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jivant - Holostemma ada-kodien Schultes

jivant :

Holostemma ada-kodien flower Holostemma ada-kodien (Syn:  Holostemma annulare)  belongs to Asclepiadaceae family. It  is also called as Jivanti, Arkapushpi, Kshira, Dodi,  Suryavalli and  widely  distribute in tropical forest in  India 


The mention of Jivanti is even found in Atharva Veda. Charak and Bhavprakash, describe it as best among leafy vegetables. It is included in Jivaniya Gana, which is the group of herbs used for promoting vitality and life.

Taxonomical Classification

Kingdom: Plantae - Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta - Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta - Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida - Dicotyledons
Family: Asclepiadaceae
Genus: Holostemma
Species: Holostemma ada-kodien

Allied species:

Holostemma ada­kodien Schult.
Holostemma rheedii Wall.
Asclepias annularis Roxb.


Sanskrit: Jivanti, Arkapushpi
English: Ring­coronel, Swallow­wort, Holostemma
Hindi: Chhirvel
Telugu: Palagurugu
Marathi: Dudruli, Shidodi
Konkani: करबफूल karabphul
Gujarathi: Kharner, Khiravel, Khordodi;
Tamil: Palay kirai
Malayalam: Ada kodien, Atakkoti, adapathiyan
Kannada: Jeeva haale­balli, Muraligana kasa
Assamese: Assamese: জীৱন্তী ফুল jivanti phula
Nepal: जिवन्ती jiwantee •
Tulu: ಅರಣೆ ಬೂರು arane booru


Classical Categorisation 
  1. Charaka- jeevaneeya, mathura skanska,  Vayasthapana
  2. Sushrutha - Kakolyadi gana
  3. Vagbhata - jeevaneeya 
  4. Bhavaprakasha - Guduchyadi varga
  5. Dhanvantiri Nighantu- Guduchyadi varga
  6. Kaiyyadeva Nighantu  - Oushadhi Varga 
  7. Raja Nighantu  - Guduchyadi Varga 


Synonyms in Ayurveda: Jeevanti, arkapushpi, ksheerini, payasvini

Chakshushya - improved vision
Jeeva, jeevanti, jeevaneeya, jeevaprushta - nourishes the body 
Arkapushpi- flowers resemble that of Arka flowers 
Madhushwasa, madhusrava - the exudate is sweet in taste
Payaswini, mangalya - auspicious 

In classics 
Jivanti is included in "sakavargam" means it is a vegetable drug (Vagbhata, 
1966 )

Rasa: Madhura
Guna: Laghu Snigdha
Veerya: Sheetha
Vipaka: Maduram
Karma: Kaphahara Pittahara Vatahara

The plant  is  used  as  Hypoglycemic  and  Antidiabetic  activity; Antipyretic Activity;  Antibacterial; Anti-inflammatory  Activity,  Antioxidant activity,  other  uses includes rejuvenative,  aphrodisiac,  expectorant,  galactogogue,  stimulant,  and  in  ophthalmic  disorders . There is  huge  demand for this  plant;  more than 150  tones is required every year in south Indian pharmacies 


The plant prefers a tropical humid climate and partially sunny locations. Sandy-loam soil is best for its cultivation.


The plant can be propagated through seeds.
Matured seeds are collected from the plant during December–January before they disperse. Seeds are cleaned, dried, and stored for sowing.
However, fruit set is generally less than 10% in this crop, which is a major constraint for large-scale cultivation through seeds.
The crop can also be propagated by vegetative means through root and stem cuttings.


The root parts are used as drug and it takes one to two years for its good development. The crop yield is maximum (400–450 kg/hectare of fresh roots) after about one year of planting. However, the crop quality reaches the peak only after 18 months, although the yield of fresh roots may be reduced to about 250 kg/hectare. Thus, keeping in mind quality considerations, the crop should preferably be harvested when it attains 1.5–2 years of age. Harvesting is done by digging the soil to collect the roots. These roots are then cleaned well.


Tubers / roots, contains 4.07% protein, 24 % sugar and 35.4% starch. The roots also contain α – amyrin, lupeol, β – sitosterol and Six Amino Acids – alanine, aspartic acid, threonine, glycine, serine and valine.


Important formulations 
  1. Jivanti taila
  2. Jivanti ghrta
  3. Jivantyadi taila
  4. Anu taila
  5. Sadbindu taila 
  6. Manasamitravatakam, 
  7. Balarishtam 

Parts used for medicinal purpose

Flower, Leaves, Root, ,


Root powder  -4-6 g
Decoction  - 40 - 60 ml


Dregia volubilis
Marsdenia volubilis
Holostemma annularium


The dried samples are often adulterated due to scarcity. Besides the tuberous roots, the normal roots are also found admixtured in the samples collected from market 

Dendrobium ovatum Willd. And Desmotrichum fimbricatum Bl. Are reported sold in the market as Jivanti


Though it is an important herb but the botanical identity of this plant is highly disputed.

