Shankhpushpi, clad by the vernacular names Shankhini, Kambumalini, Samkhapushpi, Sadaphuli, and Sankhaphuli is a potent memory booster and brain tonic that actively works to improve intelligence and functioning of the brain. The name shankhpushpi was given to the plant owing to its shankh or conch shaped flowers. It also helps in enhancing concentration, learning capabilities, mental fatigue, insomnia, stress, anxiety, depression, etc. Also Read: Sage: 5 Stunning Health Benefits Of The Memory Boosting Herb
What is Shankhpushpi?
Shankhpushpi, which goes by the botanical name Convolvulus pluricaulis is a perennial plant native to India. Well-known as morning-glory, speed wheel or Aloe weed in English, this medicinal herb has specific arrowhead-shaped leaves and bulb-shaped blue or white flowers. The herb is extremely beneficial and is used from root to tips for its wide range of therapeutic benefits.
The holistic science of ayurveda popularizes shankhpushpi in various rasayanas or formulations and scriptures by the Sanskrit names Shyamakranta, Visnukranta, Vaishnava, Sankhaholi, Vishnugandhi, Vishnukranti, Shankavall, Vishnukrantha, Krishnaenkranti, Nilashankhapushpi, Ksheerpushpi, Laghuvishnukranta, Erravishnukaraantha.
The host of properties including Medhya (memory booster), Vamana (Vomiting), Deepana (enhances stomach fire), Pachana (helps in digestion), Rochana (stimulates appetite), Kusthahara (treats skin disease), Shothahara (reduces inflammation), Hridaya (treats heart problems), Jantujit (relieves from worm infestation) makes this magical herb a potent solution of umpteen health problems.
Effect On Doshas
Shankhpushpi characterizes Tikta Rasa (bitter taste). It shows Snigdha (oily, sticky) and Pichhil (slimy) gunas, Sheeto Virya (cold potency) and Madhura Vipaka (pungent metabolic property). It pacifies Tridoshas, i.e. the Pitta (fire and air), Vata (air) and Kapha (earth and water) doshas and works more on Vata and Pitta doshas. Also Read: Introduction To Ayurveda: Learn About Vata, Pitta And Kapha Doshas
Known as Mangalyakushuma in Sanskrit which means bringer of good fortune and health, each and every part of this milky-white flowered plant is extremely beneficial for treating a host of ailments and improving the longevity of life.
The magical herbal remedy as a whole contains a myriad of active constituents including alkaloids like shankhapushpine, convolvuline, convolidine, convolvine, convolamine, convoline, confoline, convozine. Besides these, it also contains volatile oils, fatty acids, fatty alcohols, hydrocarbons, palmitic acids, linoleic acids, myristic acids, flavonoids, steroids-phytosterols, D-glucose, maltose, sucrose, starch, rhamnose, and other carbohydrates, proteins, and amino acids.
Health benefits Of Shankhapushpi
Improves Cognitive Functioning:
Shankhpushpi is a traditional remedy for increasing the functioning of the brain. The powerful antioxidants and flavonoids present in it improve the memory capacity, focus, concentration, calmness, alertness of an individual. Being a brain tonic and stimulator, people taking shankhpushpi have improved memory, reasoning, problem-solving, and other cognitive abilities. The neuroprotective elements in the plant prevent loss of memory and relieve tension from the brain.
Reduces Mental Fatigue:
Mental fatigue is a condition of excessive and prolonged cognitive activity. It mostly occurs due to excessive work using a computer, watching television for hours, learning or memorizing activities, etc. and causes a person to lose concentration and feel lethargic. Shankhpushpi is a powerful memory booster that helps in enhancing the brain's working capacity and reduce the loss of concentration.
Intake of a decoction of a spoonful of shankhpushpi powder with a glass of water on a daily basis can do wonders in boosting your memory.
Shankhpushpi for Depression
Shankhapushpi holds high significance due to its potent anti-stress, anti-depressive and anti-anxiety properties are extremely useful for treating different types of psychotic problems like depression, dementia, restlessness, etc. It balances the brain chemicals i.e. neurotransmitters and ups the secretion of dopamine which in turn keeps the serotonin level under control and helps to reduce various symptoms of anxiety which includes restlessness, uneasiness, cold hands, and feet, and helps in relaxing the mind and body.
Enhances Cardiac Functioning:
Shankhpushpi is extremely effective in treating various heart ailments due to its strong antioxidative nature. It strengthens the heart muscles and prevents lipid build up in the blood vessels. The bioactive constituents like the ethanolic extract reduce the levels of non-esterified fatty acids i.e. NEFA, and hence reduces the risk of heart attacks, heart blocks, blood clots, etc. It also plays a key role in lowering the levels of cholesterol in the blood.
The digestive properties found in this traditional herb is found to be extremely beneficial in improving digestion. It stimulates the secretion of digestive juices thereby increasing the absorption of essential nutrients and enhancing digestion. It also prevents fluid retention and treats symptoms of abdominal pain, abdominal distension, ulcerative colitis, and irritable bowel syndrome.
Augments Skin Health:
Shankhpushpi plays a key role in treating various skin infections. The abundance of antioxidants in the potent herb is very effective in removing harmful free radicals from the body and its antipruritic nature alleviates itching sensation caused due to allergic conditions like psoriasis, eczema, acne, sunburn etc. It also acts as a skin tonic, penetrates deep into the skin, nourishes it from within and imparts a radiant and healthy glow. Apart from this, antioxidative nature also treats the various signs of aging like wrinkles, fine lines, dark spots, etc.
