Asteracantha longifolia is a source of the Ayurvedic drug Kokilaaksha and the Unani drug Talimakhana. Asteracantha longifolia is a wild herb commonly used in traditional ayurvedic medicine. It possesses various medicinal uses as aphrodisiac, tonic, sedative and blood diseases etc. The seeds are acrid, bitter, aphrodisiac, tonic, sedative, and useful in diseases of the blood. Seeds are gelatinous, febrifuge, rejuvenating and nervine tonic. Roots are sweet, sour, bitter, refrigerant, diuretic, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, haemopoictic, hepato protective and tonic. Leaves are haemopoictic, hepatoprotective, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and analgesic, anti diabetic, stomachic, ophthalmic, and diuretic in action. Results of scientific studies indicate that the aqueous extract of Asteracantha longifolia possesses hepatoprotective effects on CCl4- and paracetamol-induced hepatotoxicity in mice (3, 4).
Roots are useful in inflammations, hyperdipsia, jaundice and vesical calculi. It is also used in flatulence and dysentery. Leaves are used in hepatic obstruction, jaundice, arthritis, rheumatism and diseases of urinogenital tract. An ethanolic extract of talimkhana effectively restored the hematological parameters, serum iron and serum protein and normalized the microcytic, anisocytosis and hypochromic RBCs. These observations could justify the inclusion of this plant in the management of iron deficiency anemia due to the presence of iron and other constituents as flavonoids, terpenoids, steroids, lupeol and betulin (5, 6).