Pergularia is a perennial, small, twining herb. It has hairy stems with milky juice and broad, egg-shaped leaves. It has greenish yellow or dull white, small flowers in tiny clusters and fruits reflexed in pairs, covered with spinous outgrowths. The entire plant constitutes the drug and is used as medicine.
It contains a bitter resin, two bitter principles and a glucoside possessing physiological action similar to pituitrin and several sterols.
Pergularia is pungent, antibilious and laxative. It is useful in relieving fever and inducing vomiting. The active principles of pergularia resemble pituitrin in their action.
Pergularia promotes the removal of catarrhal matter and phlegm from the bronchial tubes. It is highly beneficial in the treatment of asthma. The juice from the leaves is used as an expectorant in catarrhal diseases. A decoction of its leaves is given in cough as an expectorant.
The drug possesses anthelmintic properties and finds its use in removing intestinal worms. About 24 grams of the leaves fried in ghee should be taken for a few days.
The herb is beneficial in the treatment of bleeding piles. It should be used in the same manner as for intestinal worms.
Pergularia forms a constituent of a preparation used in r rheumatism. The leaf juice can be given mixed with the juice of fresh ginger in the treatment. The root bark is also useful in the treatment of rheumatism. It should be given in 4 to 8 gram . doses with milk. The bark, mixed with cow's milk, can be used beneficially as a purgative in rheumatic complaints.
The drug is a useful uterine tonic. It is beneficial in excessive uterine bleeding. The drug forms a constituent of a preparation given in amenorrhoea or abnormal suppression of menses.
The juice of its leaves can be given to treat diarrhoea among children.
The drug has diuretic properties. It is valuable in stranguary, that is, discharge of urine in droplets accompanied by pain.
The herb is beneficial in the treatment of several skin disorders. A mixture of the leaf juice and slaked lime can be applied to rheumatic swellings, hard tumours and cysts. A poultice of the leaves can be applied to carbuncles with beneficial effect.