Essential Facts about Leptadenia Leaf
- Botanical: Leptadenia reticulata (Retz.) Wight & Arn. (Apocynaceae)
- Sanskrit: Jivanti (‘jiv’ means ‘life’, ‘jivan’ means living force)
- Hindi: Dodi shak
- Other names: Jivaniya, Ranimoi, Chirvel
- Rasa (taste): Madhur (sweet)
- Guna (qualities): Laghu (light), Snigda (heavy)
- Virya (action): Sheeta (cold)
- Vipaka (post-digestive effects): Madhura (remains sweet post-digestion)
- Dosha (constitution): Balances tridosha
Leptadenia leaf can be found in India, as well as parts of Africa, Cambodia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and numerous other countries, as it is fairly widely distributed. Researchers believe it likely originated in India.
Leptadenia leaf is a perennial. When it reaches maturity, its stems may look slightly yellow, with very wide and long leaves (potentially reaching 5 cm in width and 7.5 in length).
In Ayurvedic medicine, the leaves, roots, and stems of the plant are used in a variety of remedies.
Key nutrients of the plant are leptadenol, leptidin β-sitosterol, and β-amyrin acetate.
Medicinal Uses of Leptadenia Leaf
The leaves of the plant are naturally antibacterial. Thus, they offer numerous potential health benefits. Specifically, Ayurvedic remedies have used them in the following major capacities:
When mixed with ghee (or used in an Ayurvedic formulation such as chyawanprash), leptadenia leaf can be very effective at treating fevers.
Treating Skin Conditions
The natural antibacterial qualities of the plant make it highly useful in the treatment of various skin conditions. For similar reasons, it’s also frequently used to aid in wound healing. When applied to the skin, the plant is typically made into a paste first, as this allows for easier application. It also ensures the ingredients remain on the skin long enough for their antibacterial properties to have an effect.
Treating Respiratory Issues
Ayurvedic medicine practitioners have also traditionally used this particular ingredient when treating coughs, chest congestion, and related issues. Once again, this is due to its natural antibacterial properties. These properties also make it very effective in the treatment of conditions such as strep throat.
Formulations containing this ingredient have also been shown to be effective at treating depression, without any unwanted side effects. That’s a major benefit many Ayurvedic remedies in general offer.
Application and Dosage of Leptadenia Leaf
The manner in which you should use this plant will vary depending on why you are using it. Again, if you’re using it to treat internal health issues, you can simply consume it with a dose of Chyawanprash, which usually contains it. This Ayurvedic jam can be added to water or milk and consumed before or during breakfast. That said, the plant does have a high alcoholic content. If you wish to consume it directly, instead of as part of Chyawanprash or a similar formulation, you may want to consult with an Ayurvedic expert first.
Additionally, the roots of the plant may be consumed as a powder (usually within a capsule). Don’t exceed three grams a day if you choose this method. Again, the leaves may also be broken down into a paste if your goal is to treat skin problems.
Reviewed by Dr. Jayant Lokhande, MD (Botanical Drugs), MBA (Biotechnology)