A Review on Ten Sacred Flowers in Kerala: Dasapushpam


Ashly Uthaman1, Sreesha N Nair*

Department of Pharmacognosy, Amrita School of Pharmacy, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Amrita University, AIMS Health Science Campus Ponekkara, Kerala, India Pin:682041

*Corresponding Author E-mail: sreeshannair@aims.amrita.edu



The ten sacred flowers constitute the group dasapushpam. These ten favorable herbs are used in ayurvedic system of medicine and it possesses tremendous therapeutic and potential benefits. It includes different flowers with different characters. These flowers are comes under different families like Amaranthaceae, Oxalidaceae, Sapindoideae, Asteraceae, Convolvulaceae, Poaceae, Hypoxidaceae etc which possess divine power. It deals with activities such as anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anticancer, antifungal, antipsychotic, anti -rheumatic, antiarrhythmic, antidiarrheal, anthelmintic, anti-diabetic etc. It provides a well-established traditional system of medicine. Moreover they give therapeutic benefit with no side effects. The main objective of this review to provide general information about these herbs and their therapeutic values.


KEYWORDS: Dasapushpam, Cytotoxic, Phytoconstituents, Anti-diabetic.






Medicinal plants form a major source of raw materials for drugs for prevention and treatment of some diseases1.Dasapushpam is a word originates from Sanskrit, in which desa means ten and pushpa means flower. Keralities traditionally using these ten herbs and it is seen in Western ghats of Kerala. All these herbs have tremendous uses in our day to day life as well as they are used for decoration purposes and for making pookalam. In human life, these dasapushpas having significant role and it have valuable medicinal uses. Usually these flowers are used in ceremonies like pithrukarmas and marriages.


These plant extracts were widely used in ayurveda, siddha and unani systems of medicines for treating various ailments. Scientific evaluation of few of these medicinal plants have been done. The chemo preventive and cytotoxic effect are mostly reported. Nowadays, the researchers are going on to find hidden uses of plants. The 80% of Indian population depends upon these traditional system of medicine.2The use of medicinal plants are growing worldwide, because it possess lower side effects compare to synthetic drugs3. Dasapushpas and its activities are somewhat familiar to common people . Herbal formulations are safe and they are produced naturally from medicinal plants. This health care system is one of the oldest form and mostly used in herbal formulation available in India. Various phytoconstituents were present in these herbs provide active therapeutic activity with minimal side effects. These ten flowers have a unique pharmacological activities and used for various types of diseases. Among these, some are plant part which boost up the immune system in the body by using an active constituent.


Table no 1: List of plants used as Dasapushpam

Sl No:

Binomial Name

Common Name


Vernacular Names

Native Places


Aerval anata

Mountain knot grass






Tamil:sirru-pulay- vayr



India Srilanka Malaysia


Saudi Arabia






Little tree plant








Sanskrit:panktipatraTamil: kottavan




East asia



Southern Europe



Black musli















Little iron weed



Bengali: kuksim

Hindi: shahadevi

Marathi: sadodi

Tamil; puvamkuruntal

Telengu; sahadevi

Sanskrit: sahadevi







Indonesia,  Japan



Bermuda grass








Sanskrit; niladurva




Eclipta alba

False daisy















Evolves aisinoides

Dwarf morning glory





Marathi; Vishnukrantha










Ipomoea sepiaria

Morning glory














Emilia sonchifolia




Malayalam: Muyalchevian

Bengali: sadimodi

Hindi: Hirankhuri

Marathi: Sadamandee

Tamil: Muyalccevi

Sanskrit; Sasasruti








Love in puff





Marathi: Shihjal


East asia

India Africa, Southern Europe



BOTANICAL NAME          :               Aervalanata

KINGDOM                            :               Plantae

SUBKINGDOM                    :               Viridaeplantae

INFRAKINGDOM               :               Strptophyta

PHYLUM                               :               Magnoliophyta5

CLASS                                   :               Mangnoliopsida

SUBCLASS                           :               Caryophyllidae6

SUPERORDER                      :               Caryophyllanae

ORDER                                  :               Caryophyllales

FAMILY                                :               Amaranthaceae

DIVISION                              :               Tracheophyta

SUBDIVISION                      :               Spermatophyta

INFRADIVISION :               Angiospermae

GENUS                                   :               Aerva

SPECIES                                :               lanata



From the studied species of herbarium and freshly collected specimen, morphological characters were measured and recorded. The characters such as shape, length of stem, position of leaves, inflorescence length and diameter. Recording of quantitative characters of each species contains ten replica. Micro morphology involves morphology of pollen grains and leaf surface trichomes. Leaves are kept in 30% lactic acid makes it soften. For photography and microscopic evaluation, lower and upper epidermis are kept in 50% glacial acetic acid. Flowering and fruiting season: November to January7



