Paneer Dodi (Withania coagulans) Uses, Remedies, Research

By Dr Renita D’Souza
Paneer dodi (Withania coagulans) is the medicinal herb extensively used to lower the blood sugar level by promoting the secretion of insulin from pancreatic β cells. It is Sanskrit this plant is termed as Rishyagandha. Traditionally the fruits and leaves of this plant was used in the coagulation of milk to make Indian cheese, thus it is also known by the name ‘Indian cheese maker’ or ‘vegetable rennet’. This plant is also beneficial in nervous exhaustion, insomnia, wasting diseases, liver problems, asthma, biliousness and impotence. Seeds are used to treat lumbago, ophthalamia and helps to relieve inflammation of piles.
Read – Ashwagandha Withania somnifera Uses, Dose, Side Effects, Research

Introduction

Botanical Name – Withania coagulans
Synonyms
Family – Solanaceae

Botanical Description

Withania coagulans Dunal is a rigid, grey-whitish small shrub growing up to 60-120 cm in height. The leaves are lanceolate oblong, sometimes ovate, obtuse, narrow at the base with very short stalk. Flowers are yellowish and arranged in axillary cymose clusters. Fruits are red berries, smooth and enclosed in leathery calyx. Seeds are dark brown in color, ear shaped, glabrous with sharp fruity smell.

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Distribution

Withania coagulans is distributed in East of the Mediterranean region extending to South Asia. It is found in many parts of Pakistan and India. In India, it occurs in Punjab, Rajasthan, Simla, Kumaun and Garhwal.
Read – Jeevaka (Microstylis wallichii) Uses, Medicinal Qualities, Remedies, Research

Part Used

Fruits, Flowers, Leaves, Seeds

Pharmacological Activities

Withania coagulans possess Anti-inflammatory, Antitumor, Hepatoprotective, Anti-Hyperglycaemic, Cardiovascular, Immuno-suppressive, Free Radical Scavenging, Central Nervous System Depressant, Diuretic, Anti-Bacterial, Anti-Fungal, Cardio-Protective, Anti-Oxidative, And Anti-Mutagenic
The fruits of this plant possess sedative, emetic, alterative and diuretic properties.
Read – Meda (Polygonatum verticillatum) Uses, Qualities, Remedies, Research

Therapeutic Uses

Withania coagulans fruits are used to control blood sugar.
Ripe fruits
Can be used in –
Shotha – used in inflammation due to its anti-inflammatory ad diuretic property
Anidra – Ripe fruits acts as sedative and CNS depressant, thus can be used in insomnia
Shwasa – Due to its antiasthmatic action, it can be used in asthma.
Dry fruits 
Can be used in –
Mandaagni, Aruchi – Used in low digestive capacity, tastelessness and flatulence due to its carminative property.
Leaves
Used in fever and helps to restore normal health
Seeds
Withania coagulans seeds can be used to treat inflammation, swelling and it also helps to stimulate menstrual flow.(Reference – Indian Medicinal Plants)
Read – How Turmeric Helps in Diabetes Treatment: 7 Ways

Controversy

In the market, fruits of c and Withania somnifera are sold without any distinction. Ashwagandhaa in Bengali and Ashwagandhi in Kannada are confusing synonyms of Withania coagulans.

Remedies

  • The fruit of these plants are soaked in water overnight, this water is consumed for empty stomach in the morning. This remedy is believed to control the blood sugar level. This extract has bitter taste and strong odour. Its flowers are also used to treat diabetes.
  • The twigs of this plant are chewed for cleaning teeth.
  • In toothache, the whole plant is burnt and smoke is inhaled.
  • The fruit is applied on wound.
    Read – Indian mulberry (Noni), Uses, Research, Remedies, Side Effects

Chemical Constituents

Withania coagulans contains phytochemicals such as alkaloids, steroids, phenolic compounds, tannins, saponins, carbohydrates, proteins, amino acids and organic acids. Variety of withanolides (steroidal lactones) such as coagulin F [27-hydroxy-14,20-epoxy-1-oxo-(22R)-witha-3,5,24-trienolide], coagulin G [17beta,27-dihydroxy-14,20-epoxy-1-oxo -(22R)- with a -2,5, 24-trienolide], coagulanolide (17S,20S,22R) -[14alpha,15alpha,17beta, 20beta -tetrahydroxy-1-oxowitha -2,5,24-trienolide], 20beta -hydroxy-1-oxo-(22R)-witha-2,5,24-trienolide and withacoagulin.

Research

Antidiabetic Activity – The research study done on “The Aqueous Extract Of Withania coagulans Fruit Partially Reverses Nicotinamide/Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetes Mellitus In Rats” have proved that the aqueous extract of Withania coagulans fruit has significant antihyperglycemic effects.
Anticancer Activity – A research study conducted to evaluate in vitro cytotoxicity of methanolic extract of Withania coagulans fruits against human breast cancer cell line MDA-MB-231 and normal kidney epithelial cell line Vero in the range 20–200 μg/ml have showed significant anticancer activity against MDA-MB-231 cell line.

Classical Categorization

Charaka Samhitha – Brhmaneeya dashemani (Sutrasthaana 4th chapter), Madhura Skandha (Vimaana sthaana 8/139)

Sanskrit Verses

Scientific Classification

Kingdom – Plantae
Division – Magnoliophyta
Class – Magnolipsida
Order – Solanales
Family – Solanaceae
Genus – Withania
Species – W. coagulan
Read – Kakoli (Roscoea purpurea) Uses, Medicinal Qualities, Remedies, Research

Vernacular Names

English Name – Indian Rennet, Vegetable rennet, Indian cheese maker
Sanskrit Name – Rishyagandha
Hindi Name – Paneer dodi, Puni-ke-bij, Akri, Binputakah, Punir
Punjabi Name – Khamjira, Kharmjaria, Khumazare, Kutilana, Makhazura, Panir, Shapiang, Spinbajia
Tamil Name – Amukkra
Telugu Name – Pennerugadda
Bengali Name – Ashvagandha
Kannada Name – Ashwvagandhi
Sindhi Name – Punirband, Punir-ja-fota
Persian Name – Tukhme-kaknaje-hindi
Afghan Name – Spiubajja
Arabic Name – Javzuhnizaja, Kaknajehindi
Urdu Name – Kakanaj
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