The Convolvulus pluricaulis is a beautiful, perennial, wild plant found in many parts of India, especially Bihar. Many wouldn’t believe that this plant is actually Indian. Belonging to the Convolvulaceae family, this prostrate, spreading herb is commonly found on sandy or rocky ground even under xerophytic conditions. Flowers are usually white, pale pink or blue in colour. Commonly known as speedwheel it is called Shankhapushpi and Vishnugandhi in Kannada.
I would recommend everyone to grow this plant not just because its flowers look exotic, but also because of its medicinal benefits. Though the plant is astringent and bitter to taste almost all its parts have significant therapeutic benefits. The plant is traditionally known to enhance children’s intelligence. Shankhapushpi has been used in medicine since Vedic times dating back to 1,000 BC. It is also mentioned frequently in the Ayurveda. The plant is called a rasayana in Ayurveda, it is mainly used in mental stimulation and rejuvenation therapy.
The plant is also believed to have anti-ulcer effects. Shankhapushpi may also be helpful in improving symptoms of hyperthyroidism by reducing the activity of a liver enzyme. The whole herb is used medicinally in the form of decoction with cumin and milk in fever, nervous debility, loss of memory and insomnia. As it is a twining herb, you can grow it on your fences if you want. The flowers will make your fences look colourful. The plant is low maintenance, does not need regular watering, and if you grow it on compounds no trimming is required. However, the seeds are large and rather annoying to clean. If the seeds aren’t checked the plant spreads in no time.