Two to three layers of flattened cork cells are seen in the outermost layer. Normal parenchymatous cells are seen below the cork. Externally lied phloem consist of fibers and parenchymatous cells and xylem vessels are seen few radical rows. Xylem parenchyma cells are surrounded by xylem vessels. Pith composed of polygonal thin walled cells with conspicuous intracellular spaces. Ayurvedic properties Roots are used in the treatment of diarrhea, skin inflammation and it have antimicrobial activity. Leaves of this plant is very helpful in the treatment of stone, indigestion, cough and it also reduce kidney problems. Flowers used for the treatment of backpain and the entire plant have anti-diabetic property.


Plant Description:

It is also known as mountain knot grass and it is belonging to the family Amaranthaceae. The root have camphor like odor .Buikkallan or boor is the commercial name of Aervalanata. Soft spikes are the remarkable character of dried flowers. It have small white flowers and the leaves are silky in nature.


Fig no:1Aervalanata


Each plant produce five to ten small flowers with yellow petals.8They grown as a shrub in waste places in India.9The main  chemical constituents of A. lanata are alkaloid, flavanoid, phenols tannins, proteins, aminoacids, carbohydrates etc. Also contain beta amycin, betulin, campesterol, chrysin, narcissi and hemicellulose. Activities belongs to A.lanata are antimicrobial10anti -asthmatic, anthelmintic antitumor11, anti -hyperlipidimic, hypoglycemic, hepatoprotective and diuretic. It is used to treat kidney stones, alzheimer’s diseases, anemia, arthritis, gonorrhea, headache, hepatitis etc.




KINGDOM                            :               Plantae

PHYLUM                               :               Tracheophyta

CLASS                                   :               Magnoliposida

ORDER                                  :               Oxalidales

FAMILY                                :               Oxalidaceae

GENUS                                   :               Biophytum

SPECIES                                :               Sensitivum



The plant possess unbranched woody erect stem and it grows up to maximum of 20 cm. leaves are pinnate and leaflets are oppositely arranged with 6 to 12 pairs. Flowers are seen as crowded and normally yellow, white or orange in color. Fruits consist of capsules which are shorter than the persistent calyx.Fruiting and flowering season :August to January13



It consist of a glabrous or hairy stems from 2.5 to 25 cm height. It is an annual herb with 6 to 12 pairs of leaves. Flowers are dimorphic and are yellow in color. The fruit is a capsule which is ellipsoid. The fundamental vascular bundles consist of collateral bundles


Ayurvedic Properties:

It is used in gonorrheal infection, lithiasis and the decoction is advised for amenorrhea and dysmenorrhea. Powder with honey is used for glandular swellings for hypothyroidism, abnormal growths. It have activities like anti- inflammatory, antibacterial, chemo protective, immunomodulatory, wound healing and cardioprotective14


B.sensitivum or mukkutti is a plant having small flower with yellow petals. Five to ten flowers produced by each plant and for keralitis, it’s an important flower which has significant rolein athapoo in onam, a national festival of Kerala.


Fig no : 2Biophytumsensitivum


During thiruvathira festival also, it is used for making mukkuttichanthu. Chemical constituents of B sensitivum includes amentoflavone, cupressuflavone, isoorientin, phenolic compounds, polyphenols, saponins, essential oils pectin and polysaccharides. It have antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antitumor andanti-diabetic activity. It is effectively used in wound healing15




KINGDOM            :               Plantae

DIVISION              :               Angiosperms

SUBDIVISION      :               Eudicots

ORDER                  :               Sapindales

FAMILY                :               Sapindaceae

SUBFAMILY        :               Sapindoideae

GENUS                   :               Cardiospermum

SPECIES                :               halicacabum



Inflated balloon like fruits and lobes are found on leaflets of the compound leaves. The plant grows up to 3m in height. Forked tendrils borne at the base of inflorescences. Flowers are borne in panicles. Each flower possesses four sepals and four whitish petals with 4mm long and eight stamens. Fruiting and flowering season :July to august16


