Benefits of Hog Weed
Herbs a to z
Hog weed is a creeping and spreading perennial herb, with a stout root-stock and many erect or spreading branches. It grows up to 2 meters in length. The leaves of the plant are simple, broad, somewhat rough, thick and brittle. The flowers are pink or red in colour. The fruits are oval in shape, dull- green or brownish in colour and about the size of caraway bean.
Hog weed is indigenous to India. It grows wild all over the country as a common creeping weed and is specially abundant during the rains.
The plant contains a crystalline acid known as boerhavic acid, potassium nitrate and a brown mass consisting of tannins, phlobaphenes and reducing sugars. The active principle of hog weed is the alkaloid punarnavine. The drug contains large quantities of potassium salts, which accounts for its diuretic properties.
The herb has been used in' indigenous medicine from time immemorial. It is laxative and produces a cooling sensation. In large doses it induces vomiting. Medicinally, the most important part of the herb is the root. It has a bitter and nauseous taste. It is beneficial in the treatment of several common ailments.
Hog weed increases the secretion and discharge of urine. It is effective in the treatment of dropsy, a disease marked by an excessive collection of a watery fluid in the tissues and cavities or natural hollows of the body. The fresh boiled herb should be given in the treatment of this disease. A liquid extract of the fresh or dry plant can also be given in doses of 4 to 16 grams.
The herb is useful in the treatment of ascites, a disease characterized by accumulation of fluid inside the peritoneal cavity of the abdomen. Much more powerful effect on certain types of ascites-that is, those caused due to the cirrhosis of the 'liver and chronic peritonitis-than some of the other important diuretics known. The herb can be administered in the same manner as for dropsy.
The drug is useful in strengthening the stomach and promoting its action. It is beneficial in the treatment of several stomach disorders, particularly intestinal colic. A powder of the root is given in doses of 5 grams thrice a day. It is also useful in killing or expelling intestinal worms.
Hog weed promotes the removal of catarrhal matter and phlegm from the bronchial tubes. It is, therefore, beneficial in the treatment of asthma. A powder of the root can be taken in small doses three times a day.
Hog weed is beneficial in the treatment of fevers. It brings down temperature by inducing copious perspiration.
The root of the plant is useful in the treatment of several diseases---particularly of the kidney and heart--as well as gonorrhoea. It is also valuable in oedema, anaemia, cough, pluerisy. nervous weakness, constipation and paralysis.
The root of the plant is an effective remedy for several skin diseases. A paste of the root can be applied beneficially as a dressing for edematous swellings. A hot poultice of the root can be applied with gratifying results to ulcers, abscesses and similar skin diseases. It is also used for extracting guinea-worms. Charaka, the great physician of ancient India, used it in the form of ointment in leprosy and other skin diseases.