Shankhpushpi is the name given to a class of herbs used in Ayurvedic medicine in ancient India. Although the term has been used for four different plant species throughout India,1An update on Shankhpushpi, a cognition-boosting Ayurvedic medicine. within the scientific community and supplement industry, shankhpushpi most commonly refers to the plant convolvulus pluricaulis.2Nootropic, anxiolytic and CNS-depressant studies on different plant sources of shankhpushpi
In ancient Ayurvedic medicine, shankhpushpi was used as a remedy for issues regarding the brain and nervous system. Practitioners would use a decoction (essentially a concentrated tea) in an attempt to treat anxiety, fatigue, memory loss, and more.
In modern times, research has demonstrated several potential shankhpushpi benefits, such as improved memory, reduced depression, reduced anxiety, and more. We discuss these in more detail farther down.
Top 2 Shankhpushpi Supplements
Best Overall: Banyan Botanicals – Shankhapushpi Powder
Ingredients: Shankhpushpi (Convolvulus Pluricaulis)
This is pure evolvus alsinoides powder, one of the four plants referred to as shankhpushpi. While it isn’t convolvulus pluricaulis, it is in the same convolvulus family, and bears many physical and chemical similarities to pluricaulis.
This shankhpushpi powder has a mildly leafy flavor with a chalky texture. It’s a great option for those who want to make smoothies or shakes with shankhpushpi.
Best Capsules: Gopala Ayurveda – Shankhpushpi Capsules
Ingredients:Vegetable Cellulose (capsules), Shankhpushpi (Convolvulus Pluricaulis)
If you prefer to take capsules but don’t want to go to the trouble of making your own, these prepared shankhpushpi capsules are a great option.
Each capsule is filled with 100% convolvulus pluricaulis powder, with no filler. It’s one of the most popular shankhpushpi supplements on Amazon, making it any easy recommendation.
Health Benefits of Shankhpushpi
Shankhpushpi contains several alkaloids, flavanoids, and coumarins.3Review on Ethnomedicinal Uses and Phytopharmacology of Memory Boosting Herb ‘Convolvulus pluricaulis’ Choisy These naturally occurring active chemicals are largely credited for the potential benefits of shankhpushpi.
However, before discussing any potential shankhpushpi benefits, it’s important to note that very little research on shankhpushpi has been performed on human subjects. Most of the research thus far has been performed only on animal subjects.
This means that while we do have some scientific insight into the the benefits of shankhpushpi, these findings need to be taken with a grain of salt. And with some Indian scientific journals even making concrete claims about shankhpushpi’s ability to cure diabetes, cardiovascular disease, poisoning, and more, extra caution should be taken.
With being said, several peer-reviewed studies, performed both in vitro (in a Petri dish) and in vivo (on animals—in this case, rats and mice), have demonstrated quite a few potential shankhpushpi benefits.
- Improved brain function
- Improved memory
- Protection against neurotoxins, which can damage nerve tissue
- Reduced depression
- Reduced anxiety
- Reduced stress
- Reduced gastrointestinal ulcers
- Reduced inflammation
Again, many of these results are preliminary, needing much more research—particularly on human subjects.
However, there are a few shankhpushpi benefits that have been study much more thoroughly than others. These more thoroughly-researched benefits of shankhpushpi include improved memory, reduced depression, and reduced anxiety.
Many studies have demonstrated the potential memory-boosting effects of shankhpushpi in animal subjects. These findings vary from improved recall to faster learning to boosted recovery from amnesia.6Effect of Convulvulus pluricaulis Choisy. on learning behaviour and memory enhancement activity in rodents7Supplementation of Convolvulus pluricaulis attenuates scopolamine-induced increased tau and Amyloid precursor protein (AβPP) expression in rat brain8Effect of Convolvulus pluricaulis Choisy. and Asparagus racemosus Willd on learning and memory in young and old mice: A comparative evaluation9In vivo investigation of the neuroprotective property of Convolvulus pluricaulis in scopolamine-induced cognitive impairments in Wistar rats10Attenuating effect of bioactive coumarins from Convolvulus pluricaulis on scopolamine-induced amnesia in mice
Scopolamine, a medication used to treat motion sickness, is often used by researchers to safely induce amnesia in animal subjects. Researchers can administer scopolamine to rats alongside other substances to test their memory-improving effects. And using a popular brain-enhancing nootropic called paracetamol as a comparison, researchers have found that shankhpushpi may be effective.
Unfortunately, as with most research associated with shankhpushpi, these kinds of findings have yet to be replicated in human studies. While these early findings suggest that shankhpushpi may improve memory, further research is needed.
