Hemidesmus indicus, Indian sarsaparilla Hindi: Anantamul (अनंत मूल) or Anant Bel (अनंतबेल) ((Tamil: நன்னாரி “nannaari”/ நன்நெட்டி “nannetti”, Telugu: నన్నారి Malayalam: നറുനീണ്ടി, Kannada: ಹಾಲುಬಳ್ಳಿ Haaluballi, क्षीरिणी Kshirini, कराला Karala,اُشبا Punjabi),(sinhala: ඉරමුසු Iramusu)) is a species of plant that is found in South Asia. It is a slender, laticiferous, twining, sometimes prostrate or semi-erect shrub. Roots are woody and aromatic. The stem is numerous, slender, terete, thickened at the nodes. The leaves are opposite, short-petioled, very variable, elliptic-oblong to linear-lanceolate. The flowers are greenish outside, purplish inside, crowded in sub-sessile axillary cymes. It occurs over the greater part of India, from the upper Gangetic plain eastwards to Assam and in some places in central, western and South India.
The root is a substitute for sarsaparilla (the dried root of the tropical species of Smilax, Smilacaceae; in India Smilax aspera L., and Smilax ovalifolia Roxb.). It should be distinguished from Mexican Sarsaparilla Smilax aristolochiifolia Mill. and Jamaican Sarsaparilla Smilax ornata Hook.f
Hemidesmus indicus is used to make beverages and also used in traditional medicine. In Ayurveda it goes by the name of Ananthamoola (अनंत मूल), also known locally in Southern India as Naruneendi or Nannari, (Sanskrit meaning: endless root). It is also known as Anant Vel (अनंतवेल)/Maeen Mool (माईन मूळ) in Marathi. In southern states of India (particularly Tamil Nadu), sarsaparilla roots are called Maahali or Mahani Kizhangu and in its pickled form is also served along with rice dishes. It is also called the false sarsaparilla. It is administered in the form of powder, infusion or decoction as syrup. It is one of the Rasayana plants of Ayurveda
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