Parpataka (Fumaria indica)

Basonym of Drug

Parpataka, the revered medicinal plant, is scientifically known as Fumaria indica. This botanical nomenclature forms the foundation for identifying and categorizing the plant both in scientific and traditional medicinal contexts.

Main Sanskrit Synonyms

Parpataka, with its potent therapeutic properties, has garnered numerous Sanskrit synonyms in Ayurveda. Some notable Sanskrit synonyms of Parpataka include:

  1. Parpata: Highlighting the distinct identity of the plant and its significance in traditional medicine.
  2. Tiktapushpi/Sutiktaka/Varatikta: Recognizing its bitter taste and the association with the “puspi” category of herbs.
  3. Arishta: Signifying its astringent and purifying qualities.
  4. Sookshma-Patra: it has pointed small leaves.
  5. Pittaha: It pacifies Pitta dosha.
  6. Pragandha: It has strong fragrance.

Regional Name (Vernacular Names)

Parpataka’s popularity transcends regions, evident from its vernacular names across diverse languages. Some regional names for Parpataka include:

  • Hindi: Pitpapada
  • English: Fumitory
  • Bengali: Pitpapra
  • Marathi: Pitpapda
  • Tamil: Pitharathai
  • Telugu: Peddapaatha, Peddapatha
  • Kannada: Girisopu
  • Gujarati: Pitpapada
  • Punjabi: Pitpapada

Scientific Classification of Dravya

  • Kingdom: Plantae 
  • Sub-Kingdom: Angiosperms 
  • Division (Phylum): Spermatophyta 
  • Class: Dicotyledons 
  • Order: Ranunculales
  • Family: Papaveraceae
  • Genus: Fumaria
  • Species: indica

Classical Classification of Dravya (Gana)

Charaka Samhita: Trishnanigrahana

Bhavprakash Nighantu: Guduchyadi varga

External Morphology

Parpataka, an emblem of natural beauty, is an annual herbaceous plant that typically grows up to 50 cm in height. It features delicate leaves and small, pink or white flowers arranged in clusters. Its distinctive appearance contributes to its recognition and use in traditional medicine.

Useful Parts

The aerial parts of the Parpataka plant, including the leaves and stems, hold significant therapeutic potential. The whole plant is commonly used in various medicinal preparations.

Important Phytoconstituents

Parpataka’s remarkable medicinal attributes are attributed to its diverse range of phytochemicals. Some significant constituents found in Parpataka include:

  1. Alkaloids: These compounds offer various pharmacological effects, contributing to Parpataka’s therapeutic applications.
  2. Fumaric Acid: A key compound known for its antioxidant properties and potential health benefits.
  3. Flavonoids: These compounds exhibit antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, supporting overall well-being.
  4. Bitter Principles: Parpataka’s bitter taste is attributed to its bitter principles, which play a role in its traditional applications.

Rasa Panchaka of Parpataka:

Rasa (Predominant Taste): Tikta (Bitter)

Guna (Property): Laghu (Light)

Veerya (Potency): Sheeta (Cold)

Vipaka (Post-digestive Effect): Katu (Pungent)

Prabhava: Noteworthy purifying effects

Action on Dosha, Dhatu, and Mala:

Dosha: Parpataka primarily balances the “Kapha” dosha due to its bitter taste and drying properties. It also can have an effect on the “Pitta” dosha, contributing to its cleansing abilities.

Dhatu: Parpataka affects the “Rasa Dhatu” (lymphatic fluid) and “Rakta Dhatu” (blood tissue), promoting their cleansing and purifying actions.

Mala: It supports healthy digestion, enhancing the formation and elimination of malas (excretory waste products), thus aiding in detoxification.

Prayogarha Vyadhi (Therapeutic Indications):

Parpataka, with its unique combination of tastes and properties, serves various therapeutic purposes:

  1. Skin Disorders: Parpataka’s bitter taste and detoxifying properties make it a valuable remedy for various skin ailments. It effectively manages conditions like acne, eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis by purifying the blood and promoting healthy skin.

