Paederia foetida (Skunk Vine) is an important Ayurvedic medicinal herb. Its Sanskrit name is Gandha Prasarini. The word meaning in sanskrit is – it spreads bad smell. It is a unique feature of this herb. Gandha means smell, prasarini means spreading.
Botanical Name- Paederia foetida Auct. Non Linn. [P.scandens(Lour) merr; Paederia tomentosa B1; Gentiana scan dens Lour]
Family – Rubiaceae
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Skunk Vine is appreciated for its qualities like Guru guna (heaviness) and hot potency (Ushna veerya). Due to the said properties it acts effectively in pacifying the vatic complaints.
The drug also effective in fracture healing, being aphrodisiac and in pacifying the gouty arthritis.
Prasarinyadi taila, Prasarinyadi kashaya etc are the well known formulations derived out of this drug.
The plants are available in large quantity as a weed in Gujarat, Karnataka, Assam, Tamilnadu, Kerala and West Bengal.
The name ‘foetida’ or ‘Gandhaprasarini’ indicates the bad odor that this vine emits.
The roots are the main usable parts of this plant. But, in practice e whole plant is used for medicinal purpose.
Vrushya – aphrodisiac
Balakrut – improves strength and immunity
Sandhanakrut – useful in wound and bone healing
Useful in Vata disorders
Almost all the massage oils used for Vata balancing contain this herb as an essential ingredient. On external use, this herb relieves pain, inflammation and stiffness.
It is useful in gout and Kapha imbalance disorders.
It is also used in treating rheumatoid arthritis.
It relieves bloating and abdominal pain.
It is usually administered after treatment of fever, to improve strength and immunity.
Gandh Prasarni – Skunk vine remedies – Written by Dr MS Krishnamurthy MD(Ayu), PhD.
Leaf juice in abdominal pain and flatus:
The leaves are of foul smell. So this recipe should be administered with caution. Patient may feel nausea. To mask this, equal quantity of lemon juice can be added to leaf juice.
Leaf is made into fine paste and squeezed to obtain the fresh juice. This is administered in the dose of 2-3 ml, preferably on empty stomach. This relieves the abdominal pain, flatus, recurrent complaint of worm infestation etc.
Neuralgia, muscular pain
Traditional oil for Vatic complaints, especially in neuralgia and muscular pains:
Whole plant is crushed well and fine paste is made – taken in 1 part quantity
Drug decoction is prepared – taken in 16 part quantity
Sesame oil is taken in 4 parts quantity.
The mixture is cooked till complete evaporation of the moisture.
This is used external in the conditions of neuralgia, muscular pain, joint pains etc.
General method of preparation of decoction (kashaya) – 1 tablespoon of powder is added with 2 cups of water, boiled and reduced to 1 cup, filtered.
Fine paste of the whole plant in arthritis and inflammatory conditions:
The leaves are taken and fine paste is made. As per the need little tamarind leaves can also be mixed. This paste is applied over joints and it effectively pacifies the swelling and pain caused in arthritis.
Joint pain, body ache
Decoction of Gandhaprasarini , ginger and cumin seeds for joint pains and body ache:
The drugs Gandhaprasarini , Shunthi and Jeeraka are taken in equal amount and decoction is made. This is administered internally in the dose of 20-30 ml. This is effective in joint pains and body ache.
Traditional practices keep the classical knowledge alive. Even though few of the classical formulations, therapeutic uses are declining in recent days the traditional healers and folklore practitioners still use it in un-refined way. Further, such practices stand as evidence for the future generation. That is why such folk practices and contributions of folk healers should be appreciated and due care should be given.
Click to consult Dr MS Krishnamurthy MD(Ayu), PhD
Gandhadhadhya, Balya, Rajabala, Sarani, Gandh Prasarni
Central and Eastern Himalayan Ranges; Western Bengal.
Major chemical constituents
Asperuloside, Padedersoidic acid, paederoside, scandoside – iridous Glycosides; Valine, Tyrosine, Histidine, Carotene, Vit. Cursolic acid; Epifridelinol etc.
(Reference: Illustrated Dravyaguna Vijnana, Vol. II, by Dr JLN Shastry)
Rasa (taste) – Tikta
Guna (qualities) – Guru, Sara
Virya (potency) – Ushna
Vipaka (taste conversion after digestion) – Katu
Effect on Tridosha – Because of its hot property, it decreases Kapha and Vata.
Dosage, part used
Fresh Juice – 10-20 ml, decoction 50-100 ml
Part used– Root, leaf
Interaction with medicines, supplements
Can this be used while taking Homeopathic medicine?
Yes. This product does not react with homeopathic medicine.
this medicine be continued while taking supplements like multivitamin tablets,
Omega 3 fatty acids etc?
Yes. Generally, this product goes well with most of the dietary supplements. However, if you are taking more than one product per day, please consult your doctor for an opinion.
Seek your doctor’s advice if you are taking this product along with other western (allopathic / modern) medicines. Some Ayurvedic herbs can interact with modern medicine.
If both Ayurvedic and allopathic medicines are advised together, then it is best to take Allopathic medicine first, wait for 30 minutes and then take the Ayurvedic medicine.
Ayurvedic medicine with Paederia foetida-
Prasarini Thailam – used in arthritis, sciatica etc.
Maha Narayan Oil – widely used pain relieving massage oil
Marma Gulika – used in disorders of heart, kidney etc.
English Name – Stink vine and Chinese fever vine
Hindi Name– Gandhaprasarani or Pasaran
Telugu Name– Takkeda, Savirel
Bengali Name– Gandhabhaduliya, Gandhabhadule, Gandal গন্ধভাদুলে/গাঁদাল
Marathi Name– Hiran- vel
Gujarati Name – Gandhana
Tamil Name– Pinarisangai
Assamese name – Bhedai lota or Paduri lota