Sariva: Hemidesmus indicus Benefits, Usage, Dose, Side Effects

Sariva is known as Indian Sarsaparilla. It is different from Sarsaparilla. Its botanical name is Hemidesmus indicus. In Ayurveda system of medicine, it is widely used in the treatment of oligospermia, gastritis, anorexia, menorrhagia etc.

Hemidesmus indicus

Botanical Name– Hemidesmus indicus R.Br
Family – Asclepiadaceae (Peripiocaceae) – Arka Kula

Vernacular names

Hindi and Bengali- Anantamul, Kapuri (because root smell resembles Kapoor – camphor)
English Name-Indian Sarsaparilla
Telugu name- Sungandhipala, Muttavapylagamu
Marathi name- Upalsari, Uparsal
Gujarati Name- Kapuri, Madhuri, Upalasri
Tamil Name- Nannari
Kannada Name- Sogade Beru
Malayalam Name- Naruninti

Sanskrit synonyms

Ananta, Anantamula, Asphota, Utpala Sariva, Shyama, Krsodari, Canadana,
Gopi – Sariva protect the person who use it
Saradi – Plant blossoms in Sarad Ritu
Pratanika – Sariva is twinner
Sugandhimula – Root has good Aroma
Gopakanya, Gopangi
Sphota – Fruits of Sariva are dehiscent in nature

Classical categorization

Charaka Sahmita –
Jvarahara – group of herbs used in treating fever
Daha Prashamana – group of herbs that relieve burning sensation,
Pureesha Sangahaniya – group of herbs that improve bulk of feces,
Stanya shodhana – group of herbs that cleanse and detoxify breast milk,
Madhura skandha – sweet tasting group of herbs.

Sushruta- Sarivadi, Vidarigandhadi, Valli pancamula Gana
Vagbhata – Sarivadi Gana.


There are two types of Sariva explained in Ayurvedic books –
Shveta Sariva – white variety –  Hemidesmus indicus and
Krishna Sariva – Cryptolepis buchanani / Ichnocarpus frutescens
Therapeutically both are considered to be similar in action.


Habit- Perennial prostrate or twining shrub. Root stock is woody.

Stem-slender, terete, glabrous or pubescent, striate, thickened at the Nodes.

Leaves- Simple, opposite, variable, elliptic-oblong to linear-lanceolate, glabrous, dark green, often variegated with white above, pale and some times, silvery white and pubescent beneath, reticulate venation,

Inflorescence- Sub sessile cyme

Flower-Pedicel short, clothed with numerous bracts

Fruit- cylindric, tapering to a point at the apex, straight or sometimes slightly curved striate glabrous.

Seed-6 to 8 mm long, ovate-oblong, flattened, black com is silvery white, 25 cm long.

Chemical constitution

Major chemicals contained– H. Indicus- Hyperoside, Rutin, desinine, Hexatriacontane, B- Sitosterol; hemidesminine, Hemidesmin-1 and hemidesmin-2.
(Reference: Illustrated Dravyaguna Vijnana, Vol. II, by Dr JLN Shastry)


Cryptolepsis buchanani
Ichnocarpus frutescens
Decalepis hamiltoni

Medicinal qualities 

Rasa (taste) – Madhura (sweet), Tikta (bitter)
Guna (qualities) – Guru (heavy), Snigdha (oily, unctuous)
Vipaka- Madhura – undergoes sweet taste conversion after digestion.
Veerya – Sheeta – coolant.

Effect on Tridosha

Tridoshahara. It balances all the three Doshas.

Hemidesmus indicus - uses

Medicinal uses

Kushtahara – useful in skin diseases
Kanduhara – useful in itching, pruritus
Jvarahara – useful in fever
Mehanashana – Useful in diabetes, urinary tract disorders
Durgandha nashana – relieves bad odor
Shukrala – improves sperm quality and quantity
Atisarahara – useful in diarrhea, dysentery
Amahara – relieves Ama
Vishapaha – anti-toxic
Agnisada – useful in low digestion strength
Shvasa, Kasahara – useful in respiratory conditions, cough, cold, asthma
Pradaranut – useful in menorrhagia.

