Arkapushpi Herb (Holostemma ada-kodien) – Uses, Remedies, Research

By Dr Renita D’Souza
Arkapushpi (Holostemma ada-kodien) is an Ayurvedic herb mentioned in Bhavaprakasha Nighantu. It is used in diabetes, renal calculus, urinary disorders, burning micturition, inflammations, swelling, skin disease, worm infestation etc.

Remedies, uses, qualities

Traditional uses of Arkpushpi (Holostemma ada-kodien)

  • Decoction of this plant is taken along with cumin, sugarcandy and milk to cure burning urination.
  • In conjunctivits (netraabhishyanda), paste of this plant is applied over the eyelids
  • To promote lactation, tuber paste is consumed with milk.
  • Decoction of all parts also induces lactation.
  • Paste of its leaves and root applied externally relieves swelling, inflammation.

Botanical Name – Holostemma adakodien
Synonyms – Holostemma rheedianum
Family – Asclepiadaceae

Indications of Arkapushp
Krimi – worm infestation
Kapha disorders (anorexia, itching etc)
Prameha – diabetes
Pitta disorders (burning sensation, acid reflux, inflammation etc)

Part used – Whole plant

Medicinal qualities
According to Kaiyadeva nighantu,

Taste – Bitter, astringent
Virya (potency) – ushan (hot)
Vipaka (taste after digestion) – Pungent (katu)
Quality – laghu (light to digest), ruksha (dry), Sara (induces mobility in body channels)

Effect on doshas – balances kapha and vata dosha

Blood disorders
Shwasa – asthma
Kasa – cough
Aruchi – anorexia, tastelessness
Visphota – skin boils
Kusta – skin diseases
Krichra pandu – chronic anaemia

Controversy, pharmacology, morphology

Arkapushpi is considered as a variety of Jivanti (Leptadenia reticulata).
Read – Jivanti Leptadenia reticulata: Benefits, Remedies, Research, Side Effects
In Kaiyadeva Nighantu, arkapushpi is mentioned as a synonym of Brahmasuvarchala herb.
Raja Nighantu treatise mentions Payasya, Jalakamukha as synonyms of Kutumbini herb which are also the synonyms of Arkapushpi herb mentioned in Bhavaprakasha Nighantu.

Pharmacological Activity of Holostemma ada-kodien Shcult.
Antidiabetic, Antipyretic Activity, Antibacterial, Anti-inflammatory, Antioxidant activity, Rejuvenative, Aphrodisiac, Expectorant, Galactogogue, Stimulant and used in ophthalmic disorder.

Morphology of Holostemma ada-kodien
Holostemma ada-kodien is a large, glabrous climber. Leaves are simple, opposite, ovate to heart shaped. Flowers are fragrant, purplish crimson inside and white or pinkish from outside. Fruits follicle, green, seeds are many, brown, small, coma shaped.

Sanskrit verse, dose, distribution

Tuber powder – 10 – 20 grams

Chemical Constituents of Holostemma ada-kodien (arkpushp)
Flavonoids, tannins steroids, alkaloids, anthocyanins, tannins and phenols.

Holostemma ada-kodien is found in China, Nepal, Pakistan, Kashmir, India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand.

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 of the 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, vernacular names

Pharmacological Activity – A review article published on phytochemical and pharmacological studies on the plant Holostemma ada-kodien Shcult have reported hypoglycemic and Antidiabetic activity, Antipyretic Activity, Antioxidant Activity, Antibacterial activity of Holostemma ada-kodien Shcult.
Anti diabetic Activity – A study conducted to evaluate anti diabetic activity of ethanolic extract of Holostemma ada Kodien Schults in alloxan-induced diabetic rats have proved its significant anti diabetic activity and justified its traditional use in diabetes.
Hepatoprotective Activity – A study conducted to evaluate hepatoprotective activity of alcoholic extract of Holostemma ada Kodien Shcult against paracetamol (PCM) induced liver damage in rats have concluded its significant hepatoprotective activity.

Names in different languages
Hindi Name – arkapushpi, morna ada, chhirvel
Marathi Name – shirdodi, Shidodi, Dudruli, Tultumi
Gujarati Name – Kharner, Khirvel, Kharivel
Kannada Name – Jeeva haale balli, Muraligana kasa
Malayalam Name – Ada-kodien, Atakkoti
Telugu Name – Palagurugu, Dudidapalatiga, Bandiguruvinda teega
English Name – Holostemma

Sanskrit Synonyms
Arkapushpi – flowers are similar to those of Calotropis gigantea (arka)
Payasya – yields latex

Classical categorisation
Bhavaprakasha Nighantu – Guduchyadi Varga
Kaiyadeva Nighantu – Aushadi Varga
Raja Nighantu – Parpatadi VargaClick to Consult Dr Renita D’Souza

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