Chittamruthu or Amruthavalli is a climber plant with heart-shaped leaves widely used in Ayurveda to treat various ailments.
The word Amruth means being eternal. This plant has an amazing ability to live long and also helps other plants to live longer, making its name apt. It also has a divine and revered status in traditions.
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Type: Perennial Herbal Vine
Botanical name: Tinospora cordifolia
English: Heart-leaved Moonseed
Hindi: Giloy, Guduchi
Sanskrit: Guluchi, Amruthavalli, Amruthalatika
Tamil: Parivai, Amritu
Malayalam: Amruthu, Chittamruthu
Distribution: Native to tropical India, Sri Lanka
Chittamruthu is a perennial herbal vine, which easily grows once the roots are established.
The stem is delicate with inflated nodes. It has the most uses in medicines. Several sprigs grow downward from the stem. They can be 10 meters long. Once they reach the ground, they produce roots and start growing gradually into a new vine.
The heart-shaped leaves have a broad appearance with pleasant green color on the upper side. They are short-lived. They can be 10 cm long and 8 cm wide on average. The arrangement is alternate.
The flowers are unisexual. The male and female flowers appear on different plants. The male flowers occur in groups of 2 to 6 in an inflorescence while the female flowers occur alone but densely packed.
They have a light greenish color with six petals and six sepals. The sepals are arranged in groups of three.
The fruits are red and small with a single seed inside each of them.
The stem of the Amruth plant is used as a medicine in Ayurveda and traditional medicines. It contains an alkaloid called berberine.
It is also widely cultivated all over India as a medicinal herb. Stem cutting is the preferred method for cultivation.