Urginea Indica Kunth

Botanical Name: Urginea Indica Kunth

Sanskrit Name: Vana Palandu

Family Name: LILIACEA


Vernacular names :

Common name – Indian squill

  1. Hindi – jangalipyaz
  2. Kannada –adairirulli
  3. Malayalam –kattulli
  4. Tamil –nari – vangayam
  5. Gujarat – jangalikanda, rankanda
  6. Telugu – nakkaravalli


Kola , Kanda


Vana Palandu (Urginea Indica Kunth) is a herb with bulb and light green coloured flowers. It is found at 6000 ft in the western Himalayan and in some parts of Bihar. Bapalal considered it as one of the sources for Grinjana. Kaiyadeva describes Grinjana twice i.e., one after Mulaka and the other afterPalandu. It may be the VanaPalandu (U. indica) known as ‘Pankando’ in Gujarati. It is exactly like onion and can be called Vana Palandu.

Botanical Details

A small, glabrous, bulbous herb, abundantly found throughout the plains of India and in the dry hills of the lower Himalayas up to an altitude of c. 1,500 m. Urginea Indica Kunth is frequently cultivated in sandy soils near the sea-shore in the Deccan Peninsula for its bulbs, which are used in medicine, and its cultivation is also recommended on trial-basis in the lower Himalayas. Bulbs tunicated, ovoid or pear-shaped, 5-10 cm, long; leaves linear, brown , sub-bifarious; flowers greenish white or dirty brown or purplish, drooping or spreading,borne on erect, long scapes, often emerging fore the leaves; capsules ellipsoidal or oblong; seeds any, flattened, black.

The herb prefers a sandy soil, a mean annual temperature of 15°, and an annual precipitation of 10-75 cm. The plants are raised from seeds and in5-6 years the bulbs develop to a marketable size. It is so possible to raise the plants from the bulblets and,4-5 years, bulbs of good size can be obtained. Planting generally done in rows 75 cm apart and the cultural practices are similar to those in onions.


Mostly in Himalayan regions

Chemical constituents

Scillarenin, scilliglaucosidins, scillirosidins etc.


Rasa –katu, tikta

Guna –laghu, tikshna

Virya – usna

Vipaka –katu

Karma –kapha- vatahara, mutrala, hridya


  • MutraKricchra
  • Hridroga
  • Visharoga

Part used



Powder 120- 240mg


VanapalanduPanaka and Tincture

Research and studies

(1) The drug, in small doses, possesses cardio-tonic stimulant, expectorant, and diuretic properties; in large doses it is emetic and cathartic and may cause cardiac depression. It is generally believed that its diuretic and emetic effects are secondary to its cardiac effects. The action of squill as a cardio-tonic resembles that of digitalis; though the squill acts more rapidly and is less cumulative in its effect, its use as a substitute for digitalis is undesirable due to the irritating effect and poor absorption, entailing larger dosage. Its use for the treatment of diseases of heart is, therefore, usually limited to those patients who are hypersensitive to digitalis

The squill is used chiefly as a powerful expectorant in the treatment of cough, especially in chronic bronchitis and asthma. The expectorant action is due to mild irritation of the gastro-intestinal tract. It is administered in the form of a syrup or tincture. The tincture prepared from the Indian squill is said to be as effective as that from the European squill (Datta&Mukerji, loc. cit.; I.P.C., 246; U.S.D., 1955, 1306; Martindale, I, 816; Chopra, 1958, 252; Modi, 562; Chopra & Mukherjee, Indian med. Gaz., 1931, 66, 341).

(2) The alcoholic extract of the bulbs possesses anticancer activity against human epidermoid carcinoma of the naso pharynx in tissue-culture and against Friend-Virus leukaemia in the mice. It is active against Entamoebahistolytica strain STA. The extract also shows hypo-glycaemic activity.

The bulbs of the squill are employed as a deobstruentin indigenous medicine. They are also prescribed in dropsy, rheumatism and skin troubles. Externally, they are used to remove warts and corns. To relieve burning sensation in the soles, the bulbs are heated, bruised and applied to the feet (Kirt. &Basu, IV, 2518; Dastur, Medicinal Plants, 241; Rama Rao, 414; Koman, 1919, 20; Dhar et al., Indian J. exp. Biol., 1968, 6, 232; Chem. Abstr., 1958, 52, 20448).

(3) The powdered bulbs contain c. 51 per cent of an alcohol-insoluble mucilage, and this distinguishes them from the European squill which contains sinistrin and related carbohydrates which are readily soluble in alcohol. Mucilage consists of mannose, glucose and xylose. Both the powder and the mucilage have a very high power of swelling in water. The powder possesses good adhesive properties, and its three per cent solution in water can be used as a paper-paste. It is used by local weavers in sizing cotton-cloth. Briquettes of satisfactory strength from sawdust have been prepared by using the powder as a binder. In calico-printing, the powder has possibilities as a thickening agent for coloursto be used in screen-printing of textiles (Bed &Pharasi, Indian For., 1971, 97, 408; Forsdike& Meek, loc. cit.).

(4) The leaves are eaten in times of scarcity. The plant has been found to possess anticancer activity. It is reported to becyanogenetic (Annu. Rep.Cent.Drug Res. Inst., Lucknow, 1965-66, 69; Chem. Abstr., 1958, 52, 20448).

(5) During 1958-65, minor quantities of Indian squill were exported, mainly to West Germany. The exports are, however, now steadily increasing (With India — Raw Materials, IX, 256).

Courtesy : The Wealth of India series , DravyaGuna by Dr. J.L.N. Sastry , InidanMateriaMedica by VaidyaBhagwan Dash , DravyaGuna by Dr. GnjanendraPandey