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sita - Pseudarthia viscida W & A

sita :

Pseudarthria viscida Pseudarthria viscida  (family: Fabaceae) is useful in vitiated conditions of pitta and vata, cough,   bronchitis,   asthma,   tuberculosis,   helminthiasis,   dyspepsia,   diarrhea,   neurasthenia, inflammations, strangury, cardiopathy, emaciation, haemorrhoids, gout, diabetes, hyperthermia, and general debility. The plant has shown to possess antifungal and antioxidant effects


Moovila (Pseudarthria viscida) has reference in all of the ancient Ayurvedic texts written 1000 to 4000 years ago.
Saliparni has been used as a potent ayurvedic drug from the period of Samhitas. The drug has been mentioned in various ayurvedic texts like Carka Samhita, susruta samhita, ashtanga hridaya, ashtanga samgraha etc. various preparations which contain Saliparni are mentioned in these samhitas. The drug has also found its place in ayurvedic nighantus or dictionaries like that of Bhavaprakasha, kaiyadeva nighantu, adarsha nighantu etc

However like some ayurvedic drugs it is not clear that when the physicians started to use Saliparni as a medicinal plant. Also the period of discovery of its medicinal property is also unknown.

But it should be noted that even today Saliparni is used as potent drug both in single and combined form curing many diseases.

Taxonomical Classification

Kingdom: Plantae - Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta - Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta - Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida - Dicotyledons
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Pseudarthria
Species: Pseudarthria viscida

Allied species:

Kulam – Shimbi kulam

Upakula - Aparajitha


Sanskrit: Salaparni, Sanaparni
English: viscid pseudarthria
Hindi: चपकनो Chapakno
Telugu: Nayakuponna, Muyyakuponna
Bengali: Shalapani
Marathi: Chikta
Tamil: நீர்மல்லி Nirmalli
Malayalam: മൂവിലാ Muvvila, Moovila
Kannada: ಅಮ್ಟುಬೇಳೆ ಗಿಡ Amtubele Gida
Sinhalese: gas-gonika
Tulu: ಮೂಜಿರೆ moojire


Ganam –
(a) According to Caraka
Angamarda prasamana, blya, snehopaga,shvythuhara, madhura skandha
(b) According to Susrutha
Vidarigandhadi, lagupancamula


शालपर्णी गुरुश्छर्दिज्वरश्वासातिसारजित्॥
शोषदोषत्रयहरी बृंहण्युक्ता रसायनी |
तिक्ता विषहरी स्वादुः क्षतकासकृमिप्रणुत्॥(Bhavaprakash)


Synonyms in Ayurveda: sita शालपर्णी त्रिपर्णी, पीवरी, गुहा, विदारिगन्धा, दीर्घाङ्गी, दीर्घपत्रां

Triparṇī, pīvarī, Guha,
विदारिगन्धा, दीर्घाङ्गी, दीर्घपत्रां

sood-ARTH-ree-uh -- from Greek pseudes (false) and anthron (joint); referring to the pods ... Daves Botanary
VIS-kid-ah -- sticky ... Daves Botanary

The various synonyms according to various ayurvedic texts are,

<1> vidarigandha – The arises as the kanda or the stem has the smell similar to that of vidari(Ipomea digitata)

<2> amsumati –It is named so due to the shape of it’s root which resembles the rays of sun

<3>Salaparni – The name orginatd due to its similarity to the leaves to that of leaves of sala tree (shorea robusta)

<4> Sthira – It is so called, as its root exists in the land for a long period of time.

<5> Dirghapatra – As it has long and narrow leaves

<6> Dirghamula – This name arised due to its long roots

<7> Dhirghangi – This name originated due to its long limbed branches.

<8>Ekamula – It is named so as it has a single root

<9> Saliparni – The name originated due to its resemblance of its leaves to the leaves of that of Sali or Paddi

<10> Vrihiparni – The name aroused due to the similarity of its leaves to that of Vrihi or a Bear

These are the various synonyms widely used to refer Saliparni in the nighantus like Saligrama nighantu and Dhanvantari nighantu

Rasa: Madhura Tikta
Guna: Guru Snigdha
Veerya: Ushna
Vipaka: Maduram
Karma: Kaphahara Pittahara Vatahara

It is used in the treatment for asthma and nervous dysfunction. It is also used in the treatment of insect bites and used against inflammations, vomiting, etc


The flat viscid seedpods attach themselves to clothing or animals, and are thus transferred to other places. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria; these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby




harvested from the wild and traded. 


The root of the plant has been reported to contain leucopelargonidin, flavonoids and proteins


The drug is used as an ingredient of a number of official preparations of classical remedies such as Agastya haritaki rasayana, Brahma rasayana, Dasamula kwatha churna, Vidaryadi churna kwatha, Eladi gritha, Dasamula gritha, Dasamula satpalaka, Dadhika grtha, Sudarshana churna, Dhanvantara ghrita, Narayana taila, Madhuyastiyadi taila, Sahaccaradi taila, Manasamitra taila, Salaparnyadi kwatha, Laghu pancamula kwatha, Dasamularishta

Parts used for medicinal purpose

Whole plant, ,


The average dosage of Saliparni decoction is 50-100 ml


Used as a substitute for Desmodium gangeticum (Shaalaparni) in South India.


Even though a controversy exists in regard to identification of species, some species of Desmodium are used as substitutes. The commonly used varieties are Desmodium tilaefolium and desmodium polycarpous.
Adulterants are rare. This is due to the fact that Saliparni is common plant and grows through out India.