The black variety of Sariva is similar in action. Its uses are –
Sangrahi – absorbent, useful in diarrhea
Shishira – coolant
Kaphavatajit – balances Kapha and Vata
Trushna – useful in excessive thirst
Aruchi – useful in anorexia
Raktapittahara – useful in bleeding disorders such as nasal bleeding, menorrhagia etc.

Part used, dosage

Part used– root
Dosage– – Indian sarsaparilla – water decoction – 50-100 ml, root Paste 5 g, root powder 1 – 3 g

Side effects

There are no known side effects with Sariva.
During pregnancy, consult your doctor before using this herb.
It is safe to use during lactation and in children.

Interaction with medicines, supplements

Can this be used while taking Homeopathic medicine?
Yes. This product does not react with homeopathic medicine.

Can this medicine be continued while taking supplements like multivitamin tablets, Omega 3 fatty acids etc?
Yes. Generally, this product goes well with most dietary supplements. However, if you are taking more than one product per day, please consult your doctor for an opinion.

With western medicines
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.

Research works on Hemidesmus indicus :
Antimicrobial activity
Anti carcinogenic and cytotoxic potential

Ayurveda medicines

Ayurveda medicines with Hemidesmus indicus as ingredient –
Sarivadyasavam – useful in gout, skin diseases
Mathala Rasayanam – useful in cough, cold, asthma, bleeding disorders
Mahamanjistadi Kashayam – useful in skin diseases, gout, syphilis and non healing wounds
Maha Vishagarbha Taila – useful in sciatica, joint stiffness and tinnitus
Manasamitra Vatakam – Useful in speech problems, depression, psychiatric disorders.

Sarsaparilla Sarbath

Easy method of preparing Sarsaparilla Sarbath. 
Take 100 grams of Sarsaparilla. Add 1 liter of water to it. Boil over mild fire till the water quantity reduces to half a liter. Filter it
Add – 400 grams of sugar / jaggery to it.
Boil it till the total solution attains the consistency of a syrup.
Stop heating.
Allow it to cool down. Store in a cool dry place, in an air tight bottle.
This can be stored for a period of 3 – 4 months without refrigeration.
Whenever juice is to be consumed, you can add half a cup of this with half a cup of hot water and drink.

Sthanika karma (Action on different system)

External application – Paste is applied on skin diseases and on inflammatory wounds.
Nervous system – Calm down the CNS. Indicated in Hyperactive conditions. Overdose can cause dizziness

Digestive system – Carminative, digestive, absorbent, Ant helminthic. Indicated in loss of appetite, Diarrhea, Helminthiasis, indigestion etc.

Circulatory System – Acts as a blood purifier
Respiratory system – Pacifies kapha dosha. indicated in cough, hoarseness of voice
Reproductive system -Uterine stimulant, indicated in Dysmenorrhea, Amenorrhea etc. It can be given after delivery as a uterine cleanser, also helps to purify breast milk, also indicated in purpureal sepsis.
Excretory system – Indicated in prameha

Satmikarana –Anti poisonous, improve complexion, indicated in general debility, Rejuvinative
Skin – Indicated in skin disorders like kushta, visarpa etc.
 Tapakrama – Antipyretic. (jirnajvara, prasooti jvara)

27 comments on “Sariva: Hemidesmus indicus Benefits, Usage, Dose, Side Effects

  • tarun

    20/12/2013 - 7:08 pm

    Sir it is used in Arbindasava & Triphla Ghrit as well. Nice article

    Reply to comment
    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

      21/12/2013 - 4:57 pm

      I only listed a few important ones. It is used in many more medicines. Thanks.

