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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 87-96

Ascertaining Ahimara (a medicinal plant) of Ashtanga Nighantu: An exploratory study

Dravyaguņa Department, Parul College of Ayurveda, Parul University, Vadodara, Gujarat, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Sonia Dhiman
Dravyaguņa Department, Parul College of Ayurveda, Parul University, Vadodara, Gujarat
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jdras.jdras_43_21

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Ashtanga Nighantu contains synonymous explanations of 257 drugs that are cited in Vagbhata Samhita. It also contains Viprakirnagana that incorporates 133 plants. The botanical identification of many of them seems to be doubtful and unconfirmed due to misconceptions, mixing and exchange of synonyms with other species, and changes in nomenclature in subsequent lexicons like Dhanvantari Nighantu and others, which further put down a plethora of controversies. As a result, botanical sources of these plants are to be identified. The Ahimara is one of these lesser-known plants. This review aims to botanically identify the plant Ahimara. The lexicon of Ashtanga Nighantu edited by Acharya Priyavrata Sharma was taken as the main source of analysis. Other texts considered were Ashtanga Nighantu by K.S. Viswanathana, Sanskrit to Hindi translation dictionaries, Vedon mai Ayurveda, Brihatrayi, Laghutrayi; 27 lexicons, medicinal databases, and indexed journals accessed through Google Scholar, PubMed, and Scopus. The evidences obtained in these are support as evidence for determining Ahimara (Haldina cordifolia (Roxb.) Ridsale). This plant is as mentioned an antidote to snake poison and having yellow wood, as mentioned in Ashtanga Nighantu. Identity of this plant became a subject of controversy since the name Aribheda is also the synonym of Arimeda. Another synonym suggested by the author was Haridruma, which may later become Haridru/Haldina cordifolia (Roxb.) Ridsale. However, it may be deemed as Ahimara rather than Irimeda, based on supporting literature. Although the plant Haridru possesses yellow wood, as indicated in the synonyms mentioned in the lexicon, but no supporting evidence is found for its therapeutic use in snake bite. The present review suggests that there is further need of comprehensive phytochemical and clinical studies to affirm this botanical identity.

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