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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 31  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 137-140

Traditional phytotherapy for the treatment of hydrocele in Odisha, India

Botanical Survey of India, Central Botanical Laboratory, Howrah, West Bengal, India

Date of Web Publication4-Nov-2012

Correspondence Address:
Harish Singh
Central Botanical Laboratory, Botanical Survey of India, P.O.-Botanical Garden, Howrah, West Bengal
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0257-7941.103198

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The present article deals with the unknown traditional uses of 15 plant species for the treatment of hydrocele, collected from 27 tribal groups ofthe Sundargarh, Mayurbhanj, Angul, and Balangir districts of Odisha. These ethnomedicinal uses were compared and cross-checked with the data mentioned in the well-known, standard, Indian ethnomedicinal as well as medicinal literatures and it was found that these medicinal uses of the referred plants had not been reported earlier.

Keywords: Angul, Balangir, hydrocele, Mayurbhanj, Odisha, Sundargarh

How to cite this article:
Singh H. Traditional phytotherapy for the treatment of hydrocele in Odisha, India. Ancient Sci Life 2012;31:137-40

How to cite this URL:
Singh H. Traditional phytotherapy for the treatment of hydrocele in Odisha, India. Ancient Sci Life [serial online] 2012 [cited 2023 Mar 27];31:137-40. Available from: https://www.ancientscienceoflife.org/text.asp?2012/31/3/137/103198

  Introduction Top

Odisha (erstwhile Orissa) is located on the eastern coast of India, between the 17°49΄ to 22°34′N Latitude and 81°29′to 87°29΄E longitude, and surrounded by Andhra Pradesh on the South-East, Chhattisgarh on the West, Jharkhand in the North, West Bengal in the North-East,and Bay of Bengal in the East. The total tribal population of the state is 8,145,081, which is 22.18% of the total population of the state. [1] There are 62 tribal groups concentrated in different remote, hilly, and forest areas of the state. Mostly,the places they inhabit are far away from the modern medical facilities and they use many locally available plant species for the treatment of various diseases, disorders, and ailments. During the ethnobotanical survey of Sundargarh, Mayurbhanj, Angul, and Balangir districts of Odisha, it has been found that different parts of 15 plants (out of 374 ethnomedicinal plants) are being used in different waysto treat hydrocele, locally known as 'Eksira' in the area. Generally, a hydrocele is a pathological accumulation of serum fluid around the testicle in the scrotum, causing swelling in the scrotum. During normal development, the testicles descend down a tube from the abdomen into the scrotum. Hydroceleoccurs when this tube fails to close and the fluid drains from the abdomen through the open tube into the scrotum. Hydroceles are common in newborn infants and normally resolve without treatment by the age of one year. In adult men, it may also be caused by inflammation or injury of the testicle or epididymis, or by fluid or blood blockage within the spermatic cord. A hydrocele usually occurs on one side, but can also affect both sides. It is normally painless and harmless, but may cause discomfort because of its abnormal size. Treatment is usually recommended, if the hydrocele persists for longer than 18 months in case of infants and if it causes discomfort or embarrassment in adolescents and adults. A hydrocele can be treated by draining the fluid with a needle (aspiration) or by a minor surgical procedure, in the modern medical system. However, tribal people mostly collect the available plants from their surrounding forest areas and prepare a paste of the plants. This they apply on the affected portion externally or give hot fomentation for the treatment of hydrocele. Sometimes the extract or decoction of the plant is also given orally for a complete cure of the disorder.

A survey of literature reveals that a good number of ethnobotanical contributions have been made during the last few decades from Sundargarh, Mayurbhanj, Angul, and Balangir districts by AminuddinandGirach (1996), Bal (1942), Behera (2003, 2006), Behera et al. (2008a, 2008b), Brahmam and Saxena (1990), Girach et al. (1998), Jain (1971), Kumar et al. (2006), Misra (2004), Misra and Das (2003), Mohapatraand Sahoo (2008), Mudgal and Pal (1980), Mukherjee and Namhata (1990), Pandeyand Rout (2001, 2006), Pandey et al. (2002), Rout (2005, 2007), Rout and Pandey (2007a, 2007b), Sarkar et al. (1999), Satapathy and Panda (1992), Satapathy and Brahmam (1996), Saxena and Brahmam (1989), Saxena et al. (1988), Singh et al. (2010a, 2010b, 2010c), Tripathi and Behera (2008), and Yoganarsimhan and Dutta (1972), [2],[3],[4],[5],[6],[7],[8],[9],[10],[11],[12],[13],[14],[15],[16],[17],[18],[19],[20],[21],[22],[23],[24],[25],[26],[27],[28],[29],[30],[31],[32],[33] but a publication especially on hydrocele is not available.

