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Vidanga fruit powder - Embelia ribes

Vidanga, org (1/2 lb.)

Item Number : 7652

Price: $11.95 USDA Organic

Certified Organic Vidanga fruit powder (Embelia ribes)

Bolsters the GI tracts natural defenses*

 * Maintains a healthy digestive environment*
 * Strengthens the digestive fire*
 * Eliminates excess vata from the large intestine*
 * Supports natural detoxification*

Ayurvedic Energetics

 * Rasa (taste): pungent, bitter
 * Virya (action): heating
 * Vipaka (post-digestive effect): pungent
 * Doshas (constitutions): Balancing for vata and kapha, may increase pitta.


Vidanga is one of the best Ayurvedic herbs for supporting the body's natural defenses in the GI tract. Its hot, pungent and bitter qualities create an environment conducive to digestive health. Vidanga strengthens the digestive fire and eliminates natural toxins from the GI tract, blood and lymph. Vidanga helps reduce excess vata in the colon promoting intestinal comfort. It also regulates the appetite and helps support proper weight management.*

Herbal tablets that contain Vidanga

include: Joint Support, Para Cleanse, Trim Support and Yogaraj Guggulu

Herbal powder formulas that contain Vidanga

include: Avipattikar and Yogaraj Guggulu

Other products that contain Vidanga

include: Mahanarayan Oil and Sarada Ayurvedic Pimple Remover

This product is organically grown and processed in accordance with the USDA's National Organic Program (NOP).

For more information on Vidanga visit: Herbs for life: Vidanga monograph

Search index page description

Banyan Botanicals Vidanga fruit powder is USDA certified organic, sustainably sourced, and fairly traded. Vidanga is also known as Vaividanga or Viranga (Hindi), Vidanga (Sanskrit), Embelia (English) and Walangasal (Sinhalese). The botanical name of Vidanga is Embelia ribes. Vidanga fruit powder is available in ½ lb and 1 lb bags and in bulk bags of 5 lbs or more.

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Botanical name: Embelia ribes, Myrsinaceae family

Other names: Vellah (S), Baberang, Viranga (H), Vayuvilanga, Vilal, Kattukodi (T), Embelia (E)

Vidanga Botany: Vidanga is a large climbing shrub with long slender branches, long internodes, and the bark studded with lenticels. The leathery leaves are simple, alternate, ellptic-lanceolate, obtusely acuminate, shiny green and glabrous above, silvery below, with scattered, minute sunken glands. The small white to greenish white flowers are borne in terminal and axillary panicled racemes, the calyx five-lobed, the corolla hairy, with five stamens. The fruit is a smooth globose berry], comprised of a thin reddish colored [[wp>pericarp containing a single seed.

Vidanga is found in forested hilly areas, from the Himalayas southwards into Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Sri Lanka, as well as throughout S.E. Asia (Kirtikar and Basu 1935, 1478; Warrier et al 1994, 368).

Part used

The most studied chemical in Vidanga is embelin (embolic acid), or rather, potassium embelate (2,5-dihydroxy, 3-undecyl-1, 4-benzoquinone). A related quinone found in Vidanga is vilangin, a structure of two embelin mocules attached with a CH2 bridge. Other constituents include the alkaloid christembine, a volatile oil, quercitol, tannins and fatty acids (Yoganarasimhan 2000, 211; Kapoor 1990, 174)

Medical research:

Fertility: The Indian Council of Medical Research in New Delhi reports that Embelia ribes has been found to be safe and effective as a female contraceptive, with encouraging results in phase-I clinical trials (Sharma et al 2001). In one a one year clinical trial of 48 fertile women, ages 26-42, 400 mg of E. ribes was given each morning for 10 days beginning on the fifth day of menstruation, the total dosage being 10 tablets for one menstrual cycle. The researcher reports no pregnancies, side-effects, or symptoms of toxicity. The paper hypothesizes that E. ribes antagonizes the effects of estrogen on the uterus so that the fertilized ovum cannot implant and develop properly (Shah 1971). Vidanga has also been shown to have negative effects on male fertility. In one study embelin isolated from E. ribes was found to significantly reduce the sperm count and, sperm motility, weight of the testes in male albino rats (Seth et al 1982), confirmed by a later study, in which embelin was found to alter testicular histology as well as lower glycogen, sperm counts and accessory sex gland fructose when administered subcutaneously in male rats over a 35 day period (Agrawal et al 1986). A recent paper examining the activity of equal parts powders of Embelia ribes, Piper longum and borax fed to pregnant rats resulted in low birth, with cases of herniation of the intestines into the umbilical cord, with mothers gaining less weight during gestation (Chaudhury et al 2001).

