Botanical Name

Ephedra gerardiana Wall. ex Stapf.



Regional Name

English : Somlata, Gerard Jointfir, Hindi : Khanta, Somlata, Sanskrit : Soma, Somlata, Malayalam : Buchchur, Somalata, Gujarati : Sandhiavel, Chirodi, Kannada : Somalata, Hambukalli, Marathi : Ransher, Punjabi : Asmaniya,  Asmania, Budagur, Tamil : Pulichakodi, Somakodi, Somamum, Kotikkalli, Telugu : Kondapala, Somalata, Palmakasturi.

Part Used



It is native to southwestern North America, southern Europe, northern Africa, southwest and central Asia, northern China and western South America. It is found in the Himalayan mountains from Afghanistan to Bhutan. This species is distributed in the Hindu Kush-Himalayan region across Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal and Bhutan in an altitude range of 2400-5000 m. Within India, it has been recorded in Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Sikkim. It is a low growing rigid tufted shrub 1-2 ft tall, with numerous densely clustered erect slender, smooth, green joined branches, arising from a branched woody base. Branches have scales at the joints. Male cones are ovate, 6-8 mm, solitary or 2-3, with 4-8 flowers each with 5-8 anthers with fused filaments, and rounded fused bracts. Female cones solitary. Fruit an ovoid berry with fleshy red succulent bracts encircling I -2 seeds.


It contains ephedrine, nor-ephedrine, n-methyl ephedrine and pseudoephedrine which is a phenylethylamine alkaloid, flavonoids lignans, catechols and polysaccharides.

Ayurvedic Properties

Rasa : Kasaya, Guna : Laghu, Ruksha, Virya : Usna, Vipaka : Katu, Karma : Kaphavata shamaka, Shwashar.

Ayurvedic Applications

Kaphavatashamak, Shothara, Vednashamak, Shwaskas, hara, Mutri, Gharbhashyasankochak.

Medicinal Uses

It is used to treat asthma, bronchitis, cold, cough, allergy, rhinitis, arthritis, hay fever, sinusitis, hypotension, weight loss, heart failure, and urinary incontinence, and for its central nervous system stimulatory effects in the treatment of narcolepsy and depression. It is also used for headache and influenza.


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