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Journal of information, knowledge and research in humanities and social sciences natural folk remedy for menorrhagia

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1 Scientific Officer, Chhattisgarh Council of Science & Technology, Raipur (Chhattisgarh) India.

2 Research Scholar, Sarguja University, Ambikapur (Chhattisgarh) India.

3 Head, Department of Botany, Arts and Commerce Girls College, Raipur (Chhattisgarh) India.,,

ABSTRACT: Medicinal plants are moving from fringe to mainstream use with a great number of people seeking remedies and health approaches free from side effects caused by synthetic chemicals. The present paper deals with the use of malva nut (Sterculia lycnophora) as traditional medicine for menorrhagia. In the present study five villages of district Raipur were surveyed and Vaidhyas (folk medicinal practitioner) and their patients of any gynecological complains were enquired for the herbal medicines used, local name of the plant, plant parts used, and method of administration. It is reported that other than many herbal medicines, malva nut is also used as remedy for menorrhagia by few herbal medicinal practitioners. This review contains detailed study and effect of malva nut on the subjects of menorrhagia. Further studies were suggested to validate the claims and herbal drug development for treatment of such disorder.
Keywords - Sterculia Lychnophora, Menorrhagia, Herbal Medicine.


In India, Sterculia is also called “Niranjan phal” or “China fruit”. In Southeast Asia, the term “Malva nut” refers to the nut of several Scaphium species. In Indochina, malva nuts are a non-timber forest product collected from the malva (Scaphium macropodum (Miq.) Beumee ex Heyne) – a tree species found in South and Central Vietnam, in the southern provinces of Laos and in the mountains of Cambodia. It is one of the tallest trees, normally reaching 30-40 meters or more in height and over 100 diameter breast height (dbh) at maturity, found in semi-evergreen forests in hilly areas approximately 300-700 meters above sea level [3]. Leaves are 12-15 cm long and 8-10 cm wide [6]. The fruit is egg-shaped and from 8-15 mm in diameter. The color of young fruit is green-yellow, turning to dark-brown when mature [10]. The dried seeds are the size of an adult's fingertip; they are brown and have coarse skin.
















S. macropodum

Common Names:

Malva nut, China fruit, Kembang Semangkok.




Malva nut trees are found in small pockets of evergreen forest in Southeast Asia, mainly on rocky and shallow soils. They often grow on hill slopes, where they can occur in high densities. This is a masting species, with flowering and fruiting occurring every three or four years. Its natural distribution is across Myanmar, Thailand, Central Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei.


Malva nut is reported to contain glycoside, flavanoids, tannins and saponins. It is used as spasmogenic, oxytocic, uterotonic, anti-bacterial, anti-implantation, anti-tumour, anti-progestational, antiestrogenic activity against menorrhagia and anti-cancer.


The seeds are highly recommended to control heavy menopausal bleeding particularly when there seems to be no other way to stop the bleeding. The seeds are also used to treat diarrhea and dysentery. Malva nut or Sterculia is used to cure lung and throat problems, to reduce toxicity, to relieve constipation, and to soothe bloodshot eyes.  Sterculia seed pulp is often mixed with sugar and basil seeds to make a cooling drink in Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia.  In China, Sterculia is used in tea along with sugar candy to reduce “hotness”. Malva nut has expectorant and anti-inflammatory properties. People with frequent digestion problems should avoid Sterculia entirely. It is recommended that always use the seeds in the supervision of vaidhya or any reputed herbal medicinal practitioner.

This review contains detailed study and effect of malva nut on the subjects of menorrhagia. Further studies were suggested to validate the claims and herbal drug development for treatment of such disorder.



The area under investigation for ethnomedicinal studies falls under district Raipur, Chhattisgarh, India. Chhattisgarh came into existence in 2001 after division of State Madhya Pradesh. It is situated on 170 46 – 240 N latitude and 800 15 – 840 24 E longitudes, covering an area of 1, 35,191 Sq. Km. District Raipur is present in the middle of the state. The state is bound by Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand to the north and northeast, Orissa to the east, Andhra Pradesh to the south, and Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh to the west. Climatically, the area is of dry tropical type. The summer temperature ranges between 21.5 to 42°C and winter between 10 to 17.5°C. The temperature in summer may reach up to 45°C and in winter below 10°C (up to 7°C). The average annual rainfall is 1065 mm. The forest is of tropical dry deciduous type. About 12% of India’s forests are in Chhattisgarh and 44% of the states land is under forest.


An ethno medicinal survey was carried out in five villages of Raipur district, Chhattisgarh, to know what traditional medicines are used by local women/people to cure gynecological problems. It was observed that most village people rely on folk medicinal practitioners (Vaidhya) and home remedies for their primary health-care needs, due to easily approachable and economically suitable. The Vaidhya used medicinal plants for treatment of various ailments. Following informed consent obtained from the Vaidhya, interviews were conducted of the Vaidhyas and some local people with the help of a semi-structured questionnaire and the guided field-walk method. The most important thing found was that malva nut is given by some vaidhyas to the patients of menorrhagia to control access bleeding. It is also used for laxative benefits.

