Aparajitha (Clitoria ternatea) as a Local Anesthetic
Keywords:Anesthesia, Aparajitha, Clitoria ternatea, Herbal-based anesthetics
Introduction: In the 19th century, surgery underwent a transformative moment with the discovery of the first anesthetic. Ayurvedic pioneers like Susrutha and Caraka described surgical techniques devoid of anesthetics, relying on substances such as wine. Recognizing the limited effectiveness of herbal local anesthetics like Akarakarabha and Giri Ardraka, researchers began exploring Aparajitha (Clitorea ternatea) as a potential potent local anesthetic.
Methods: To assess Aparajitha as a local anesthetic, water and alcohol extracts were obtained from finely powdered white Clitoria ternatea leaves. These extracts underwent testing at different concentrations using anesthesia methods like the frog’s web, frog pouch, and guinea pig’s wheel.
Results: The alcohol extract of Aparajitha acted as an effective anesthetic, with onset from the 7th to the 20th minute, waning by the 35th minute. Both water and alcohol extracts were employed for a comprehensive assessment based on compound solubility. In frog pouch experiments, the test substance induced anesthesia in 10 minutes, while the standard took 3 minutes. Concentrations of 0.2%, 0.4%, and 0.8% had no significant impact, but concentrations of 0.8%, 1%, and 2% showed noticeable anesthesia effects. The 2% alcohol extract achieved the desired effect within 10 applications, matching the standard’s performance, although the standard surpassed the test samples in guinea pig infiltration anesthesia.
Discussion: The study indicates that Aparajitha possesses local anesthetic properties, despite limited literature references. Further evaluation, including toxicity studies and clinical trials, is needed to assess its viability as a clinical anesthetic. This research serves as an initial exploration of Ayurvedic anesthesia potential contributions to modern surgery.