The Cissampelos pareira also known as Patha, is a perennial climbing plant that has small greenish-yellow leaves. This woody herb resembles a ruffled ribbon. The leaves have a truncate cordate base and peltate or orbicular-reniform. Further, they are ovate subreniform. They put forth dark inedible berries that are the size of grapes. The branches are pubescent. It grows in the warm, dry regions.
Cissampelos pareira bear uni-sexual flowers with the male flowers having 4-5 sepals. They are greenish to yellowish, ovate to obovate. They have a cup-shaped corolla and are hairy on the outside. The filaments of the stamen remain completely fused. The arrangement of these flowers occurs in axillary cymes, and the petals combine in cyathiform corolla and have half the length of the sepals. The filaments are longer than the corolla.
The female flower has one sepal ovate-oblong and like the male flower is hairy. It has ovary superior and style thick with spreading. The stigma is three-lobed. The solitary or twin flowers are elongate with axillary raceme. Their pedicles are very short and bracts nearly sessile or foliaceous, orbicular or reniform. It has one petal sub-rotund.
The fruit has short hairs and subglobose. Its drupe is orange to red in colour with transverse ridges. The seed is horseshoe shaped and has an elongate embryo that is narrow. It remains embedded in the endosperm, and the cotyledons remain flattened. They are endocarp and turn black on ripening.
We have two kinds of Patha – Raja Patha (Cyclea peltata) and LaghuPatha (Cissampelos pareira).
Phytochemicals present in the Cissampelos pareira plant: Phytochemical substances are active compounds present in the plant. They protect the plant from diseases. These chemicals help in the prevention as well as the curing of ailments. This plant has around 38 alkaloids, sterol, flavonol, saponinsquarternary ammonium bases. The chemical compound present in this herb,make it antimicrobial, antifungal, and hypotensive in nature.
Other chemicals present include methalonic acid, hayatinin, quercitol, bebeerine, cissamine, menismine, hayatin, hayatidin, pareirine, and cycleanine. The derivatives of hayatin, the principal alkaloids are methochloride and methiodide, both powerful neuromuscular blocking agents. This gives the herb the anti-spasmodic property.
Commonly referred to as the midwife’s herb, Abuta is referred to as Cyclea peltata in South India and as Cissampelos parieta linn in North India. People also refer to them as velvet-leaf, false pareira, or ice vine.
Botanical name or family
The botanical name for this herb is Cissampelos pareira. It belongs to the family Menispermaceae.
Geographical places where Cyclea peltata grows
We find patha throughout tropical and subtropical India. You can also find Cyclea peltata in East Africa and South America. In India, you can find it in Bihar, Tamilnadu, Bababuden hills (Mysore), Aravalli hills (Marathwada), and Punjab. You also see it in Himachal Pradesh, Konkan, Rajasthan, and West Bengal.
Medicinal uses of cissampelos pareira for treating diseases
The cissampelos pareira is one of the basic ingredients in many Ayurvedic medicines. Some of the common OTC medicines that contain Patha are Pradrantak churna (used for treating female reproductive system disease), VrihatGangadhar churna (to treat amoebiasis and diarrhea), Pushyanug churna (to treat gynaecological disease) and SaraswatGhrita.
- Treat gynecological problems.
- Use as a contraceptive.
- Treat skin ailments.
- They have antiseptic property.
- Has astringent property.
- Stimulates urine production.
- Increases blood flow in the pelvic region.
- Treats colic.
- Improves appetite.
- Reduces fever.
- Brain tonic.
Since ancient times, people have used Abuta for healing of fractures. It helps solve a variety of female problems such as menstrual cramps, stimulation of labour, uterine haemorrhages, postnatal and prenatal pain and prevent miscarriages. One can make the paste of the plant leaves and roots and use it for dealing with inflammation. You can use patha for drowsiness after sleep and constipation treatment.
It helps purify the blood and augments heart health. It finds use in stimulating milk production and dealing with problems of the breast. You can use this for dog bites. Women with vaginal discharge can use this to find relief. One can use the chemical got from the extract of the leaves methalonic for anti-fertility applications since it alters the secretion of estradiol and gonadotropins.
Other than that, it found use in cleaning and healing of wounds, to treat ulcers, and as an antiseptic for chronic inflammation of the bladder. One can use cissampelos pareira to treat fever and vomiting, for treating disorders of the skin and in nasya. You can stimulate hunger with Abuta as it tackles problems like anorexia effectively. It stokes the fires of digestion and makes a person hungry. It is an expectorant and helps cure cough and dyspnoea.
Its anthelmintic action is useful for treating worms. To treat wounds, scabies, itching, and abscess, we prepare a poultice of the leaves and roots and use it on the affected areas. It is febrifuge and refrigerant, and so, it finds use in treating fever related diarrhea and burns. People use the poultice of this herb as a topical pain reliever. Uses of the seeds of the herb include treatment for snakebite, venereal disease, and as an expectorant, and diuretic. They also use it to treat fevers.
Pills for treating colic: Take 4 parts cissampelos pareira. Then you add 5 parts pepper. Now add 3 parts Heeng (asafoetida) and 6 parts of ginger. Add honey and roll into pills.
The seeds are first toasted and made into a tea. This is good for treating internal hemorrhages and internal bleeding. They brew the leaf tea for rheumatism. To treat an irregular heartbeat and excessive menstrual bleeding, they use a wood and bark tea. People also use it for treating muscle inflammation and for fibroid tumors. One can use it for getting a cure for testicle inflammation or for treating minor problems with the kidney.
Studies on animals have revealed that Abuta has anticonvulsant action in mice. It could lower the blood pressure in dogs. Laboratory tests indicate that the herb has antioxidant properties, antimalarial effects and antibacterial action against Staphylococcus and Pseudomonas.
The patha is a light herb that finds use in pacifying the vata and kapha dosha of the body. It can treat a variety of ailments ranging from abdominal pain to poisoning, worm infestation, and abdominal tumour. It is strictly recommended to take only under the guidance of an Ayurvedic doctor.