By Dr Renita D’Souza
Microstylis wallichii (Crepidium acuminatum, Malaxis acuminata) is identified as Jivaka and is one among the Ashtavarga herbs. It is a good antioxidant, rejuvenating, aphrodisiac, styptic and used in the treatment of body debility, burning sensation, bleeding disorders and many other vata and pitta dosha related diseases. It is one among the 8 herbs mentioned in Ashtavarga, an Ayurvedic formulation which used to nourish body tissues and improve body strength.
Read – Ashtavarga Group Of Herbs Benefits, Research
Botanical Name – Microstylis wallichii
Synonyms – Crepidium acuminatum, Malaxis acuminata
Family – Orchidaceae
Table of Contents
Hindi Name – Jivak
Tamil Name – Jivakam
Malayalam Name – Jivakam
Telugu Name – Jivakamu
Kannada Name – Jivaka (A)
Taste (Rasa) – Sweet
Potency (Virya) – Cold (Sheeta)
Vipaka (taste after digestion) – Sweet
Guru – heavy to digest
Brihmana – nourishes body tissues
Shukrala – increases semen count
Balya – increases body strength
Effect on Doshas
Increases Kapha dosha
Balances excess Vata and Pitta dosha
Rakta dosha – Bleeding disorders
Daha – Burning sensation
Karshya – Emaciation
Vatarog – Vata diseases
Kshaya – general debility
Internal and external hemorrhages
3- 6 grams of powder of bulbs
- Jivaka bulb paste is applied locally for insect bite
- Decoction prepared from its bulb is used to increase the quantity of semen and stimulate its production.
Read – Shukrajanana Gana: Herbs To Improve Semen, Sperm: Review, Formulations
Pseudo-bulbs of Malaxis acuminata are rich in valuable minerals such as copper (6.48 ppm), zinc (43 ppm),manganese (35 ppm), iron (331 ppm), potassium (21,600 ppm), calcium(9000 ppm), magnesium (2800 ppm), aluminum (198 ppm) and vitamins such as α-tocopherol(12.00–9.80 mg/100 dw) and γ-tocopherol (695.00–786.7 mg/100 g dw).
Malaxis acuminata possess Analgesic, Styptic, Anti-dysenteric, Antioxidant, Antiaging, Anti inflammatory, Anitproliferative, Anti-microbial and Aphrodisiac properties. (A)
Microstylis wallichii is an erect, short-stemmed, fibrous rooted herb. The stem at base is swollen and tend to be pseudo-bulbous. Leaves are 3-5 in number, simple, ovate-lanceolate in shape, acute apex and undulate margins. Flowers are many, pale green tinged purple in colour.
Description as given in Bhavaprakasha Nighantu –
Jivaka is grown in Himalayan peaks. Tubers resemble garlic and having minute leaves. It looks like brush.
Microstylis wallichii is found in temperate to subalpine ranges of the Himalayas.
Microstylis wallichii grows in shady areas of semi-evergreen to shrubby forest with rich humus and soil moisture.
Fatty acids analysis of Microstylis wallichii revealed the presence of -linoleic acid (18:2ω6) 61.20% (w/w), α-linolenic acid 18.10% (w/w), oleic acid 12.00 % (w/w), palmitic acid (16:0) 6.00% (w/w), stearic acid (18:0) 2.10% (w/w), γ-linolenic acid (18:3ω6) 2.20% (w/w), eicosanoic acid (20:0) 0.81 % (w/w), eicosenoic acid (20:1) 0.42% (w/w) and eicosadienoic acid (20:2) 0.04% (w/w).
Bhavaprakasha Nighantu – Harithakyadi Varga
Kaiyadeva Nighantu – Oshadivarga
Dhanvantari Nighantu – Guduchyadi varga
Raja Nighantu – Parpataadi varga
Madanapala Nighantu – Abhayadi varga
Charaka Samhita – Included Jevaka under Jeevaniyaani, Shukrajananani and Snehopagaani dashemaani.
Sushruta Samhita – Included Jeevaka herb under Kakolyaadi and Vidaarighandhaadi ghana.
Read – Jeevaneeya Gana Herbs of Charaka: Review, Medicines, Benefits
Anti inflammatory, Antiaging, Photoprotective activity – A study conducted on secondary metabolite profiling, anti-inflammatory potential, in vitro photoprotective and skin-aging related enzyme inhibitory activities of Malaxis acuminata, a threatened orchid of nutraceutical importance have proved significant anti-inflammatory and anti-aging activity in vitro. Photoprotective activity with higher sun protection factor was detected and metabolite profiling showed higher antioxidant property.
Dhaanwantharam mezhukupaakam – Used to treat vata diseases, paralysis, tissue depletion, pediatric problems etc.
Shiva gutika – Used in liver and spleen disorders
Kumar kalyan ghrit – Used to treat emaciation, improves strength, immunity, taste and digestion power
Vidaryadi Kashayam – Used for respiratory problems
Prasoothika Kashayam – Used after delivery for restoring health
Bruhath Chandanaadi Thailam
Kamdev Ghrita – Used as aphrodisiac, rejuvenative, improves sperm count,body strength and skin complexion.
Dhanwantharam Kashayam – Used in post natal care of mother
Artilon Soft Gel – Used in osteoarthritis
Kingdom – Plantae
Phylum – Tracheophyta
Class – Liliopsida
Order – Asparagales
Family – Orchidaceae
Genus – Crepidium
Species – Crepidium acuminatum (D.Don) Szlach (B)
Madhurah, Swadu – sweet in taste
Kurchashirshaka, Kurchaka – resembles brush
Jivadah, Jivanah, Shringaka, Shreyo, Kshodi, Mangalyo, Madhura, Priyah
Dirgaayu, cirajiva, cirajivi
Vrishalo – aphrodisiac
Durdaro, Deero, Vishani, Kshvedo, Pranada