Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge
Vol. 8 (3), July 2009, pp. 364-368




                                        Tām...
SEN & DUBEY: TĀMALAKĪ - AN ANALYTICAL REVIEW                                   365

sources of Tāmalakī on the basis of sy...
366                         INDIAN J TRADITIONAL KNWOLEDGE, VOL.8, NO.3, JULY 2009




related species, viz. P. amarus Sch...
SEN & DUBEY: TĀMALAKĪ - AN ANALYTICAL REVIEW                                              367

one species having almost s...
368                            INDIAN J TRADITIONAL KNWOLEDGE, VOL.8, NO.3, JULY 2009


17 Saxena N, Bańgasena Samhitā of ...
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Analytical review on Tamalaki

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Analytical review on Tamalaki

  1. 1. Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge Vol. 8 (3), July 2009, pp. 364-368 Tāmalakī — An analytical review Binay Sen* & SD Dubey Department of Dravyaguna, Faculty of Ayurveda, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi 5, Uttar Pradesh E-mail: senbinay@yahoo.com Received 1 May 2007 revised 22 April 2008 Āyurvedic Materia Medica consists of crude drugs mainly of plant origin and there is considerable variation in the identity of the genuine species of the source plant. Vernacular names of plant signify habitat, morphological characters, useful parts, properties, actions, etc. are the keys of plant identification in Āyurveda. In many cases, one synonym is found for different plants. It is because of similar habitat, gross morphological characters, broad spectrum of therapeutic indices and so on. Hence, by single name/synonym, it is natural to consider more than one plant. Tāmalakī may be considered as an example of this phenomenon. In this study an attempt has been made to designate plant species of Tāmalakī by analyzing different views of some Āyurvedic and modern scholars. Keywords: Āyurveda, Tāmalakī, Śvāsa, Gunakarma, Bhūmyāmalakī IPC Int. Cl.8: A61K36/00, A61P1/04, A61P1/06, A61P1/08, A61P9/00, A61P11/00, A61P11/06, A61P11/10, A61P13/00, A61P13/02 The word Tāmalakī and its commonly accepted Cūrna (AS), are prescribed in Śvāsa, Kāsa, Yaksmā synonyms Bhūmyāmalakī are not found in Vedas and etc.7,8 In Hārīta Samhitā, though the word Tāmalakī is works of Kālidāsa. Except Tāmalakī, no other not mentioned but in few preparations like synonyms are found in Caraka Samhitā (CS), Suśruta Cyavanaprāśa and Balādi Ghrta, the word Cāmalakī Samhitā (SS), Astāńga Hrdaya (AH) and Astāńga and Tamālakī appeared, respectively9. It seems to be Samgraha (AS). In these texts, it is used both externally printing mistake and not the new synonyms, as neither and internally in different formulations for multi- the earlier nor the later authors have mentioned them therapeutic purposes. In CS, it appeared in group of in any of the context. In Cikitsāgranthas, Cakrapāni Kāsahara and Śvāsahara Mahākasāya and in Madhura- was the first physician, who has mentioned its single skandha1,2. The drugs, which are Madhura (sweet), external application (as Lepa) in eye pain with the predominantly Madhura, Madhura in Vipāka name Bhūmyāmalakī10. The synonym Bhūdhātrī and (metabolism) or Madhura in Prabhāva (effect) are Bhūmyāmalakī are first appeared in Astāńga Nighantu included in this group3. It is also included in Rasāyana, (18th Century AD) and Paryāyaratnamālā (19th Century Balya and Brmhanīya preparations like Cyavanaprāśa, AD), respectively11,12. Successive Nighantukāras also Amrtaprāśa Ghrta, Madhuparnādi Taila and Baladī include some more synonyms. These synonyms are Basti4. A single drug remedy (Tāmalakī Śrta/decoction) found in different formulations in Cikitsāgranthas like is found in the treatment of Rājayaksmā associated with Kūdhātrī, Bhūmyāmalaka, Bhūmyāmalī, Jatā, etc.13-16 6 symptomatology5. From this description it is clear that The actions and indications are more or less similar. The Caraka has described Gunakarmas (properties and word Tāmalakyau has been mentioned by Bañgasena, actions) of Tāmalakī. In Suśruta Samhitā, the plant is perhaps indicating its two varieties17. neither