Other names include: Anantamul, Indian Sarsaparilla, ananthamoola
Anantmul Herb known as antiasthmatic, bronchodilatory, anti-inflammatory, antiallergic, and has immune suppressive properties.
Herbal preparations are effectively and extensively used for their medicinal properties, and have become increasingly popular worldwide (Fisher et al, 1994 and Astin et al, 1998). Herbal medicines generally have fewer side effects than synthetic compounds, and their effectiveness can be improved by modern pharmacological methods (Wilasrusmee et al, 2002). Medicinal plants have been used as an exemplary source for centuries as an alternative remedy for treating human diseases because they contain different bioactive ingredients, which have great therapeutic value. Orissa is the rich of medicinal plants and Tribal groups who have sound knowledge of traditional medicines. Anantmul is a common medicinal plant among tribal groups of Orissa which have great medicinal value, also called Indian Sarsaparilla and “Dudhi” among “Kolho” tribes of Simlipal biosphere reserve forest. The botanical name of Anantmul isHemidesmus indicus. In Ayurveda it is called Ananthmoola is used to make beverages and used in traditional medicine. Plant parts are used in, diarrhea, respiratory disorders, skin diseases, syphilis, fever, bronchitis, asthma, eye diseases; epileptic fits in children, kidney and urinary disorders, loss of appetite, burning sensation and rheumatism etc. (Vaidya and Kulkarni, 1991; Nadkarni, 1989). It has also been used in combination with other drugs for snake bite (Kirthikar and Basu, 1935; Mors, 1991). Recently, this plant was used to treat viper venom (haemotoxic)-induced lethality (Alam et al., 1996) and against hypercholesterolemia in hyperlipidaemic rats (Bopanna et al., 1997). Traditional herbal medicine possesses greater significance in Orissa; therefore interest in herbal medicine has gradually increased in recent years.
The present studies show the significant medicinal properties of Hemidesmus indicus, the ethnobotanical data revealed the traditional uses among different tribal groups and rural peoples as a medicine. The preliminary phytochemical analysis, and extract was found to contain tannin, glycoside, terpenoids and steroid.Therefore tannin in the extract suggests that might be responsible for anti- diarrheal activity which is reported by M.Gaytri et al, 2009. However further studies are needed to establish that the Hemidesmus indicus has great medicinal properties.