Gorakh mundi Sphaeranthus indicus: Uses, Research, Side Effect

Mundi- Sphaeranthus indicus is used in Ayurvedic treatment of pain, localized swelling, indigestion, headache, cough, elephantiasis, goiter, skin diseases and to improve the sexual vigor. 

Latin Name- Sphaeranthus indicus Linn.
Family- Asteraceae (Bhringaraja kula)

Vernacular names

Mundi – Names in different languages:
Hindi name- Gorakh mundi
Bengali name- Mudmudiya
Malayalam name- Mirangini
Marathi name- Gorakh mundi
Tamil name- Kottakaranthai
Telugu name-Voddataruppu
Urdu name- Buikdam

Sanskrit synonyms

Sanskrit Synonyms of Sphaeranthus indicus:
Alambusta- The root is spherical shaped
Kadambapushpi- The shape of flower resembles that of ‘Kadamba’ flower
Bhumi Kadamba, Sravani, Tapodhana, Bhikshu, Shravanasheershaka, Kuhalaka, Pravrajita,

Mundi is a plant which grows to a height of 2- feet and is found in the paddy fields and in places of moist soil all over India. The leaves are having hairy growth. The flower bunch resembles that of Kadamba flower (Neolamarckia cadamba) and blooms in the winter season.

Classical categorization

Charaka samhita- Rasayana
Bhavaprakasha- Guduchyadi varga
Dhanvantari Nighantu- Guduchyadi varga
Kaiyyadeva Nighantu- Oushadhi varga
Raja Nighantu- Parpatadi varga
Shodala Nighantu- Guduchyadi varga

Scientific classification

Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Sphaeranthus
Species: S. indicus

Properties, part used, dosage

Sphaeranthus indicus: Medicinal properties:
Rasa (Taste) – Tikta (Bitter), Katu (Pungent)
Guna (Qualities) – Laghu (Light for digestion), Ruksha (Dry in nature)
Vipaka – – Katu (Undergoes Pungent taste after digestion)
Veerya (Potency) – Ushna (Hot)
Karma (Actions) – Tridosha shamaka (reduces all the three doshas), Rasayana (acts like health tonic)

Part used- Whole plant
Fresh juice- 10 to 20 ml
Decoction- 50-100 ml

Chemical constituents

The steam distillate of the plant contains methyl chavicol, alpha-ionone and d- cdinene. An alkaloid, sphaeranthine is also found in the plant. The flower head of the plant contain beta-D- glucoside of beta- sitosterol. The flower of Mundi contains sphaeranthanolide, Eudesmanolides, cryptmeridiol and 4- epicryptomerdiol.

Uses, Sanskrit verse

Medicinal Uses of Sphaeranthus indicus:

  • The paste of the plants of Mundi is prepared and applied over the area affected with localized swelling.
  • The fresh juice of the plant is given with black pepper powder in a dose of 10-15 ml to treat headache including cases of migraine.
  • The decoction prepared from the plant Sphaeranthus indicus is given in a dose of 50-60 ml to treat cases of indigestion, piles, intestinal worms and enlargement of liver.
  • The paste of the plant is applied over the area affected with elephantiasis.
  • The cold infusion of Mundi is given in a dose of 40-50 ml to treat chronic cough and asthma.
  • The juice of the plant is given as a nervine tonic and to treat cases of general debility and epilepsy.
  • The paste of the whole plant is applied externally in skin diseases and herpes.
  • The distillate from the plant known as ‘Mundi arka’ is a potent medicine to treat cases of asthma. 4-5 drops of Mundi arka are mixed with hot water and administered.
  • The cold infusion of the plant is given in a dose of 50-60 ml to treat cases of burning micturition and pyuria.
  • The decoction prepared from the plant Sphaeranthus indicus is given in a dose of 40-50 ml to treat cases of diarrhea and vomiting.
gorakh mundi uses

Benefits, Side effects

Benefits of Gorakh Mundi as explained in Ayurvedic text books:
Medhya – improves intelligence
Indicated in –
Ganda – cervical lymphadenitis
Apachi – tumors,
Mutrakrichra –Dysuria, urinary retention
Krumi – worm infestation
Yoni arti – vaginal pain
Pandu – anemia
Shleepada – Elephantiasis
Aruchi – anorexia
Apasmara – Epilepsy
Pleeha – Disease of the spleen, Splenomegaly
Medoroga – obesity
Guda arti – piles
Another variety of Mundi – called Mahamundi is of similar qualities.