  2. Digestive Disorders: Its bitter taste stimulates the digestive fire (Agni), aiding in improving appetite and digestion. Parpataka is employed in managing indigestion, flatulence, and abdominal discomfort.

  3. Liver Health: The detoxifying properties of Parpataka benefit the liver by eliminating toxins and promoting overall liver function. It supports the liver’s role in detoxification and metabolism.

  4. Blood Purification: Parpataka’s ability to purify the blood aids in the management of blood-related disorders. It helps cleanse the circulatory system, promoting optimal blood quality.

  5. Bleeding Disorders: Due to its astringent properties, Parpataka is beneficial in managing bleeding disorders. It can control bleeding from gums, nose, and heavy menstrual bleeding.

  6. Respiratory Health: Parpataka’s anti-inflammatory and expectorant properties contribute to respiratory health. It is used in managing cough, bronchitis, and congestion, promoting clear and comfortable breathing.

  7. Urinary Disorders: Its diuretic nature enhances urine output, assisting in flushing out toxins from the body. Parpataka supports urinary system health and helps manage urinary disorders.

  8. Liver Disorders: Parpataka supports liver function by aiding detoxification, promoting bile secretion, and maintaining liver health. It is used to manage liver disorders and prevent hepatic damage.

  9. Gastrointestinal Health: Its bitter taste and digestive-enhancing properties make it beneficial in managing various gastrointestinal issues such as gastritis, abdominal pain, and bloating.

  10. Rheumatic Conditions: Parpataka’s anti-inflammatory properties contribute to managing joint pain and inflammation associated with conditions like arthritis.

  11. Fever Management: Its antipyretic and detoxifying effects assist in managing fever, especially when associated with toxins and metabolic imbalances.

  12. Anti-inflammatory: Parpataka’s anti-inflammatory effects extend to managing inflammation in various body systems, including the skin, joints, and respiratory tract.

  13. Immune Support: It aids in boosting immunity by promoting detoxification and maintaining overall health.

  14. Oral Health: Parpataka’s antimicrobial and astringent properties support oral health, managing conditions like mouth ulcers and gum inflammation.

  15. Eye Health: Parpataka is used in the management of eye disorders, promoting eye health and maintaining clear vision.

Amayikaprayoga and Matra (Therapeutic Administration and Dose):

Parpataka can be administered in various forms, each with a specific dosage:

  1. Decoction: Prepare a decoction by boiling 3-5 grams of Parpataka in 240 ml of water until it reduces to 60 ml. Consume once or twice a day.

  2. Powder: Consume 1-3 grams of Parpataka powder, mixed with honey or warm water.

Vishishta Yoga (Names of Important Formulations):

Parpataka’s potency is enhanced when combined with other herbs in specific formulations. Some noteworthy formulations include:

  1. Parpatadi Kashaya: A herbal decoction containing Parpataka and other herbs, used to manage skin disorders and improve digestion.

  2. Chirubilwadi Kashayam: A formulation containing Parpataka and Bilwa (Aegle marmelos), used for digestive disorders and managing abdominal discomfort.

  3. Shadangapaniya: It is used for treating fever.

  4. Parpatadhyarishta: It is a liquid Ayurvedic medicine, used mainly in the treatment of anaemia and liver disorders.

Vishakta Lakshan (Adverse Effects):

Parpataka is generally well-tolerated when used in recommended doses. Excessive consumption may lead to mild adverse effects like gastric irritation or dryness.

Chikitsopachara (Remedial Measures):

If any adverse effects occur, the following measures can be taken:

  1. Discontinue Use: Cease using Parpataka if adverse reactions are experienced.

  2. Consult a Healthcare Professional: If adverse effects persist or worsen, consult an Ayurvedic practitioner or healthcare professional for guidance.

Shodhana (Purification Method):

Parpataka’s inherent properties contribute to its cleansing effects. No specific purification methods are required.

Note: The provided information is for educational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. Consult with a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner or healthcare professional before using Parpataka or any other herbal remedies, especially if you have underlying health conditions or are taking other medications.

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Note: The information provided in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be considered as a substitute for medical advice. Please consult with a qualified healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment of any other medical condition.

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