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Patharchatta: Uses, Benefits, Side effects and More By Dr. Smita Barode

By Dr Smita Barode +2 more

Introduction: 

Patharchatta, also known as kalanchoe, is a perennial succulent plant widely grown in India. It is commonly known as an ‘air plant,’ as it has tall hollow stems. Kalanchoe has bell-like pendulous flowers and dark fleshy green leaves. Patharchatta is grown in temperate regions of Asia, the West Indies, Australia, New Zealand, etc. The scientific name of the plant is Bryophyllum pinnatum, and it belongs to the family Crassulaceae.  Patharchatta is known as Pashanabheda in Sanskrit. It is commonly known as cathedral bells, air plant, Wonder of the World, miracle leaf, etc. Patharchatta is a medicinal plant known to be a host of therapeutic nutrients.1,2 Let us look at some of the health benefits of patharchatta. 

Nutritional Value of Patharchatta: 

Patharchatta may be rich in bioactive compounds like alkaloids, flavonoids, glycosides, triterpenes, cardienolides, bufadienolides, lipids, and steroids. Additionally, a dry sample of patharchatta may contain the following nutrients: 

patharchatta plant benefits

Nutritional Component Value (in %) 
Fats and oils 1.28 
Fibre 6.02 
Protein 5.38 
Carbohydrate 72.92 
Iron 0.18 
Copper 0.03 
Zinc 0.26 
Potassium 3.49 
Nickel 0.08 
Calcium 4.99 
Sodium 0.32 
Lead 0.03 
Cadmium 0.23 

Table 1: Nutritional Value of Patharchatta3 

Properties of Patharchatta: 

Several studies have shown that patharchatta may have the following properties: 

  • It may reduce mutations caused by cancer-causing cells. 
  • It may reduce blood glucose levels. 
  • It may inhibit the growth of fungus. 
  • It may inhibit the growth of microorganisms. 
  • It may reduce inflammation. 
  • It may prevent the formation of ulcers in the stomach. 
  • It may enhance liver health. 
  • It may strengthen the immune system. 
  • It may protect the kidneys.1 

In Ayurveda, the patharchatta has a fascinating name – Pashanabheda, which translates to ‘dissolver of stones.’ Its leaves have been valued in traditional and ethnomedicinal practices for their ability to possibly address urinary insufficiency as well as for the management of kidney and gallbladder stones.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, B.A.M.S, M.D (Ayu)

Did you know?

  • Bryophyllum pinnatum (Patharchatta) is traditionally used for the treatment of kidney stones and urinary insufficiency. source: PMC
  • The extracts of Bryophyllum pinnatum attenuate the decrease in body weight caused by ethylene glycol-induced renal calculi. source: PMC
  • Treatment with Bryophyllum pinnatum extracts decreases serum creatinine, uric acid, urea, calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium levels. source: PMC
  • Bryophyllum pinnatum has been used in traditional medicine to treat gastrointestinal disorders such as diarrhea and dysentery. source: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
  • The plant extract of Bryophyllum pinnatum has demonstrated antimicrobial activity against various pathogens. source: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

Potential Uses of Patharchatta for Overall Health 

Some of the potential uses of patharchatta are: 

Potential use of patharchatta to reduce pain and inflammation 

A study by Matthew et al. in 2013 on albino rats showed that patharchatta might have anti-inflammatory and analgesic activity. The result suggested that the stem extract of patharchatta may reduce pain and inflammation.4 However, further studies are required to check if patharchatta may be useful in relieving pain and inflammation. Therefore, you must consult a doctor if you suspect inflammation or experience pain for a prolonged period. 

Potential use of patharchatta for kidney stones 

A study by Phatak et al. in 2015 showed that patharchatta might be used to expel kidney stones from the body. Kidney stones are made of calcium oxalate crystals. Saponins in the patharchatta plant may dissolve the calcium oxalate crystals.5 However, further large-scale studies are yet to be done to check if patharchatta can be beneficial in the case of kidney stones. Therefore, you must immediately consult your doctor if you suspect a kidney stone. 

Potential use of patharchatta for diabetes 

A study by Patil et al. in 2013 showed that patharchatta might be used in the case of diabetes mellitus. A bioactive compound such as the derivative of phenyl alkyl ether in patharchatta may stimulate insulin secretion, further decreasing blood sugar levels.6 However, further studies are required to check if patharchatta can reduce blood sugar levels. Therefore, you must check your blood sugar levels regularly and consult your doctor in case of abnormal blood sugar levels.  

