Embelia ribes medicinal herb benefits (False black pepper)
Embelia ribes also known as Vai Vidanka is a medicinal, woody creeper shrub with flexible and terete branches. Leaves are simple, alternate and elliptic. Flowers are small and globular greenish yellow and pinkish white. The fruits are like black pepper and reddish-brown to black in colour. The root is brownish grey in colour. It is called the false black pepper because it mimics the black pepper in appearance and nature.
False black pepper
Botanical name and family
Botanical name-Embelia ribes
Geological distribution of Embelia ribes
The plants can be seen in hilly parts of India such as Central and Lower Himalayas. Samples of Vidanka have been collected from different parts of the world such as Pakistan, Nepal, China and Bhutan. It is also noticed in countries like Singapore, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Malaysia and Africa. In India, it is mostly noticed in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
Medicinal use of Embelia ribes (Vai Vidanka)
Vai Vidanka acts as astringent, diuretic, stimulant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, febrifuge and carminative. It does not have any toxic effect when used in normal doses. Berries, roots and leaves are used for medicinal purpose. The principal constituents of this herb are embelin, tannins, volatile oil, resins and fatty acids. Following are some medicinal uses of the plant:
- The dry fruit of Embelia ribes (Vai Vidanka) is used for the treatment of fever.
- This is used against snakebite and other poisonous bites.
- It is also used for the treatment of various skin diseases like eczema and infection.
- It gives comfort from helminthiasis such as tapeworms.
- Vai Vidanka is used against cavity in teeth, and it protects teeth.
- It is used for treating paralysis.
- The shrub helps to purify the blood.
- The powder of the plant fights against epilepsy and convulsion.
- The powder is also used to great comfort from indigestion.
- The oil of the plant is use for the treatment of any kind of skin or sore infection.
- The root bark can be used for the treatment of insanity and cardiac failure.
- It is useful against nervous debility.
- The plant is useful against flatulence.
- It is also believed to cure tumor and colic.
- The powder is also used as home remedies for cough, asthma and cold.
- The plant is useful for the treatment of lung diseases and infection.
- It gives comfort from a headache when the leaves are rubbed on the head.
- It is also used to treat mouth ulcers.
- The root bark is also used for the treatment of piles.
- The plant is useful for treatment of sore throat.
- The leaves are useful for leprosy.
- It is used as a necessary ingredient in many antimicrobial, anti-fungal medicines.
- The seeds are rejuvenating and used to promote the skin.
- It is also useful against vomiting and gastric.
- It is also used for anti-diabetic purpose and lipid lowering.
- It is also helpful to lose weight.
Excess use of Vai Vidanka can cause some side effects. It is not proved harmful for pregnant women or nursing mothers. For better result, a medicine specialist can be consulted.