Apply a mixture of a tablespoon of shankhpushpi powder with honey and rose water on your face regularly, to reduce spots and fine lines and achieve a younger rejuvenated radiant skin.
Shankhpushpi holds high significance in providing relief from chronic headaches, tension, etc. Normally, headache occurs due to excessive workload, stress, anxiety, etc. It has a soothes irritated nerves, calms the brain and improves nerve function. Also Read: Five Common Types Of Headaches: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment
Massaging the forehead with shankhpushpi oil helps to relieve headaches and provide a soothing and cooling effect.
What Is Shankhpushpi Good For?
Shankhpushpi for Insomnia
Shankhpushpi helps reduce the levels of cortisol which is a stress hormone and thereby attenuates stress and improves the quality, duration and provides a peaceful sleep.
Drinking a spoonful of shankhpushpi powder mixed in a glass of milk and Jeera, before going to sleep is highly effective in regulating body metabolism, inducing sleep and treating sleep disorders like insomnia. Also Read: Types of Insomnia: Here’s What You Should Do To Sleep
Shankhpushpi for Anorexia Nervosa
Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder in which an individual suffers from self-starvation. It is also attached to mental health as the individual suffers from low weight issues, fear of gaining weight, lower self-esteem and an intense desire to reduce weight. The person also has a loss of hunger or desire to eat any food. Shankhpushpi is a natural appetizer and aids in the digestion of food, improves appetite and helps the person to eat.
Shankhpushpi for Infections
Several studies show that Shankhpushpi has potent anti-bacterial properties that are extensively used for removing bacteria from the body. The bioactive compounds present in this traditional herb not only prevents worm infestation but also treats wounds and improves healing.
Shankhpushpi for Hypertension
The active components in shankhpushpi make it an appropriate remedy for people suffering from high blood pressure or hypertension. It prevents the arteries from hardening i.e. atherosclerosis, thus reducing strokes and preventing heart ailments. Shankhpushpi works as an amazing natural remedy for hypertension treatment.
Shankhpushpi for Ulcers
The glycoprotein secretions of the herb have been found in various studies to be extremely effective in treating different types of stomach ulcer including peptic and ulcerative colitis.
Shankhpushpi for Neural Diseases
This memory-boosting herb is a magical remedy for a host of psychotic diseases like epilepsy, dementia, Alzheimer’s as it prevents the destruction of neurons and improves cognitive functioning. Also Read: World Alzheimer’s Day: Try These Nutritious Smoothies To Enhance Brain Function
Shankhpushpi For Pregnancy
This herb is considered safe for pregnant women as it effectively strengthens the uterus and prevents miscarriages. Consult your doctor on using a mixture of shankhpushpi and ashwagandha churna for a course of 3 to 4 months in case of frequent miscarriages.
Shankhapushpi is widely available in the market in various forms like tablets or capsules known as gutikas, powder or churna, juice or kashayam, syrup or arishtam, oil or tailam. But mostly it is used in the form of syrup.
Ingredients (per 10 ml)
Shankhpushpi (Convolvulus pluricaulis) 200 mg
Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri) 50 mg
Sugar (Sarkara) 8000 mg
Citric Acid (Nimbu swaras) 6 mg
The indications of shankhpushpi syrup are the same as that of the herb itself.
Dosage Of The Various Shankhpushpi Formulations
The precise therapeutic dosage may vary from person to person depending upon the age, severity, and condition of the patient. One must consult an ayurvedic doctor or practitioner, as he or she will thoroughly examine the indications and prescribe the effective dosage for the specific time period.
Shankhpushpi Tablet/ Capsule (Gutika) – 1 or 2 tablets for adults twice a day.
Shankhpushpi Powder (Churna) - ¼ to ½ teaspoon for adults twice a day.
Shankhpushpi Juice (Kashayam) – 2 to 4 teaspoons for adults once or twice a day.
Shankhpushpi Syrup (Arishtam) – 20 ml for adults twice a day with water after meals.
Various Ways To Take Or Use Shankhpushpi
Shankhpushpi Tablet/ Capsule:
The tablets or capsule can be swallowed with milk or water preferably after meals or as suggested by the doctor.
The powder can be infused in lukewarm milk and can be ingested in the morning preferably after meals. Used on a daily basis, it is extremely beneficial to boost memory.
The juice can be mixed with water or taken as shots twice a day to prevent memory loss and boost brain functioning.
Massaging the forehead and scalp with the oil relieves from stress and headache.
Boil 1 teaspoon of shankhpushpi powder with a cup of water. Cool, filter the liquid and apply it over the wounds dabbed in cotton to eliminate germs and enhance quick healing.
Adverse Effects of Shankhpushpi
This memory-boosting herb has no proven side effects but one should always consult a doctor before starting to use shankhpushpi formulations in case it has any harmful interactions with the medicines the individual is already taking.
Since shankhpushpi has a mild hypotensive effect, people suffering from low blood pressure should consult a doctor before taking this. Although it has been suggested for pregnancy, the individual must consult her doctor before using and in no way should self-medicate herself.
As it is an herbal formulation, it has a specific bitter taste, one might feel slightly nauseatic or have a vomiting tendency while having the formulation.
Shankhpushpi is a traditional herbal remedy blessed with umpteen health benefits. It holds high significance in improving the memory capacity, enhancing concentration, learning capabilities, and treating mental fatigue, insomnia, anxiety, depression, etc. The extensive health benefits of the various herbs used in this formulation also increase its therapeutic efficacy in treating infertility issues. If taken in the proper dosage, one can steer clear of the side effects and enjoy the countless health benefits.