PATHA (Cyclea peltata)
Patha is one of the herbs mentioned in all ancient scriptures of Ayurveda. It has various synonyms, mentioned in samhitas, like tiktapuspa, brhar tikta, dipani, atisaranasani, rasa, sthapani, vrkki, trisira, ambastha etc. portraying its peculiarities. The great sage Caraka has categorized patha as sandhaniya – a healing herb; stanyasodhana – lactodepu rant, jvarahara – alleviates fever. Maharishi Susruta has mentioned it as visaghna – anti – toxin (Susruta Samhita, Sutra, A-38) and also to be useful (especially, the leaves ) in diabetic disorders of the skin, like boils and carbuncles. Two varieties of patha have been mentioned in the Ayurvedic texts, viz. brhat patha and laghu patha i.e. with large and small leaves, respectively. Both the varieties are, more or less, similar in the properties.
The plant grows throughout India and Sri Lanka, up to 800-900 metres elevation. It is a slender twining shrub, frequently climbing up on tall trees. The leaves are simple, alternate, heart shaped, 2.5-10 cm long and 2.5-3.75 cm broad, stipule 5-10 cm long and nerves 7-11. The flowers unisexual, pale yellow, in axillary panicles. The fruits are ovoid drupes, brown or scarlet in color. The seeds are covered. The roots are tuberous, cylindrical, irregularly curved, with grayish brown surface. The plant blooms in the rainy season.
The botanical name of raja-patha or brhat patha. Described above, is Cyclea peltata and it belongs to family Menispermaceae. The botanical name of the other variety, laghu patha is Cisampelos pareira. The root bark showed presence of 11 quaternary alkaloids, three of which were termed menismine, cissamine and pareirine in addition to know 1- bebeerines, hayatinin, hayatin and d- isochondrodendrine, fove more tertiary alkaloids present in root bark. From the leavescycleanine, (-) bebeerines, hayatinin, hayatidin, hayatin and (+) bebeerines, hayatinin, hayatidin, hayatin and (+) bebeerines, hayatinin, hayatidin, hayatin and (+) querticol isolated.
Patha is pungent and bitter in taste, pungent in the post digestive effect and has hot potency. It alleviates all the three doshas. It possesses light and sharp attributes. It has bitter, digestant, antipyretic and astringent properties and is used in the diseases like fever, diarrhea, pruritus, dermatoses, worms, asthma, tumors, heart diseases and wounds.
The roots of patha have great medicinal value and are used for medicinal purpose, both, internally as well as externally. External application of the paste of its roots and leaves is extremely beneficial, in infected wounds, sinuses, and skin diseases like erysipelas and pruritus. The external application of this paste is said to be useful in serpant bite also. The root juice is salutary in headache, as nasal drops. The roots have anti-inflammatory activity and hence alleviated the edema. Patha is a valuable wound healer and antidermatosis herb.
Internally, patha alleviates all the three doshas, but predominantly kapha and vata. In fever, allociated with rigors, the decoction of roots works well, with pepper powder. It also alleviates the burning sensation of the body. Patha is a keen stimulant for digestive system and endows the actions like appetizer, digestant, astringent, vermicide, hence, is used in anorexia, dyspepsia, diarrhea, dysentery, worms and abdominal pain etc. In diarrhea, the roots mashed with buttermilk, are beneficial. The roots are also very rewarding in urinary ailments like dysuria and cystitis. Patha is one of the best herbs used as a blood purifier. It is salubrious in heart diseases, associated with edema and blood diseases, as well. It is commonly used as a bitter tonic. The roots are given along with the butter-milk or jaggery, in diarrhea and hemorrhoids of vata and kapha types. It is an effective panacea for kaphaja stanyadusti, as lactodepurant. In menstruation with blood clots, the decoction of patha, trikatu (Sunthi, marica and pippali) and kutaja is benevolent.
Classical Ayurvedic Preparations
satdharana yoga etc.