This is the root of Hemidesmus indica, a perennial climbing plant, with woody stems, a native of India, and growing throughout the Peninsula of Hindostan. it is long, slender, twisting, and cylindrical, consisting of a woody centre, and a brownish, cork-like bark, with longitudinal furrows, and transversely fissured. its odour is aromatic, and its taste bitterish; and it contains a volatile principle having acid properties, with which its remedial virtues are probably connected. These are extracted by water and alcohol.

As a remedy, hemidesmus is supposed to resemble sarsaparilla; being at the same time gently tonic, diaphoretic, and alterative; and it is chiefly as a substitute for that medicine that it has been used. in India, it is additionally employed in nephritic diseases, and in the sore-mouth of children. it is given in infusion or decoction, made in the proportion of two ounces to a pint; and a teacupful may be administered three or four times a day. A syrup is prepared by the British Pharmacopoeia (Syrupus Hemidesmi, Br.), of which the dose is from one to four fluidounces.