Ipomoea turpethum ( also known as Fue vao, St. Thomas Lidpod, Turpeth, Nishoth, Operculina turpethum Nisoth, Nisotar, and Pitohari) from which this White Indian Jalap Powder is obtained, is a perennial herbaceous, hairy vine growing 4 to 5 metres in length and a native to India. It is easily recognisable as a member of the Morning Glory family of flowers, belonging, as it does, to the family Convolvulaceae.
The plant has two varieties – Aruna (this product) or Shweta meaning it has a white or reddish coloured root or Shayma meaning it has a blackish root. The botanical or latin name of Aruna or Shweta is Operculina turpethum or Ipomoea turpethum whilst that of Shayma is Ipomoea petaloides.
Aruna or Shweta is considered by many to be the better of the two.
Distribution and Habitat of White Indian Jalap :-
It is commonly found all over India. The leaves are alternate, very variable in shape, ovate, oblong and truncate or cordate at the base. The flowers are large, white or occasionally pinkish, axillary and solitary. The fruit is a capsule with conspicuous enlarged sepals and thickened pedicles with 4 or less, dull black, glabrous seeds.
Traditional Uses for White Indian Jalap Powder :-
Often referred in Ayurveda as a purgative but is actually an effective laxative.