A climbing shrub, Embelia ribes (False Black Pepper) has leathery leaves and white to greenish flowers. The round fruits are berry shaped and possess only one seed. The leaf is simple alternate, coriaceous, narrowly obovate, or oblong. The margin is entire and apex acuminate. The inflorescence is terminal, paniculate raceme.
The seeds of the Embelia ribes has oil glands and whitish streaks. The leaves, fruit, and roots of the plant are used in medicine. The berries are globular. They have a dull red to blackish colour. At the apex, the remains of the style form like a beak. The mature fruits have persistent calyxes with five lobes.
The common name in Hindi is Vai Vidanga or Vidanga. It is called False Black Pepper because it resembles black pepper in appearance. English names are False black pepper, White flowered embelia and Embelia fruit.
Botanical Name or Family
The botanical name is Embelia ribes. It belongs to the Myrsinaceae family.
Geological area where Embelia ribes trees grows
It grows in the Southeast and Eastern Asia regions such as China, Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan, and India. In India, it grows in the hilly regions of the Himalayas, the Western Ghats, and in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Assam, and Arunachal Pradesh.
Medicinal Use of Embelia ribes in different disease
It has a hot potency, and so it balances the Vata and Kapha doshas. Its main use is in augmenting the movement of mass inside the intestines. It finds use as Vidanga oil, Vidanga powder, and Vidanga Lauha.
- Anthelmintic: Of all the forms of natural treatments for worms, especially tapeworm, Vai Vidanga is the best. Usually, when other anthelmintic medicine is given, they give some additional medicine to help remove the dead worms. Since Vai Vidanga is mildly laxative by nature, there is no need for an extra laxative.
- Helps diabetes patients: It helps control the level of sugar in the blood. Diabetes patients have benefit. They must have a glass of via Vidanga water in the morning and the night.
- Improves skin health: Skin complexion improves when you have Embelia ribes regularly. The paste form is used to cure skin diseases. People use it for treating leprosy.
- Improves the appetite: If one has Vai Vidanga water regularly, it helps improve the appetite. This is due to the enhancement of the metabolism through the strengthening of the digestive system.
- Alleviates distress in abdominal distension: When the abdomen becomes distended through bloating and related infections, the pain in the abdomen increases. Having Vai Vidanga water helps relieve the pain due to the distended abdomen.
- Relieves pain: On its own, the False Black Pepper helps alleviate pain. People use the Vidanga Lauha to treat sore throats.
- Alexiteric: It resists poison to an extent but is not an antidote to poison.
- Relieves dysuria: It has a mild diuretic action. This is helpful for people suffering from dysuria.
- Improves dental health: You can use the water decoction to do oil pulling. This improves bad breath and dental caries. It is useful for treating mouth ulcers. It helps protect the teeth by fighting the formation of cavities.
- Enhances bowel movement: The Embelia ribes enhances the movement of food along the colon. This is useful for keeping the metabolism healthy.
- Relieves headache: For those who have headaches, drinking Vai Vidanga water helps to give relief. You can also rub the leaves on the head to provide relief from headaches.
- Piles treatment: People can use the bark of the root for piles treatment. The medicinal preparation is made by boiling the bark in water. Triphala powder is added and mixed with honey. This mixture is taken twice a day.
- Removes colic pain: It proves useful for alleviating the symptoms of abdominal colic pain. Just give Vai Vidanga water twice a day.
- Expel dosha through the head: The doshas are expelled through the fluids in the head. This improves your metabolic activities and improves your digestion.
- Overcome anorexia: The Embelia ribes stabilizes the digestive system and removes the feeling of hunger. People with anorexia will benefit by having Vai Vidanga water twice a day until the symptoms vanish.
- Fights dizziness: The False Black Pepper helps one overcome dizzy spells easily. Make a decoction with water and have a glass in the morning and night. Regular consumption of Vidanga powder with milk or water helps the person overcome all kinds of nervous debility. It is also useful for treating paralysis also.
- Improves digestion: It helps overcome constipation, indigestion and bloating. There is an overall improvement in the digestion system. It alleviates the symptoms of gastritis. Have the powder in your fruit juice or just plain water.
- Helpful in weight loss treatments: It augments the metabolism of body fats making the person lose weight. The person must take the False Black Pepper water three times a day with meals. This helps to improve the digestion and the fats are removed from the body.
- Helps stomach health: The water of False Black Pepper is given to new mothers to help deal with stomach ache and gas. Its carminative action helps prevent the formation of gas in the gastrointestinal tract and helps expel the gas. They put a few berries in the milk they give to the infants as it prevents flatulence.
- Prevent the aging: It has rejuvenating power especially when taken with liquorice root. It shows restorative property and strengthens the body. You can have the powder or the water twice a day.
- Cestocidal activity: It helps prevent the Cestocidal activity. You need to drink Embelia ribes water daily.
- Rids microbial infection: Due to its action of suppressing the growth of microbes, the Vai Vidanga is used in many Ayurvedic preparations such as Sanjivani Vati. People use it to treat lung diseases and lung infections.
- Balances the mind: Due to its balancing property, you can use the Vai Vidanga to cure insanity. It helps to keep the unbalanced elements at bay. This will help to calm the mind and create balanced thinking.
- Improves the heart health: It strengthens the health and augments metabolic activity. By improving the blood flow, it helps prevent heart attacks.
You must use the Vidanga with care since it can cause infertility. Also, it causes abortion, and so pregnant women must avoid it. A few cases of loss of peripheral vision were also reported. So always take under the doctor’s guidance.