Hemidesmus goes by many names, including hemidesmus indicus, east Indian sarsparilla, false sarsaparilla, and eternal root. Hemidesmus is an herb in the Asclepediaceae family that’s long been used in traditional Indian medicine.1 This plant species grows throughout areas of South Asia and is known as an official drug in places like India. Hemidesmus can be used as a powder, decoction, or infusion.2
Hemidesmus Uses and Health Benefits
Hemidesmus benefits are vast. It’s known to help treat disorders related to the gastrointestinal tract and the cardiovascular system.3 It’s been reported to act as a hypoglycemic, antioxidant, antithrombotic, hypolipidemic, and anti-inflammatory. It’s even said to help neutralize viper venom.2 What’s more, it contains antimicrobial and antibacterial properties.4 Hemidesmus root extract can inhibit the growth of E. coli, Streptococcus, Corynebacterium, and Pneumonia.3 Other hemidesmus benefits and uses include for the following conditions:
- Arthritis - Studies suggest that hemidesmus can help protect against arthritis. In one study, rats were given hydroalcoholic extract, ethyl acetate, chloroform, and residual fractions, all of which showed a decrease in biochemical and physical parameters for arthritis. The hydroalcoholic extract and ethyl acetate fractions of the hemidesmus herb were shown to be more effective in treating arthritis than the other forms tested.
- Bronchitis - It’s said that the hemidesmus herb may help in treating symptoms of bronchitis.
- Gout - Gout refers to a type of inflammatory arthritis. Thanks to its anti-inflammatory effects, hemidesmus is believed to help prevent gout when taken orally.
- Hypertension (High Blood Pressure) - Taking a hemidesmus herbal remedy is thought to be an effective treatment for patients suffering from hypertension, or high blood pressure.
- Skin Rash - Apart from oral applications of hemidesmus, it’s believed to help skin rash patients when the herb is applied topically.
- Stress - Hemidesmus tea is thought to have soothing properties that can help ease stress and symptoms associated with it.
- Syphilis - Among hemidesmus uses, it has long been used as a treatment for syphilis.
Hemidesmus Side Effects and Precautions
Though hemidesmus has long been used in traditional medicine, more research is needed on this herb’s safety and effectiveness. Talk to your doctor before taking hemidesmus to treat a medical condition. Stay on the safe side and avoid the herb if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Discuss any other medications or herbs you’re talking with your doctor before starting on a hemidesmus supplement since herbs are known to interact with each other in some cases.