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Trichosanthes dioica Roxb.
(Family: Curcurbitaceae)
Sanskrit- Patola; Bengali – Patal; Hindi – Parvar; English – Wild snake gourd.

It is a climber and found wild in the plains of North India from Punjab to Assam; it is also extensively cultivated all over the warmer region of India, particularly in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Assam for its fruit.
The fruits are used as a vegetable is particularly useful for convalescents, as they are laxative and easily digestible. Fruits also show some prospect in control of cancer-like conditions. Extracts of seeds show hemagglutinating activity.
Learn more about Trichosanthes dioica

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Comment by Dr Dushyant Kamal Dhari on September 3, 2010 at 3:53am
Ayurvedic uses
Charak has found it to be a sovereign remedy in cases of dropsy, anasarca, bilious and catarrhal fevers, slow chronic fevers associated with haemoptysis and also in synovitis.
Sushruta has found it efficacious in haemoptysis and bilious fevers.
Bhavaprakasha has recommended its use in small pox with predominance of bilious symptoms.

Lt Col R.N . chopra in his “Indigenous drugs of India” writes, “ The leaves of Trichosanthes dioca are tonic, febrifuge, fruits of bitter variety are used in scorpion sting. The fruit is described by the Sanskrit writers as febrifuge, laxative and antibilious. The juice of leaves and fruits are mentioned as cholagogue and aperient. The root is a drastic purgative.”

More observations
The root bark of Trichosanthes dioca possesses highly purgative properties. It causes purging to such a great extent that a little overdose may cause death.
It may be a grand substitute for Ipecac and Podophyllum or it may be employed where these two are indicated and fail to do any good.

Currently this plant is valued for its Antioxidant, cholesterol lowering properties, anti diabetes, anti microbial and much more.

Anti-oxidant properties – A study indicates that the aqueous fruit extract of TD exhibits cholesterol and body weight-lowering activities in both normal and hyperglycemic rats. The underlying mechanism of the lipidaemic lowering activity of TD could be the inhibition of lipid absorption due to the presence of saponins and tanins in the aqueous extract, and/or inhibition of cholesterolesterase, activation of fatty acids synthase, acetyl-CoA carboxylase and production of triglyceride precursors such as acetyl-CoA and glycerol phosphate especially in the treatment of hypercholesterolemia associated with obesity and cardio-vascular diseases.
It was concluded that the aqueous fruit extract of TD exhibited potent long-term cholesterol and
triglyceride-lowering activities in both normal and STZ-diabetic rats, and confirmed its use in
the treatment of cardiac diseases by the Indian population. Additionally, the precise molecular
mechanism and active substance(s) need to be determined in further experiments. Such active
principle(s) could be precious in atherosclerosis and cardiac diseases therapy and control.

Anti –diabetes – In rats with streptozotocin induced severe diabetes mellitus, aqueous extract of Trichosanthes dioica fruits at a dose of 1000 mg/kg body weight daily once for 28 days reduced the levels of fasting blood glucose, postprandial glucose, asparate amino transferase, alanine amino transferase, alkaline Phosphatase, creatinine, urine sugar and urine protein where as total protein and body weight was Increased. No toxic effect was observed during LD50. Our study suggests that further detailed toxicity studies that further detailed toxicity studies and mechanism of action of T.dioica would be useful for undertaking human trials.
The mechanism involved in this pharmacological effect seems to be the inhibition of endogenous
glucose production
Tuberculosis – in a study done by ICMR ( Indian council of Medical Research) for Anti-microbial activity of Trichosanthes dioca, the extent of antibacterial activity of Trichosanthes dioica extract was of the following order: leaves> fruits> seeds. So, the most important finding is that its fruits and to some extent its seeds can be used as anti-infective whereas its leaves could be used for anti- tuberculosis treatment.
The leaves extract was active against all five strains and the highest inhibition was observed against Mycobacterium smegmatis. Thus the leaves extract could be used for tuberculosis treatment.
Few more observations - 44 of 52 patients (84.6%) with hydatidiform mole were treated successfully with trichosanthin with an average evacuation time of 4.5 days.
CD4+ cells increased a little in AIDS patients given trichosanthin weekly, then monthly, of 1.2 mg i.v. combined with antiretroviral agents.
Comment by Debby Bruck on September 3, 2010 at 1:09pm
Wondering how many homeopaths use this plant remedy? Is it one to be added to emergency remedy kit?

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