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Capsule Sarpunkha

Latin name: Tephrosia Purpurea
Family: Leguminosae
Common name:Sarpunkha
English name: Purple Tephrosia

Habitat: found throughout India, especially in southern India.

Macroscopic identification: Small shrub with stems covered with hairs; leaves alternate, with 11-17 leaflets; leaflets, narrowly elliptic; flower: pedicel with hairs; fruit (immature) flattened, slightly curved, with several seeds.

Parts used: root
Pharmacological action: febrifuge, cholagogue, diuretic, deobstruent, tonic and laxative.

Actions and uses in ayurveda: diseases of liver, shoth, charmrog, gandmala, shlipad, vibandh, shul, gulm, raktvikar, mutrakrich, kas and shwas

Indications: asthma, hepatic dropsy, liver and spleen enlargment, carbuncles and intestinal worms.

Photochemical: the plant yields gum, a trace of albumen and coloring material, ash containing a trace of manganese, brown resin and chlorophyll and a principle allied to quercetin or querritrin and glucoside rutin.

Properties and action:

Rasa: tikta, kashaya
Guna: laghu, ruksha tikshana
Virya: usna
Vipaka: katu
Karma: kaphavatashamak, vishaghna, anuloman, pitsarak, krimighan, mutral, kusthaghan, jvaraghn
Preparations: powder

Therapeutic classification index:

  • Blood and haemopoeitic tissue: useful in bleeding disorders and inflammatory conditions.
  • Respiratory system: in chronic cough, dyspnea and asthma
  • Skin: it is anti leprotic in use.
  • Liver and spleen: Tephrosia purpurea locally known as Sarapunkha, forms one of the most effective ingredients of formulations available in Indian market for liver ailments. In the traditional Indian medicine it is famous for its effectiveness in bilious febrile attacks, obstruction of liver and spleen apart. Notably it has shown good results in cirrhosis and viral hepatitis in clinical trials (human studies).

Protective role of Sarpunkha

Tephrosia purpurea, commonly known as Sarphonka, is widely used in the traditional Indian system of medicine as an anti-inflammatory agent and also used in various liver, spleen and kidney disorders. The protective role of this plant has been investigated in gentamicin-induced rat kidney cortical cell damage. The alcohol extract of T. purpurea showed a significant hydroxyl radical scavenging activity in vitro. Using a Trypan blue exclusion assay, it was found that the extract markedly increased the percentage viability of the isolated rat kidney cortical cells in gentamicin-induced cell damage. By the evaluation of LDH activity and acid phosphatase content, it was established that the cell damage was minimized in the case of cells treated with the extract of T. purpurea. The hydroxyl radical scavenging effect of the extract was enhanced with increases in the concentration of drug, suggesting the role of free radical scavengers in minimizing gentamicin-induced kidney cell damage.

Extensive data from preclinical studies in acute and chronic hepatotoxic models have revealed that mechanism of hepatoprotection by Tephrosia purpurea mainly involves membrane stabilization of liver cells as indicated by decrease in levels of SGOT, SGPT and bilirubin. Wherein it prevents cellular leakage and loss of functional integrity of the liver cell membranes caused by various hepatotoxic agents. Tephrosa purpurea also leads to increase in hepatic regeneration, which again contributes to its hepatoprotective efficacy.

Dose: powder 3-6 gms.

Juice 10-20ml

Alkali 1-3 gms.

Capsule Sarpunkha contains pure and concentrated sarpunkha

Dosage: one capsule twice a day.

Package 60 capsules


  1. Prof P.V Sharma, Dravya Guna Vigyana, Vol II, pg 554-556
  2. Dr.KM Nadkarni, The Indian Materia Medica, Vol.I, pg 1198
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