(Last Updated on : 04/12/2013)
Botanical name of Danti is Baliospermum montanum. This Indian medicinal plant commonly grows in waste places, fields and shady grounds habitats in disturbed deciduous and semi-evergreen forests all over most of India upto 1000 m altitude in the Himalayas and 1800 m in the Western Ghats. Danti has different names in different areas of India like in Bengali Danti, Hakum. Hakun; in Gujarati: Dantimul, Jamalagota; in Hindi: Danti, Hakum, Hakun; in Kannada: Danti, Kaduharalu, Naa-gadanti; in Malayalam: Dantika, Katala-vanakku, Nakadanti, Nervalam; in Marathi: Danti; Oriva: Banjado, Donti; in Punjabi: Dant. Hakun; in Sanskrit: Danti, Nikumbha, Udumbaraparni; in Tamil: Kattamanakku, Niradimuttu, Peyamanakku and in Telugu: Adavi-aamudamu. Ettadundiga, Kanakapata, Kon-damudamu, Nelajidi.
Danti has many upward shoots arising from its base. Leaves of Danti are variable in shape. The upper leaves are small, lanceolate and the lower leaves are large, ovate, hairy, palmately lobed and sinuatel toothed with a pair of stipular glands at the apex. Danti has small greenish yellow flowers borne in axillary racemes or contracted panicles with either all male or male with a few female flowers in lower positions. Danti fruits are obovoid, 3-lobed, usually hairy with oblong, smooth, shiny, long, mottled seeds having an oily endosperm. Danti yields flowers and fruits from November to March allover central India.
The black and thick barked roots of Danti plants are consumed either alone or with other plant drugs, in Ayurved medicine. Danti roots are pungent, anthelmintic, heating, diuretic. It can be used to cure skin diseases, wounds, piles, jaundice, dropsy and enlarged spleen. Danti roots are used to make Dasamula pan-chakoladhi kashayam, an Ayurvedic preparation used for treating dropsy and as a poultice for wounds. In northern Orissa, the powdered roots of Danti are consumed to get rid of indigestion. The tribal people of Andhra Pradesh consider the latex extracted from the cut stem and branches of Danti useful to cure body ache and joint pains. Danti seed oil is hydrogogue and cathartic fro which it is applied to treat rheumatism. The powdered seeds of Danti act a drug purgative. So larger than one seeds of Danti can be poisonous to adults if taken as drugs.