• Name : Bimbi Patra
  • English Name :Ivy-Gourd
  • Scientific Name :Coccinia indica



Bimbi consists of dried whole plant of Coccinia indica; a climbing or prostrate, much branched, perennial herb, growing wild throughout the country.


Morphology Description (Habit):

Root - Root available in cut pieces with a few lateral roots, surface rough due to longitudinal striations and lenticels, cylindrical, 0.5 -2.5 cm in dia., greyish-brown.

Stem - Slender, soft, 0.3-1.5 cm in dia., branched, longitudinally grooved, glabrous, nodes swollen, whitish dots over external surface, a few tendrils attached with nodes, greyish coloured externally and cream to light yellow internally, fracture, fibrous; no odour and taste.

Leaf - Petiolate, petiole cylindrical, simple 2-3.2 cm long, 3.8-9 cm or rarely 10 cm long, palmately lobed, with 3 to 5 lobes or angles, lobes broad, obtuse or acute, more or less sinuate, occasionally constricted at the base, often with circular patches of glands between nerves; lamina bright green above, paler beneath, surface studded and sometimes rough with papillae.

Flower - Ebracteate, pedicellate, incomplete, unisexual, actinomorphic, pentamerous. Male Flower pedicel 2-3.8 cm long, subfiliform, calyx tube glabrous, broadly campanulate, 4.5 mm long linear; corolla 2.5 cm long, white, veined, pubescent inside, glabrous outside, segments 4.5 -7.5 mm long, triangular, acute, staminal column glabrous, capitulum of anthers subglobose; Female Flower pedicel 1.3 - 2.5 cm long, calyx and corolla as in male flowers; staminodes 3, subulate, 3 mm long, ovary fusiform, glabrous, slightly ribbed, stigma 3, bifid.

Fruit - A pepo, ovoid, glabrous, 3.5 - 4.5 cm long and 1.5-2 cm thick, greenish-brown to yellowish-brown with white linings; no odour and taste.

Seed - Somewhat obovoid, 0.7 cm long and 0.2-0.3 cm wide rounded at apex, much compressed, yellowish-grey.


Parts Used:

Whole Plant, Leaf, Fruit



Plant contains saponins, flavonoids, sterols and alkaloids; Saponin and flavonoid are found to be responsible for antidiabetic activity. Various phytoconstituents reported in C. indica are cephalandrol, tritriacontane, lupeol, b-sitosterol, cephalandrine A, cephalandrine B, stigma-7-en-3-one, taraxerone and taraxerol. Terpenoids are found to be responsible for antidiabetic activity.2


As per Ayurveda:

           Rasa (Taste)                 : Sweet, Bitter

           Guna (Property)           : Heavy, Rough

           Veerya (Potency)         : Cold

           Vipaka (End Result)      : Pungent


Pharmacological Actions:

As per Ayurveda, Bimbi is Pittahara.

This herb is famous for its hypoglycemic and antidiabetic properties in Ayurvedic system of medicine. Other applications include the therapy of various conditions such as skin diseases and gonorrhoea.2

The primary pharmacological actions of this therapeutic herb are summarized as under:


Digestive System : 

i. The leaf exerts significant antihepatotoxic activity.3


Endocrynal System: 

i. The hypoglycemic action of C. indica may regulate through the activation of GLUT1 promoter resulting in an increase of the GLUT1 protein expression.4

ii. Possesses beta-cell regeneration capacity.5


Cardiovascular System : 

i. Exerts hypolipidemic effect together with antihyperglycemic activity.6


Reproductive System : 

i. In an animal study, it has been observed that the aqueous extract of Coccinia cordifolia L. induces fertility in hyperprolactinemia induced infertility.7


Musculoskeletal System : 

i. The leaf extract possesses significant anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antipyretic activities.8


Others : 

i. The leaf extract possesses significant antibacterial activity against Enterobacter aerogenes, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Bacillus subtilis and Salmonella typhimurium, which prove the potentiality of the plant extracts for the treatment of various skin and gastrointestinal infections in humans.9

ii. Possesses significant antioxidant activity.10



Type 2 Diabetes mellitus

Pre-diabetes, Insulin Resistance and Metabolic Syndrome



1. The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India, Part-1, Vol-3.

2. Deokate UA, Khadabadi SS. Pharmacology and phytochemistry of Coccinia indica. Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytotherapy. 2011; 3(11): 155-159.

3. Gopalakrishnan V, Rao KN, Devi M, et al. Antihepatotoxic acticity of coccinia indica. Ancient Science of Life. 2001 Jul;21(1):12-5.

4. Graidist P, Purintrapiban J. The biological activity of Coccinia indica on Glucose Transporter 1 (GLUT1) Promoter. Songklanakarin Journal of Science and Technology. 2009; 31(3): 247-253.

5. Mallick C, De D, Ghosh D. Correction of protein metabolic disorders by composite extract of Musa paradisiaca and Coccinia indica in streptozotocin-induced diabetic albino rat: an approach through the pancreas. Pancreas. 2009 Apr;38(3):322-9.

6. Balaraman AK, Singh J, Dash S, Maity TK. Antihyperglycemic and hypolipidemic effects of Melothria maderaspatana and Coccinia indica in Streptozotocin induced diabetes in rats. Saudi Pharmaceutical Journal. 2010; 18(3): 173-178.

7. Jha U, Asad M, Asdaq SMB, et al. Fertility inducing effect of aerial parts of Coccinia cordifolia L. in female rats. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 2010; 127(2): 561-564.

8. Niazi J, Singh P, Bansal Y, Goel RK. Anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antipyretic activity of aqueous extract of fresh leaves of Coccinia indica. Inflammopharmacology. 2009 Aug;17(4):239-44.

9. Hussain A, Wahab S, Zarin I, et al. Antibacterial activity of the leaves of Coccinia indica (W. and A.)W of India. Advances in Biological Research. 2010; 4(5): 241-248.

10. Venkateswaran S, Pari L. Effect of Coccinia indica leaf extract on plasma antioxidants in streptozotocin- induced experimental diabetes in rats. Phytotherapy Research. 2003 Jun;17(6):605-8.

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