Nowadays, there are many plants which are used as Jivanti.

In Bhavprakash, Dregea volubilis (Synonyms Marsdenia volubilis (L.f.) Cooke., Wattakaka volubilis (L.f.) Stapf.) is described as Jivanti. In Sanskrit this plant is known as Hema, Hemavati, Hemalatha, Swarnika, Swarnalatha, Hemajivanti, Swarna jivanti.

In Bengal, Bihar, and Uttar Pradesh, Dendrobium macraei Lindl., Synonym Flickingeria macraei (Lindl.) Seidenf., belonging to Orchid family is available as Jivanti. The whole dried plant is used as Jivanti. The Panchang is yellow in color and known as Swarn Jivanti.

In Gujrat, Leptadaenia reticulata is used as Jivanti. It is grown as pot herb and used to treat diseases of eyes and tuberculosis. Leptadaenia reticulata is used as Jivanti in preparation of many Ayurvedic medicines. This drug is accepted as real Jivanti by many.

In Southern part of India, the roots of the plant, Holostemma Annularis Synonym Holostemma ada-kodien is used as Jivanti / Jivanthi. 

Commercial value:

There is  huge  demand for this  plant;  more than 150  tones is required every year in south Indian pharmacies


Chirvel is a large woody climber and glabrous. Its latex is milky white.
The leaves are opposite and simple, with petioles decussate, ovate-oblong to broadly ovate, cordate, caudate or aristate at apex.
Basal lobes are rounded, more or less pubescent beneath lateral nerves that are prominent and arched.
Floral characteristics
The flowers of the plant are arranged in umbellate axillary cymes; peduncles are terete and glabrous; bracts are linear acute, grooved on ventral surface, glabours.
Pedicels are 1–4 cm long, glabrous; sepals are five in number, free up to the base, and broadly ovate, glandular within.
Corolla rotate lobes five in number, united about halfway, ovate–oblong, obtuse, leathery with papery margin.
Corona is staminal, uniseriate, with annular ring at the base staminal tube.
Stamens are five in number; pollinia are five in number; pollen masses are solitary 11 cm × 3.5 cm, ovoid, thick, acute, and glabrous. Seeds are many, comose, small ovate, thick acute, brown, coma shaped, silky-white, and 2–4 cm long.
Flowering occurs in September– October, while fruiting occurs in November–December.


The taproots are slender, branched and swollen at intervels.  The  root tuber  were white in colour and appered as nodulated, flatted cylinder, tapered towards both ends . Root tubers  were appeared  in-termitant at places on the main tap root system. T.S of root tuber seemed irregularly circular in outline with tissue organizaton as outer cork, mid-dle cortex and inner secondary xylem. The conspicuous cork was com-posed of 10-15 layers. Outer 4-6 layers were thick walled, cells filled with reddish brown content, followed by 6–7 layers of thin walled, square or rectangular cells. Cells were devoid of contents and appered white in col-or. Cortex was very prominent and consituted the major portion of the root tuber . Cortex was differentiated into two distinct zones; the outer and inner cortex. Cells of the outer cortex contained druses crystals of calcium oxalate. The crystals varied in size, ranged from 30 to 45 µm in length and 27 to 32 µm in diameter.  Beneath the outer par-enchymatours cortex, 8-10 rows of cells interior, traversed by a layer of stone cells. Stone cells were rectangular to pentagonal in shape, aligned more or less contineous as a boken ring in the cortex. Each group con-sisted of  2-3 stone cells, with a broad band of parenchymatous tissues intervening between the group of sclereids. The stone cells were ligni-fied, striated and pitted  with wide lumen . Cortical cells were filled with plenty of starch grains, which composed of both simple and compound grains. Wood constituted to form a narrow zone. When cross sectioned at the tapered end portion of root tuber, the secondary xylem appeared fissured and arranged like spokes of a wheel , where the narrow band of xylem strips began to develop from the cambium and gradually broadened, run horizontally towards the center. While the sections taken from the middle portion of the root tuber, showed secondary xylem as a closed round to elliptico-ovoid ring like configuration  at the center and the xylem appeared forked dichotomously towards the periphery, aligned conspicuously two separate ‘v’ shaped configurations , leaving the center of the root tuber devoid of any xylem tissues. Xylem rays were broad, many cells wide and lacked the vessel contacts. Vessels were mostly solitary and small sized, majority of them were arranged in radial rows . Diameter of xylem vessel lumen ranged from 12.61 μm to 39.6 μm in size. 
The number of xylem vessel was not many, larger and smaller vessels were seemed aligned intermittently.

