Indian squill is a bulbous plant with extremely narrow leaves and light brown flowers in slender long bunch. It has egg shaped, long, dull white or pale, thick bulbs measuring 5 to 10 cm. The fruits of the plant are three celled capsules with flat black seeds. The dry outer coats of its bulbs are removed before slicing and drying. This constitutes the drug.
Fresh squill consists of two glycosides, scillaren A which is crystalline and scillaren B which is amorphous.
Botanical Name: Urginea indica
Indian Name: Jungli piyaz
Below are some of the medicinal properties of Indian squill:
- Indian squill is beneficial in removing any obstruction to secretion of excretion by opening the natural passages or pores of the body.
- It promotes the removal of catarrhal matter. Clinical trials have confirmed its efficacy. It helps to remove phlegm from the bronchial tubes in asthma, bronchial catarrh and chronic bronchitis. Its juice should be administered with honey.
- It is useful in promoting and regulating menstrual periods. It should be given in small doses.
- The bulb of Indian squill is useful in the treatment of dropsy. It has diuretic properties and increases the volume of urine.
- For removing warts, a powder of the bulb should be applied locally on the affected areas. For corns, a poultice of the roasted bulb should be applied.
- Indian squill is used with good results in the treatment of several other diseases such as rheumatism, calculus affections, chronic Bright's disease - a typical degeneration of the kidneys, leprosy, ringworm and scabies.