found in any Gana nor in Varga. Few While going through the different views of preparations of Ghrta have been used in the treatment of Nighantukāras and Kosakāras, it is observed more Jīrnajvara, Śvāsa, etc.6 Both Vāgbhatas have the than hundred synonyms for Tāmalakī or similar views to that of Caraka. In addition, some Bhūmyāmalakī. Tāmalakī has appeared in Siddhasāra new formulations like Jīvantyādi Cūrna (AH), Nighantu (7th Century AD) with two synonyms Ajhatā Nidigdhikādi Ghrta, Kāsmaryādi Ghrta and Pāthādi and Bahu-pattrā18. Almost all the authors have ____________ accepted Tāmalakī, Bhūmyāmalakī and Bhūdhātrī as *Corresponding author synonymous. Botanical identification of genuine
  2. 2. SEN & DUBEY: TĀMALAKĪ - AN ANALYTICAL REVIEW 365 sources of Tāmalakī on the basis of synonyms is quite of Tāmalakī. But, there are different views observed a difficult task because it has been made complicated in relation to its vernacular names and botanical in these texts by giving similar synonym to more than sources. For example, it has not used the word one plant; For example Vitunnaka, Śivā, Uttamā, Vīrā, Tāmalakī for any species referred, but the synonyms Vrsyā, Visaghnī, Āmalakī, Amrtā, Uccatā are used for mentioned by previous authors are included for P. it, are well known different plants19-22. Apart from urinaria Linn. and P. niruri Hook. f. On the other this, few synonyms like Sūksmaphalā, Phalamālā and hand different regional names are mentioned for P. Bahuphalā given to it are indicative of general maderaspatensis Linn. and P. simplex Retz.29. It characters of a group (Genus-Phyllanthus) of plant presumes that though the authors have not used the taken as Tāmalakī in practice11,23. Therefore, it is word Tāmalakī for any of above 4 species but necessary to study the Gunakarma in available accepted all in regards to their vernacular names. The Nighantus and Kosas to identify the possible sources word Tamravalli (Tamra means coppery and Valli of it. Among the Nighantus it is surprisingly noticed means climber) has been used for P. urinaria Linn., that the source plant described in Rāja Nighantu (RN) which is not rationale with its morphological is Kasāya and Amla22 whereas in Bhāva Prakāśa characters, because it is erect in nature, not a Nighantu (BN) is Tikta, Kasāya and Madhura in climber29. Rasa24. The actions and indications are also found It has been reported that P. niruri Hook. f. (Fl Br somewhat different in them. The plant mentioned in Ind.) non Linn. has been renamed as P. fraternus RN is having predominant action in urinary system Webster in 195730. But most of the later authors have whereas in BN, the same is in respiratory system. ignored it and taken P. niruri and P. fraternus as Moreover, the synonyms like Bhūmyāmalī, different species or subspecies. P. amarus Schum. & Drdhapādī, Jatā, Visaghni (RN) and Bhūmyāmalakī, Thonn., P. fraternus Webster and P. niruri auct. non Ajatā (BN) strongly suggest that both the plants are L. are considered synonymous, the source of different species of Tāmalakī. Further, it is supported Bhūmyāmalakī or Tāmalakī. But in a clinical trial, the by the description found in Sanskrit lexicon authors have quoted P. amarus (gathered from India) Śabdakalpadruma in context of two plants namely and P. niruri (gathered from Hainan Province in Bhūmyāmalī and Bhūmyāmalakī. Though the word China), which contradicts the previous statement and Bhūmyāmalī has been equated with Bhūmyāmalakī, supports both as different species31. The Botanical but some more synonyms are given to it, which are Survey of India has identified that the commonly not mentioned for the latter one. In respect of known P. niruri Linn. has 3 sub-species namely, P. properties and actions, the author has quoted RN and amarus Schum. & Thonn., P. debilis Klein. ex. Willd BN, respectively25. In Kaiyadeva Nighantu (KN), and P. fraternus Webster. A reputed US taxonomist synonyms Drdhapādā, Drdhā, etc. have appeared and identified P. amarus Schum. & Thonn. as a sub is considered as appetizer, useful in Kustha, Śvāsa, species of P. niruri Linn.32. In another report, etc23. Thus, on the basis of