Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants

Herbs - Medicinal plants usage and Identification Data base

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Sarcostemma brevistigma-Somalataa

Sarcostemma brevistigma W. & A

Synonym : S. acidum Voigt

Family : Asclepiadaceae

Sarcostemma brevistigma-Somalataa


Habitat : Dry places in West Bengal,

Bihar and Peninsular India.

English : Moon Plant, Soma Plant.

Ayurvedic : Somavalli, Somalataa,

Somakshiri, Saumyaa, Dwijpriyaa.

(Not to be confused with Soma of

the Vedas.) (Substitute: Ephedra

gerardiana.)

Siddha/Tamil : Somamum, Kodi-

Kalli.

Action : Dried stems—emetic.

Plant—insecticidal.

The plant contains malic acid, succinic

acid, reducing sugar, surcosa,

traces of tannin, an alkaloid, a phytosterol,

alpha-and beta-amyrins, lupeol

and lupeol acetate and beta-sitosterol.

The milky exudate from the stem contains

caoutchouc. Coagulum

contains: caoutchouc resins

and insolubles.

Related species, Sarcostemma brunonianum

W. & A. (South India),

known as Perumaattaan kodi in Tamil

Nadu; S. intermediumDecne (Peninsular

India), and S. stocksii Hk. f. (Peninsular

India), are also said to have similar

uses as those of S. acidum.

Sarcostemma secamone (L.) Bennet,

synonym S. esculentum (L. f.) Holm.

(throughout the plains in semi marshy

places) is known as Dughdhikaa or

Duudhilataa in Northern India and

Usippalai in Tamil Nadu. Whole plant

is depurative, galactagogue and antiseptic

(used as a gargle in sore throat

and stomatitis; fresh root is prescribed

in jaundice. A pregnane triglycoside,

esculentin and cardenolide tetraglycosides

have been isolated from the root.

Dosage : Milky exudate fromstem—

2 to 3 gm

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