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Asthisamharaka (Vitis quadrangularis): A Medicinal Plant with Promising Health Benefits and Therapeutic Potential

Introduction: Asthisamharaka (Vitis quadrangularis), also known as the Devil's Backbone or Hadjod, is a medicinal plant that has been widely used in traditional medicine systems for centuries. With its origins in India, this plant belongs to the Vitaceae family and is characterized by its unique four-angled stem. Hadjod holds significant importance in various cultures due to its potential health benefits and therapeutic properties. Its traditional use can be traced back to ancient Ayurvedic texts, where it is highly regarded for its ability to promote bone health and treat musculoskeletal disorders. Historically, Hadjod has been used as a natural remedy for fractures, bone loss, and joint-related conditions. In Ayurveda, it is classified as a 'Asthisandhaneeya' herb, meaning it has the potential to strengthen bones, promote fracture healing, and improve overall bone health. The plant's name, "Hadjod," is derived from the Hindi word "hadjod,"

Daruharidra (Berberis Aristate): An Overview of a Valuable Herb in Ayurveda


Daruharidra, Berberis aristate, also known as Indian barberry, is an herbaceous plant belonging to the Berberidaceae family. It is native to the Himalayas and is commonly found in regions of India, Nepal, and Bhutan. The plant has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic and traditional medicine for its various health benefits.

Daruharidra has a long history of use in Indian and Tibetan medicine, where it is commonly used to treat digestive disorders, fever, and skin conditions. It is also believed to have antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties. In addition to its medicinal uses, Daruharidra has culinary applications and is used as a flavoring agent in various dishes.

This herb is important because of its numerous potential health benefits and its cultural significance in traditional medicine. As people become more interested in natural and alternative forms of medicine, Daruharidra presents a promising option for those seeking a natural remedy for various ailments. By learning more about this herb, readers can gain valuable insights into traditional medicinal practices and the potential benefits of natural remedies.

Other Names

Daruharidra has several other common names depending on the region and language. Some of the other names for this herb include:

- Indian barberry

- Tree turmeric

- Darvi

- Ophthalmic barberry

- Daruhaldi

- Daruharidraa

- Rasont

- Nepalese barberry

- Chutro

These names may vary depending on the region and cultural traditions where the herb is used.

Botanical Description:

Berberis aristata, commonly known as Daruharidra or Indian barberry, is a shrub that grows up to 3 meters tall. It has a woody stem with numerous branches and thorns. The leaves are small, oblong, and arranged alternately on the stem. The leaves are deep green in color and have a smooth texture. They have a leathery feel and can be up to 4 cm in length.

The flowers of Daruharidra are small and yellow in color, and they bloom in the spring season. The plant produces small, red or blue-black berries that are edible and have a sour taste. The berries are an important source of food for birds and other wildlife.

One of the most distinctive features of Daruharidra is its thorns, which are sharp and pointed. These thorns help protect the plant from herbivores and other threats. The plant also has a strong root system that allows it to grow in a variety of soil types, from sandy to clay soils.

Overall, Daruharidra is a hardy and adaptable plant that is well-suited to a range of environments. Its unique physical characteristics have helped it thrive in the natural world, and its medicinal properties have made it an important herb in traditional medicine practices.

Active Compounds:

Daruharidra, or Berberis aristata, contains several active compounds that are responsible for its medicinal properties. These compounds include:

1. Berberine: This alkaloid is found in various plants, including Daruharidra. Berberine has been shown to have antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. It is used to treat various health conditions, including infections, diabetes, and high cholesterol.

2. Palmatine: Another alkaloid found in Daruharidra, palmatine has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-cancer properties. It is also used to treat digestive disorders and liver problems.

3. Jatrorrhizine: This alkaloid has been shown to have antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. It is also used to treat various health conditions, including skin disorders, digestive issues, and liver problems.

4. Tannins: Daruharidra contains tannins, which have astringent and anti-inflammatory properties. They are used to treat digestive disorders, skin conditions, and other health issues.

5. Vitamin C: The berries of Daruharidra are a good source of vitamin C, which has antioxidant properties and is important for immune system health.

These active compounds work together to provide various health benefits, including fighting inflammation, boosting immunity, and treating various health conditions.

Medicinal Uses:

Daruharidra has been used for centuries in traditional medicine to treat various health conditions. Its active compounds, including berberine, palmatine, and jatrorrhizine, have been shown to have antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties, making it a valuable herb for various medicinal applications.

