Uses, Health Benefits, Ayurvedic Indications, Dosage, Side Effects and Precautions

Shalparni is one of the most potent herbs used in the traditional system of Ayurveda, providing indispensable medicinal and therapeutic benefits. The leaves of Shalparni resemble the leaves of Shaala hence it is also known as Shaalparni. The root of this plant is one of the herbs in Dashmoola, loaded with numerous Ayurvedic properties. This herbal remedy has a calming and sedative effect that balances neurological imbalances and controls the nervous, venous and arterial systems. Shalparni is endowed with anthelmintic, anti-catarrhal, carminative, diuretic, expectorant, nerve enhancing tonic and digestive properties. This Ayurvedic formulation is effective in relieving intestinal fever and respiratory problems and strengthening the immune system.

Shalparni plant

Shalparni is a shrub with a woody stem, 2-4 feet high, that goes by the botanical name Desmodium gangeticum and belongs to the family Fabaceae. Branches are covered with soft hairs, while the leaves are single-leaf, ovate, elongated and hairy, growing up to 15 cm long below. The flowers are purple/white in color and the pods are thin, flat, curved with 6-8 knots and bear hair-like structures. Flowering and fruiting take place in the month of August and November. It is widely grown in tropical Africa, the Indian subcontinent, China, Japan, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Australia. While in India it is distributed in the forests and wastelands, the plain and the western Ghats and in the north as far as Sikkim, at an altitude of 1500 meters.

Synonyms of Shalparnic

This herb plant is known in the Indian languages ​​by several names:

  • Sarivan, Salaparnic
  • Sanskrit – Vidarigandha, Anshumati, Shalaparni
  • Bangladeshi – Shalapani
  • Marathi – Salavan
  • Gujarati – Shalavani
  • Telugu – Gitanaram, Kolakuponna, Nakkatokaponna
  • Tamil – Pulladi, Moovilai
  • Malayalam – Pullati, Moovial
  • Kannada Nariyalavona, Murele honne

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Use of Shalparni

This herbal plant has been used since time immemorial to treat various health conditions. It is attributed to having antipyretic properties, which help control and reduce symptoms of fever. While its strong anti-inflammatory and bronchodilator actions help clear mucus from the windpipe, making breathing easier and relieving respiratory problems.

Shalparni is also used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction, thanks to its Vrishya action. In addition, the pitta and shotthar balancing actions of Shalparni herb reduce inflammation in the anal site, effectively remedying hemorrhoids.

Chemical composition

Shalparni is packed with bioactive compounds including N-dimethyltryltryptamine, Hypaphorine, Hordenine, Caudicin, Gangetin-3H, Gangetinin and Desmodine. These compounds are known to have numerous health-promoting properties.

Ayurvedic indications

The use of Shalparni has been mentioned by the sages in various Ayurvedic scriptures and textbooks. Ayurvedic indications of Shalparni as mentioned in Charaka Samhita include:

  • Angamardhaprashamana – helps relieve muscle pain
  • Shothahar – anti-inflammatory action, reduces inflammation
  • Balya- improves strength
  • Snehopaga – used in panchakarma treatment
  • Madura sknadha – sweet taste

Effects on Dosha

Shalparni is Guru, Snigdha (oily, heavy) in nature. It is valuable in jwar, shwas, atisara or Doshatrayahara and rasayan. It is both tikta (bitter) and madhur (sweet) in taste after digestion. It has potential kriminashak, vishnashak, kshaya or kas nashak qualities. Furthermore, it balances the vata and kapha doshas.

Also read: Kantakari: Uses, Health Benefits, Ayurvedic Indications, Dosage, Side Effects and Precautions

Health Benefits of Shalparni

Bronchitis Remedies

Shalparni is extremely valuable in the management of bronchitis. According to Ayurvedic medicine, bronchitis is called Kasroga and it is caused by poor digestion. Unhealthy dietary habits and improper waste disposal lead to the formation of Ama (toxic residues in the system from indigestion) in the form of mucus in the lungs. This leads to bronchitis. The potent Ushna and Kapha calming nature of Shalparni herb reduces Ama and clears excess mucus from the lungs, thus relieving the symptoms of bronchitis.

Digestive Health

Shalparni is known to improve gut health and provide relief from gastritis, diarrhea, nausea and flatulence. Furthermore, this herbal formulation helps to treat stomach ulcers by reducing acid secretion and increasing the release of mucins that protect the intestinal wall and cells.

Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition in which disruption of Vata dosha and accumulation of Ama (toxic residues) in the joints occurs. The Ama accumulates in the joints, resulting in severe joint and muscle pain. Shalparni extracts help reduce Ama thanks to its Ushna power and vata balancing property. Regular use of this herbal remedy thus provides relief from the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis such as pain and swelling in the joints.

Male Reproductive Health

This powerful herbal supplement is highly recommended for boosting male reproductive health. Shalparni is attributed to possessing Vrishya (aphrodisiac) properties that enhance male sexual performance by increasing blood flow to the penis and improving sperm quality and quantity. In addition, taking this supplement helps to correct premature ejaculation and promotes vitality and vigor.

Also read: Kali Musli/Black Musli: Uses, Health Benefits, Ayurvedic Indications, Dosage, Side Effects and Precautions

Treats headaches

Topical application of Shalparni helps relieve headaches caused by stress. The vata-pacifying nature of Shalparni is valuable in relieving pain and relaxing tense muscles. Applying Shalparni leaves powder or juice extract on forehead and relieves headache and fatigue related symptoms.

Shalparni Dosage

The effective therapeutic dosage of Shalparni may vary from person to person depending on their age, the severity of the disease and health status. It is recommended to consult an Ayurvedic practitioner before getting it. Shalparni is available in the form of root powder, extract and kwath.


When taken in the correct dosage, Shalparni is well tolerated and has no side effects. However, an overdose of this herbal remedy can cause severe toxic reactions.

Precautionary actions

Shalparni can be involved in allergic and irritating skin reactions, so it is advisable to consult your Ayurvedic practitioners before using it. There is not enough scientific evidence about the effects of Shalparni during pregnancy or breast-feeding, it is recommended that pregnant and breastfeeding women not use this herbal extract without medical supervision. Also, there is no reliable information about its effects on the treatment of diabetes. Therefore, consult your doctor before taking Shalparni in case of diabetes.