Hemidesmus indicus


Botanical Name: Hemidesmus indicus
Common name: Indian Sarsaparilla (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 169)
Family: Apocynaceae
Parts used: Root (Das & Bisht, 2013, Abstract)


Volatile oil

  • 2-hydroxy-4-methylbenzaldehyde
  • Iedol
  • Nerolidol
  • Borneol
  • Linalyl acetate
  • Saliaylaldehyde
  • Isocaryophyllene
  • alpha-terpinyl acetate
  • 1,8 cineol

(Nagarajan, Jagan Mohan Rao, Gurudutt, 200, Abstract)



  • Immunosepressant (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 169)
  • Antioxidant (Das & Bisht, 2013, Abstract)
  • Antimicrobial (Das & Bisht, 2013, Abstract)
  • Antileukemic (Ferruzzi, Turrini, Burattini, Falcieri, Poli, Mandrone, Sacchetti, Tacchini, Guerrini, Gotti, Hrelia, Cantelli-Forti & Fimognari, 2013, Abstract).



Auyrvedic herb, traditional indications include

  • Rheumatism
  • Leprosy
  • Impotence
  • Urinary Tract Infections
  • Skin Infections

(Das & Bisht, 2013, Abstract)


Indian traditional medicine practitioners use Hemidesmus indicus in conditions such as:

  • Blood disease
  • Dyspepsia
  • Cough
  • Poison
  • Menorrhagia
  • Fever
  • Diarrhoea

(Ferruzzi et al., 2013, Abstract).


Preparation & Dosage

Decoction (Ferruzzi et al., 2013, Abstract).


Das, S., & Bisht, S. (2013). The bioactive and therapeutic potential of Hemidesmus indicus R. Br. (Indian Sarsaparilla) root. Phytothereapy Research, 27(6), 791-801. doi: 10.1002/ptr.4788.

Ferruzzi, L., Turrini, E., Burattini, S., Falcieri, E., Poli, F., Mandrone, M., Sacchetti, G., Tacchini, M., Guerrini, A., Gotti, R., Hrelia, P., Cantelli-Forti, G., & Fimognari, C. (2013). Hemidesmus indicus induces apoptosis as well as differentiation in a human promyelocytic leukemic cell line. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 147(1), 84-91. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2013.02.009.

Nagarajan, S., Jagan Mohan Rao, L., & Gurudutt, K. N. (2001). Flavor and Fragrence Journal, 16(3), 212-214. Retrieved from: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ffj.985/abstract

Image: Paranjpe, P. (n.d.). Sheveta-Saariv. Retrieved from: http://www.ayusoft.cdac.in/pshome/apps/en/src/Multimedia_Gallery/Herbs/Shveta_Saarivaa1_Hemidesmus_indicus-Preview.html

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