In Ayurvedic medicine, Daruharidra is used to treat digestive disorders, including diarrhea, dysentery, and indigestion. It is also used to treat skin conditions, such as acne, eczema, and psoriasis. The herb is believed to have a cooling effect on the body, making it useful for reducing fever and inflammation.

Recent scientific studies have also supported the use of Daruharidra for various health conditions. For example, a study published in the Journal found that Daruharidra extract had potent antibacterial and antifungal activity against various microorganisms, including Staphylococcus aureus, Candida albicans, and Aspergillus niger.

Another study published in the Journal found that Daruharidra extract had anti-inflammatory properties and was effective in reducing inflammation in rats with induced colitis.

In addition to its traditional uses, Daruharidra has also been studied for its potential to treat diabetes, high cholesterol, and other chronic conditions. However, more research is needed to fully understand the herb's effects on these conditions.

While Daruharidra is generally considered safe when used in recommended doses, there are some  side effects and risks associated with its use. These may include stomach upset, headache, and allergic reactions in some individuals. Daruharidra should not be used by pregnant or breastfeeding women without first consulting a healthcare professional.

Overall, Daruharidra is a versatile and valuable herb with numerous potential health benefits. Its traditional uses have been supported by modern scientific research, making it an attractive option for those seeking natural remedies for various health conditions.

Preparation and Administration:

Daruharidra can be prepared and administered in various ways for medicinal use. The most common forms of administration include teas, tinctures, capsules, syrup, and oil etc.


To make Daruharidra tea, add 1-2 teaspoons of dried Daruharidra root or bark to a cup of boiling water. Steep for 5-10 minutes, strain, and drink while still warm. This tea can be consumed up to three times per day.


Daruharidra tincture is made by soaking the herb in alcohol or a mixture of alcohol and water for several weeks. The resulting liquid is then strained and bottled. Tinctures should be taken in small doses, usually 10-20 drops diluted in water, up to three times per day.


Daruharidra capsules are available from health food stores and online retailers. Follow the dosage instructions provided on the packaging.

Ayurvedic Syrups and Oil:

Ayurvedic products that contain Daruharidra as a main ingredient and their traditional uses:

1. Utizac and Uvitone:

These are Ayurvedic uterine tonics that contain Daruharidra as a main ingredient. They are traditionally used to support healthy menstruation and uterine function.

2. Pilzac Tablets:

These are Ayurvedic tablets used for the treatment of piles. Daruharidra is one of the key ingredients in these tablets, and it is believed to help reduce inflammation and relieve pain and discomfort associated with piles.

3. Elbas Syrup:

This is an Ayurvedic alkalizer that contains Daruharidra as a key ingredient. It is traditionally used to support healthy digestion and reduce acidity in the body.

4. Elzym-L:

This is an Ayurvedic liver with enzyme tonic in syrup form that contains Daruharidra as a main ingredient. It is traditionally used to support healthy liver function and improve digestion.

5. Heptoliv plus:

These are Ayurvedic liver tonics that come in different volumes - 100 ml, 200 ml, and 450 ml - and contain Daruharidra as a main ingredient. They are traditionally used to support healthy liver function and improve digestion.

6. Nenel hair Oil:

This is an Ayurvedic hair oil that contains Daruharidra as a main ingredient. It is traditionally used to promote healthy hair growth and reduce dandruff and other scalp conditions.

It is recommended to use these products under the guidance of a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner. Additionally, those who are pregnant, nursing, or taking medications should consult with a healthcare professional before using any herbal supplements or Ayurvedic products.


In conclusion, Daruharidra, also known as Berberis species, is a valuable herb in traditional Ayurvedic medicine. It contains several active compounds that have been found to have various health benefits, including anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-cancer properties.

The herb has been used for centuries in Ayurveda to treat a wide range of health conditions, including digestive issues, liver disorders, skin problems, and menstrual irregularities. It is also used as a key ingredient in several Ayurvedic syrups, oils, and tonics.

However, it is important to note that Daruharidra preparations should be used from top ayurvedic manufacturer in India. With its many potential health benefits and long history of traditional use, Daruharidra remains a valuable herb for those seeking natural health remedies.



The information provided here is for informational purposes only and should not replace professional medical advice. Always consult a qualified healthcare practitioner for personalized guidance.

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