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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,"

Hansraj (Adiantum lunulatum): A Traditional Ayurvedic Remedy for Respiratory Ailments


Hansraj (Adiantum lunulatum) is a plant that has been used for centuries in traditional Ayurvedic medicine to treat various ailments, particularly respiratory conditions. This fern species is found in many parts of India and other Asian countries. In this article, we will explore the physical characteristics of Hansraj Adiantum lunulatum, its traditional uses in Ayurvedic medicine, and its potential medicinal properties as supported by modern research. We will also discuss how the plant is prepared for medicinal use and the appropriate dosages for different conditions. Through this article, we aim to provide a comprehensive overview of this valuable medicinal plant and its potential benefits for human health.

Description and Characteristics:

Hansraj (Adiantum lunulatum), commonly known as the moonwort fern, is a small fern species that belongs to the family Pteridaceae. It is native to Asia and can be found in countries such as India, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, and China. The plant grows in moist and shaded areas, often on rocky terrain, at an altitude of 1200-2400 meters.

The fronds of the Hansraj Adiantum lunulatum are typically light green in color, with a triangular shape and a delicate texture. They are bipinnate, meaning that they have a feather-like appearance, with the leaflets arranged in pairs on either side of the central axis. The fronds can reach a length of up to 30 cm and a width of up to 20 cm.

In traditional Indian medicine, the Hansraj Adiantum lunulatum has been used for centuries for its therapeutic properties. The plant is highly regarded in Ayurveda and has been used to treat various ailments such as respiratory disorders, fever, and diarrhea. It is also believed to have a cooling effect on the body and can be used to reduce inflammation.

It is also used in many cultural and religious practices in India. For example, in the Himalayan region, the plant is considered sacred and is used as an offering in Hindu and Buddhist rituals. Its delicate fronds are also used in flower arrangements and other decorative purposes.

Hansraj (Adiantum lunulatum) is a small fern species that is native to Asia. Its delicate fronds, bipinnate structure, and light green color make it a distinctive plant. Its traditional uses in Ayurveda and its cultural and religious significance make it an important species in many Asian cultures.

Traditional Uses:

Hansraj (Adiantum lunulatum) has been used for centuries in traditional Ayurvedic medicine to treat a variety of ailments. In Ayurveda, the plant is known as Hansraj or Hamsapadi and is believed to have cooling and anti-inflammatory properties.

One of the most well-known traditional uses of Hansraj (Adiantum lunulatum) is for respiratory ailments such as cough, bronchitis, and asthma. The plant is believed to have expectorant properties, which help to loosen phlegm and mucus in the respiratory tract and make it easier to cough up. It is often used in combination with other herbs, such as licorice and ginger, to make a decoction or tea that is taken orally.

Hansraj (Adiantum lunulatum) is also used in Ayurveda to treat fever. The plant is believed to have antipyretic properties, which help to reduce fever and cool the body. It is often used in combination with other herbs, such as tulsi (holy basil) and neem, to make a decoction or tea that is taken orally.


Another traditional use of Hansraj is for diarrhea. The plant is believed to have astringent properties, which help to reduce the frequency and severity of diarrhea. It is often used in combination with other herbs, such as pomegranate and nutmeg, to make a decoction or tea that is taken orally.

In Ayurveda, Hansraj is also used to treat menstrual disorders such as irregular periods and painful menstruation. The plant is believed to have emmenagogue properties, which help to stimulate menstrual flow and regulate the menstrual cycle. It is often used in combination with other herbs, such as ashoka and shatavari, to make a decoction or tea that is taken orally.

Hansraj has a long history of traditional use in Ayurvedic medicine to treat respiratory ailments, fever, diarrhea, and menstrual disorders. Its expectorant, antipyretic, astringent, and emmenagogue properties make it a valuable herb in many Ayurvedic formulations.

Medicinal Properties and Modern Research:

Hansraj has been studied extensively for its medicinal properties, particularly in the areas of respiratory health and inflammation. The plant contains several active compounds, including flavonoids, tannins, and alkaloids, that are believed to be responsible for its therapeutic effects.