Potential use of patharchatta for microbial infections 

 A study by Tajudin et al. in 2022 showed that patharchatta might have anti-microbial properties. The phenolic compounds in patharchatta may disrupt the bacterial wall and reduce the toxic substances secreted by the bacteria. Patharchatta may be beneficial for typhoid and respiratory tract infections caused by bacteria.7 However, further studies are required to check if patharchatta may be beneficial for infections caused by microorganisms. Therefore, you must consult your doctor if you suspect a microbial infection. 

Potential use of patharchatta for stomach ulcers 

One of the reasons for stomach ulcers is excess acid secretion. Inflammatory cytokines are molecules that cause inflammation at the site of ulcers. A study by Araújo in 2018 showed that patharchatta might be used for stomach ulcers. Flavonoids in patharchatta may reduce inflammation at the site of ulcers by inhibiting the release of inflammatory cytokines and reducing excess acid secretion.8 However, further studies on humans are required to check if patharchatta may be beneficial for stomach ulcers. Therefore, you must immediately consult your doctor if you suspect ulcers. 

Potential use of patharchatta for healing wounds 

A study by Nayak et al. in 2010 on rats showed that cardenolides and bufadienolides in patharchatta may possess wound-healing activity. The result suggested that patharchatta may reduce redness at the site of the wound.9 However, further studies are in need to check if patharchatta may be used to heal wounds. Therefore, you must immediately consult your doctor if your wound does not heal for a prolonged period. 

Potential use of patharchatta for Leishmaniasis 

Leishmaniasis is an infection caused by the Leishmania parasite. A study by Rocha et al. showed that bioactive compounds like coumarin and quercetin in patharchatta may be useful for Leishmaniasis. Patharchatta may activate reactive nitrogen species in white blood cells which are important to control the Leishmania in these cells.2 However, further studies are required to check if patharchatta can be used for Leishmaniasis. You must consult your doctor if you suspect a Leishmaniasis infection.  

Potential use of patharchatta for cancer 

A study by Supertman et al. in 2001 showed that patharchatta might possess anticancer activity due to bioactive compounds like bufadienolides.1 Another study by Ueda et al. in 2022 showed that patharchatta extracts may inhibit the growth of cancerous cells. However, further studies are required to check if patharchatta may be beneficial for cancer. Therefore, you must immediately consult a doctor if you suspect cancer instead of self-medicating. 

Though studies show the benefits of patharchatta in various conditions, these are insufficient, and there is a need for further studies to establish the true extent of the benefits of patharchatta on human health. 

The leaves of patharchatta are like a versatile superhero with a range of amazing abilities! They may possess neurosedative and muscle relaxant properties, making them great for calming the nerves and easing tense muscles. These leaves might also have the power to regulate uterine contractions and help lower blood pressure.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

How to Use Patharchatta? 

Patharchatta can be consumed in the following way: 

  • You can take a few leaves of patharchatta, soak them in hot water and consume them. 
  • Patharchatta supplements are available in the form of herbal powder. 

You must consult a qualified doctor before taking patharchatta in large quantities or any herbal supplements. Do not discontinue or replace an ongoing treatment of modern medicine with an ayurvedic/herbal preparation of patharchatta without consulting a qualified doctor. 

Did you know that the fleshy leaves of patharchatta have a hidden blessing? They can actually sprout new roots and grow into new plants if they’re broken off or accidentally discarded in garden waste.

Dr. Smita barode, B.A.M.S, M.S.

Side Effects of Patharchatta 

Patharchatta is generally considered to be safe. However, a small-scale study on 20 cancer patients has reported the following side effects in animals: 

  • It may cause fatigue. 
  • It may cause a dry throat. 
  • It may cause agitation. 
  • It may cause difficulty in digestion.10 

If any reaction is noticed on using patharchatta, seek immediate medical attention. Consult your ayurvedic physician who has prescribed it to you; they will be able to identify the cause and treat it effectively. 

Leaves of patharchatta has another impressive talent – it’s like a shield for the liver! This amazing plant is known for its possible potential to help in cases of damage caused by alcohol, viruses, and toxins to the liver.

Dr. Anuja Bodhare, B.A.M.S, M.D (Ayu)

Precautions to Take with Patharchatta 

The following precautions can be taken before consuming patharchatta: 

  • People with heart diseases should be cautious before consuming patharchatta.11  
  • Pregnant women and lactating mothers should take special care. You must consult your doctor before having patharchatta.10 

Precaution should be taken before giving patharchatta to the elderly or children. You must consult your doctor before you consume patharchatta if you have any pre-existing diseases. 

Interactions with Other Drugs 

There is not enough evidence on the interaction of patharchatta with other drugs. Further studies on the interaction of patharchatta are required. Therefore, you must consult your doctor if you are on any other medication before consuming patharchatta.10 

Also Read: Red Clover: Health Benefits, Uses, Side Effects & More!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS):

1) What are the benefits of patharchatta?