Geographical distribution:

Tropical Himalayan region, Dehradun, Western Ghats up to an altitude of 2000 m. Also found in Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Western China.


Habitat: moist deciduous forests, scrub jungles and foot hills of the dry deciduous forests

Plant conservation:

Although widely distributed throughout  Southern India, the population in wild is gradually reducing due to the destructive and ruthless collection of root tubers, as a raw material for the ayurvedic drug preparations, and fruit set is a major problem in multiplying the species in wild, and other anthropogenic reasons the species became vulnerable (Nair et al., 1992).

General Use:

The roots of Holostemma are useful in treating ophthalmopathy, or chitis, cough, burning sensation, stomach pain, constipation, fever, and tridoshas.
The root can also be used as a rejuvenative drug, imparting resistance to diseases.

Therapeutic Uses:

Jivanti is considered a stimulant and tonic in Ayurvedic literatures. It is indicated in debility due to seminal discharge. It is described as an herb with sweet, cold, aphrodisiac, light to digest and rejuvenative properties. It enhances life, vigor and fertility. Jivanti is tridosh-har and balances Vata, Pitta, and Kapha

Systemic Use:

The roots have cooling, alterative, tonic and laxative properties. They are used as Tonic, laxative, aphrodisiac, expectorant, ophthalmic, emollient, Tonic, stimulant, and galactagogue.
The roots are used in labor and lactation.
The root paste is applied in eye inflammation and orchitis (inflammation of the testes).
The juice of root is given in spleen enlargement.
Root is also useful in the treatment of diabetes, gonorrhea, coughs and stomach­ache.
The leaves, flowers and fruits are eaten as vegetable.
The milky Latex of the plant are applied to heal ulcers and wounds.
The decoction of the plant has galactagogue effect and is useful in inducing lactation.
The flowers of the plant are also edible and given for treating sexually transmitted infections.




This is drug of choice for emaciation, weakness, fever, difficult breathing, burning sensation in the body, and fertility issues.

Clinical trials:

1. Meena  Thomas  Irimpan,  Jolly CI,  Sheela  D.  A study  of the  phytochemical  composition  and  antibacterial  activity of Holostemma ada-kodien Schultes. International Journal of Pharm Tech Research 2011; 3:1208-1210. 
2. Gupta RC. Botanical identity of Jivanti the rejuvenant par excellence. Appl Bot Abstr. 1997; 17:49-63. 
3.Ramaiah N, Nair GA, Prasad NBR. Chemical components of  Holostemma ada-kodien  Schum.  J  Sci  Res  Pl.  1981; 2:76-


1. Janapati  Y,  Ahmad  R,  Jayaveera  K,  Reddy  R. Hypoglycemic  and  antidiabetic  activity  of  alcoholic extract  of  Holostemma ada-kodien in  alloxan  induced diabetic  rats.  The  Internet  Journal  of  Endocrinology. 2009; 5:1-5. 
2. Venkata  Suresh  J,  Ganapaty  S,  Venkat  Rao  N. Hypoglycemic and  antidiabetic activity of tuberous roots of  Holostemma ada-kodien  in  normal  and streptozotocin induced diabetic rats. International Journal of Advances in Pharmaceutical Research. 2011; 2:493-498.  
3. Rubesh  Kumar  Sadasivam,  Chenchugari  Sridhar, korlakunta  Narasimha  Jayaveera.  Antipyretic  Activity  of Methanolic and Ethyl Acetate Extract of Holostemma ada-kodien Schult on Wistar Rats. International Journal of Pharmacognosy  and  Phytochemical  Research.  2014; 6:335-338

Toxicity studies:

The use of routine clinical doses shows no side effects. 

Use in other system of medicine:

In West Bengal, H. ada-kodien Schult. is used as a febrifuge (Dey & De 2012), the ethanolic extract of the roots of H. annulare, (Roxb.) K. Schum. commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine, showed antidiabetic activity in Wistar rats with diabetes mellitus (Shirwaikar et al. 2007). 


Holostemma ada-kodien, is found in tropical Western Ghats. It is used in as a tonic that maintains youthful vigour. The tuberous roots of the plant are used to treat eye diseases, cough, fever, burning sensation and as a galactagogue.

Photos of jivant -

Holostemma ada-kodien

KEY WORDS: jivant Holostemma ada-kodien Schultes

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