Antitumor: Researchers investigated the effect of embelin on its lipid lowering activity in experimental fibrosarcoma. Methylcholantherene-induced fibrosarcoma was transplanted in rats, and after 30 days, embelin (50 and 100 mg/kg, p.o.) was administered for a period of 20 days. Blood samples were collected on the 21st day and the liver and the kidney were examined to determine the lipid profile in the serum and tissues. The levels of total cholesterol, phospholipids, triglycerides and free fatty acids were found to be markedly elevated in the serum of tumour bearing rats, with significant alterations observed in the lipid profile of liver and kidney. These changes however were significantly reversed in embelin (100 mg/kg) treated animals (Chitra et al 2003).

Analgesic: The analgesic activity of embelin derived from Embelia ribes was studied on intrathecal administration in rats and mice. Both the mono and dipotassium salts of embelin displayed a higher activity in visceral evoked responses when compared with thermal evoked responses. The study also demonstrated naloxone-resistant specific binding sites for potassium embelate in the spinal cord through which the antinociceptive response is modulated. Although earlier studies indicated that mixed mu and kappa binding sites in the brain may be involved in its analgesic activities, neither mono and dipotassium embelate affected motor function on intrathecal administration (Zutshi et al 1989; Zutshi et al 1986). Researchers examined the analgesic effect of potassium embelate in rats and mice. Potassium embelate was found to be an effective analgesic comparable with morphine when given orally or upon intravenous or intramuscular administration. Although potassium embelate was found to act centrally its effect was not antagonized by naloxone, indicating a different central site of action. A peripheral site of action was ruled out it was found to lack any demonstrable anti-inflammatory action. Researchers also noted that there was no precipitation of abstinence syndrome as observed with morphine (Atal et al 1984).

Antioxidant: Researchers investigated the lipid-lowering and antioxidant potential of an ethanolic extract of E. ribes in streptozotocin-induced diabetes in rats. Over a twenty day period of feeding the extract (200 mg/kg) to diabetic rats resulted in significant decrease in blood glucose, serum total cholesterol, and triglycerides, and increase in HDL-cholesterol levels when compared to controls. Further, the extract also lowered the liver and pancreas thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARSs) values when compared to TBARS values of liver and pancreas of in the control animals (Bhandari et al 2002).

Antimicrobial: The benzoquinone-derivative embelin isolated from Embelia ribes was examined for its in vitro antimicrobial activity against 12 different strains of bacteria. Embelin exhibited a significant inhibitory activity against five different strains and moderate activity against three strains of the 12 bacteria tested (Chitra et al 2003).

Toxicity: Embelia ribes has been reported to possibly cause optic atrophy among the Ethiopian population. Researchers examined this potential by feeding newly born chicks the crude herb in both high doses (5 g/kg/day) and low doses (0.5 g/kg/day), along with regular chick feed. Treatment with E. ribes was found to dose-dependently reduce the peripheral field of vision, and interfered with visual discrimination tasks. Researchers compared these effects with the administration of purified embelin isolated from E. ribes, and found that these effects were mimicked, suggesting that embelin may be responsible for the visual defects. Anatomical evidence of degeneration of ganglion cells was found in retinae exposed to high doses of E. ribes but no retinal lesions were detected in chicks following treatment with cumulative doses of less than 5 g/kg per day (Low et al 1985). Potassium embelate, or 2,5-dihydroxy, 3-undecyl-1, 4-benzoquinone, isolated from Embelia ribes was subjected to toxicity evaluation which included subacute, chronic, reproductive toxicity testing and teratological investigations in laboratory mice, rats and monkeys. The results did not indicate adverse effects suggesting that potassium embelate is a safe compound. (Johri et al 1990)

Indications: Poor appetite, tooth decay, dyspepsia, flatulence, colic, constipation, intestinal parasites, fever, cough, asthma, cardiac debility, skin diseases, skin infection, tumor, psychosis, debility and weakness

Contraindications: Pittakopa; pregnancy, diarrhea, bowel inflammation.

