Withania coagulans Dunal.

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Family

Solanaceae.

Habitat

Drier parts of Punjab, Gujarat, Simla and Kumaon.

English

Vegetable Rennet, Indian Cheese-maker.

Unani

Desi Asgandh, Kaaknaj-e-Hindi, Paneer, Paneer-band. Akri (fruit).

Siddha/Tamil

Ammukkura.

Action

Alterative, emetic, diuretic. Ripe fruits—sedative, CNS depressant, antibilious, emetic, antiasthmatic, diuretic, anti-inflammatory; used in chronic liver troubles and strangury. Dried fruits—carminative, depurative; used for dyspepsia, flatulence and strangury. Leaf—alterative, febrifuge. Seeds—anti-inflammatory, emetic, diuretic, emmenagogue.

Though known as Desi Asgandh, the root is not used in Indian medicine. Ashwagandhaa (Bengali) and Ashwagandhi (Kannada) are confusing synonyms of W. coagulans. In the market no distinction is made between the berries of W. coagulans and W. somnifera.

The berries contain a milk-coagulating enzyme, esterases, free amino acids, fatty oil, an essential oil and alkaloids. The amino acid composition fairly agrees with that of papain. The ess ...