synonyms, properties and Botanical Survey of India, stated that the P. niruri is a actions more than one plant may be considered in mixture of 3 distinct species namely, P. amarus, these texts. Schum. & Thonn., P. fraternus Webster and P. debilis By analyzing different views of ancient Klein. ex. Willd33. P. fraternus and P. debilis have commentators, it is observed that most of them have also been described as closet relative and both equated Tāmalakī with Bhūmyāmalakī or Bhūdhātrī. interbreed when they come together30. Likewise much In context of morphological characters, different confusion is observed among the modern botanist terminologies such as Dalaphalikā and especially in relation to P. niruri and P. fraternus. Sahapatraphalā are coined, which denote small The contemporary Āyurvedic authors invariably capsule (fruit), having attachment with leaf in each accepted Bhūmyāmalakī and Tāmalakī as synonyms axil26-28. The interpretation given by other and taken P. niruri Linn., P. fraternus Webster, and commentators also signify general characters and thus P. urinaria Linn. as the source plant34-36. The other identification of any particular species on this ground species (P. simplex Retz. and P. maderaspatensis is not possible. Most of the modern authors have Linn.) are also used in practice with the name taken Phyllanthus niruri Hook.f. (syn P. fraternus Bhūmyāmalakī 36. In Kerala, Tāmalakī has been Webster, Family: Euphorbiaceae) as the source plant identified as a mixture of 2 different but closely
  3. 3. 366 INDIAN J TRADITIONAL KNWOLEDGE, VOL.8, NO.3, JULY 2009 related species, viz. P. amarus Schum. & Thonn. and be considered as P. armarus. P. urinaria is P. debilis Klein. Ex. Willd 37. Morphologically, the considered to be an excellent diuretic and much used most specific synonyms Jatā, Ajatā and Drdhapād(ī)ā in dropsical affections, also in gonorrhoea and other are observed in P. urinaria, P. fraternus and P. genitourinary troubles29,30. It implies that it may be amarus, respectively, (Figs. 1-4). Different successfully used in the treatment of Mūtrakrcchra, pharmacological activities reveal that P. niruri is Mūtrāghāta and other diseases where diuresis is effective in non-bacterial upper respiratory tract required. disorders and is having antioxidant property38-40. Literally, the word Tāmalakī means thinner and Practically, it is observed that it is less bitter than P. smaller (‘iÉxÉÖgSÉɺÉÉ´ÉÉàÉãÉBÉEÉÒSÉ’)44 than Āmalaki (Emblica amarus38. On these basis Tāmalakī used in the officinalis Gaertn.)44. Bhūmyāmalakī, Bhūdhātrī and treatment of respiratory diseases (Śvāsa, Kāsa, etc), Ksetrāmalakī also have the similar meaning. Rasāyana, Balya, Brmhana purposes and appeared in Synonym Jatā defines having more fibrous root (‘VÉ] Madhura-skandha may be taken as P. frateruns ZÉ] ºÉÆPÉÉiÉä vÉÉiÉÉä&’)45, Ajatā signifies less and short (syn. P. niruri). P. armarus has hepatoprotective activity41-42. Āyurveda's doctrine also supports its fibrous roots (‘xÉÉ <−ÉnlÉæ +Éã{ÉÉÉÊxÉ Øº´ÉÉÉÊxÉ SÉ VÉ]É effectiveness in gastrointestinal disorders, as it is àÉÚãÉàɺªÉÉ&’) and Drdhapād(ī)ā indicates hard root predominantly bitter and so stimulant and digestive43. system (‘ofÃÆ {ÉÉnÆ àÉÚãÉÆ vÉÉ®ªÉÉÊiÉ <ÉÊiÉ’)46. In Nighantus, Therefore, the source plant of Tāmalakī appeared in Kosas and Cikitsāgranthas, the word Tāmalakī context of Jvara, Gulma, Kustha and Vātarakta may stands for generic epithet, which signifies more than
  4. 4. SEN & DUBEY: TĀMALAKĪ - AN ANALYTICAL REVIEW 367 one species having almost similar morphological valuable concerns. Authors are also thankful to Mr characters and useful in different ailments. OP Gupta for images acquisition. This work is part of MD (Ay) Dravyaguna thesis of the first author. Discussion Caraka has indicated Tāmalakī predominantly in References diseases of respiratory system and as Rasāyana. Later 1 Acharya JT, Caraka Samhitā of Agniveśa (with ‘Āyurveda- Dīpikā’ commentary by Cakrapānidatta), (Chaukhamba on apart from above indications and actions it is used Surbharati Prakashan, Varanasi), Su. (Sūtra-Sthāna) as diuretic and hepatoprotective. It is natural that by 4 /16(36), 16(37), 2000. the name Tāmalakī more than one plant has been 2 Acharya JT, Caraka Samhitā of Agniveśa (with ‘ taken by the physician because of similarity in Āyurveda-Dīpikā’ commentary by Cakrapānidatta), morphological characters and multiple therapeutic (Chaukhamba Surbharati Prakashan, Varanasi), Vi. (Vimāna- Sthāna) 8 /139, 2000. indices. The word Tāmalakyau mentioned by 3 Acharya JT, Caraka Samhitā of Agniveśa (with ‘Āyurveda- Bańgasena is an example. In Nighantus and Kosas the Dīpikā’ commentary by Cakrapānidatta), (Chaukhamba same is more obvious. The modern authors also Surbharati Prakashan, Varanasi), Vi. 8 /138, 2000. followed the previous scholars by accepting more 4 Acharya JT, Caraka Samhitā of Agniveśa (with Āyurveda-Dīpikā commentary by Cakrapānidatta), than one species by the name Tāmalakī. The (Chaukhamba Surbharati Prakashan, Varanasi), Ci. synonyms Drdhapādī and Jatā mentioned in RN for a (Cikitsā-Sthāna) 1-I /63, 11 /37, 29 /93, Siddhi-Sthāna. single plant are not practically observed. But on the 12 /19(2), 2000. basis of Gunakarma, Jatā (P. urinaria) should be 5 Acharya JT, Caraka Samhitā of Agniveśa (with Āyurveda- considered in this context. Tāmalakī of RN, KN and Dīpikā commentary by Cakrapānidatta), (Chaukhamba Surbharati Prakashan, Varanasi), Ci.8 /70, 2000. BN may be indicative of 3 different species namely, 6 Acharya JT, Suśruta Samhitā of Suśruta (with P. urinaria, P. amarus and P. fraternus on the basis Nibandhasańgraha commentary by Dalhana), (Chaukhamba of Gunakarma and specific synonyms Jatā, Surbharati Prakashan, Varanasi), Ut. (Uttara-Tantra) 39 /219, Drdhapād(ī)ā and Ajatā, respectively. To achieve the 225; 51 /27, 2003. maximum therapeutic efficacy, the specific plant may 7 Paradakara HS, Astāńga Hrdayam of Vāgbhata, (with commentaries Sarvāńgasundarā of Arunadatta & be used accordingly. Āyurvedarasāyana of Hemādri), (Chaukhamba Orientalia, Varanasi), Ci.4 /44, 2005. Conclusion 8 Sharma SP, Astāńga Samgraha of Vrddha Vāgbhata, It may be concluded that Tāmalakī should be (with Śasilekhā commentary by Indu), (Chowkhamba taken as generic epithet, which includes more than Sanskrit Series Office, Varanasi), Ci.2 /5, 4 /5, 5 /53, 2006. 9 Tripathi HP, Hārīta Samhitā of Hārīta, (Chowkhambha one plant under the commonly accepted name Krishnadass Academy, Varanasi), Tritiya-Sthāna Bhūmyāmalakī in practice. P. niruri and P. 9 /48, 94, 2005. fraternus are synonymous as reported in WI. P. 10 Sharma PV, Cakradatta of Cakrapānī, (text with English amarus is a different species, which may be a Translation), (Chaukhamba Orientalia, Varanasi), subspecies of P. fraternus. Synonyms Jatā, Ajatā Netraroga /13, 1994. and Drdhapād(ī)ā indicate 3 different species 11 Sharma PV, Astāńga Nighantu of Vāhata, (Kuppuswami Sastri Research Institute, namely, P. urinaria, P. fraternus and P. amarus, Madras), 1973, 208. respectively. P. urinaria, P. fraternus and P. 12 Chowdhury TP, Paryāyaratnamālā of Madhavakara, Vol II amarus may be used successfully as diuretic, in (Patna University Journal, Patna), 1946, 122. respiratory tract diseases and in gastrointestinal 13 Pandeya GS, Gada Nigraha of Vaidya Sodhala, Part-1, (hepatic) disorders, respectively. (with Vidyotini Hindi commentary by Indradeva Tripathi), (Chowkhamba Sanskrit Series Office, Varanasi), Leha Adhikāra /158, 1968. Acknowledgement 14 Saxena N, Bańgasena Samhitā of Vańgasena, Vol II, Authors wish to pay special regards and thanks to (Chowkhamba Sanskrit Series Office, Varanasi), Strīroga Lt Prof PV Sharma for his inestimable suggestions /42, 2004. and valuable references provided during the course of 15 Murthy KRS, Śārńgadhara Samhitā of Śārńgadhara, (text with English Translation), (Chaukhamba Orientalia, study. Authors also extend our thanks to Prof VK Varanasi), Madhyama Khanda 8 /11, 2006. Joshi, Prof KN Dwivedi and Dr AK Singh 16 Shastri LP, Yogaratnākara, (with Vidyotini Hindi (Department of Dravyaguna, IMS, BHU) and Prof commentary), (Chaukhambha Sanskrit Sansthan, NK Dubey (Depatrment of Botany, BHU) for their Varanasi), Pūrvārdha/Kāsa/Jātyādidūmavarti, 2002.
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