Shankhpushpi – Convolvulus pluricaulis, Evolvulus alsinoides, Canscora decussata, Clitorea ternatea

Shankhpushpi is considered as “medhya rasayana” in ayurvedic texts. Shankhpushpi is a word of Sanskrit which means “the plant with flowers shaped like a conch”. The conch or Shankha is one of Lord Shiva’s sacred instruments often used in ritual worship. The whole plant Shankhpushpi and its juice is used in Ayurvedic medicine. 

Shankhpushpi  has historically been used in traditional Ayurveda as a brain stimulant. However, it is impossible to say exactly which plant was used in one or another ancient medicinal composition. The fact is that in the Indian region, the name Shankhpushpi is often applied to 4 plants that are similar in their properties and chemical composition. Ayurvedic treatises, like other ancient books, were written by hand, and therefore, four herbal preparations, namely: Convolvulus pluricaulis (CP), Evolvulus alsinoides (EA), Canscora decussata (CD) and Clitorea ternatea (CT), are considered by Indian practitioners as sources of Shankhpushpi, based on their morphological descriptions given in ancient texts. This may be one of the reasons for the ambiguous interpretation of the names and descriptions of medicines found in books such as Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Samhita. Historical records of CP or EA or CD or CT will, by their nature, always be mixed with three other herbs, as they were used interchangeably. The most common use of Shankhpushpi is for mental problems, but they have been considered for many other human maladies. 

Shankhpushpi of Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India consists of the plant of Convolvulus pluricaulis. Plants other than C. pluricaulis like Evolvulus  alsinoids (Convulvulaceae fam.), Clitorea ternatea (Fabaceae fam.) and Canscora  decussata (Gentianaceae fam.) were also used as Shankhpushpi by some practitioners. 

Indian Council of Medical Research has given quality standards for C. pluricaulis drug in its publication. However all these plants proved their scientific potential  in CNS depression, anxiolytic, tranquillizing, antidepressant, antistress, neurodegenerative, antiamensic, antioxidant, hypolipidemic, immunomodulatory, analgesic, antifungal, antibacterial, antidiabetic, antiulcer, anticatatonic, and cardiovascular activity. These are reported to contain several types of alkaloids, flavanoids, and coumarins as active chemicals that bring about its biological  effects. 


  • Improving Memory and Brain Function. 
  • Treating Generalized Anxiety Disorder. 
  • Relieving the Symptoms of Depression. 
  • Promotes Better Sleep. 
  • Relieving Hypertension. 
  • Reducing Cholesterol Levels. 
  • Healing Ulcers. 
  • is helpful for various skin disorders. 
  • Alleviating Hypothyroidism 
  • Strengthening the HeartIt and acts as a cardiac tonic. 
  • Fighting Alzheimer’s. 
  • Relief of Headaches. 
  • Is a rasayana herb. Rasayana means it Rejuvenates Mind and Body, has an Anti-aging effect. 
  • Nourishes all bodily tissues, and improves Life Expectancy. 
  • Strengthens the Brain and the Nervous system. 
  • Is often used for a variety of ailments like Mania, Epilepsy, and Stupor. 
  • Promotes Hair Growth. 
  • Improves Appetite and aids Digestion. 
  • Is helpful in relieving Excessive Abdominal Gas. 
  • Is useful for Hemorrhoids (piles). 
  • Acts as a Laxative. 
  • Has blood clotting properties and is helpful in Rakta pitta or Bleeding Disorders. Rakta pitta is a bleeding disorder where bleeding occurs due to an aggravated Pitta dosha. 
  • Removes Excessive Mucus from the Body. 
  • Acts as a Diuretic. 
  • Is an Aphrodisiac. 
  • Strengthens the Uterus and is often used for Aiding Conception. 

Safe Dose: 

Powder – 3 to 5 grams 
Extract  – 250 mg to 500 mg 
Herbal Paste (KALKA) – 5 to 20 grams 


* There are no known side effects of Shankhpushpi. But there are some situations where we need to take care of: 

It tends to lower the blood pressure of a person, so people with low blood pressure should be careful while consuming it. 

* Pregnant and lactating women should not consume it. 

* Always consult a  doctor before starting to consume it. 


Common name:   Shankhpushpi 

Part used:  Whole plant, Juice  

Medicinal UseBrain Tonic, Concentration, Memory Booster. It has a positive effect on the function of all organs. Used for mental disorders and stress. Febrifuge. Also used to stimulate hair growth. 


Botanical name:   Convolvulus pluricaulis 

Plant typeClimber 

Family Convulvulaceae 

Other namesShankhpushpi 

Descripton: is a prostrate, spreading, perennial, wild herb commonly found on sandy or rocky ground under xerophytic conditions in northern India.  



Botanical name:   Evolvulus alsinoides 

Plant typeClimber 

Family:  Convulvulaceae 

Other namesShankhpushpi, Dwarf Bindweed 

Descripton: is a very variable, perennial plant with slender, more or less branched stems that can become somewhat woody. A number of stems 12 – 70cm long are produced from the deep root system, different plants ranging in habit from prostrate to erect. 



Botanical name:   Clitorea ternatea 

Plant typeClimber 

Family:  Fabaceae 

Other namesShankhpushpi, Batterfly Pea, Pigeon Wings, Bluebellvine 

Descriptonis a perennial herbaceous plant, with elliptic, obtuse leaves. It grows as a vine or creeper, doing well in moist, neutral soil. The most striking feature about this plant is the color of its flowers, a vivid deep blue; solitary, with light yellow markings. 



 Botanical name:   Canscora  decussata / Canscora alata

Plant typeHerb 

Family:  Gentianaceae 

Other namesShankhpushpi, Samgamoli, Kanjenkora  

Descripton: is a small erect annual herb grows up to 50 cm in height with a self-supporting growth habit. It has four-winged stems and branches. It is growing in moist deciduous forests, also in the plains. it is widely distributed in tropical Africa and South Asia.