Early research has also found that shankhpushpi may help with reducing symptoms of depression. Several different dosages and testing methods have demonstrated these effects in animal subjects.11Nootropic, anxiolytic and CNS-depressant studies on different plant sources of shankhpushpi12SCREENING FOR ANTIDEPRESSANT-LIKE ACTIVITY OF CONVOLVULUS PLURICAULIS CHOISY IN MICE13An update on Ayurvedic herb Convolvulus pluricaulis Choisy14Effect of Shankhpushpi on Alcohol Addiction in Mice
As with any other findings associated with shankhpushpi, these results have yet to be replicated in human studies. While early data is promising, shankhpushpi’s benefits need to be confirmed in human trials before any concrete claims can be made about its ability to reduce symptoms of depression.
Several studies have demonstrated shankhpushpi’s ability to reduce symptoms of anxiety in animal subjects. It has been noted to be effective against symptoms associated with both generalized anxiety disorder as well as withdrawal-induced anxiety.15An update on Ayurvedic herb Convolvulus pluricaulis Choisy16Traditional Indian Herbs Convolvulus pluricaulis and Its Medicinal Importance17ANXIOLYTIC EFFECT OF CONVOLVULUS PLURICAULIS CHOISY PETALS ON ELEVATED PLUS MAZE MODEL OF ANXIETY IN MICE18Neuropharmacological Profile of Extracts of Aerial Parts of Convolvulus pluricaulis Choisy in Mice Model
One notable study examined the effects of shankhpushpi on anxiety induced by alcohol withdrawal in rats.19Neuropharmacological Profile of Extracts of Aerial Parts of Convolvulus pluricaulis Choisy in Mice Model Using dosages of 100 milligrams and 200 milligrams of shankhpushpi per kilogram of bodyweight, researchers noted a significant reduction in anxiety using a test called the elevated plus maze.
Again, it’s very important to note that the anxiety-reducing effects of shankhpushpi have yet to be confirmed in human studies. While these findings from animal studies are promising, further research is needed to replicate these results in humans.
There is currently no officially recommended shankhpushpi dosage. This is largely due to the fact that human trials are still limited, so dosage ranges have yet to be tested.
There are several different dosage methods that were used by Ayurvedic physicians, however.
Some Ayurvedic sources recommend taking 4 to 6 grams of shankhpushpi powder (roughly 3 to 5 US teaspoons), sometimes mixed with milk or honey.20A comprehensive review on shankhpushpi a morning glory Research on shankhpushpi has noted beneficial effects in animal subjects using similar doses, typically administering 100 milligrams of powder for every kilogram of bodyweight.21An update on Ayurvedic herb Convolvulus pluricaulis Choisy (At that dosage, someone weighing 130 pounds would take about 6 grams of shankhpushpi powder.)
Ayurvedic physicians would also make shankhpushpi decoctions or teas, typically mixed with cumin and milk.22Traditional Indian Herbs Convolvulus pluricaulis and Its Medicinal Importance However, for most people, taking dried shankhpushpi powder would be a simpler solution.
Shankhpushpi Side Effects
Research on shankhpushpi thus far has not noted any significant side effects.23Supplementation of Convolvulus pluricaulis attenuates scopolamine-induced increased tau and Amyloid precursor protein (AβPP) expression in rat brain24An update on Ayurvedic herb Convolvulus pluricaulis Choisy25Traditional Indian Herbs Convolvulus Pluricaulis and Its Medicinal Importance
Again, as noted above, human trials on the effects of shankhpushpi are limited. While the data suggests side effects of shankhpushpi are absent in animal subjects, these findings have yet to be replicated in humans
However, shankhpushpi has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. Within these traditional medicinal practices throughout India, no significant side effects have been noted either.
Shankhpushpi has been used as a medicinal herb in Ayurvedic medicine since ancient times. And while studies on the plant are limited, early research on animals suggests that shankhpushpi may indeed be effective in improving memory, reducing symptoms of depression, and reducing symptoms of anxiety.
|Best Overall: Banyan Botanicals – Shankhapushpi Powder|
“This shankhpushpi powder has a mildly leafy flavor with a chalky texture. It’s a great option for those who want to make smoothies or shakes with shankhpushpi.”
|Best Capsules: Gopala Ayurveda – Shankhpushpi Capsules|
“Each capsule is filled with 100% convolvulus pluricaulis powder, with no filler. It’s one of the most popular shankhpushpi supplements on Amazon, making it any easy choice recommendation.”