Medicinal uses: Vidanga has many uses in Ayurvedic medicine but most importantly is used to dispel intestinal worms and fungal pathogens such as ringworm. It is however a relatively pleasant remedy, and the dried fruit could even be chewed like pumpkin seeds if it weren’t for the acrid, burning sensation that occurs in the back of the throat shortly after ingestion, reminiscent of black pepper. Thus in most instances about 8-12 g of the seed will be powdered and administered with honey, followed with a little warm water, taken first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. No food is taken for the entire day, and the next morning castor oil is taken to expel the dead worms. One recipe that is reputed to “destroy all worms as a thunderbolt does demons” is Vidangaghrita, prepared by decocting 24 parts Triphala, eight parts Vidanga and one part Dashamula in 128 parts water until the quantity of water is reduced to one-fourth of its original volume. The decoction is then strained and mixed with eight parts ghee and some saindhava added in for good measure, and decocted until there is no water remaining (Sharma 2002, 112), 3-6 g b.i.d.-t.i.d., taken with warm water. In the treatment of heart pain caused by parasitic infection the Chakradatta recommends a fermented gruel of barley mixed with the powders of Vidanga and Kushta (Sharma 2002, 305). In the treatment of ringworm Vidanga can be prepared in mustard oil or applied as a paste, and applied topically. Beyond its use in parasitic infections however, Vidanga is an important remedy in both Vattic and Kaphaja conditions, used in dryness of the bowels, constipation, colic and flatulence as well as in Kaphaja polyuria and obesity. Due to its pungent properties Vidanga is an effective sialagogue and digestive stimulant, both the roots and fruit used in anorexia as well as a powder in the treatment of dental caries as a dentifrice. As a digestive stimulant used especially in inflammatory joint disease (amavata) the Chakradatta recommends a combination of Vidanga, Shatapushpa (Anethum graveolens), Maricha (Piper nigrum) and saindhava taken with warm water (Sharma 2002, 249). In the treatment of severe colic the dehusked Vidanga seed is reduced to a powder and taken along with equal parts powders of Trikatu, Trivrit, Danti (Baliospermum montanum) and Chitraka, mixed into balls with jaggery, taken in the morning in doses of 3-5 g with warm water (Sharma 2002, 270). In the treatment of constipation marked by hardness of the bowels, flatulence, colic and abdominal pain the Chakradatta recommends a churna comprised of five parts Vidanga, four parts svarjika kshara (an alkali containing sodium bicarbonate (1), three parts Kushta, two parts Vacha and one part Hingu (Sharma 2002, 286). Mixed with equal parts Trikatu, Chitraka, Bhallataka, Tila (Sesamum indicum) and Haritaki, Vidanga is used in the treatment of hemorrhoids, skin diseases, edema, constipation, intestinal parasites, anemia and poisoning (Sharma 2002, 83). In the treatment of abdominal tumors (gulma) the Chakradatta recommends a medicated ghee prepared by decocting Vidanga with equal parts Trikatu, Triphala, Dhanyaka (Coriandrum sativum), Chavya (Piper chaba), and Chitraka, in milk and ghee until only the ghee remains (Sharma 2002, 296). In the treatment of splenomegaly (pliha) the Chakradatta recommends Vidangadikshara, comprised of equal parts Vidanga, Chitraka, Vacha and flour, mixed with ghee and reduced to ash, taken with milk (Sharma 2002, 350). Mixed with equal parts Haritaki, Shunthi, Trivrit, Maricha (Piper nigrum) and saindhava, Vidanga is mixed with cow’s urine and used as a purgative in Virechana therapy (Sharma 2002, 672). Although used mostly for its bhedana properties, Vidanga mixed with Ativisha (Aconitum heterophyllum), Musta, Devadaru, Patha (Cissampelos pariera) and Indrayava, with six parts Maricha (Piper longum), used in the treatment of diarrhea with edema (Sharma 2002, 47). The root and bark of Vidanga are used similarly to the seed, applied topically as a counter-irritant in joint disease, rheumatism and lung congestion. The freshly chopped leaves or leaf juice can be applied topically in the treatment of skin diseases and wounds.


fruit, root, bark

• Churna: 3-12 g b.i.d.-t.i.d. • Kvatha: 1:4, 30-90 mL • Taila:topically, as needed


1. Srikanthamurthy states that Svarjika kshara is obtained from the ash of various species, including some species of seaweed and the tree Salsola kali. Svarjika kshara is stated to be inferior to Yavakshara, or the ash of barley seed (Hordeum vulgare) (2001, 202).

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embelia_ribes.txt · Last modified: 2018/02/26 18:11 (external edit)