Bergenia ligulata Wall Engl

Synonym ► B. ciliata Sternb. Saxifraga ligulata Wall.

Family ► Saxifragaceae.

Habitat ► Temperate Himalaya from Kashmir to Bhutan, between altitudes of 900 and 3,000 m.

Ayurvedic ► Paashaanabheda, Ashmaribhedikaa, Ashmaribhit, Ashmghna, Shilaabhit, Shilaabheda. (These synonyms are also equated with Aerva lanata Juss.)

Siddha/Tamil ► Padanbethi.

Action ► Leaf and root—antiscorbutic, astringent, spasmolytic, antidiarrhoeal. Used in dysuria, spleen enlargement, pulmonary affections as a cough remedy, menorrhagia, urinary tract infections. Alcoholic extract of roots— antilithic. Acetone extract of root-bark—cardiotoxic, CNS depressant and anti-inflammatory; in mild doses diuretic but antidiuretic in higher doses. Anti-inflammatory activity decreases with increasing dosage.

Due to its depressant action on the central nervous system, the drug is used against vertigo, dizziness and headache in moderate or low dosage.

Key application ► In lithiasis, dysuria, polyuria. (The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India; Indian Herbal Pharmacopoeia.)

The rhizome contains an active principle bergenin (0.6%), gallic acid, glucose (5.6%), tannins (14.2-016.3%), mucilage and wax; a C-glycoside and beta-sitosterol.

Bergenin prevented stress-induced erosions in rats and lowered gastric outputs.

Betula utilis D. Don. 91

(Paashaanabheda indicates that the plant grows between rocks appearing to break them; it does not necessarily mean that it possesses lithotriptic property.)

Dosage ► Rhizome—20-30 g for decoction. (API Vol. I)

administration. (J Ethnopharmacol, 2000, 73: 251-259.)

Beets are used orally as a supportive therapy in the treatment of liver diseases and fatty liver (possibly due to betaine). Ingestion of large quantities might worsen kidney disease. (Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, 2007.)

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