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Smilax zeylanica - Ushaba

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Smilax zeylanica

Smilax zeylanica is a plant species in the genus Smilax. Its leaves and roots are used for medicinal purposes. The plant is widespread in India, and native in other parts of the Indian Subcontinent as well as in Myanmar, Malaysia, Java and Solomon Islands.


Venereal diseases, Skin problems, Sores, Dysentery, Ulcer, Gonorrhea, Toothache, Pyorrhea, Sore throats


Smilax zeylanica can be used in Food. Tender leaves and tender fruits are cooked as vegetable.[1]

Parts Used


Chemical Composition

Glucopyranoside, engeletin, isoengeletin, kaempferol, dihydrokaempferol, dihydrokaempferol glucopyranoside, rutin, kaempferol, glucopyranoside, trihydroxystibene, vanillic acid, dimethoxy, glu-copyranosylcinnamic acid, beta-sitosterol, and beta-daucosterol[2]

Common names

Language Common name
Kannada Kaadu hambu, Kaadu hambu thaavare
Hindi Kumarika, Jangli Aushbah
Malayalam Kaltamara, Karivilanti
Tamil Ayadi, Malaittamarai
Telugu Kondadantena
Marathi NA
Gujarathi NA
Punjabi NA
Kashmiri NA
Sanskrit Vanamadhusnahi
English Kumarika


Reference: Dravya - Substance, Rasa - Taste, Guna - Qualities, Veerya - Potency, Vipaka - Post-digesion effect, Karma - Pharmacological activity, Prabhava - Therepeutics.



Tikta (Bitter), Madhura (Sweet)


Laghu (Light), Ruksha (Dry)


Ushna (Hot)


Katu (Pungent)


Kapha, Vata


Nutritional components

Smilax zeylanica Contains the Following nutritional components like - Vitamin- A, B and C; Glycosides, Diosgenin, Saponins, B-sitosterol, Sarsapogenin/ Smilagenin, Flavanoids, Alkaloids; Tannins; Calcium, Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Sodium, Zinc[1]





Kind Shape Feature
Simple ovate-lanceolate Leaves 6-12 x 3-6.5 cm, ovate-oblong, base rounded Leaves



Type Size Color and composition Stamen More information
Unisexual 5-6 mm long greenish 6-8 Flowering is January-Apri


Type Size Mass Appearance Seeds More information
General 7–10 mm clearly grooved lengthwise, Lowest hooked hairs aligned towards crown With hooked hairs 1-3 {{{6}}}

Other features

List of Ayurvedic medicine in which the herb is used

Where to get the saplings

Mode of Propagation


How to plant/cultivate

Easily grown in most soils, preferring a calcareous soil. Thrives in a dry lightly shaded position, though it prefers full sun. Smilax zeylanica is available through June to January[1].

Commonly seen growing in areas

Tropical areas, Eastern Himalayas, Borders of forests.

Photo Gallery


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Forest food for Northern region of Western Ghats" by Dr. Mandar N. Datar and Dr. Anuradha S. Upadhye, Page No.137, Published by Maharashtra Association for the Cultivation of Science (MACS) Agharkar Research Institute, Gopal Ganesh Agarkar Road, Pune
  2. "chemical constituents"
  3. "Plant Diagnostic"

External Links