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Ayurvedic Herbs

Jeevaka (Microstylis wallichii) Uses, Medicinal Qualities, Remedies, Research

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

Vernacular Names

Hindi Name – Jivak
Tamil Name – Jivakam
Malayalam Name – Jivakam
Telugu Name – Jivakamu
Kannada Name – Jivaka (A)

Medicinal Qualities

Taste (Rasa) – Sweet
Potency (Virya) – Cold (Sheeta)
Vipaka (taste after digestion) – Sweet
Qualities (Guna)
Guru – heavy to digest
Brihmana – nourishes body tissues
Action (Karma)
Shukrala – increases semen count
Balya – increases body strength

Effect on Doshas

Increases Kapha dosha
Balances excess Vata and Pitta dosha

Therapeutic Uses

Rakta dosha – Bleeding disorders
Daha – Burning sensation
Karshya – Emaciation
Vatarog –  Vata diseases
Kshaya – general debility
Fever
Bronchitis
Rheumatisim
Skin diseases
Piles
Internal and external hemorrhages
Sterility

Part Used

Bulb

Dosage

3- 6 grams of powder of bulbs

Read – Kakoli (Roscoea purpurea) Uses, Medicinal Qualities, Remedies, Research

Sanskrit Verses

Remedies

Nutritional Values

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).

Pharmacological Activities

Malaxis acuminata possess Analgesic, Styptic, Anti-dysenteric, Antioxidant, Antiaging, Anti inflammatory, Anitproliferative, Anti-microbial and Aphrodisiac properties. (A)

Botanical Description

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.

Distribution

Microstylis wallichii is found in temperate to subalpine ranges of the Himalayas.

Habitat

Microstylis wallichii grows in shady areas of semi-evergreen to shrubby forest with rich humus and soil moisture.

Chemical Constituents

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).
Read more

Classical Categorization

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

Research

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.

Formulations

Chyavanprash
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

Scientific Classification

Kingdom – Plantae
Phylum – Tracheophyta
Class – Liliopsida
Order – Asparagales
Family – Orchidaceae
Genus – Crepidium
Species – Crepidium acuminatum (D.Don) Szlach (B)

Sanskrit Synonyms

Madhurah, Swadu – sweet in taste
Shringo, Hrisvaanga
Kurchashirshaka, Kurchaka – resembles brush
Shami
Jivadah, Jivanah, Shringaka, Shreyo, Kshodi, Mangalyo, Madhura, Priyah
Dirgaayu, cirajiva, cirajivi
Vrishalo – aphrodisiac
Durdaro, Deero, Vishani, Kshvedo, Pranada

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