Operculina turpethum (Linn.) Silva Manso syn. Ipomoea turpethum R. Br. from Himalyays is used in bronchitis, obesity,
Scientific Name Operculina turpethum (Linn.) Silva Manso syn. Ipomoea turpethum R. Br. Family Convolvulaceae Used Part Stem. Distribution Area A large perennial twiner in Himalayan, Madesh,and Terai region upto 900m in Nepal and it is occasionally grown in gardens for ornament. Common Uses . The root purgative and prescribed in scorpion sting and snake bite. The roots are bitter, acrid, sweet, thermogenic, purgative, carminative, anthelmintic, expectorant, antipyretic, hepatic, stimulant and hydragogue. They are useful in colic constipation, dropsy, vitiated conditions of vata, paralysis,myalgia, arthralgia, pectoralgia, bronchitis, obesity, helminthiasis, gastropathy, ascites, inflammations, inrtermittent fever, leucoderma, puritus, ulcers, erysepelas, haemorrhoids, tumores, jaundice, consumption and ophthalmia. O. turpethum is the source of the drug known as Turpeth or Indian Jalap and used as purgative. The drug occurs in two forms, white (Safed nisoth ) and black (krishna nisoth ). It consists of cylindrical pieces of root and stem, 1.5-15 cm. long x 1-5 cm. diam., often with central woody portion removed by splitting the bark on one side; external surface longitudinally furrowed giving the drug a rope-like appearance; fracture short in bark and fibrous in wood; odour distinct but unpleasant or musty; taste somewhat nauseating or bland at first, then slightly acrid. It is almost as effective as true jalap (Exogonium purga ) and superior to rhubarb (Rheum emodi Wall. ex Meissn.), and useful in all affections where jalap or rhubarb is indicated. The drug is administered in the form of powder; it may also be given in combination with cream of tartar in equal proportion. White turpeth is preferred to black turpeth as cathartic; the latter produces drastic purgation and causes vomiting, fainting and giddiness. Employed in drug formulations prescribed in constipation, dropsical effusions, rheumatism and paralysis. Some of the Ayurvedi preparations are Trivritaadi ghrita, Trivritadi kwaatha, Abhyarishta, Kaishorgugglu and Chandraprabha vati. Similar crude drugs Commercial samples are frequently adulterated with pieces of stem which are sometimes winged and greyish white in colour. Stem pieces of Marsdenia tenacissima W.& A. (Family- Asclepiadaceae) are generally sold by the name of safed nisoth. This is entirely different drug.