Common name: Holostemma Creeper
Scientific Name: Holostemma ada-kodien Schultes
Parts used: Roots and the whole plant
Commercial importance: it is ideal for treating ear, burning sensation, cough, fever and diabetes. It is a vitalizing herb, anti aging, anti asthmatic and oleating adjunctive. It is also beneficial for eyes and alleviates all the three dosas. It is a remunerative tonic and anti diarrheal. Roots has cooling and lactative properties and is also an astringent to the bowels and is sweet. The root made into a paste is applied to eyes in ophthalmic and also for scalding in gonorrhoea. In diabetes, the root rubbed into a paste is given in cold milk. In spermatorrhoea, the dried root with an equal quantity of the root of Ceiba pentandra powder, is given in six doses with milk and sugar daily. It is employed in dicoction by the Santals, as a remedy for cough and also for orchitis. It is a Munda stomach ache medicine. It also cures ulcers, biliousness, diseases of the blood, worms, itching and vesicular calculi.
How to cultivate
The plant is propagated vegetatively by stem cuttings but mainly by seeds. But less than 10 per cent fruit set in this crop becomes a major constraint for large scale cultivation. The crop can be planted in open conditions or in partial shade. Prepare the land to a fine tilth during April-May by ploughing or digging. Planting is done on ridges of 30cm height, taken 50 cm apart. On this 2-3 months old seedlings or rooted cuttings can be planted at a spacing of 30 cm. Planting can be done in June-July. Cattle manure or compost at the rate of 10t/ha may be applied as basal dose at the time of land preparation. P and K fertilizers are found beneficial for increasing root yield, which can be applied basally and once or twice during the growing period. Weeding has to be done as and when necessary. When the plant starts vining, support can be provided with ropes. Flowering and fruit set occur during July-December. Dried fruits can be collected for seed purpose in January-February. The crop can be harvested in 18 months time. Harvesting is done by digging when the vines start drying up. The tubers are cut in to pieces of 10 cm length and dried in sun.