Herbs have been used since the origin of Ayurveda till date, as potent natural medication and they still need to be explored. Shilapushp or stone flower is also a lesser known plant which grows in rocky, moist, shady and temperate areas. It is an annual herb, also called Patharphori or Charela and known to cure kidney stones. It regulates calcium absorption, works as a diuretic and maintains and cleans the urinary tract.
Shilapushp is mostly found at higher altitudes like western and subtropical Himalayas, Himachal Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Kumaun, Nanital, Haldwani, Dehradun and Chamba. The rhizome is mostly a creeper and cylindrical, with ovate leaves and funnel shaped purple flowers. It has a slightly sweet aroma which makes small insects take shelter inside the flower funnels.
Shilapushp or Didymocarpus pedicellata from the family Gesneriaceae is used to treat renal disorders, especially urolithiasis, ureterolithiasis and painful burning micturation or urination.
Today, a large number of people are suffering from renal disorders such as gall stones, renal stones or urinary calculi. This medicinal plant has all therapeutically rich ingredients to prevent and treat renal ailments and has significant stone dissolving ability for stones found in gall bladder, kidney, urinary tract, ureters and bladder. Gall and kidney stones come without symptoms and may reoccur or continue for years requiring surgery if not dissolved in a timely manner. In this context Shilapushp shows promising results.
Natural Constituents of Shilapushp
The main constituents of Didymocarpus pedicellata are: polyphenols (didymocarpin, pedicin, pedicellin and chalcones) and polyterpenes (didymocarpene and didymocarpenol). The flavanones, polyterpenes and chalcones provide an anti-microbial property to the herb and the polyphenols provides a nephroprotective property. It flushes out stones due to its diuretic and analgesic activities.
The leaves contain a number of isolated flavonoids, flavanones, quinochalcones, chalcones, pedicellic acid, methylpedicin, didymocarpin, pashanone, β-sitosterol palmitic acid, stearic acid and many other minor constituents.
Various studies show it contains certain useful phytochemicals such as steroids, terpenoids, tannins, proteins falvonoids, saponins, phenols, and glycosides, alkaloids which provide all the beneficial and protective properties against chronic ailments.
Benefits of Shilapushpa
- Renal and Kidney Health: It is used in the treatment of renal diseases particularly kidney stones. It is supposed to regulate calcium absorption in the body, have a diuretic effect and maintain a healthy urinary tract. Shilapushp is used for the treatment of bladder and the kidney stones.
- It is mainly used for the treatment, prevention, control and improvement of the certain specific symptoms and the conditions such as: liver disorders, urolithic disorders, cancer, high cholesterol and ulcers.
- Works as analgesic, antibiotic and antibacterial, thus relieve pain and infection.
- Induce urination since it is a diuretic thus help in the easy expulsion of the stones.
- Dissolves and break large stones into small fragments.
- It has enough anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory activity, thus also works as a Nephro-protective (protection for the kidneys)
- Prevent the formation and recurrence of kidney and gall bladder stones.