Patharchatta can be used to heal wounds, relieve pain and reduce inflammation. It can be used to expel kidney stones, reduce blood sugar levels and inhibit the growth of microbes. It can act against cancer and reduce stomach ulcers. Additionally, it can be used for leishmaniasis.1,2,4-9 However, you must consult your doctor if you experience any symptoms of the mentioned conditions. 

2) What are the side effects of patharchatta? 

Patharchatta may cause fatigue, dry throat, agitation and difficulty in digestion.10 You must consult your doctor if you experience any side effects after consuming patharchatta. 

3) What precautions shall be taken before consuming patharchatta? 

As with any other general medicine, general precautions should be taken while having patharchatta. Pregnant women and lactating mothers should take special care. You must consult your doctor before having a patharchatta. Precaution should be taken before giving patharchatta to the elderly or children. In such cases, you must have patharchatta only if your doctor prescribes it. 

4) Is patharchatta beneficial for diabetes? 

Patharchatta may be beneficial for diabetes mellitus. A bioactive compound like phenyl alkyl ether derivatives in patharchatta may stimulate insulin secretion, further decreasing blood sugar levels.6 However, you must check your blood sugar levels regularly and consult your doctor in case of abnormal blood sugar levels. 

5) Which drugs interact with patharchatta? 

There is not enough evidence on the interaction of patharchatta with other drugs. Further studies on the interaction of patharchatta are required. Therefore, you must consult your doctor if you are on any other medication before consuming patharchatta.10 

References: 

  1. Quazi Majaz A, Tatiya AU, Khurshid M, Nazim S, Siraj S. The miracle plant (Kalanchoe pinnata): a phytochemical and pharmacological review. Int J Res Ayurveda Pharm. 2011;2(5):1478-82. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Dr-Quazi-Majaz-Aejazuddin/publication/268347927_The_miracle_plant_Kalanchoe_pinnata_A_phytochemical_and_pharmacological_review/links/5602535a08ae42bbd541fa83/The-miracle-plant-Kalanchoe-pinnata-A-phytochemical-and-pharmacological-review.pdf   
  1. Pattewar SV. Kalanchoe pinnata: phytochemical and pharmacological profile. International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research. 2012 Apr 1;3(4):993. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/271123652_Kalanchoe_pinnata_Phytochemical_and_pharmacological_profile 
  1.  Nwali BU, Okaka AN, Offor CE, Aja PM, Nwachi UE. Proximate and mineral compositions of Bryophyllum pinnatum leaves. American Journal of Phytomedicine and Clinical Therapeutics. 2014;2(3):286-9. Available from: https://www.groupedaabou.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/proximate-and-mineral-compositions-ofbryophyllum-pinnatum-leaves.pdf  
  1. Matthew S, Jain AK, James M, Matthew C, Bhowmik D. Analgesic and anti-inflammatory activity of Kalanchoe pinnata (lam.) pers. Journal of Medicinal Plants. 2013;1(2):24-8. Available from: https://www.plantsjournal.com/vol1Issue1/Issue_march_2013/5.pdf 
  1. Phatak RS, Hendre AS. In-vitro antiurolithiatic activity of Kalanchoe pinnata extract. International Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemical Research. 2015;7(2):275-9. Available from: http://impactfactor.org/PDF/IJPPR/7/IJPPR,Vol7,Issue2,Article13.pdf 
  1. Patil SB, Dongare VR, Kulkarni CR, Joglekar MM, Arvindekar AU. Antidiabetic activity of Kalanchoe pinnata in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats by glucose independent insulin secretagogue action. Pharmaceutical biology. 2013 Nov 1;51(11):1411-8. Available from: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.3109/13880209.2013.794364 
  1. Tajudin NJ, Ismail IN. Antimicrobial Activity of Kalanchoe Pinnata: A Review. Malaysian Journal of Science Health & Technology. 2022 Feb 1;8(1):31-7. Available from: https://mjosht.usim.edu.my/index.php/mjosht/article/download/245/147 
  1. De Araújo ER, Guerra GC, Araújo DF, De Araújo AA, Fernandes JM, de Araújo Júnior RF, Da Silva VC, De Carvalho TG, Ferreira LD, Zucolotto SM. Gastroprotective and antioxidant activity of Kalanchoe brasiliensis and Kalanchoe pinnata leaf juices against indomethacin and ethanol-induced gastric lesions in rats. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2018 Apr 24;19(5):1265. Available from: https://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/19/5/1265/htm 
  1. Nayak BS, Marshall JR, Isitor G. Wound healing potential of ethanolic extract of Kalanchoe pinnata Lam. Leaf—a preliminary study. Available from: http://nopr.niscpr.res.in/handle/123456789/9083 

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