopreventive, anti-cancerous, immuno-modulatory, antioxidant, anti-diarrheal, diuretic, and anti-leprotic properties. And eventually these properties extensively help in treating and providing relief from liver infections, skin conditions including pimples, eczema, psoriasis and vitiligo, indigestion, constipation, allergy, asthma, blood infections, and ulcers.
Health Benefits Of Anantamul
Imbued with excellent carminative and digestive properties, Anantamul extensively helps in treating a host of digestive woes. Thanks to its potent anti-flatulent property, Anantamul curtails the build-up of gas in the alimentary canal, thus lessening flatulence, bloating, constipation, and abdominal distension. The acid diminishing quality of the herb impedes the formation of excessive acids in the stomach thereby dealing with indigestion, ulcer, gastritis and facilitating better absorption of nutrients in the body.
Fights Respiratory Issues
Blessed with powerful anti-inflammatory, anti-biotic, and anti-asthmatic properties, Anantamul is considered to be a well-known traditional remedy for all sorts of respiratory troubles. It is highly significant in treating the common cold, sore throat, cough and flu symptoms. It also actively slackens rheum material within the chest and nasal cavities and hence eases breathing and helps the body alleviate mucus. It is also useful for treating asthma and other bronchial conditions.
Remedies Liver Anomalies
Powered with dominant hepatoprotective and hepatostimulative properties, Anantamul makes for a magical antidote for most liver anomalies especially jaundice, in which the liver gets most affected. The herb not only furnishes support to the liver functioning by secreting bile but also helps the liver enzymes to tune down to normal levels. It also purifies the liver by eliminating toxins and improves liver functioning.
Also Read: Top 8 Foods for healthy liver
Promotes Cardiac Functioning
The powerful cardio-tonic properties of Anantamul play a quintessential role in treating a host of heart anomalies. By acting as a calcium channel blocker, it manages irregular cardiac rhythm. It prevents lipid peroxidation and accumulation of fat in the blood vessels which in turn reduces the risk of atherosclerosis, heart blocks, heart attacks, blood clots, cardiac arrests etc. It also decreases platelet aggregation, and thus facilitates smooth flowing of blood throughout the body. The potent vasodilatory action of the herb manages high blood pressure as well.
Augments Skin Health
Sanctified with antioxidant, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, Ayurveda acknowledges Anantamul as a well-known one-step remedy for various skin conditions. Owing to its blood purifying properties which helps in removing toxins from the blood, it helps in treating a host of skin woes as well. It not only helps in safeguarding the skin from oxidative radical deterioration due to the harmful UVA and UVB rays, but also decreases the risk of the various signs of aging like wrinkles, fine lines, blemishes, spots, and dark circles. It is also effective for treating allergic conditions like acne, pimples, zits, psoriasis, scabies, eczema and many more.
Effect On Doshas
This magical blood-purifying herb showcases Madhura (i.e., sweet) and Tikta (i.e., bitter) Rasa. It is blessed with Snigdho (i.e., oily) and Guru (i.e., heavy) gunas. It has Sheeto Virya (i.e., cold potency) and Madhura Vipaka (i.e., sweet metabolic property). The bioactive ingredients in this root make it a Tridosha Hara dravya i.e., it actively normalizes the Pitta (i.e., fire and air) doshas, Kapha (i.e., earth and water) doshas and the Vata (i.e., air) doshas. Owing to the intrinsic properties and doshas, Anantamul portrays a positive effect on the various Dhatus (i.e. body tissues) which are Rasa (i.e. Plasma), Rakta (i.e. Blood), Mamsa (i.e. Muscles), Asthi (i.e. Bones) and Shukra (i.e. Reproductive Fluids).
The ayurvedic properties that help in portraying the following main prabhabs on the body are Varnya (improves skin quality and complexion), Asrajit (coolant), Vishaghna (purifies the blood and removes toxins from blood), Shotha (reduces inflammation) and Raktatisara (treats diarrhoea with bleeding).
Anantamul is widely available in the form of powder or churnas, kwath or decoctions and nannari, i.e., syrup or sherbets. As the herb tastes pungent-bitter, one can consume it along with honey to cloak the taste.
The accurate therapeutic dosage of the Anantamul may vary from person to person depending upon the age, severity, and condition of the patient. One must talk to an ayurvedic doctor or practitioner, as he or she will thoroughly examine the indications and prescribe the effective dosage for a specific period.
Churna/ Powder: Take ¼ - ½ tsp of Anantamul powder by mixing it in warm water and adding honey twice a day, 45 minutes before meals or as directed by the Ayurvedic doctor.
Kwath/ Decoction: Take 3-4 tsp of Anantamul alongside the same quantity of water twice a day, 2 hours after meals or as directed by the Ayurvedic doctor.
Nannari/ Syrup: Make a sherbet containing 3 tsp of Anantamul syrup, 1 glass of cold water and ½ lemon zest. Drink it once a day before taking food or as directed by the Ayurvedic doctor.
Anantamul Side Effects
Infused with strong bioactive components, this traditional herb displays no recorded side effects when used in the correct proportion. That being said, an overdosage of Anantamul can cause intestinal discomfort, runny nose and symptoms of asthma.
Moreover, since there is no reliable information on the effects of Anantamul during pregnancy or lactation period, hence it is suggested that pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers should avoid using this humble herb without medical supervision.