By Syed Akbar
Decalepsis hamiltonii or swallow root is an ancient herb that has been
used for centuries by tribes deep in the jungles, down the Vindhyas.
Though there have been several claims on its medicinal properties,
it's only of late that scientific studies are conducted to verify some
of them. It has been found to be good against bacterial infection
including Salmonella typhii that causes typhoid and Helicobacter
pylori that is responsible for ulcers in the stomach and even cancers.
The root of Decalepsis is used in herbal medicine, particularly
Ayurveda and Unani. It is regarded as a blood purifier and general
health tonic to boost the immune system. Research on rats has shown
that it has anti-diabetic properties. It is found to protect the liver
and prevents formation of cholesterol deposits in the blood vessels.
Decalepsis should be used in small quantities as excessive intake may
lead to health troubles. Pregnant women and lactating mothers should
avoid Decalepsis as a precautionary measure. Those planning for a
surgical procedure should stop taking Decalepsis at least 15 days
before hospitalisation, as the herb is known to dilute the blood.
Those on anti-coagulant and blood thinning medicines should avoid
The root extract of Swallow root works as a general tonic since it has
anti-oxidant properties. It also prevents cancers of various types.
Ready-made root extract of Swallow root is available in herbal stores.
One may also go in for Swallow root tonic to keep the physiological
functioning of the body in good condition. Alternatively, one can take
a few grams of fresh or dried root and prepare decoction adding it to
a glass of water. Filter the decoction and consume it.
A little quantity of Swallow root powder daily will help in prevention
of complications linked to diabetes.
Recent studies have shown that Swallow root can be used in cancer
therapy along with the regular medicines. Root extract or powder can
be consumed in a little quantity to prevent cancer complications.
Swallow root powder is often prescribed to reduce swelling
(inflammation), and in treating typhoid. It is regarded as a good
appetiser. A little of root powder before the meal will increase the
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