• Name : Nishoth
  • English Name :Terpeth Root, Indian Jalap
  • Scientific Name :Operculina turpethum


Trivrt consists of dried root of Operculina turpethum (Linn.) Silva Manso Syn. Ipomoea turpethum R. Br. (Fam. Convolvulaceae); a large perennial twiner with milky juice and fleshy roots, found growing wild nearly throughout the country, ascending to 900 m, also occasionally grown in gardens; the roots being fleshy, care is taken in drying as they decay easily; roots therefore cut into pieces and the cut portions are exposed to sun for a day or so, after which it is finally dried in shade. 1

Morphology Description:

Roots occur in pieces, 1.5-15 cm long, 1-5 cm dia., usually unbranched, cylindrical, elongated, bearing thin rootlets; thicker pieces, occasionally split and show central wood portion; surface dull grey, reddish-grey to light brown, showing deep furrows or longitudinal wrinkles giving a rope-like or columnar appearance; transversely cut surface shows thick, whitish bark and light yellow centre; fracture in bark, short; in wood, fibrous; odour, indistinct; taste, slightly acrid and nauseating when kept in mouth for some time. 1

Parts Used:            Root


Resinous Glycosides.

As per Ayurveda:

Rasa (Taste)                  Sweet, pungent, bitter and astringent

Guna (Property)             Light, rough and sharp

Veerya (Potency)           Hot

Vipaka (End Result)      Pungent

Pharmacological Actions:

The roots are thermogenic, purgative, carminative, antihelmintic, expectorant, antipyretic, hepatic, stimulant and hydragogue. They are useful in colic constipation, dropsy, vitiated conditions of vata, paralysis, myalgia, arthralgia, pectoralgia, bronchitis, obesity, helminthiasis, gastropathy, ascites, inflammations, intermittent fever, leucoderma, puritus, ulcers, erysepelas, haemorrhoids, tumors, jaundice, ophthalmia, employed in drug formulations, dropsical effusions and rheumatism.2

Nishoth is Kaphapittahara; its primary pharmacological actions are summarized as under:

Digestive System: 

i. Possesses significant hepatoprotective activity.3,4  

ii. Useful as a laxative (catharatic) in constipation; it contains glucoside Turpethin and resin similar to Jalap resin.5

iii. Exhibits gastroprotective effect. 6

Endocrinal System: 

i. Exhibits significant antidiabetic activity. 7


i. In Bangladesh, the herb Operculina turpethum is used for otitis media, suppurative sores, burns, conjunctivitis and skin diseases (eczema, abscesses, acne, scabies and warts); the herb has been observed to possess significant antibacterial activity. 8

ii. The herb possesses significant analgesic activity. 9

iii. The stem extract has been observed to exhibit protective effect against experimentally-induced breast cancer. 10


 Constipation

 Liver Dysfunction


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

2. Veena Sharma, Manu Singh. Operculina turpethum as a panoramic herbal medicine: a review. IJPSR. 2011; 3(1): 21-25.

3. Ahmad R, Ahmed S, Khan NU, Hasnain AU. Operculina turpethum attenuates N-nitrosodimethylamine induced toxic liver injury and clastogenicity in rats. Chem Biol Interact. 2009 Oct 7;181(2):145-53.

4. Kumar SVS, Sujatha C, Syamala J, et al. Protective effect of root extract of operculina turpethum linn. Against paracetamol-induced hepatotoxicity in rats. Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences. 2006; 68(1): 32-35.

5. Rawat AKS, Srivastava S, Ojha SK. Herbal Remedies for Management of Constipation and its Ayurvedic Perspectives. JIMSA. 2012; 25(1): 27-30.

6. Ignatius V, Narayanan M, Subramanian V, Periyasamy BM. Antiulcer Activity of Indigenous Plant Operculina turpethum Linn. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013;2013:272134.

7. Pulipaka S, Challa SR, et al. Comparative antidiabetic activity of methanolic extract of Operculina turpethum stem and root against healthy and streptozotocin induced diabetic rats. International Current Pharmaceutical Journal. 2012; 1(9): 272-278.

8. Arif Ahmed, Md. Sariful Islam Howlader, Shubhra Kanti Dey, et al. Phytochemical screening and antibacterial activity of different fractions of Operculina turpethum root and leaf. American Journal of Scientific and Industrial Research. 2013; 4(2): 167-172.

9. Prabhavathi NB, Kowsalya B, Kumar SR, et al. Analgesic activity of different solvent extract of Operculina turpethum by using swiss albino mice. Asian Journal of Pharmaceutical and Clinical Research. 2012; 5(3): 215-218.

10. Anbuselvam C, Vijayavel K, Balasubramanian MP. Protective effect of Operculina turpethum against 7,12-dimethyl benz(a)anthracene induced oxidative stress with reference to breast cancer in experimental rats. Chem Biol Interact. 2007 Jul 20;168(3):229-36.

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