Fig no : 3 Cardiospermumhalicacabum



Leaves microscopy shows prominent midrib and thin dorsiventral lamina. Midrib consist of epidermal layers, palisade cells and angular collenchyma. Vascular strands consist of thin walled xylem and thick walled phloem. In powder microscopy, cortical sclerenchyma, parenchymatous cells and lignified xylem fibers.


Ayurvedic Properties:

It is used for the treatment of rheumatism, nervous diseases, stiffness of limbs and snakebite. For swelling, salted leaves are used. Tea made with this leaves aids itchy skin. Leaf juice can used for earache.17, 18


Love in a puff or ballon vine is its common name and belongs the family Sapindoideae. It is very commonly seen in Asia and subtropical Africa. This climbing plant was often found as a weed. Mixture of these leaves and castor oil are used for the treatment of rheumatism, stiff limbs and lumbago in ayurveda system of medicine. All parts of uzhinja have medicinal uses. Root have properties such as diuretic, diaphoretic and laxative effects. Chemical constituents like saponins, tannins and trace of alkaloids18.For earache, its leaf juice is effective. In addition to this, it is for itchy skin, nervous diseases and rheumatism. It is also used as anti-inflammatory and vasodepressant19,20




KINGDOM            :               Plantae

DIVISION              :               Angiosperms

SUBDIVISION      :               Eudicots

ORDER                  :               Aspergales

FAMILY                :               Hypoxidaceae

GENUS                   :               Curculigo

SPECIES                :               Orchioides



It is a perennial shrub having elongated fleshy roots. Leaves are 6 to 18 inch length and apex of the leaves is rooting. Fruits are capsulated, sharp at the apex and ovate in shape. The plant flowers in summer season. Fruits are shiny and oblong in shape. Fruiting and flowering season: March to May.



Transverse section of rhizome consist of a narrow strip containing 4 to 6 rows of thick walled brown colored cork cells. Curculigo rhizomes surface with numerous yellow wrinkles. Leaves are simple, lanceolate, apex acute, parallel venation and length vary from 10 to 20 cm peripheral region having phloem consisting of a few xylem vessels having spiral and annular thickenings.


Ayurvedic Properties:

It is used in applying on the pile mass to give instant relief from the pain and burning sensation. Its powder is recommended for various ailments like decreased sperm count, loss of stamina and vigor, general body weakness, constipation and loss of appetite.



It is a type of forest herb also called as Golden Eye Grass.20-22It is mostly seen in all over India.21 Nowadays it employs as folk medicine.


Fig no: 4 Curculigoorchioides


The exigency of nilappana is becoming rare, because of it’s over exploitation. It is widely used in unani and ayurvedic system of medicines.23, 24The ayurvedic researches concerned with this plant  refers root is heating, aphrodisiac, alternative, appetizer, fattening, and is widely used for treating diseases such as piles, fatigue, blood related disorders. The report submitted by the unani systems deals with its individual parts uses such as root is carminative, tonic, aphrodisiac, antipyretic and is effective in treatment of bronchitis, ophthalmic, indigestion, vomiting, diarrhea, lumbago, gonorrhea, glee’s, hydrophobia. Joint pain, anticancer, hepatoprotective, antioxidant and immunomodulatory property25,26




KINGDOM                            :               Plantae

SUBKINGDOM                    :               Tracheobionta

SUPERDIVISION                 :               Spermatophyta

DIVISION                              :               Magnoliophyta

CLASS                                   :               Magnoliopsida

SUBCLASS                           :               Asteridae

ORDER                                  :               Asterales

FAMILY                                 :               Asteraceae

GENES                                  :               Cyanthillum

SPECIES                               :               cinerium



Herbaceous plant grows up to 1m tall but is typically found as small herb about 0.3 m tall. 7 Green leaves of widely variable size are oval with shallow teeth along the leaf margin. Leaves are arranged as alternate with I leaf per node. Composite flowers are composed of white to purple disc florets with no ray florets. Fruits are in brown color and are small in size. Fruiting and flowering season :Summer season.



