AMRUTHA: THE NECTAR OF LIFE
Tinospora cordifolia or the heart leaved moonseed is a woody climber native to the tropical. Its Ayurveda names in Sanskrit are similes of its exquisite and exemplary pharmacological actions. It is Amrutha or the divine nectar that bestows immortality or robust health till the final moments of a person’s life.
Amrutha is also Gudoochi that protects and defends the user against diseases; Chinnaruha is that sprouts back irrespective of the number of times it is destroyed or cut, the springiness that is passed on to the user, and Jwaraari, the enemy of fever. Amrutha has extraordinarily antimicrobial, antipyretic, and analgesic actions that make it the most preferred prescription in inflammatory and infectious conditions.
Vector-borne viral infections like bird flu and chikungunya that are crippling the populations across geographies are found to be managed effectively with Amrutha assuring a quality post disease life.
AMRUTHA: The Botany
Classification: Latin name: Tinospora cordifolia Family: Menispermaceae
Plant Description: Amrutha is a woody thick-stemmed twine branched extensively spreading deciduous climber that looks like a shrub due to its large spread. The 8-15cm dimension heart-shaped bright green leaves are simple and alternatively arranged with a partial twist halfway around.
The flowers appear on both axillaries and terminal racemes after the leaves are shed. They are small, yellowish-green, and unisexual with the female flowers blooming solitary and the male flowers in clusters. The flowers mature into scarlet-colored drupelets.
Propagation and Habitat: The propagation is vegetative and is through the rooting of the stems that touch the ground. For cultivation cut, stems are used and are usually cultivated as a fence crop as the sturdy twining vines create a formidable eco compound for the farm.
Amrutha is indigenous to South Asia namely the tropical deciduous forests of India, Srilanka, Myanmar, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. Similar species of the same genus are found in the tropical forests of Africa and South America.
Important Chemical Constituents: Columbin, tinosporaside, jatrorhizine, palmatine, berberine, tembeterine, tinocordifolioside, phenylpropene disaccharides, choline, Tinospora acid, tinosporal, and tinosporon are the major chemical constituents of Tinospora cordifolia. The minerals iron, phosphorus, calcium, manganese, and zinc are also found in Tinospora cordifolia.
Useful Parts: The stem is the most used part of the plant. The stem and the powdered stem extract are used as medicines. The leaves are used externally as applications for their anti-inflammatory property.
The strong, thin, fibrous aerial roots are used as sterile threads in bandages and also as ingredients in certain medicines. Interesting mind-blowing usage of these roots was practiced by Sushrutha. He used these roots to suture surgical wounds. The strength would hold the cut edges together till they heal, the anti-inflammatory property would reduce the local pain and swelling and the anti-microbial property would prevent infections.
Amrutha and Ayurveda
Qualitative Analysis: Ayurveda classifies and categories drugs on a qualitative basis, after analyzing the Rasapanchakas or the five quality attributes viz. rasa (taste), guna (property), vipaaka (final transformation of quality after primary and secondary digestion) veerya (potency) and prabhaava (unexplainable special quality).
The rasapanchaka of Amrutha are
Rasa: Kashaya (astringent) and Thiktha (bitter)
Guna: Laghu (light) and Snighdha (oily, unctuous and lubricating)
Vipaaka: Madhura (sweet)
Veerya: Ushna (hot and thermal)
Prabhaava: Jwarahara (anti-pyretic), Mehahara (anti-diabetic) and Rasayana (rejuvenative)
Dosha Action and Therapeutic Usage: It has a balanced action on all the three doshas starting to balance Pitha with its rasa and gunas, Vaata with its Vipaaka, and Kapha with its veerya.
However, its commendable therapeutic action is seen in Rakthapitha imbalance or pathologies involving blood tissue. Amrutha rejuvenates the person holistically, promotes nutritive absorption in the intestines, detoxifies the organ system, improves digestion, increases strength, and decreases thirst and body heat.
Diseases and formulations: All types of fever, diabetes mellitus, gout, anemia, jaundice, epistaxis, hemophilia, dysfunctional uterine bleeding, hemorrhoids and other bleeding disorders, bronchitis, asthma, and cardiac disorders are a few diseases where Amrutha is used as a single drug or as part of a formulation.
The stem is cut into small pieces, crushed, sieved, and left to sediment. After a few hours, the white stem starch settles down at the bottom. This is washed till it is milky white, dried in shade, and powdered to get the stem starch extract, Amrutha Satwa which is a very good antipyretic and immune modulator.
Few formulations with Amrutha are Amrutha Choornam, Amrithamehari Choornam, Amritha Satwa, Amruthotharam Kashayam, Gudoochyadi Kashayam, Shatavari Chinnaruhaadi Kashayam, Amritarishtam, Shiva Gulika, Amritha Guggulu Vatika, Thikthaka Ghritham, Chitraka Lehyam, Kantakaari Avaleham, Amrithaadi Thailam, Balagudoochyadi Thailam, and Gudoochipatraadi lepam
Dosage, Contra-indications/Precautions, Side effects, and Purificatory Process:
The pediatric dosage of Amrutha is 500 mg twice daily with milk or honey and the adult dosage of the stem powder is 3 to 6 grams in divided doses. The formulations should be taken as prescribed. The adult dosage of Amritha Satwa is 500-1000mg in divided doses.
Amrutha is a safe drug for use. Pregnant women should use it with care. Since it lowers blood glucose diabetics should be careful not to slip into the hypoglycemic stage.
Amrutha is not known to have any side effects, but prolonged usage may lead to dry skin.
Amrutha a few home remedies
Boil 3 liters of water with 20 grams of Amrutha powder, 10 grams of turmeric, and 20 grams of dried Amla (gooseberry) for 30 minutes. Store this water in a thermos and sip 50 ml of it every 30 minutes to reduce blood sugar in diabetics.
Boil a handful of crushed stems of Amrutha with 500 ml of water, 20 grams of jaggery, and 100 ml of milk till the water reduces to half. Allow it cool and drink to reduce excessive sweating and burning sensation of the feet.
Dry ginger powder and Amrutha powder 10 grams each with warm water help in reducing the gout symptoms.
Amrutha stems fresh juice 100 ml with an equal quantity of sugarcane juice on empty stomach is helpful in hepatitis.
Diced Amrutha leaves sautéed with castor oil and applied as a poultice on arthritic joints help to reduce swelling and relieve pain.
Amrutha decoction with milk, honey, and 2 grams of purified lacre powder helps to arrest bleeding in chronic bleeding diseases.
250 mg of Amrita Satwa with a teaspoon of honey every day for 90 days is helpful in treating PCOS.
Decoction of neem leaves and Amrutha is used as a wash in oozing skin conditions like eczema to restore skin health.
To prevent infections and boost the immune system in chronically ill or bedridden patients Amrutha decoction is given once daily.