Shankhpushpi and its Ayurvedic history

In the past month or so, have you procrastinated because you felt down in the dump? Have you made excuses from social obligations because you were unable to get yourself into the proper state of mind to attend a crowded party?

If you happen to be an individual plagued by mental stress or fatigue, then there must have been times in your life when you have wished for a cure to this far-too-common problem of modern society. As it turns out, certain Oriental texts and several Ayurvedic texts have mentions of an herb and its potent ability to remedy a diverse range of brain-related conditions and disorders.  Shankhpushpi, more commonly known as Morning Glory or Aloe Weed, is a perennial herb found indigenously in India and Burma. The herb is seen to grow in environments that have low water content, like sandy or rocky regions, and are commonly found in the northern part of India.

White flower variant of Shankhpushpi

The name Shankhpushpi comes from the conch or Shankha-shaped flower of the herb. The herb has also been referred to as Mangalyakushuma in several Sanskrit texts, which translates to bringer or bearer of good fortune. Some of the other Sanskrit names for this herb are Krishnaenkranti, Vaishnava, Vishnukranta, Kseerpushpi and so on. Although the Sanskrit name Shankhpushpi is most commonly used to refer to Convolvulus pluricaulis, it has been used to denote the following other herbs as well: Evolvulus alsinoides, Canscora decussata, and Clitorea ternatea.  The entirety of the plant, including the roots are dried and subsequently crushed to produce the powdered Shankhpushpi, which is the most common form of utilization of the herb. However, this is not the only way to utilize this wondrous herb and several sources advise using it as a thin paste or in the form of a decoction.

This Medhya Rasayana has been reported to combat Manasa-mandata (mental retardation), Chittodvega (anxiety disorders) and is commonly regarded as a Medhya (intellect promoter). As per Ayurvedic texts, Shankhpushpi has the ability to balance the Tridoshas, which are the vata, pitta, and kapha.

Some of Shankhpushis most prevalent and well understood Ayurvedic actions are

  1. Medhya – promotes intellect
  2. Unmadaghna – alleviates emotional and mental vulnerability
  3. Nidrajnana – promotes sleep
  4. Rasayani – revitalizes the body

This versatile medicinal herb can be utilized in several ways to experience the above listed and many other additional benefits. A common form of utilization of Shankpushpi is in its juice or oil form. Shankhpushpi juice/syrup can be consumed either directly (in quantities prescribed by a physician) or mixed with a suitable drink. The oil form is to be applied topically on the forehead and scalp. This serves to alleviate headaches and is a potent stress buster.

shankhpushpi
Purple flower variant of Shankhpushpi

Most texts, however, advise the use of Shankhpushpi powder. The Shankhpushpi powder can be dissolved in a suitable liquid, like lukewarm water or milk, for consumption. Using the Bhav Prakash Nighantu as our starting point, we at Amrutam have come up with the single herb churna- Shankhpushpi. This product combats mental fatigue and stress, improves memory and stimulates the brain, relieves stress and anxiety, and helps with sleeplessness. Several Ayurvedic products containing Shankhpushpi already exist in the market. What we aim to do here with our single herb churna is to provide a product solely consisting of this wonder-herb to increase its efficacy and make available to our consumers the full benefits of Shankhpushpi. Keep an eye out for the product release!!

Another terrific Amrutam product containing this all-rounder of an herb is the Brainkey Gold Malt which contains a mix of Brahmi, Ashwagandha, Shankhpushpi, and Jatamansi. The Brainkey Gold Malt incorporates the synergistic benefits of its herbal constituents to benefit the brain as well as the body of the consumer.

Reference: Health Rejuvenation and Longevity Through Ayurveda


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