Patha is a potent medicinal plant that has been used extensively in the ayurvedic system of medicine for its phenomenal therapeutic properties. This medicinal plant is known by the botanical name Cissampelos pareira and belongs to the family Menispermaceae. It is an ever-lasting climber known as laghupatha or Ambastha, used as a traditional herb for ages for treating several health maladies. According to Vedic literature, Patha was found by Garuda and Shukara and was used by Indra to kill Asuras. The Vedic books have quoted Patha as Viryavathi, (removes toxins) Rigveda has defined this herb as Sapthaneebhadana,(breaking of clogged unwanted matter in the gut) and in Atharvaveda, it was largely used for improving intelligent quotient and defeating the opponent in debates.
Potent antimicrobial and antidiarrheal actions of this herbal medicine manage diarrhoea by averting bacterial growth and preventing fluid loss. Patha aids in controlling asthma by promoting immunity and averting inflammation of the respiratory passages owing to its immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory traits.
In the holistic system of Ayurvedic medicine, Patha is greatly valued for its antispasmodic quality and cleansing and healing actions. According to the Acharya Charka, this herb is beneficial in treating several health issues related to female reproductive organs and balancing hormonal imbalance, menstrual cramps, uterine haemorrhages, and post-natal and prenatal pain. While it is also used to avert miscarriage and is called a midwives herb as it is beneficial for the stimulation of labour. Furthermore, Patha is sourced as a tincture and medicinal tea.
According to Ayurveda, there are two varieties of Patha – Red Patha and Laghupatha.
Patha is a small climbing shrub with young branches. It is a tropical woody herb that resembles a ruffled ribbon and is mildly aromatic. Leaves are peltate about 12cm long bearing yellow-coloured small florals. Fruits are drupe, 6mm long and 4mm broad are hairy pubescent, subglobose, red coloured, transversely ridged, endocarp and turn black after ripening with horseshoe-shaped seed. This herb is widely found in orchards, gardens and parks.
Geographical Distribution Of Patha
Patha is an indigenous plant to India and distributed across Asia, East Africa and America. This herbal plant is widely grown in the tropical and sub-tropical regions of India. It is found in Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar, West Bengal, and Tamil Nadu.
Synonyms Of Patha
Patha has been used by several regions across the globe since ancient times. Other common names of Patha in vernacular languages include:
- English - Abuta, Ice vine, False pareira, and Velvet leaf
- Hindi- Padhi, Padha
- Kannada - Padavali
- Telugu - Chiruboddi
- Malayalam - Patathali, Kattuvalli
- Gujarati - Venivel
- Bengali - Akanadi
- Marathi - Padavela
- Tamil - Vatta tiruppi
- Oriya – Kanabihndi
The key bioactive compounds present in Patha include alkaloids like cycleanine, hayatidin, and hayatinin. Berberine is one of the main alkaloid compounds, which is hypotensive, antifungal, and anti-microbial in nature. Menismine, methalonic acid, cissamine, cycleanine, bebeeribe, hayatidin and quercitol are other chemical compounds abundant in Patha. It is attributed to have potent anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic effect, anti-depressant, anti-arthritic, analgesics, anticancer, anti-ulcer, anti-diarrhoeal, anti-dengue, anti-leukemic, antimalarial and antivenom characteristics.
Ayurvedic scriptures Charaka and Sushruta have mentioned Patha time and again for several strong ayurvedic indications which include:
- Sandhaneeya - aids in healing wounds, fractures
- Jwarahara - treats fever
- Stnayashodhana - purifies breast milk
- Vrushya - strong aprhodisiac
- Vishaghni - cleanses the body
- Kushta - eases skin disease
- Chardijit - relieves vomiting
- Atisara - cures diarrhoea
- Shulaghni - respite from colic pain
- Krumi- fights intestinal worms
- Gulma - offer relief from bloating
- Vrana- promotes wound healing
Effects On Doshas
This herbal plant showcases Tikta (bitter taste) and Laghu (light to digest), Teekshan (piercing, deep into the tissues) Guna (qualities). While it has Vipaka (taste conversion after digestion, Katu (pungent) and Veerya (hot potency). It is known to balance Pitta and Kapha dosha.
Health Benefits Of Patha
Poor eating habits, drinking impure water, environmental toxins, mental stress and Agnimanday (weak digestive fire) results in disturbance of gut health leading to diarrhoea (Atisar in ayurveda). Additionally, these factors lead to aggravation of Vata dosha which results in loose motions or diarrhoea. Patha is valuable to manage diarrhoea due to its Laugh (light to digest) nature and improves the digestive fire because of its Ushna and Vata balancing nature. Also, it helps to retain fluid in the gut to thicken loose stool and regulate frequency of diarrhoea.
Promotes Male Reproductive Health
This potent medicinal plant is highly recommended for improving fertility in men. Patha extract is powerful in increasing sperm quality and quantity and aids to control sexual dysfunction in men. Poor libido, low erection or semen expelled soon after sex is all symptoms associated with premature ejaculation. Natural Vrishya (aphrodisiac)traits of Patha enhance sexual well-being in men.
Aggravation of Pitta dosha leads to an outbreak of several skin problems like eczema, skin infections and acne. Patha tonic is highly effective in combatting acne caused due to hormonal imbalance. The richness of certain bioactive compounds in Patha help regulate hormonal balance and high levels of androgens. Aside from this, anti-inflammatory qualities aid in easing pain and redness related to acne outbreaks.
Combats Respiratory Problems
Bestowed with strong immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory, and anti-asthmatic actions, Patha is a well-known traditional remedy for all kinds of respiratory ailments. It supports easing the symptoms of asthma and offers respite from breathlessness. The vitiated Vata combines with deranged Kapha dosha in the lungs resulting in obstruction in the respiratory passage and leading to breathing difficulty. Asthma is known as Swas Roga in ayurveda. This herbal formulation balances Vata and Kapha doshas and gets rid of excess phlegm from the lungs and improves lung function.
Dysmenorrhea is known as Kasht-aartava in Ayurveda. Menstrual pain or cramps is caused due to an imbalance of Vata dosha in the system. This herbal supplement is credited to have pain-relieving and vata pacifying properties that offer relief from abdominal cramps and other menstrual issues.
Controls High Blood Pressure
Thanks to its powerful antioxidant trait, Patha is highly effective in regulating uncontrolled blood pressure. It works by relaxing and widening the blood vessels in the arteries and lets the heart to pump blood effortlessly to all parts of the body.
Patha is widely available in the form of powder, grounded roots, root decoction, leaf juice, root paste, hot infusion, tablets, and root juice. The appropriate therapeutic dosage of Patha may vary from person to person depending upon the age, severity, effects on doshas and health condition of the patient. It is always best to consult an ayurvedic practitioner, as he or she will completely assess the indications and recommend the effective dosage for a specific time.
Side Effects Of Patha
Laden with potent bioactive compounds, this medicinal herb exhibits no noted side effects when used in the right proportion for a specific time.