In recent years, malva nut seeds have been substantially consumed as sweetened beverages for health benefits to reduce body weight. It is considered to be a “cooling medicine” and effective particularly in soothing dry cough and stomach ailments.


The method to use nuts of Sterculia lycnophora was simple; one fruit was soaked in 1 cup of water overnight. It swells and becomes big, the contents were squeezed in the cup and this water was taken in empty stomach. It was advisable to take it during the week of menstrual period, for three to four days in a month. In a matter of 3-4 days flow reduces. It was also important to keep hemoglobin levels high.

While treating menorrhagia it was necessary to rule out pregnancy, thyroid disorders, anemia, ovarian cysts, anatomical and reproductive abnormalities and numerous other pathologies [11]. This article addresses that menorrhagia is not due to other pathologies, but assumed to be due to hormonal and metabolic control of the menstrual cycle. The remedy is very effective in this type of complaints.

A group of 14 women of age 20 to 45, who had the problem of menorrhagia and were taking the treatment (malva nut supplement for about three months) from medicinal folk healers, were regularly observed. The method of administration was the same as described in above paragraph. Local Name :BalaBotanical name :

Sida retusa (Linn.) Borssum

Local Name :BalaBotanical name :

Sida retusa (Linn.) Borssum


The results were very promising, a significant decrease of menstrual flow was found in the subjects of treatment group. This botanical can often support the production and regulation of hormones and correct the symptoms due to their imbalance. According to naturopathic theory, botanical agents can improve the metabolism of hormones by the liver. Conventional therapy employs synthetic hormones to force a hormonal action on the uterus to either stop or start menstrual bleeding, but such cures are typically only temporary. Herbal remedy (malva nut) is valuable in acute menorrhagia and crisis situations as emergency tools, but is less desirable in long-term management of menstrual irregularities.

Plants and plant based medicaments are the basis of many of the modern pharmaceuticals we used today for our various ailments [1, 2]. Nearly 80% of the world population relies on traditional medicines for primary health care, most of which involve the use of plant extracts [8]. In India, almost 95% of the prescriptions are plant based the traditional system of Unani, Ayurveda, Homeopathy and Siddha [9]. In June 2012 a shameful incident of “unnecessary womb removal surgeries’ even in the age group of 25 to 30 years, came to light in rural areas of dist. Raipur, Chhattisgarh. There is a need to aware rural women that hysterectomy is not only the ultimate solution of menorrhagia or other gynecological problem, a wide range of herbal traditional medicines are there to regulate the menstrual cycle, enhance fertility and as either abortifacients or anti abortifacients [7], and malva nuts are reported to cure menorrhagia. The indigenous groups posses their own distinct culture, religious rites, food habit and a rich knowledge of traditional medicine [4, 5]. There is an urgent need for systematic documentation of this knowledge by using scientific tools and it is suggested to validate the claims and herbal drug development for treatment of such disorder.


[1] Abraham Z “Glimpses of Indian Ethnobotany”, Oxford and Publishing Co., New Delhi, pp 308-320, [1981].

[2] Atal C K and  B M Kapur “Cultivation and Utilization of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants”, Regional Research Laboratory (CSIR), Jammu-Tawi, India, [1982].

[3] Baird Ian G and Somphong Bounphasy “Non-Timber Forest Product Use, Management and Tenure in Pathoumphone District, Champassak Province, Southern Laos”. Global Association for People and Environment. Pakse, Lao PDR, pp 34, [2003].

[4] Harsha V H, S S Hebbar, G R Hegde and V Sripathi, “Plants in the traditional Medicines used by Kunabi communities of Uttarakhand District of Karnataka”, Abstract Nat. con. On sus. Uti. Of Bio Res, pp 36, [2001].

[5] Harsha V H, S S Hebbar, V Shripathi, G R Hedge, “Ethnomedicobotany of Uttarkannada district in Karnatka, India – plants in treatment of skin disease”, Journal of Ethnopharmacology, pp 37-40, [2003].

[6] Heng Ponley, Director General of the Department of Traditional Medicinal Plants, Ministry of Health, per. comm., [2002].

[7] Shukla Rajesh, Moyna Chkravarty and M P Gautam “Indigenous medicine used for treatment of gynecological disorders by tribal of chhattisgarh, India”, Journal of Medicinal Plants Research, pp 356-360, [2008].

[8] Sandhya B, S Thomas, W Isabel, R Shenbagarathai “Ethnomedicinal Plants used by the Valaiyan Community of Pairanmalai Hills (Reserved Forest), Tamilnadu, India- A Pilot Study”, African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines, pp 101-114, [2006].

[9] Satyavati G V, A K Gupta, N Tandon “Medicinal Plants of India”, Indian Council of Medical Research, New Delhi, India, [1987].

[10] Son Pisith, pers. comm., [2002].

[11] Stansbury Jill “Female - The use of botanical medicines to treat menstrual irregularities”, Medical Herbalism, pp 1, 3-5, [1997].

ISSN: 0975 – 6701| NOV 11 TO OCT 12 | Volume 2, Issue 1 Page

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