Jivanti (Leptadenia reticulata)
Jivanti is an important medicinal plant used in Ayurveda. The mention of Jivanti is even found in Atharva Veda. Charak and Bhavprakash, described it as best among leafy vegetables. It is included in Jivaniya Gana, which is the group of herbs used for promoting vitality and life.
Jivanti is considered a stimulant and tonic in Ayurvedic literatures. It is indicated in debility due to seminal discharge. It is described as an herb with sweet, cold, aphrodisiac, light to digest and rejuvenative properties. It enhances life, vigour and fertility. Jivanti is Tridoshahara and balances Vata, Pitta and Kapha. This is drug of choice for emaciation, weakness, fever, difficult breathing, burning sensation in body, and fertility issues.
Though it is an important herb but the botanical identity of this plant is highly disputed.
Nowadays, there are many plants which are used as Jivanti.
In Bhavprakash, Dregea volubilis Wattakaka volubilis is described as Jivanti .In Sanskrit this plant is known as Hema, Hemavati, Hemalatha, Swarnika, Swarnalatha, Hemajivanti, Swarna jivanti.
This plant grows in moist places. It is a large woody twining perennial shrub belonging to family Apocynaceae. It has pale green flowers in dense drooping umbels. It is a medicinal plant and used as emetic, diaphoretic and diuretic.
CHARACTERISTICS OF LEPTADENIA RETICULATA
The bark of the plant is yellowish brown in color and is corky with deep cracks. The leaves of the Leptadenia Reticulata are ovate cordate and have a coriaceous glabrous above them. They are finely pubescent beneath. The flowers of the plant are greenish yellow in color and have follicles on them that are sub woody and turgid. The cork like bark of the shrub makes the plant stand out.
NUTRIENT COMPOSITION OF THE HERB
The leaves and twigs are rich in stigmasterol, a-amyrin, tocopherols, hentriacontanol, leptadeno and sitostero. The plant is also rich in Flavonoids like diosmetin, luteolin, rutin and hyperoside.
THERAPEUTIC POWERS OF THE HERB
The Leptadenia Reticulata is known to be an effective stimulant and a benefiting restorative. It also has high anti bacterial properties that help in combating gram positive and gram negative bacteria as well as any infection caused by them.
The stimulating plant is used majorly to relieve problems of the skin like ringworm infection, wounds, ear problems, nasal disorder, asthma, cough, as well as, in relieving the habitual abortion in women.
THE AYURVEDIC PROPERTIES OF THE PLANT ARE:
Rasa: Madhur (sweet)
Vipaka: Madhur (sweet)
Guna: Laghu (light), snigdha (unctuous)
Veerya: Shita (cold)
Dosha: Balances tridosha
The leaf, root as well as the whole plant are used in medicinal preparations. The bark of the plant is also used to stimulate heat levels in the body.
CARE FOR AILMENTS
Antibacterial activity: The ethanolic extracts of the plant make the plant rich in anti bacterial properties. It also works against various known pathogens like Streptococcus Pyogenes and Escherichia coli.
Anti fungal activity: The plants alcoholic extracts are also active in protecting a person from fungal infections.
Hypotensive activities: The potent and prolonged hypotensive action of the plant is also an identified reason for its inclusion in medicinal decoctions.
Spasmogenic Activity: The alcoholic extract of the Leptadenia Reticulata also makes it helpful in relieving problems of the uterus contractions.
Lactogenic properties: The Leptadenia Reticulata can help in increasing lactation in newly nursing mothers.