      Reply to comment
  • deepika goyal

    22/01/2015 - 9:56 am

    hello sir. i wanted to know how it can be used to remove acne scars

    Reply to comment
  • Immanuel Moses

    02/11/2015 - 12:56 pm

    I want to know whether this plant Hemidesmus indicus especially contain any antiviral propertY since, very less information is given about that property.

    Reply to comment
  • Immanuel Moses

    09/11/2015 - 7:43 pm

    Sir, I want to whether this plant contain any antiviral property ?

    Reply to comment
  • Purav Gour

    30/04/2016 - 12:58 pm

    Dear sir
    Intake of anantmool root powder prevents baldness ?
    From where sud I buy good quality anantmool root powder online ?
    Pls help !

    Reply to comment
  • Kanth

    30/12/2016 - 6:26 pm

    Sir can we use Kathmandu lehya and sariva syrup at the same time??

    Reply to comment
    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

      11/01/2017 - 8:15 pm

      I suppose it is kushmanda lehya. If it is the lehya, then it can be taken together with Sariva syrup.

      Reply to comment
  • kanth

    31/01/2017 - 12:29 pm


    Reply to comment
    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

      01/02/2017 - 12:11 pm

      No. It is in fact beneficial for skin.

      Reply to comment
  • Neeraja

    02/03/2017 - 5:26 pm

    Dear Doctor,
    Is it safe for consuming hemidesmus included drinks like nannari syrup during pregnancy?

    Reply to comment
  • Godha

    16/06/2017 - 11:46 am

    What should we take for aruchi in tongue

    Reply to comment
    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

      16/06/2017 - 4:43 pm

      There are many options such as
      Trikatu, ginger powder, cumin seeds etc.

      Reply to comment
  • Wendy Larsen

    20/06/2017 - 10:08 am

    I have been seeing an Ayurveda practitioner, they suggested shatavari for female issues. I have been menstruating for the past 4 months for 3 weeks at a time. They changed my formula to anantamul and still no difference. I am not sure if you have heard of essure, but it is where they place coils in your tubes to keep you from having children. I had this done about 10 years ago and it seems the last few years my menstruating has become worse. Not sure if it’s Menapause or the cause of the essure. Is there any herb that can help with this? As you may know it has been draining me of energy. I am also border line anemic. Any suggestions would be great.
    Thank you, Wendy

    Reply to comment
  • Arjun

    08/07/2017 - 12:10 am

    Does it contain potassium ?
    Can people undergoing​ hemodialysis (kidney failure)have it ???

    Reply to comment
    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

      10/07/2017 - 3:47 pm

      It does not contain potassium as per my information. So, people underging hemodialysis can have it.

      Reply to comment
  • Gaga

    22/10/2017 - 11:37 pm

    Can we take sariva during periods?if no..why?

    Reply to comment
    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

      23/10/2017 - 6:46 pm

      it can be taken during periods.

      Reply to comment
  • Mehul

    28/10/2017 - 11:04 am

    I have psoriasis how can use? Please help me.

    Reply to comment
  • Indu

    12/12/2017 - 11:01 am

    Sir, can Ashwagandha and sariva syrup can be taken by female of 37 yrs for vata perimenopausal symptoms? I heard that both will increase testosterone. Is it OK to consume both.

    Reply to comment
  • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

    03/06/2018 - 1:08 pm

    2 tablespoons mixed in half a cup of water.

    Reply to comment
  • Var

    15/07/2018 - 1:30 am

    Is this called Sangrahi herb to provide bulk in stoll who suffer from loose stool ? Does it help in treating IBS or IBD ?

    Reply to comment
    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

      10/08/2018 - 2:08 pm

      Bilva is a better herb for the said purpose.

      Reply to comment
  • Villoo Sinhji

    02/10/2020 - 3:30 pm

    How often and for how long should one take Sarsasarilla Sarbath for treating gout?

    Reply to comment

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Easy Ayurveda Video Classes

Buy Online Video Courses

Buy Easy Ayurveda Books