CEPHALANDRA INDICA. Since the introduction of three new homoeopathic remedies to the homoeopathic world, i.e. Ficus religiosa, Nyctanthes arbortristis and Justicia adhatoda, I could not take up the cause of any new indigenous drug for several obstacles.


Common Names. Sans.: Bimba; Hindi.: Kanduri Ki-bill; Beng.: Telakucha; Tamil.: Korai; Punj.: Kanduri; Persian: Khabare hindi; Latin: Cephalandra Indica. Natural Order. Cucurbitaceae.

Description of the Plant.

Telakucha is a perennial creeping herb with long tapering tuberous roots and deep green leaves. It is found to grow abundantly in a wild state in Bengal and in other parts of India. It possesses a smooth, green, fleshly fruit whose taste is very bitter.

When the fruit becomes ripe its colour becomes scarlet and its taste becomes sweet and it is sometimes eaten as a vegetable. It possesses the reputation of being an excellent remedy in reducing the amount of sugar in the urine of patient suffering from diabetes mellitus and mitigating their others sufferings.

Chemical Composition: The fresh plant was chemically analysed by Lt. Col. R.N. Chopra, M.A., M.D., I.M.S. and his co- workers.

Lt. Col. Chopra says, “Not only was a search made for the ordinary active principles which are found in plants (e.g. glucocides, alkaloids) but bodies of the nature of hormones and enzymes, which are sometimes present, were also investigated.” Dubbins and Corbett (1923) have shown that in certain plants and vegetables both the blood-sugar reducing and blood-sugar increasing principles are present.

Cephalandra indica was found to contain an enzyme, a hormone and traces of an alkaloid.

Varieties: There are two kinds of Telakucha. One is bitter and the other is sweet. The bitter one has been proved by me.

Ayurvedic Uses.

According to “Dhanvantwariya Nirghanta,” it is a good medicine for fever, dropsy, haemorrhage of the stomach, jaundice and flatulence. It suppresses urine.

According to Rajnirghanta, it is bitter, cures cough and vomiting, excellent remedy for blood poisoning, arrests haemorrhage of the stomach.

The Ayurvedic physicians of our country use the extracted juice of the leaves to allay the burning pains of poisonous boils and carbuncles and for general burning pains; it is also used by them in bloody dysentery and in biliousness. They also use it in diabetes mellitus.

Allopathic Uses.

“It is alterative; useful in Diabetes, enlarged glands and skin diseases.” (R.N. Khory, Vol. II, p. 307).

“The root and juice of the leaves is used medicinally. In Hindu medicine it is used in diabetes. Dutt states that he has known several patients who were benefited by its use. Ainslie notices its use in Southern India and says that the juice of the leaves is applied to the bites of animals.” (Dymock, Vol. II, p. 86.).

“Telakucha contains an enzyme with amylolytic properties, a hormone and traces of an alkaloid. It produces no reduction of sugar in the blood or urine of patients suffering from glycosuria.” (R.N. Chopra in his Indigenous Drugs of India, p. 313-16.).

Descriptions of the Proving.

Proving No.I.

Name of the prover: Sri N.M., cousin of the late lamented Sir. S.N. Banerjee, Kt, aged 42. He was perfectly healthy while he came forward to prove the new remedy. His urine was examined by the well-known bacteriologist, Dr. S.N. Ghose, L.M.S. It had a specific gravity of 1.012; it did not contain any sugar or albumin.

On June 12, 1905, at 8 a.m., he took four drops of the tincture of Cephalandra indica. He took another dose at 8 p.m. No symptoms appeared that day.

June 13, he took three doses of the tincture. No symptoms appeared that day even.

June 14, he took four doses (dose being five drops at a time). He felt an intolerable burning sensation all over his body.

June 15, the following symptoms were marked in the morning: Head: giddiness was present, worse after urination. Mind: moroseness was present, fretful. Face: red and burning. Mouth: there was excessive dryness with great thirst, worse after passage of urine. Throat: dryness was present. Appetite: there was slight loss of appetite. Abdomen: full of wind and distended. Urine: he began to pass large quantities of clear urine every three or four hours which seemed to exhaust him considerably. Stool: passed greenish, mucous stools mixed with blood and there was pain during and before stools. Burning sensation was experienced all over the body, hands, feet, head, abdomen, etc., ameliorated by cold applications.