Adverse effects: There are no known or reported adverse effects due to the usage of Mundi.

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.

Ayurvedic medicines

Formulations containing Mundi:
Memocap capsule: This is a proprietary ayurvedic medicine in capsule form, effective as a memory and nervine tonic. The capsule calms and relaxes the mind to induce good sleep.

Maha vishagarbha taila: This oil is used in Ayurveda for the treatment of Disease due to Vata Dosha, Sciatica, Tetanus, Stiffness and tightness in back and limbs, Tinnitus and lack of tactile sensation. The oil is used externally and should be avoided in children and pregnant women.

Vata gajankusha rasa: This is a herbo mineral formulation useful to treat sciatica, paralysis, Brachialgia, spondylosis, arthritis, Torticollis, Thigh muscle stiffness and cramps.

Maha manjishtadi kwatha: This is an ayurvedic medicine in decoction form useful to treat cases of skin diseases, white discharge, burning micturition and acts like a blood purifier. 


Research articles about Sphaeranthus indicus:
Anti-diabetic activity: A study was conducted to screen out flowering tops extracts of Sphaeranthus indicus for anti-diabetic activity in alloxan induced hyperglycemia. The oral administration of ethyl acetate, methanolic and hydroalcoholic extracts of Sphaeranthus indicus, given orally at doses of 200 mg/kg/day for 15 days, were found to be produced significant anti -hyperglycemic action in alloxan induced diabetic rats, using Glibenclamide as standard. The findings obtained in the experiments demonstrated that Gorakhmundi (Sphaeranthus indicus L.) possess potent anti hypoglycemic and antioxidant activity.

Anti- bacterial action: Aerial parts and flowers of Sphaeranthus indicus were extracted with n-hexane, benzene, chloroform, ethyl acetate and acetone. Significant antibacterial and antifungal activity was observed in hexane extract of flower and aerial parts. The flower extract showed MIC as 0.15 mg/ml against Staphylococcus aureus and the highest MIC (5 mg/ml) was noted for S. epidermidis.

Anti- microbial action: Leaves of Sphaeranthus indicus were extracted with ethanol. The antimicrobial activities of Ethanolic extracts were evaluated by using the in vitro disc conc. of 1.25, 2.5and 5mg/ disc. The minimum inhibitory concentration was calculated using broth tube dilution method. Significant antibacterial and antifungal action was observed in Ethanolic extract of leaves against B.subtilis, S.aureus and Candida respectively.

Anti- asthmatic action: Methanolic extract of aerial parts was evaluated for antiasthmatic activity. Histamine induced bronchospasm in guinea pigs and egg albumin induced bronchospasm in guinea pig model were performed and various parameters were investigated like PCD time, serum bicarbonate level, differential leukocytes count and histopathological changes in lung. Biochemical estimation like glutathione (GSH) level, malondialdehyde (MDA) level and total proteins were also checked. The result showed that it significantly increased pre convulsion dyspnoea (PCD) time, decreased differential leukocyte counts and serum bicarbonate level. It decreased the oxidative burden by reducing the MDA level and increasing the GSH level which was imbalanced in asthmatic conditions, also showed significant action on total protein level. The drug also reduced the inflammation and dilated the bronchioles.

Author:Dr.B.K.Prashanth  M.D (Ayu), Ph.D
E mail: drprashanthbk@gmail.com

Sthanika karma (Action on different system)

External application – Anti inflammatory and analgesic. Paste can be used for external application.
Nervous system – Strengthens the nervous system. Promote intellect, Indicated in Epilepsy, Hemiplegia, Joint pain etc. Its juice with Black pepper is indicated in Headache especially for migraine (Suryavarta and Arthavabhedaka)

Digestive system – Carminative, Digestive, Liver stimulant, Anti helminthic. Indicated in loss of appetite, Hepato and splenomegaly, colicky pain, Helminthiasis, Hemorrhoids, Jaundice etc.

Circulatory System – Cardiac stimulant, Acts as a blood purifier. Indicated in cervical lymphadenopathy, Elephantiasis, Rheumatoid arthritis, etc.

Reproductive system – Aphrodisiac, improves the quality of semen. Oil prepared out of its root is used for this purpose
Respiratory system – Pacifies kaphadosha. Indicated in chronic cough and Asthma.
Excretory system – Increases urine production. Indicated in UTI, Diabetes etc.

Satmikarana – Indicated in general debility
Skin – Indicated in skin disorders (kushta, visarpa)
 Tapakrama – Antipyretic.

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