Vidang (Vaividang)
(Embelia ribes)

Part Used: Whole plant

Embelia ribes Burm F., a medicinal woody climber, belongs to the Myrsinaceae family. In North East region, it is commonly distributed in Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya and Mizoram in the altitudinal zone of 500 to 2500 msl. It is a red listed climbing shrub found in the semi-evergreen to evergreen forests of India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and China.
Int. J. Biodivers. Conserv. Vol. 4(13), pp. 525-529, October 2012

E. ribes, popularly known as ‘Vidanga’ or ‘Vavding’ in Ayurveda, is a Red-listed species. It yields embelin, and other highly valued secondary metabolites, which have a wide range of clinical applications. The fruit of Embelia ribes Burm (Myrsinaceae) (known as false black pepper in English, Vidanda in Sanskrit and Babrang in Hindi languages) has been in use to treat a variety of gastrointestinal ailments, fever and inflammatory diseases for thousands of years.
Dhanjal et al. BMC Cancer 2014, 14:775

This species is reported to be vulnerable in the Western Ghats of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka states of India and at a lower risk in Kerala state of peninsular India. E. ribes is listed in the ‘Priority Species List’ for cultivation by the National Medicinal Plant Board and the Maharashtra State Horticulture and Medicinal Plant Board (MSHMPB).

Mechanism of Action:

Medicinal Uses:
The plant is not only traditionally believed to possess medical values but has already been reported scientifically for several activities like Hepatoprotective, Neuroprotective, Antibacterial, Antifungal, Analgesic, Hypoglycemic, Antioxidant, Anticancer, Anthelminthic, Anticonvulsant, Wound healing, Antifertility, Adaptogenic, Cardioprotective etc.
IJPT | Dec-2010 | Vol. 2 | Issue No.4 | 525- 539

Pharmacological Action:

Antioxidant - Embelin from E. ribes exhibits a natural antioxidant activity which causes many medicinal benefits against any type of damage, because of toxicity like hepatotoxicity etc. Embelia ribes treatment enhances the antioxidant defense against many diseases like hyperlipidemia and oxidative stress in brain. Hence, it can be beneficial for the treatment of Central Nervous System Disorders.

Indian J Pharmacol | Aug 2008 | Vol 40 | Issue 4 | 152-157

Antimicrobial – E. ribes is used in many infectious diseases like gastrointestinal, urinary tract & wound infections due to its antimicrobial activity.
IJPBA, 2010; 1(3):267 - 270

Antihyperglycemic - It decreases the level of pancreatic lipid peroxides and increases the levels of pancreatic superoxide dismutase, catalase and glutathione. E. ribes has significant blood glucose and blood pressure lowering potential. It enhances antioxidant defense against free radicals produced under hyperglycemic conditions, thereby, protects the pancreatic beta-cells against loss in diabetes.
Indiant Journal of Experimental Biology, Vol. 46, Aug 2008, pp.607-613.

Anti-inlfammatory & Anti-cancer – Embelin is a potential inhibitor of TNF-α Converting Enzyme. It also inhibits malignant properties of cancer cells through inactivation of metastatic signaling molecules.
Dhanjal et al. BMC Cancer 2014, 14:775.

Clinical Studies:

Vidang or viavidang is very beneficial herb for many diseases. Its fruit look like black pepper, therefore known as false black pepper. It is a red listed species and it is uses in a large number of ayurvedic formulations because of various medicinal benefits.