Shwet Sariva (Hemidesmus indicus) Herb Ayurvedic Overview

Shwet Sariva (Hemidesmus indicus)

Shwet Sariva (Hemidesmus indicus) or Anantmool is a semi-erect shrub found throughout India from upper Gangetic plains eastwards to Assam, throughout Central, Western, and Southern India up to an elevation of 600 m. It contains various phytoconstituents belonging to the category glycosides, flavonoids, tannins, and volatile oils.

Traditionally, Anantmool is used in dysentery, diarrhea, cough, syphilis, dyspepsia, leucoderma, chronic fever, asthma, and other respiratory-related disorders. Pharmacological studies carried out that this plant possesses antioxidant, hypoglycemic, antithrombotic, hepatoprotective, anti-ulcer, antimicrobial, anticancer, anti hyperlipidemic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and immunomodulatory activities. According to Ayurveda, Anantmool or Shwet Sariva is known to possess Roapn (healing) and Raktashodak (blood purifying) properties which makes it an important ingredient in various Ayurvedic skin medicines.

Scientific Classification of Shwet Sariva (Hemidesmus indicus):

  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Division: Magnoliophyta
  • Sub-division: Magnoliophytina
  • Class: Magnoliopsida
  • Sub-class: Magnoliodae
  • Order: Gentianales
  • Sub-order: Gentianineae
  • Family: Periplocaceae
  • Sub-family: Asclepiadiaceae
  • Genus: Hemidesmus
  • Species: H. indicus

Shwet Sariva (Hemidesmus indicus) Synonyms:

  • Sanskrit: Ananta, Gopasuta, Sariva
  • Assamese: Vaga Sariva
  • Bengali: Anantamul, Shvetashariva
  • English: Indian Sarasa Parilla
  • Gujrati: Upalsari, Kabri
  • Hindi: Anantamul
  • Kannada: Namada veru, Bili Namadaberu, Anantamool, Sogadeberu, Namadaberu
  • Kashmiri: Anant mool
  • Malayalam: Nannari, Nannar, Naruneendi
  • Marathi: Upalsari, Anantamula
  • Oriya: Dralashvan Lai Anantamool
  • Punjabi: Anantmool, Ushbah
  • Tamil: Ven Nannar
  • Telugu: Sugandhi Pala, Tella Sugandhi
  • Urdu: Ushba Hindi

Shwet Sariva (Hemidesmus indicus) Description:

Shwet Sariva (Hemidesmus indicus)a) Macroscopic: The roots of Sariva occur in pieces, about 30 cm long and 3-8 mm in diameter. It is cylindrical, hard, thick, and somewhat tortuous, sparcely branched, provided with few thick rootlets and secondary roots. The external appearance is dark brown, sometimes with a violet grey tinge, the center is yellow, woody surrounded by a mealy white cortical layer. The bark is brownish, corky, marked with transverse cracks and longitudinal fissures, and easily detachable from the hard central core. Odor, characteristic, taste is sweetish, slightly acrid, and aromatic.  


Shwet Sariva (Hemidesmus indicus)b) Microscopic: The transverse section of the anantmool root shows a periderm consisting of three layers of tissues, cork, cork cambium, and secondary cortex. The cork cells of anatmool are radially flattened and rectangular in appearance filed with dark brown contents giving reactions of tannins, cork cambium, and filled with deep brown contents. The secondary cortex of anantmool is 3-4 layers of cells, similar to cork cells with very little or no dark brown contents. The secondary phloem consists of sieve elements, parenchyma, phloem rays cells along several laticiferous ducts. The laticiferous ducts are scattered in parenchymatous tissue. The xylem is transverse by narrow medullary rays, vessels and tracheids are characterized by the presence of pitted markings.

 Identity, Purity, and Strength of Shwet Sariva (Hemidesmus indicus):

  • Foreign matter                                      Not more than 2 percent,            Appendix                            2.2.
  • Total Ash                                               Not more than 4 percent,            Appendix                           2.3.
  • Acid-insoluble ash                                Not more than 0.5 percent,         Appendix                            2.4.
  • Alcohol-soluble extractive                     Not less than 15 percent,             Appendix                           2.6.
  • Water-soluble extractive                       Not less than 13 percent,             Appendix                           2.7.

Chemical Constituents of Shwet Sariva (Hemidesmus indicus):

Shwet sariva contains essential oil, Starch, Coumarin, Tannic acid, Triterpenoid saponins, Hemidesmin. The stem is rich in Glycosides such as Indicine and Hemidine, Pregnane glycoside such as Hemidescine and Emidine. Coumarinolignoids like hemidesmin 1and hemidesmin 2, hemidesminine, Flavonoids viz. hyperoside and rutin, 2.50% tannins present in the leaves.

Ayurvedic Properties and Action of Shwet Sariva (Hemidesmus indicus):

  • Rasa (taste): Madhura
  • Guna (quality): Guru, Snigdha
  • Virya (potency): Sheeta
  • Vipaka  (taste conversion after digestion): Madhura
  • Karma: Raktashodaka, Vishagana, Deepana, Tridoshaghana, Jvarahara

Ayurvedic Formulations made by Shwet Sariva (Hemidesmus indicus):

Maha Vishagarbha Taila, Sarivadyasava, Maha Manjisthadi Kshayam, Manasamitra Vatakam.

Therapeutic Uses of Shwet Sariva (Hemidesmus indicus):

Anantmool or Shwet Sariva can be used in Kushthara, Shukrala, Shawa, Kasahara, Agnisada, Durgandha nashana, Jvarahara, Kanduhara, Raktapittahra.

Dose of Shwet Sariva (Hemidesmus indicus):

20-30 g of the drug for decoction.


Ayurvedic Pharmacopeia of India.


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