  Materials and Methods Top

Field tours have been undertaken in 165 remote tribal villages and forest areas of Sundargarh, Mayurbhanj, Angul, and Balangir districts, among 27 tribal groups and other rural people, and 374 plant species have been collected for the treatment of different diseases, disorders, and ailments. Of these, 15 plant species are being used for the treatment of hydrocele in these areas.

Old and experienced men, women, and medicine men - 'Vaidya' , 'Kaviraj'- were interviewed for first-hand information on the ethnomedicinal uses of these plants and repeated and cross queries were also asked,to confirm and verify the information. These plant specimens were identified with the help of keys and botanical descriptions, described in regional floras like, Haines (1961), Mooney (1941, 1950), and SaxenaandBrahmam (1994- 1996). [34],[35],[36],[37] The latest botanical nomenclature was checked with the world renowned and widely accepted website http://www.theplantlist.org (The Plant List, 2010 ). [38] After matching with the authentic specimens housed in Central National Herbarium (CAL), these voucher specimens were deposited in the Ethnobotanical Herbarium of the Central Botanical Laboratory (CBL), Howrah. Furthermore, these ethnomedicinal uses were compared and cross-checked with well-known standard Indian ethnomedicinal [39] and medicinal literatures, [40],[41] and it was found that these medicinal uses of the referred plants were not reported earlier.

These plant species are enumerated in alphabetical order, with their family in parenthesis, followed by the local name(s), locality(ies), voucher number(s), mode of preparation, and method of ethnomedicinal uses, in detail.


Aerva lanata (L.) Juss. (Amaranthaceae)

L.N.: Lupungada, Chawaldawa, Chawaldhuwagachh, Chaldoa

Loc.: Sundivilla 11829, Badampahar, Karatbasa 19701

Uses: Root bark is taken orally along with a local alcoholic drink (Daru) daily, for two weeks, forthe treatment of hydrocele.

Amorphophallus paeoniifolius (Dennst.) Nicolson (Araceae)

L.N.: Oal, Suran, Godugaadi, Ulo, Brahmani-jhantiya, Baghri

Loc.: Ramatirtha 11716, Gurguria, Badampahar, Stationsai 11859

Uses: Fresh corms are pasted with the root of Grewia hirsuta (Kukurbijda). The prepared paste is applied externally on the testicles at night forthe treatment of hydrocele (Eksira).

Calotropis procera (Aiton) Dryand. (Asclepiadaceae)

L.N.: Arakh, Sweto-arkho, Araka, Atang, Arak-gachh

Loc.: Khajurdihi, Lodan, Lodapani, Gopupali 12320

Uses: Leaf coated with oil, slightly warmed, and kept over the affected part, for the treatment of hydrocele.

Cheilocostusspeciosus (J.Kφnig) C. Specht Syn. Costusspeciosus (Koenig ex Retz.) Sm. (Costaceae)

L.N.: Urupkutu, Keo, Gaigendaida, Kewu, Kou, Koukouka, Keu konda

Loc.:Purunakote 34112, KenduMundia, Tokoba 34193 Jamardih, Pallahara 30481

Uses: Rhizomes are dried, powdered, and given with honey (1:2 ratio) for two weeks, for the treatment of hydrocele (Eksira).

Curculigo orchioides Gaertn. (Hypoxidaceae)

L.N: Talmuli

Loc: Kirbhanji Jungle, KenduBahali Jungle 30135

Uses: Rhizomes are taken orally with milk for seven days,forthe treatment of hydrocele. The powder of dried rhizome are mixed with linseed oil (Rashi-tel) and also applied simultaneously on the hydrocele.

