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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 36  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 6-11

Identity of Ṭaṅkārī (Physalis Minima Linn.) in Ayurvedic Classics: A Literature Review

1 Department of Dravyaguna Vigyana, MGACHRC, Slaod(H), Wardha, Karnataka, India
2 Division of Ayurveda, CIMR, Manipal University, Manipal, Karnataka, India
3 Department of Dravyaguna Vigyana, KVGMC, Sullia, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Supriya S Kallianpur
Department of Dravyaguna Vigyana, MGACH and RC, Salod (H), Wardha, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0257-7941.195408

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Proper identification of drugs and their use in proper doses are important for successful treatment. Physalis minima Linn commonly known as country gooseberry has anti-cancerous, anti-diabetic, analgesic, antipyretic and anti-inflammatory potentials. The present paper is aimed to ascertain the proper identity of Ṭaṅkārī (Physalis minima Linn.) in Ayurvedic classics by a meticulous search and hence a review of the drug Ṭaṅkārī (Physalis minima Linn) was carried out in the texts of Ayurveda, modern literature, journals and online publications. The result of the search showed that the name “Ṭaṅkārī” is not found in Vedic lore. In Saṃhitās, it is mentioned in Bhāvaprakāśa. Reference of the drug “Śārṅgeṣṭhā” is found in Bṛhattrayī, Bhela, Kāśyapa, Cakradatta and Vaṅgasena. It is variously named as Cirapoṭikā, Kākatikta, and Vāyasī by ḍalhaṇa and he describes it as gaura (pale), vartula (round), and as having avaguṇṭhita/veṣṭhita (covered) fruit which matches the description of Ṭaṅkārī (P. minima Linn). A search for terms Kākatikta and Vāyasī showed Kākatikta to be synonymous to Śārṅgeṣṭhā and Vāyasī to be synonymous to both Kākatikta and Kākamācī (Solanum nigrum). Madanapāla and Śāligrāma Nighaṇṭus have mentioned the name Cirapoṭikā to be synonymous with Ṭaṅkārī. Śodhala has used the term Parpoṭī as a synonym of Ṭaṅkārī, which is the Gujarati name of P. minima Linn. Recent authors have considered Śārṅgeṣṭhā as either P. minima or Cardiospermum helicabum. The regional names of P. minima are Cirpoṭi (Hindi), Cirboli (Marathi), also the folklore uses and pharmacological activities of P. minima are in accordance with the indications of Śārṅgeṣṭhā in classics. Thus with a complete review of both Ayurveda and modern literatures, it can be concluded that the drug mentioned as Ṭaṅkārī in Bhāvaprakāśa is the same as Śārṅgeṣṭhā mentioned in the classics. Cirapoṭikā and Kākatikta are its synonyms. Cardiospermum helicabum is Karṇaspoṭha, and hence Śārṅgeṣṭhā of classics is P. minima which is supported by the regional names, pharmacological activity and folklore claims.

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