Shankhpushpi : Chemical Constituents, Uses, Substitutes and Synonyms

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Source of Shankhpushpi:

Shankhpushpi consists of the aerial parts of the plant known as Canscora decussata, belonging to the family Gentianaceae. It is also known as shankhvel and shankhini.

Distribution, Cultivation and Morphology of Shankhpushpi:

It is found throughout India at an altitude of 1300 metres and also grown in Sri Lanka and Myanmar. This plant is much branched, annual plant and is propagated by seeds.

Taken in the Cambridge University Botanic Garden

Shankpushpi Uses and Medical Benefits

It is cultivated as ornamental plant in gardens for its flowers. It is an erect plant with four winged stems with decussate branches. It grows in moist places. Flowers are white or yellowish in colour.

Chemical Constituents of Shankpushpi:

It contains a bitter substance and an oleo-resin. Two crystalline substances have been isolated from the alcoholic and aqueous extracts of the plant. It also contains triterpenes, alkaloids and xanthones.

Shankpushpi Benefits:

  • Entire plant can be used in medicine
  • Fresh juice also serves as medicine
  • It is used as a bitter alternative
  • Nervine tonic
  • Fresh juice of the plant is prescribed for insanity, epilepsy and nervous debility
  • Alcoholic extract has anti-viral activity against Ranikhet disease virus (chicks)

Shankhpushpi Substitutes:

  • Canscora diffusa – It belongs to the famiy Gentianaceae and is distributed throughout the India
  • Evolvulus alsinoides – Dwarf morning glory, belonging to the family Convolvulaceae
  • Convolulus pruricalis, Convolvulaceae.

Shankpushpi Synonyms:

  • Bengali – Dankuni
  • Gujrati – Shankhaphuli
  • Marathi – Shankhvel
  • Sanskrit – Shankhapushpi
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