There exists a controversy and dilemma in identifying the two classical drugs Saliparni and Prisniparni.
In the northern parts of India Saliparni is identified as desmodium gangeticum where as in the southern belt which includes states like kerala it is identified as pseudarthria viscida. And moreover desmodium gangeticum is used as prisniparni here. Many commentators of ayurveda materia medica also identify Saliparni as desmodium gangeticum. This has caused confusion in the meanings of Sanskrit words Saliparni and prisniparni.
Even Bhavamisra has made the same mistake. This can be seen from the following quotation where he says simhapucchi can be used in the place of prisniparni ,forgetting the fact that he had given the name simhapucchi as a synonym to prisniparni.he had used the synonym triparni for salaparni where triparni means a plant with three leaves, this proves that prisniparni a plant with one leaf cannot be designated as triparni. It is in the light of the above statements that we consider salaprni as pseudarthria viscida

Commercial value:

It has potential for use as a green manure.


Leaves are pinnately trifoliate, alternate, and stipulate. Stipules are free and hairy. The leaves are lanceolate, subulate or cuspidate. They are 4.5-6mm long deciduous. They have leaflets with filiform stipules below. Lateral leaflets are rhombiform or ovate. They are present one or two inches either way. The terminal one, to be rhomboid ovate. Petioles are densely hairy and half to one inch long.

They have a fairly long terminal erect hairy raceme often with one or more smaller branches arising from the axils of the uppermost leaves.


Flowers are many, small, deep purple, red or pink color. They are arranged in distantly placed fascicles of 2 to 4 or comparatively long spreading, filiform pedicels jointed or articulated close beneath the calyx. Bracts are narrow lanceolate subulate calyx about a tenth of an inch long, hairy canpanulate left to middle in 2 obscure lips, 5 toothed- the upper two subconnate forming an upper lip
Corolla is nearly twice as long as the calyx. They are papilionaceous, exerted and with petals nearly equal.
Stamens are diadelphous- nine and one. Anthers are uniform. Ovary is sub sessile and many ovules. Style short subulate or filiform


A flat compressed or slightly inflated linear oblong indehiscent one celled legume half to three quarters of an inch long and about one fourth an inch broad. With its chamber continuous with in. the valves of the fruit are membranous transversely, veined and closely covered with many stiff hooked viscid hairs. The sutures are densely ciliate but not usually intended or only slightly indented.


Seeds are varying from four to six. They are brownish black in color, compressed and some what reniform in structure.


The transverse section is circular. It shows a central strand of wood, a narrow bark and a thin dark brown strip of cork.
The cork tissue is compressed of 10-15 rows of thick walled rectangular cells. Those towards the periphery often have dark brown contents. A distinct phellogen with a few rows of phelloderm within is made out
The cortex is comparatively narrow and composed of oblong cells. A noteworthy feature of this region is the presence of short tangential rows or series of very large thin walled cells filled with brownish contentswithin the broadened distal ends of the medullary rays. Small irregular groups of sclerenchyma also occur here. The medullary rays are 2-3 and their cells are loaded with stacks. The phloem is of usual type. The xylem or wood is composed of a large portion of wood fibers, a small amount of xylem. Parenchyma and xylem vessels, in addition to the medullary rays. The xylem parenchyma cells contain starch
There is no pith at the centre

Geographical distribution:

Global Distribution
Peninsular India and Sri Lanka

Indian distribution
State - Kerala, District/s: All Districts


Growing in dry regions in grassy fields, roadsides and thickets; at elevations up to 1,200 metres. Moist low country in Sri Lanka, where it is a common weed

Plant conservation:

This species has not yet been evaluated for the IUCN Red List, but its excessive collection from the wild has resulted in a gradual disappearance of the plant from its natural habitat, and at present its number is highly reduced in the wild

General Use:

It is used in the treatment for asthma and nervous dysfunction. It is also used in the treatment of insect bites and used against inflammations, vomiting, etc

Therapeutic Uses:

It is used in the treatment of a wide range of conditions such as bronchial asthma, cough, bronchitis, and tuberculosis; biliousness, dyspepsis, vomitting, food poisoning and diarrhoea; nervous dysfunction, heart conditions, diabetes mellitus, general debility, fevers, worms, haemorrhoids and rheumatism

Systemic Use:

Since it effectively arrests bleeding and alleviates oedema, it is considered a valuable panacea for heart diseases and blood disorders
The root juice is given as a nasal drop in case of headache and hemicranias


The herb is seldom used externally


The root is considered to be anthelmintic, antifungal, antiinflammatory, antioxidant, antitumor, aphrodisiac, astringent, bitter, cardiotonic, digestive, diuretic, emollient , febrifuge, hypotensive, rejuvenating and tonic[

Clinical trials:

Antioxidant activity of Pseudarthria viscida by Gincy Mathew, Jagathala Mahalingam Sasikumar


Effect of Spacial and Temporal Variations in Cellular Characters and Chemical Contents in Pseudarthria viscida (l.)W. & Arn. – A Medicinal Plant by Prakash Kumar Unnikrishnan, Rema shree A B


have the lowest level of side effects

Toxicity studies:

None known

Use in other system of medicine:

A potential green manure. In traditional medicine the roots are used against a variety of ailments.


Pseudarthria viscida is an ascending, much branched perennial plant with stems that become more or less woody and persist; it can grow from 60 - 120cm tall often clothed with hooked hair
The plant is very commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine, being harvested from the wild and traded. It has potential for use as a green manure. Pseudarthria viscida is widely used and valued in Ayurvedic medicine, where its roots are considered to be useful in the treatment of a wide variety of ailments. It is one among the Dasamoola (10 roots) of Ayurveda, mentioned in most of the ancient scriptures, and is a major component in many Ayurvedic preparations

Photos of sita -

KEY WORDS: Pseudarthria viscida, salaparni

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