Folk Bidhaaraa

Action ► Root—aphrodisiac (considered as a rejuvenator), nervine (used in diseases of nervous system, sexual disorders), diuretic (used in strangury), antirheumatic. Seeds—hypotensive, spasmolytic. Leaves—used externally in skin diseases (ringworm, eczema, boils, swellings); rubefacient, topically stimulant.

The seeds contain hallucinogenic ergoline alkaloids, the main ones being ergine and isoergine. EtOH (50%) extract of seeds exhibits hypotensive activity. (Seeds of all species of Argyreia contain ergoline alkaloids and are hypotensive.) Leaves of Argyreia sp. contain sitosterol and are antiphlogistic.

In Indian medicine, A. speciosa is not used as a single drug for sexual disorders in men, but as a supporting drug for exerting its antiphlogistic, spasmolytic and hypotensive actions on the central nervous system. The

Aristolochia indica Linn. 61

drug, in itself, did not show anabolic-cum-androgen-like or spermogenetic activity experimentally.

Ipomoea petaloidea Chois and Ipo-moea biloba Forskofthe Convolvulacae family are also used as Vriddhadaaru.

In Western herbal medicine, Hawaiian Baby Woodrose is equated with Argyreia nervosa (synonym Argyreia speciosa; grows in Florida, California and Hawaii). The seed is used for pain relief and as a hallucinogen.

The seeds contain hallucinogens including ergonovine, isoergine (isoly-sergic acid amide) and ergine (lysergic acid amide). Four to eight seeds are equivalent to 10-100 mcg of LSD, a potent serotonin-1A (5-HT1A) agonist. The effects last 6-8 h. (Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, 2007.)

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