Isshormul or Indian Birthwort, Aristolochia indica

Isshormul or Indian Birthwort (Aristolochia indica, family: Aristolochiaceae) is a perennial woody climber, rising from woody rootstock. Its twinning branches are soft with soft hair. In fallow land, road-side, canal-side and bushes, the plant can be seen climbing up by twisting each other's branches or leaning on something. It is found in Dhaka, Moymonsingho, Rajshahi and in Sundorbon in Bangladesh. The original home of the plant is the Indian subcontinent. 

Other names: Issher mul, Issher muli, Isher mul; Rudro-jota, Isshori, Roudri, Shugondha, Rudro-lota, Potro-bolli (Sanskrit).

Leaves are fiddle-shaped, lanceolate, grooved, 2-4 cm long and 1-2 cm wide, apex curved and pointed.

Flowers are greenish white, tubular, deep throated, borne on axillary racemes. The mouth of the flower is quite enlarged to attract insects perhaps. Fruit is about 2.5 cm long with flat, winged and triangular seeds. Flowering time is June to October. The plant is propagated by seeds. 

Root and leaves are used in fever, diarrhea, dyspepsia, rheumatism, common cold, asthma and centipede bite, scorpion bite and snake bite. Root is used in birth control. The villagers usually plant this climber in their homes to protect themselves from snakes somewhere.

It can be kept in garden as an ornamental plant for its nice and strange foliage, twisted branches and surprising flowers. It is found in almost all medicinal gardens in Bangladesh.


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