Stems are acaulescent or caulescent. Leaves are simple and usually alternate and sometimes opposite or ternate. Anthers usually 5 in number and are purple to yellow in color.


Ayurvedic Properties:

Seeds have the properties like anthelmintic and alexipharmic. It is also effective against roundworms and threadworm infections. They are also given for chronic skin diseases, dysuria, psoriasis and cough.



It is otherwise known as veronica cinereia27.All part of this plant are medicinally used.



Fig no : 5 Cyanthiliumcinerium


A number of disorders includes inflammation, malaria, fever, worms, pain, cancer, abortion and various gastrointestinal disorders. The patient with urinary incontinence is treated with juice of this plant diarrhea, stomach ache for colic, cough etc. treated with decoction




KINGDOM          : plantae

PHYLUM           : tracheophyta

CLASS               :liliopsida

ORDER             : poales

FAMILY            : poaceae

GENUS             : cynodon

SPECIUS         : dactylon

Fruiting and flowering season :In warm climate



A perennial rhizome can penetrate 40-50cm in clay soil. In sand, it can penetrate 70-80 cm. leaf blades are sparsely pubescent or glabrous. Inflorescence a digitate  panicle, consisting of robust form up to 10 racemes.



Mature root composed of thin walled cubical cells with piliferous layer. 4- 16 cm angular starch grains are seen and two types of cortex are also seen and thin walled and polygonal and lignified cortex was present. In stem, vascular bundles are found as closed and scattered. Lamina is square to oval in shape.


Ayurvedic Properties:

From the recent studies and researches, new activities such as anticonvulsant, anticancer, nephrolithiasis, immunomodulatory, antioxidant, hypoglycemic and hepatoprotective.



It is believed as a very harmful or competitive weed. Some herbicides are active against this plant called karuka.it saves acres of land from soil erosion.


Fig no 6 Cynodondactylon


It is seen in area of grassy land .It is highly nutritional for cattle and sheep. Medicinally useful parts are stem and leaves.28


Emilia sonchifolia:


KINGDOM                            :               Plantae

SUBKINGDOM                    :               Tracheobionta

SUPERDIVISION :               Spermatophyta

DIVISION                              :               Magnoliophyta

CLASS                                   :               Magnoliopsida

SUBCLASS                           :               Asteridae

ORDER                                  :               Asterales

FAMILY                                 :               Asteraceae

GENES                                  :               Emilia

SPECIES                               :               sonchifolia

Fruiting and flowering season :Annual flowering plant



Flower heads are seen as small and narrowly urn shaped to bell shaped. It have a light pink to lavender color and no rays. The flowers followed by seed heads with white, fluffy, wind bome seeds. Leaves are alternative and green in color. Upper leaves are small, sessile and sometimes coarsely loothed. It clasp the stem and have height up to 0.6 cm.



Thickness of pith and cortex are very high. Stem is fairly thick with well-developed secondary xylem and secondary phloem. No definite periderm is seen. Secondary phloem cells are seen in the form of thin long radical cones at the end of xylem clefts.




Ayurvedic properties:

Leaves are used in the treatment of dysentery, eye inflammation, night blindness, cut wounds and sore ears. Root is used for diarrhea. It shows antiviral, analgesic and anti-inflammatory activity.



The plants have very attracting flowers and are hermaphrodite. Its pollination is done through insects. It is a self-fertile plant and for dysenteric patients. A tea made by this plant is given for eye inflammation cuts wound sore ears night blindness, its leaves juice is effective.


Fig no : 7  Emiliasonchifolia

It act as astringent, diuretic, expectorant, depurative, febrifuge, and sudorific, also it is effective in bowel complaints, infantile tympanities. Root juice of this plant is best remedy for diahorrea. The flower heads are also protect the teeth from decay. The chemical constituents include beta-sitosterol, palmitic acid etc29


Evolves alsinoides:30


KINGDOM               : Plantae

SUBKINGDOM        :Tracheobionta

SUPERDIVISION     :Spermatophyta

DIVISION                : Magnoliophyta

CLASS                      : Magnoliopsida

SUBCLASS              : Asteridae

ORDER                     : Solanales

FAMILY                   : Convolvulaceae

GENUS                     : Evolvus

SPECIES                  : alsinoides



It is prostrate, much branched herb with small woody rootstock. The stem is hairy, wiry, spreading and more than 30 cm long. Flowers are light blue in color and are solitary, lanceolate and axillary.  The fruit is rounded and contains 4 seeds. The stems are 10 to 70 cm long. Fruiting and flowering season : July to November  



They are small herbs with several branches bearing sessile and shortly petioled leaves. In root, outermost cork composed of 3 to 4 layers of tangentially elongated, thick walled suberized cells. In stem, epidermal cells covered with cuticle, long unicellular thick walled simple and glandular trichomes and stomata.


