A graceful ornamental plant from the family of Convolvulaceae, Nisoth is a long herbaceous vine that goes by the botanical name Operculina Turpethum. Commonly referred to as morning glory or wood rose, turpeth root, white day glory, or bindweed, this perennial hairy herb consists of over fifty genera that are found in tropical areas of the world. It is a twining climber with lengthy twisting stems and has been widely acknowledged in Ayurveda and Unani medicine for being effective in the treatment of chronic constipation, colic, piles, and various skin and lung disorders. The bark and roots of Nisoth contain thermogenic, purgative, carminative, expectorant, antipyretic, and hepatic benefits and are used in the treatment of various respiratory anomalies, digestive problems, and alleviating the pain of rheumatoid arthritis. The bushy rootlets are collected, chopped, and kept in the sun for a day, shade dried and later they are ground and used for therapeutic purposes.
How To Identify Nisoth?
Abridged from the Latin word Convolvere meaning wind, Nisoth is a graceful aromatic ornamental plant as well as a potent herb. The leaves are heart-shaped about 7 to 11 cm long and 10 cm broad. The petals of the flower are funnel-shaped, pearly white, and about 4 to 5 cm long. Roots are reddish-grey to light brown, usually fibrous, fleshy, elongated, bear thin rootlets and exude a milky juice on cutting. If they are consumed orally, they taste slightly acrid and nauseating.
Common Names Of Nisoth
Nisoth is popular by many names in English such as Indian Jalap, Saint Thomas Lidpod, Fue Vao, and Transparent Wood rose. Other vernacular names for this powerful bounteous plant are:
- Hindi- Nishothra, Nisotar, Nisoth, Nukpatar, Pitohri, Trivrut, Tarbal and Tarbud
- Sanskrit- Ardhachandra, Aruna, Kalameshi, Kalaparni, Kali, Kalingika, Saha, Sara, Sarana, Sarasa, Sarata, Sarvanubhuti, Shyama, Susheni, Suvaha
- Bengali- Teudi, Tvuri, Dhdhakalami
- Gujarati- Kala Nasottara
- Kannada- Vili Tigade
- Oriya- Dudholomo
- Tamil-Karum Sivadai, Adimbu, Kumbam, Kumbanjan, Kunagandi, Paganrai
- Telugu-Tella, Tegada
Chemical Compositions Of Nisoth
The main chemical constituents of this plant are resinous glycosides, volatile oil, glucose, and fructose. The roots are fiber laden and contain active constituents called A-turpethin and B-turpethin. Roots also consist of coumarins, scopoletin, saponins flavonoids, and steroids which play a major role in the treatment of chronic diseases.
Nisoth has been mentioned in several ayurvedic scriptures for numerous ayurvedic indications such as:
- Virechak: Highly laxative and relives bowel movements
- Sukhavirechan: Safely eliminates body wastes
- Bhedaniya: Highly purgative causing the smooth evacuation of the bowels
- Vibandhahara: Provided remedial solutions against constipation
- Jvarahara: Beneficial in curing fever and acute body pain
- Pachana: Aids a smooth digestion
- Kustha: Treats skin disorders
- Arshahara: Treats piles
Nisoth is antipyretic and purgative in action. It is astringent, bitter, sweet, sharp, pungent, and hot in effect. Rasas of nisoth include Madhur (sweet on the tongue), Kashaya (Astringent), Katu (Pungent), and Tikta (Bitter). Guna or pharmacological actions of this herb include Laghu (Light), Tikshna (Penetrating), and Ruksha (Dry).
Packed with purgative properties, Nisoth helps in regularising bowel movements besides curing worm infestation, infected wounds, ascites, leukoderma, fever, inflammation, anemia, hemorrhoids, gout, bronchitis, and pain in muscles and joints. It is also used in the early stage of liver disorders, splenomegaly, heart disorders, gas distension in the abdomen, hepatitis, intoxication, abdominal tumors, and chronic ulcers.
Health Benefits Of Nisoth
Replete with myriad wellness benefits, there are black and white commonly found varieties of this herb. The bark as well as the dried roots offer the following medicinal properties:
Relieves Chronic Constipation
Nisoth as per Ayurveda possesses strong virechak or purgative property which is extremely beneficial to increase bowel movement and helps to pass stool easily.
Nisoth aids to shed extra water and harmful toxins from the body owing to its detoxifying qualities. These benefits help lowering excess fat from the body and treat obesity. It is also a useful herb in the treatment of edema.
Combats Worm Infestation
Nisoth has potential krimighna or deworming quality. This helps to control worm infestation in the intestine and keeps harmful pathogen-borne infections at bay.
Kapha balancing property present in Nisoth relieves respiratory problems like cough, bronchitis, and asthma. It also helps shed excess mucus from the body due to its hot potency.
Hemorrhoids are lumps inside and around your anus. Also called piles, they are swollen, enlarged veins that form inside and outside the anus and rectum. They can be painful, and uncomfortable. Nisoth has been beneficial in the treatment of this ailment. The powdered root is given as a purgative that decreases swelling in the anus region thus helping to combat chronic piles.
Fights Skin Ailments
Nisoth has been used since age-old times to kill harmful bacteria that can cause skin infections, eczema, vitiligo, and irritations. The root paste is applied topically to treat vitiligo, alopecia areata, cervical lymphadenitis, and ulcers.
Effect On Doshas
Nisoth is found to be Kaphahara which helps to shed mucus. The black variety pacifies Kapha dosha from the body. Pittahara purges Pitta Dosha and Vatala helps to aggravate Vata Dosha and Archana causes purgation.
The effective remedial dose of Nisoth entirely depends upon the age of the person and the severity of the condition. Consultation with an ayurvedic doctor or practitioner is a must to examine health anomalies and prescribe accurate dosage. The recommended dosage of root powder is 1-3 grams. For therapeutic purgation, a maximum of 8 to 10 grams of root paste is administered in the morning on empty stomach. For piles, it is recommended along with Triphala. Along with guggul, it is effective in high cholesterol, and obesity.
Nisoth is always combined with antispasmodic herbs since its large doses may lead to serious complications such as loose motions, rectum bleeding, abdominal pain, chest pain, dehydration, hypotension, vertigo, and unconsciousness.
Nisoth should not be used during pregnancy, in children below 12 years of age, and by lactating mothers. Patients suffering from diarrhea, rectal prolapse, or fecal incontinence also should not use this herb.
Nisoth herb is loaded with antipyretic and anti-inflammatory properties. The roots and bark of the plant are cathartic and laxative augmenting the cleansing of the liver by removing toxins and supporting liver health. Nisoth contains potent anthelmintic properties that help in clearing intestinal worms and infections caused by bacteria, viruses, and protozoa. The strong anti-inflammatory property of this plant also provides relief in body pain and swelling. The herb has been found effective to maintain healthy cholesterol in the body. The purgative property of this plant helps in the easy passage of stool and prevents chronic constipation.