Facts and benefits of Desmodium gangeticum

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Desmodium gangeticum Quick Facts
Name: Desmodium gangeticum
Scientific Name: Desmodium gangeticum
The species is generally known as undershrub in forests and wastelands throughout tropical and subtropical regions of India prevailing in the lower Himalayan regions and Gangetic plains. It is not found in open grassy lands but found as orchard weed. It is a medicinal herb which is used for Ayurvedic preparations such as Dashmoolakwaath, Dashmoolarishta and for treating nervous problems. It is used for treating piles, typhoid, asthma, inflammation, dysentery and bronchitis. It contains bioactive principals such as flavonoid, glycosides, lipids, pterocarpanoids, lactones, glycolipids and alkaloids. Flavonoids and alkaloids found in the roots and aerial parts of the plant possess various biological activities such as anti-nociceptive and anti-inflammatory activity.

Plant description

Desmodium gangeticum is a slender and sub erect diffusely branched under shrub which grows to the height of 2 to 3 feet that follows a terrestrial life cycle. Stem is woody having slender branches that are irregularly angled and covered with upwardly directed short soft grey hairs. Leaves are unifoliate, alternate. Petioles are 1-2 cm long, stipules 6-8 mm long and striate at the base. Margins are waved, glabrous and green above having dense soft and appressed hairs. Inflorescence are produced terminally or axillary and varies in color from white to red or purple or a combination of pink and purple or mauve and white. The pea shaped flowers are then followed by fruits which are compressed and almost stalkless. Seeds are compressed reniform without strophiole. Roots are poorly developed, light yellow and smooth. Root bark is yellowish white with leathery texture.

Medicinal uses

  • Leaves decoction is used for gall bladder stones, kidney stones or bladder stones.
  • Apply the leaves as a poultice to the head for treating headache.
  • Root decoction is used for treating oedema, kidney problems, chronic fever, swellings, biliousness, coughs, dysentery and diarrhea.
  • Apply the roots to gums for treating toothache.
  • Use the decoction externally for cleaning wounds and ulcers.
  • It is used for treating piles, typhoid, bronchitis and asthma.
  • Decoction of whole plant is used for treating edema, digestive problems, intermittent fevers, diarrhea, urinary tract infections and malaria.
  • Chew the roots daily to cure typhoid and pneumonia.
  • Root decoction is used by Malays for diarrhea, roots are applied to gums for toothache and leaves are used externally for headaches.
  • Use the root decoction for fevers.
  • It is used for inflammation, typhoid, piles, bronchitis, asthma, dysentery in India.
  • Roots are used for scorpion stings and snake bites.
  • Leaves are used for urinary problems in Southern Nigeria.
  • For skin diseases, boil Shalaparni leaves (2-3 grams), Neem leaves and Tulsi leaves (5 to 7), and black pepper corn (2 to 3) in water. Filter it and drink one to two times a day for few weeks.
  • Take the leaves decoction and root juice twice or thrice a day for curing diarrhea and dysentery.
  • Apply the leaf paste topically for eczema.
  • Mix the leaf paste with Aloe Vera and apply it topically for hair fall.
  • For lumbago, apply the leaves poultice topically.
  • Apply the mixture of root powder and honey for mouth ulcers.
  • Chew the roots to treat premature ejaculation.
  • Apply the leaves paste on anus once or twice a day to treat piles.
  • Use half cup root decoction orally as antidote for snake bite.
  • Apply the paste of root powder with water for skin eruptions.


  • When used in recommended doses, it does not have any side effects.
  • Consult the doctor before use.













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