Home Herbal Monograph Small Caltrops, Land Caltrops, Puncture Vine

It is commonly found throughout India, up to an altitude of 5,400 m.

Morphology Description (Habit)

T.terrestris is a variable, prostrate annual. The roots are slender and cylindrical, light brown and faintly aromatic. The leaves are paripinnate; the leaflets, 5-8 pairs, subequal, oblong to linear-oblong. The flowers are leaf-opposed, solitary, pale-yellow to yellow; the fruits, globose, consisting of 5-12 woody cocci, each with 2 pairs of hard, sharp, divaricate spines, one pair longer than the other. Several seeds are seen in each coccus with transverse partitions between them.

Principal Constituents



Alcoholic and aqueous extracts of the roots cause fall in blood pressure4 but the chloroform extract raised the blood pressure5 in dogs. Achyranthine produced hypertension and depression of the heart, dilation of blood vessels in dogs, spasmogenic effect in frog rectus muscle and diuretic and purgative effect in albino rats6. Alcoholic extract has hypoglycemic activity7. Seed saponins increased contraction of the isolated heart of frog, guinea pig & rabbit. The effect was quicker in onset and shorter in duration than that exerted by digoxin8. Saponins have phosphorylate activity in heart9. Saponins have diuretic activity in albino rats and in dogs10.


It is well known diuretic plant drug useful in urolithiasis, dysurea, impotence and kidney dysfunction.