Ayurvedic Properties:

The whole plant is used as a febrifuge and tonic. It is also used for the treatment of syphilis, scrofula, bowel complaints and dysentery. It helps in mental, nervous, excretory and reproductive disorders. It supports building of body fluids.



It is used as hair tonic and promotes hair growth. It is useful for many diseases and is applied externally for skin diseases. Its juice is effective for mental disorders. It is widely used as a brain tonic31.


Fig no 8 :Evolvusalsinoides


Eclipta alba:



KINGDOM              : Plantae

SUBKINGDOM      : Tracheobionta

PHYLUM                : Magnoliophyta

CLASS                    : Mangnoliopsida

SUBCLASS            : Asteridae

ORDER                  : Asterales

FAMILY                 : Asteraceae

GENUS                  : Eclipta

SPECIES                : alba



Leaves are lanceolate, sessile and entire and were 3 to 5 cm in length and 2 to 3 cm in width. Stem is brownish in color and are cylindrical with longitudinal ridges. It had thickness of 0.2 to 0.3 cm. Fruiting and flowering season :June to July



Epidermis is quadrangular cells and single layered. The cortex shows presence of many layers of thin walled cellulosic parenchyma and vacuoles. Below cortex,   lignified pericyclic fibers are present. Inner most layer consists of thin walled big rounded pith layer.


Ayurvedic Properties:

It is used for balancing kapha, vata and improves hair growth.




According to ayurvedic system of medicine. it is used a sliver tonic rejuvenate and for good hair. Eclipta prostrate is used for athlete foot eczema. It is also used as anti -venom against snake bite. It is used as scalp tonic for hair care32


Fig no : 8 Eclipta alb


Ipomea sepiaria:22


KINGDOM            : Plantae

DIVISION            : Angiosperms

SUBDIVISION     : Eudicots

ORDER              : Solanales

FAMILY            : Convolvulaceae

GENUS             : Ipomea

SPECIES         : sepiaria



The morphological features of uniform appearance in all the species were simple exstipulate leaves. It have 5 sepals, polysepalous, persistent. Petals are 5 and gamopetalous, petals with 5 prominent bands. Fruits are valved and dehiscent capsule

Fruiting and flowering season : November



In root, the irregular margin of outer cork, central xylem transversed by multiseriate medullary rays, encircled by narrow phloem, wide zone of parenchymatous outer cortex. Cluster of crystals, starch grains, lactiferous cells found throughout the region of ray cells and cortex.


Ayurvedic Properties:

The most common use of this plant is to treat constipation. It is also used as an antidote and are aphrodisiac and have antiulcer property.



It is a perineal plant with colorful flowers in blue purple and pink. It includes in convulvulaceae family. It have aphrodisiac and cooling property. It’s juice provide diuretic activity and used as herbal shampoo. During arsenic poison, it is used as antidote. 22


Fig no : 10 Ipomea sepiaria



The ten sacred flowers are used for tremendous disorders and dysfunction. The phytoconstituents present in these plants such as flavonoids, alkaloids tannins and minerals provide a defense mechanism against pathologic disorders and it possess wide variety of pharmacological activities. Hence we should conserve these herbal plants and discover new activities through scientific methods.



I thankful to our institution Amrita School of Pharmacy for the facilities provided and Sreesha mam lecturer from Department of Pharmacognosy, guide me to do the review.



Conflict of interest none.



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Received on 21.02.2017             Modified on 16.03.2017

Accepted on 04.04.2017           © RJPT All right reserved

Research J. Pharm. and Tech. 2017; 10(5): 1555-1562.

DOI: 10.5958/0974-360X.2017.00274.8