Bryonia Lacinosa (Diplocyclos Palmatus) is a herb used in Ayurvetic Medicine traditionally as a sexuality enhancer and is sometimes recommended to preserve youth during aging (perhaps as a testament to its aphrodisiac effects); the seeds of Bryonia Lacinosa are known as 'Shivlingi' due to their resemblence to Shivlings. It is also used traditionally as an anti-inflammatory and tonic, and as an acrid due to its foul taste.
The plant family it belongs to is Cucurbitaceae and the Bryonia family has four plants in it, also including Bryonia Alba (reported anti-tumor properties) and Bryonia Diocia (Brony Root, a diuretic).
The whole plant (also sometimes referred to as Diplocyclos Palmatus) contains:
The contents of shivlingi seeds and what underlies the observed effects are not well known
A defatted ethanolic extract of the seeds of Byronia Laciniosa, at three dosages daily for 28 days in rats (50mg/kg bodyweight, 100mg/kg and 150mg/kg) showed dose dependent increases in serum Luteinizing Hormone (LH), Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH), and Testosterone; the serum level of testosterone reaching approximately 6.5ng/mL after 150mg/kg whereas control and 50mg/kg bodyweight (insignificantly different) hovered around 1ng/mL.
The mechanism is hypothesized to be through hypothalamic stimulation, due to the above three hormones all increasing; however, this has not been directly tested.
The ethanolic extract of the seeds appears to be a potential testosterone enhancer in fertile male rats
Bryonia Laciniosa is able to dose-dependently increase the weight of male sex organs (epididymus, testes, and prostate). Spermatogenesis was increased in this same study, as well as fructose content of semen (nutrition for semen cells). These beneficial changes for fertility were accompanied by an aphrodisiac effect in mice, also dose-dependent.
An increase in sex organ weight of male rats has been noted alongside pro-libido effects, suggesting that testosterone plays a role
Byronia Laciniosa is touted as an anti-pyretic (against fever) and was found to exert anti-fever effects (at 500mg/kg) at an efficacy similar to the control drug, paracetamol (150mg/kg).. This study also noted analgesic (painkilling) actions in a dose-dependent manner, although even 500mg/kg Byronia Laciniosa was less effective (52.61% inhibition relative to control) than 100mg/kg Aspirin (68.87% inhibition).
Preliminary evidence suggests that shivlingi seeds may be able to reduce symptoms of the fever with a potency lesser than that of paracetamol
Tested doses of a methanolic extract of Byronia Laciniosa at 125mg/kg and 250mg/kg over a period of 14 days in rats did not adversely affect measured liver enzymes.