(Last Updated on : 19/12/2013)
Hog weed is a creeper and overspreading perpetual herb
, with 3 stout root-stock and many upright or overspreading branches. It grows up to 2 metres in length. Leaves of the plant
are plain, wide, reasonably unsmooth, compact and fragile. The flowers
are pink or red in colour. The fruits
are elliptical in shape, dull-green or brownish in colour and approximately the size of caraway bean. Hog weed is native to India. It grows in the wilds, across the country as a common creeping weed and is particularly plethoric during the rainy season. The plant contains a crystalline acid known as boerhavic acid, potassium nitrate and a brown mass consisting of tannins, phlobaphenes and reducing sugars. The dynamic principle of hog weed is the alkaloid 'punarnavine'. The drug consists of huge quantities of potassium salt
s, which accounts for its diuretic properties. Hog weed has several uses, ranging from laxative, to healing difficult problems like dropsy, ascites, asthma
, and other infectious diseases.
Healing Power and Medicinal Properties of Hog Weed
Hog weed has been used in aboriginal medicines
since prehistoric times. It is purgative and brings about a cooling sensation. It causes vomiting if taken in large dosages. Medicinally, the most significant part of the herb is its root. It has a sour and sickening taste. It is helpful in the treatment of several everyday ailments.
Dropsy Cured by Hog Weed
Hog weed amplifies the secretion and emission of urine. It is effective in the cure of dropsy, a disease distinguished by an unreasonable collection of watery fluid in the tissues and cavities or natural hollows of the body. The fresh boiled herb should be administered in the treatment of this disease. A liquid decoction of the fresh or dry plant can also be given in dosages of 4 to 16 grams.
Ascites Healed by Hog Weed
The herb is useful in the treatment of ascites, a disease marked by amassing of fluid inside the peritoneal cavity of the abdomen. The herb can be applied in similar manner like dropsy.
Stomach Disorders Cured by Hog Weed
The drug is useful in fortifying the stomach and boosting its action. It is favourable in the cure of several stomach disorders, especially intestinal colic. A grind of the root is given in dosages of 5 grams thrice daily. It is also helpful in killing or discharging intestinal worms.
Asthma Healed by Hog Weed
Hog weed elevates the deletion of catarrhal matter and phlegm from the bronchial tubes. It is thus advantageous in the treatment of asthma. A grind of the root can be taken in small dosages thrice daily.
Fever Healed by Hog Weed
Hog weed is of immense use in the treatment of fevers
. It lowers temperature by stimulating ample perspiration.
Skin Diseases Cured by Hog Weed
The root of the plant is an effective antidote for various skin diseases. A paste of the root can be administered constructively as a bandaging for oedematous inflammations. A hot poultice of the root can be applied with satiating results to ulcers
, abscesses and related skin diseases. It is also used for pulling out guinea worms. Charaka, the great physician of ancient India, used it in the form of balm in leprosy
and other skin diseases.
Other Diseases Healed by Hog Weed
The root of the plant is handy in the treatment of several diseases - predominantly of the kidney and heart - as well as gonorrhoea
. It is also valuable in oedema, anaemia
, pleurisy, nervous weakness, constipation