Medicinal Uses of Shankpushpi (Convolvulus pluricaulis)
What is Convolvulus pluricaulis?
Convolvulus pluricaulis is a perennial herb that can grow well without much care. In India, it is also known as Shankhpushpi or Shankhpushpam, and it is used as a medicinal plant. In some countries, it is grown as an ornamental plant. Its leaves are elliptical and obtuse, and the fruits are pods resembling thin peas. The flowers are a vivid, deep-blue colour. White flowers are also available. In Sanskrit it is known as Sankhapushpi which means “the plant with flowers shaped like a conch." Evolvulus alsinoides, Convolvulus pluricaulis, Canscora decussata, and Clitorea ternatea are also referred as Shankhupushpi in India.
Shankhpushpi is sometime mistaken as Clitoria ternatea. When I had written this article originally in 2010 I too had made the same mistake and I have updated this article with the new information available now.
Vernacular names of Convolvulus pluricaulis Chosy
Marathi: Shankhavall, Shankhavalli, Shankvel etc.
Medicinal Uses of Shankhpushpi
Shankhpushpi is an indigenous plant used in Ayurveda, an ancient system of Indian medicine. It is non-toxic and does not have any side effects. The whole plant is used for medicinal purposes. It is twining perennial herb, mostly grown in the northern part of India and in Burma.
Plants other than Convolvulus pluricaulis are used as sources of drug in different parts of the country, and Evolvulus alsinoides Linn. (EA, Convulvulaceae) is also used as Shankhpushpi by some practitioners. Other plants e.g. Clitorea ternatea Linn. (CT, Papilionaceae) and Canscora decussata Schult. (CD, Gentianaceae) are also used as Shankhpushpi by some practitioners.
Several scientific studies have been carried out on Shankhpushpi and have been published in esteemed journals.
- Shankhupushpi is used for treatment of hypertension, neurodegenerative diseases, ulcers, high blood pressure, epilepsy, vomiting, diabetes, sun stroke and bleeding.
- The herb reduces cholesterol and hypertension.
- It improves memory. In Ayurveda, it is used as brain tonic in hypotensive syndromes.
- Shankhupushpi induces a feeling of calm and peace, good sleep and a relief in anxiety, stresses, mental fatigue, producing a significant reduction in the level of anxiety, neuroticism arising due to various levels of stresses.
- The root extracts of this herb are used for eye, throat infections, ulcer and urinary infections.
- The root extract of this herb is used as nasal drop for Migraine relief.
- The herb is also useful in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer, Dementia, hyperthyroidism and reduces the activeness of a liver enzyme.
- The juice of whole plant prevents excessive menstruation.
- The plant extract of this herb avoids fluid retention in the body and supports digestion.
Various studies have been carried out to know the medicinal benefits of Shankhpushpi in India, and the results have been published in the Indian Journal of Medical Science, 2000, and the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 1992 (ref: http://www.raysahelian.com/shankhapushpi.html)
Consult Your Doctor
Before taking any home remedies or supplements, or before starting a new health regime, please consult your physician.
Here are some videos about Shankhpushpi -