JIVANTI (Holostemma adakodien)
In ancient Ayurvedic scriptures, jivanti is referred to as rasayana (remunerative) and one of the anti-aging herbs. Jivanti has numerous synonyms portraying its peculiarities. There is a mention of another variety of jivanti, called as svarnajivanti, a yellow flowered herb. Maharsi Caraka has categorized jivanti as jivaniya- vitalizing herb. Vayahsthapana – anti aging, svasahara – anti asthmatic and snehopaga – oleating adjunctive. Susruta has mentioned it as caksusya – beneficial for eyes and tridosaghni – alleviates all the three dosas. Vagbhata has praised it as one of the best amongst vegetables. Bhava prakasa has mentioned it as rasayani- remunerative, balya – a tonic and grahi-anti diarrheal.
Jivanti grows throughout India, especially in Punjab, Gujarat and Kondan. It is a twining shrub with large conspicuous flowers. The bark is deeply cracked. The leaves are ovate, coriaceous, acute, glabrous above, and finely pubescent. The flowers are greenish – yellow in color, in lateral cymes. The fruits follicles sub – woody, 6-9 cm long, tapering and green. The roots are pretty long up to a meter or more in length, thick, cylindrical and irregularly twisted.
The botanical name of jivanti is Holostemma ada-kodien (Synonym – Leptadenia reticulate, W & A) and it belongs to family Asclepiadadeae. From the plant, stigma sterol and tocopherols were isolated. From the stem and leaves – hentriacontanol amyrin, amyrin, stigmasterol and sitosterol were also isolated. From the roots – lupeol, amyrin, sitosterol, alanine, aspartic acid, glycine, serine, threonine and valine have been isolated.
Jivanti is sweet in taste, sweet in the post digestive effect and has cold potency. It alleviates all the three doshas, namely, vata, pitta and kapha.
It possesses light and oily attributes. It is a rejuvenative, heart (caksusya and hrdya). It is used in diseases like fever, tuberculosis, burning sensation of the body and raktapittal
Mainly the roots and the whole plant are used for medicinal purposes. Externally the paste of its leaves and roots alleviate oedema due to vitiation of pitta dosa. The herb is beneficial for external use in various skin diseases, wounds and inflammation of the skin.
Internally, jivanti is used in vast range of diseases. The fresh leaves mashed with milk work well as a general tonic and the powder of dried leaves given along with milk ameliorates the burning sensation of the body. In raktapitta, a bleeding disorder, the powder of its leaves, cumin seeds powder and rock candy are given together. Jivanti as a mucolytic, is the best panacea for relieving the phlegm in cough. Because of its astringent property, it works well in colitis. In dysuria, burning micturition and strangury, it eases the problems as it is diuretic. It nourishes all seven dhatus, especially the fruits, hence bestows aphrodisiac activity. As it is the best refrigerant, it is valuable in fever, dehydration, burning sensation and tuberculosis. Jivanti is one of the best galactogogue herbs, so, benevolent for lactating mothers, In dimness of vision, it improves the eyesight.
Classical Ayurvedic Preparations
- Jivanti taila
- Jivanti ghrta
- Jivantyadi taila
- Anu taila
- Sadbindu taila etc.