Argyreia alulata Miq.
Convolvulus anceps L.
Convolvulus turpethum L.
Ipomoea anceps (L.) Roem. & Schult.
Ipomoea turpethum (L.) R.Br.
Merremia turpethum (L.) Bojer
Spiranthera turpethum (L.) Bojer
Common Name: Indian Jalap
Operculina turpethum is a perennial climbing plant, producing annual stems 2 - 4 metres long from a long, fleshy, much-branched perennial rootstock[
The plant is an important Ayurvedic herb with a very long history of medicinal use in India[
]. In India and Sri Lanka, the plant is sometimes also cultivated as an ornamental in gardens[
The rhizome, especially the black form, is a drastic purgative[
Eastern Africa, through tropical Asia to Australia and Micronesia.
Open forest, teak forest, hedges, thickets, roadsides and waste places, occasionally in sugar-cane plantations, restricted to regions with a medium or strong monsoon, from sea-level up to 1,300 metres[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
The soft, sweet-tasting stem is sucked or chewed[
The fleshy, unripe fruits can be eaten raw or coked like peas[
Indian jalap is often used medicinally, its rhizome being officially recorded in many pharmacopoeias, especially in South America and India[
]. There are two types of rhizome - the white rhizomes are mildly purgative whilst the black rhizomes give drastic, often poisonous results[
The rhizome bark in particular contains up to 10% of a brownish yellow glycosidic resin, called turpethin, which is analogous to jalapin (the resin from the related jalap, Ipomoea purga)[
]. Turpethin has purgative and laxative effects[
The root also contains coumarin, scopoletin, glucose, rhamnose and fucose[
Extracts of the root have shown antiinflammatory activity - an aqueous extract being most effective[
The rhizome is used primarily as a powerful purgative and as a diuretic[
]. It is employed in the treatment of articular pains, fevers, gout, jaundice, bilious disturbances in general, intestinal worms and rheumatism[
The heated stem is applied to the abdomen after parturition to cure colic and to aid in the contraction of the tissues[
]. A decoction of the leaves is used as a tonic after childbirth[
The leaves, or young stems, are used to prepare a tea which is drunk frequently as a remedy for bladder stones and against pains in the abdomen or stomach[
The stems are used for tying purposes[
Treatment of susceptible host plants with extracts from the leaves induced systemic resistance to subsequent challenge from sun hemp rosette virus, tobacco mosaic tobamovirus, datura shoestring potyvirus and tomato spotted wilt tospovirus[
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