Sarapunkha is an important drug which is not found in ancient literature as well as in Caraka samhita. Only 3 references are traceable from works of Susruta & Vagbhata, i.e. in (S.S Ka 7/53), (A.H Ut 30/26), (A.H Ut 38/28). Surprisingly, no other synonym is used to indicate this plant in the Samhithas.
At later Nighantu, have highlighted its role in the management of plihodara. Hence the name plihashatru is given. The author recommends its case usage in the case hepatic cirrhosis where in spleenomegaly is the cardinal sign. It is also described in Dhanvanthari nigantu.
Shivadhatta description about identity of Sharapunka give us a clue to reconsider the general view about the plant Nilika of Brhat trayi which may be a plant similar to Nili.
It is given the name Sharapunka because the leaflet when broken or cut with hand, one end shows the point of an arrow while the other end looks like feather end of arrow. It is an important drug useful in Pleeha.
Sharapunka – when leaves are broken or torn one piece looks like a point of an arrow and other looks like feather end of arrow.
Pleehsha – Useful in pleeha roga.
Nilivrikhaakrithi – Looks like Nili.
Plihaari – Useful in Pleeharoga.
Shvetaadaya – Flowers are white in colour
English – Purple tephrosia, Coiled Indigo or Wild Indigo
Hindi – Saraphonka, Saraphoka
Kannada – Egyali, Koggili, Vajranili
Malayalam – Kolinnil, Katamiri
Based on Colour -:
- Sveta Sharapunga (Botanically Tephrosia villosa)
- Rakta Sharapunga
According to Rajanighantu,
They are 3 types -:
- Sveta Sharapunga
- Rakta Sharapunga
- Neela Sharapunga
Methyl Karanjic acid and purpurin
It also contains Tephrosine, Deguchi, Isotephrosin, Rotenone, Osiritin
Rasa : Tikta kashaya
Guna : Laghu, rooksha, tikshna
Virya : Ushna
Vipaka : Katu
Prabhava : Bhedana
Dosaghnatha : Kapha-Vata shamaka
Karma : Balya, Brhmana, Vajikarana
Rogaghnatha : Yakrut uthejaka, Pleehaghna, Gulmaghna, Vranaropana, Vishaghna, Kasaghna, Svasaghna, Rakta vikara hara, Jwaraghna
Indications : Vatavyadhi, Klaibya, Kashtarthava, Mutrakrichra
Moola choorna : 3-5g
Swarasa : 10-20ml
Kshara : 1-2g
Kwatha : 50-100ml
- Sharapunkha Kshara
- Sharapunkha Hamooladi Khadya
In Yakrut and Pleeharoga : root is given with Hareetaki choorna
In Gulma : Panchanga kshara with Hareetaki choorna
In arshas : Moola is given with Thandulambu.
In kasa : Dhoomrapana is done with roots.
In udarashoola : The fresh root bark and mareecha made into paste and then small pills are made and given.
In gandamala : Root kalka is applied
For vranaropana : Moola choorna with madhu is applied
Shukrasthambhana : Root of swetha sarapunkha is chewed as well as applied on penis with sugar and tushodaka.
Kasa : Inhalation of sarapunkha smoke
According to (AH:U:38)
In Mooshika visa : Sarapunkha with takra
In gulma : Sharapunkha kshara and Hareetaki choorna.