Research has shown that the plant has significant anti-inflammatory properties. In a study published, the aqueous extract of Hansraj was found to inhibit the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines in vitro. Another study published in the Journal found that the plant contains several compounds with anti-inflammatory activity, including adiantumone, lunularin, and dihydrokaempferol.

Hansraj has also been studied for its effects on respiratory health. In a study published, an aqueous extract of the plant was found to have significant bronchodilator activity in guinea pigs. Another study found that the plant has significant antitussive (cough-suppressant) activity.

In addition to its effects on respiratory health and inflammation, Hansraj has also been studied for its effects on other conditions. In a study, an aqueous extract of the plant was found to have significant anti-diarrheal activity in rats. Another study published found that the plant contains several compounds with antioxidant activity, including lunularin and kaempferol.

While there is still much research to be done, the scientific evidence suggests that Hansraj Adiantum lunulatum has significant medicinal properties that may make it useful for treating a variety of conditions. Further research is needed to fully understand the plant's mechanisms of action and to determine its efficacy in clinical trials.

Preparation and Dosage:

Hansraj Adiantum lunulatum can be prepared for medicinal use in a variety of ways, including as an infusion, decoction, or powder. The appropriate dosage can vary depending on the condition being treated and the patient's age, weight, and overall health.

For respiratory conditions such as coughs and bronchitis, a typical dosage of Hansraj Adiantum lunulatum is 2-3 grams of the dried plant, prepared as a decoction or infusion and taken three times per day. For other conditions such as fever, diarrhea, or menstrual disorders, the appropriate dosage may vary and should be determined by a qualified healthcare provider.

While Hansraj Adiantum lunulatum is generally considered safe when used in appropriate dosages, there are some precautions that should be taken. Pregnant women should avoid using the plant, as it may stimulate uterine contractions. Additionally, the plant may interact with certain medications, so it is important to consult with a healthcare provider before using it in conjunction with other drugs.

There have been no reports of significant side effects associated with the use of Hansraj Adiantum lunulatum. However, some individuals may experience mild gastrointestinal upset or allergic reactions. If any adverse effects occur, it is important to discontinue use and seek medical attention if necessary.

Elz-kuf, an ayurvedic cough syrup:

Elz-kuf is an ayurvedic cough syrup that has been used traditionally in Ayurvedic medicine for the treatment of coughs and other respiratory conditions. It contains a number of natural ingredients, including Hansraj, which is one of the key active ingredients in the formula.

In Ayurvedic medicine, Hansraj has been traditionally used for the treatment of respiratory ailments such as coughs, bronchitis, and asthma. It is believed to have expectorant, anti-inflammatory, and antitussive properties that make it effective in reducing coughing and soothing irritated airways.

When used in combination with other natural ingredients such as honey, ginger, and tulsi, as is the case in Elz-kuf, Hansraj is believed to have even greater efficacy for the treatment of coughs and respiratory conditions.

Elz-kuf is prepared by mixing the natural ingredients in a specific ratio and boiling them together to extract their medicinal properties. The syrup is then strained and bottled for use.

It is important to note that while Elz-kuf is generally considered safe when used as directed, it is always best to consult with a qualified healthcare provider before using any new treatment, particularly if you are pregnant or taking other medications.

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In conclusion, Hansraj is a plant with a long history of use in Ayurvedic medicine for the treatment of respiratory and other conditions. Scientific research has demonstrated that the plant contains several active compounds that have significant anti-inflammatory, antitussive, and bronchodilator properties.

Hansraj shows great potential for use in Ayurvedic medicine, particularly in the treatment of respiratory conditions. However, further research is needed to fully understand the plant's mechanisms of action and to determine its efficacy in clinical trials. For those interested in learning more, there are several resources available on Ayurvedic medicine and herbal remedies.

Overall, Hansraj is a promising plant with a wide range of potential benefits for those seeking natural remedies for respiratory and other conditions. As always, it is important to approach any new treatment with caution and to consult with a healthcare provider before starting a new regimen.





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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