Dendrocalamus strictus (Roxb.) Nees (Poaceae)

L.N.: Bans, Baunsa

Loc.: Beldihi 11846

Uses: Roots are pounded and soaked in coconut oil for three days. The prepared lotion is applied externally on one-sided hydroceles (Eksira) of children, until they arecured.

Gloriosa superba L. (Colchicaceae)

L.N.: BandriyaPhool, Nahnugudia, Islagudia, Orgabaha, Kalihari, Agnishika, Jhagdayee, Lohlangudiya, Endkera -gachho, Lahlangia, Lagulagudia, Nauriya, Andkira, Korali-konda

Loc.: Ramatirtha, Gurguria 11722, Jamda, BaliaPatha, Manchabanda 19655

Uses: The tubers are boiled with mustard oil for two hours and after cooling the prepared lotion is applied externally on the hydrocele for two to three days.

Grewia hirsutaVahl (Tiliaceae)

L.N. Duralabha, Dulabha, Kukur-Bijda, Sunaro-garh, Sundarigarh, Kukuranda

Loc.: Manchabanda 19651, Ramatirtha, Gurguria 11715

Uses: Roots are ground with corm of Amorphophalluspaeoniifolius (Oal) and made into a paste. The paste is applied on the testicles at night for the treatment of hydrocele (Eksira).

Mimosa himalayana Gamble (Mimosaceae)

L.N.:Kundrujanum, Kirkichikanta, Kirkinchi

Loc.: Rangmattia 11835, Hathikote 19724

Uses: Roots are collected, washed, made into a paste, and applied two to three times externally on the testicles for the treatment of one-sided hydrocele (Eksira).

Paspalum scrobiculatum L. (Poaceae)

L.N.: Kakudiya

Loc.: Pallahara 30499

Uses: Whole plant (Panchang) is powdered and given (2 mg) orally, daily,forthe treatment of hydrocele.

Passiflora foetida L. (Passifloraceae)

L.N.: Sikakai

Loc.: Nizgarh, Pallahara 30524

Uses: The paste of the fresh fruits is applied externally once only on the testicles forthe treatment of hydrocele.

Plumbago indica L. Syn. P. rosea L. (Plumbaginaceae)

L.N.: Nalchittaparo, Raktachittaparo, Chiraita, Lorjonka

Loc.: Manchabanda 19658, Jamdiha 19705

Uses: The roots are made into a paste and wrapped in a leaf of Shorearobusta and warmed slightly. Thisis used for hot fomentations of the hydrocele (Eksira).

Schrebera swietenioides Roxb. (Oleaceae)

L.N.: Eksira

Loc.: Ramatirtha, Gurguria 11786

Uses: The leaves are made into a paste and applied locally on the testis before going to sleep in the night, for the treatment of hydrocele (Eksira).

Tamarindus indica L. (Caesalpiniaceae)

L.N.: Imlio, Tentuli, Tetudi, Imli, Tetel, Jojo

Loc.: Sipi 11869

Uses: The leaves are ground with the fruit pulp ofCaesalpiniabonduc (Gill Phal) and cow urine, and warmed slightly. It is applied on the testicles, for the treatment of hydrocele.

Typhonium trilobatum Schott (Araceae)

L.N.: Eksira

Loc.: Hathikote forest 19717

Uses: The tuberous root paste is applied externally on the testicles for three days, for the treatment of hydrocele.

  Discussion Top

It is analyzed that the underground parts (10) are mostly used, followed by leaves (3), fruit, and the whole plant (1in each) for the treatment of hydrocele in the area. As far as the method of preparation and mode of use is concerned, 11 plants are used externally as paste, two as hot fomentation, and three internally, for curing the disorder. The scrutiny of the relevant literature also reveals that any part of the 13 plants has not been recorded earlier, for the treatment of this disorder. However, another species of Calotropis and fruits of Schrebera swietenioides have reported for hydrocele by Ambasta, 1986, and Jain, 1991. Therefore, phytochemical and biological screening of these plant parts against hydrocele is needed, for verification of tribal claims and isolation of active constituents.

  References Top

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