Generalities: He grew thoroughly over-sensitive to noise and external impressions.

Proving No.2

Prover: B.R., a young man of 28 years of age and robust constitution. He was perfectly healthy.

July 10, 1922, he took five drops of the tincture twice. No impression was observed.

July 12, took three doses (dose being five drops).

July 13 and 14, he experienced burning sensation all over the body. Took three doses daily.

July 15, the following symptoms manifested themselves:.

Head: giddiness appeared, worse after urination. Mind:gloomy. Face: burning sensation was felt. Mouth: dryness with considerable thirst for large quantities of water at a time, worse after urination. Throat: there was excessive dryness. Abdomen: distended. Stools: passed greenish mucous stools every two or three hours associated with pains during stools. Urine: passed large quantities of clear urine every now and then, which made him very weak and disinclined to do any work. Sensation: the whole body “burned like fire,” as the patient himself expressed. He felt relieved by cold applications.

Provings No. 3 and 4.

These provings were made upon two more healthy persons, but unfortunately as I have lost the papers containing the records, I cannot publish them. This much I can say that the identical symptoms of poisoning were marked in these two cases. In those cases dysenteric stools appeared with greenish mucous stools and they were tinged with blood. Some pains were felt before and during stools and none after stools.

Materia Medica.

Clinical: Diabetes mellitus and insipidus; biliousness; bilious complaints; poisonous boil; abscess and carbuncle; burning pains all over the body; profuse urination giddiness; dysentery white and bloody; headache owing to excessive exposure under suns rays chronic fever associated with burning of eyes, face and other parts of body; dropsy; jaundice; flatulence; haemorrhage from the stomach; blood poisoning.


Mind: Moroseness; fretfulness; disinclination to do any work.

Head: Giddiness, worse after urination.

Face: Redness of face with burning.

Eyes: Burning of eyes.

Mouth: Excessive dryness of mouth with great thirst for large quantities of water at a time, worse after urination.

Throat: Dryness.

Appetite: Loss of appetite.

Abdomen: Full of wind and distended.

Urine: Passage of copious quantity of urine at a time; clear urine, exhaustion and weakness after urination; presence of sugar in urine.

Stool: Greenish, mucous stools mixed or tinged with blood; pain before and during stool.

Sensations: Burning sensation exists all over the body, ameliorated by anything cold or cold applications.

Generalities: Over-sensitiveness to noise and external impressions.

Clinical Verifications.

Case No. I.

Babu S.ch. R. fell a victim to diabetes mellitus and suffered from the disease for two years.

Nov. 12, 1928-I was called in to see the patient in the morning. The following symptoms were present: Mind: Gloomy, morose and fretful. Weight: Lost steadily. Urine: Passed large quantities every now and then which exhausted him greatly. Urine was examined and the test showed that there was sugar, quantity being 20 grains per ounce. Thirst: Great thirst was present. Sensation: Burning-present all over the body. Mouth and throat: Dryness was present.

I prescribed Cephalandra indica 1X, to be taken thrice daily. NOv. 18-I saw the patient again this morning. He was faring much better than before. Passed urine not so often as before; burning sensation and thirst were considerably less than before; cheerfulness returned and he was feeling stronger than before.

I prescribed the same medicine in the same potency twice daily. I asked him to get his urine examined again.

Nov. 28-I saw him this morning. The urine examination report indicated that sugar had lessened, quantity being 4 grains per ounce. Burning sensation and thirst practically disappeared. The same prescription was repeated.

Dec 10-The urine examination indicated that there was no sugar. In other respects the patient was all right. I advised him to take occasional doses of this medicine in 3x potency.

The patient made an eventful recovery and no sugar could be found in his urine later on.

Case No. 2.

Mr. J.N.G. had been suffering from diabetes mellitus for more than four years. He took allopathic and homoeopathic medicines prescribed by eminent practitioners of these schools of medicine, but their did him him no good.

At last I was called in to treat him on the 20th of January, 1933.

After questioning and cross-questioning, I gathered the following symptoms from him:

He began to pass large quantities of urine at night associated with burning sensation, thirst, weakness and giddiness of head in 1930. He did not take care of any of his complaints at that time.

Sarat Chandra Ghose

Corresponding Member of the British Homeopathic Society, French Homeopathic Medical Society, and Hahneman Institute of Brazil.