Jalapa is the tuberous root of the plant species Ipomoea jalapa, and it is known in homeopathy as a cure for several gastrointestinal ailments. It often is used as a purgative, a diuretic or an appetite suppressant. This root is characterized by its fleshy, rounded nodules, and its stems often are smooth and brownish with rough edges. Fresh jalapa usually has a black exterior and milky white meat. Its size varies depending on its age.
To take advantage of its herbal remedies, the herb often is prepared by having it dried. To do this, the roots are put inside net bags and placed over the fire. In some cases, the whole root is dried, but there are also instances when the root is treated in sections.
A more challenging method to prepare jalapa for homeopathic medicine is pulverization. The process usually is aided by agents such as cream of tartar, sugar of milk or hard salt. As a powder herb remedy, it often is pale grayish-brown in color. The powder causes coughing and an increase in saliva discharge when inhaled.
Jalapa’s essential oils can be extracted using solvents such as water, alcohol or spirits, though this method of preparation is quite rare. The plant extract, however, is a good form to use as a purgative, according to herbal remedy specialists. Its energetic character influences the bowels to evict as much stool as necessary.
Impacted, hard fecal masses are expelled faster when jalapa is used as a catalyst. Home herbal remedy specialists believe that all cases of constipation are treatable with the right dose, and they advise patients who are suffering from constipation to take five grains of the plant every morning. Just like other homeopathic medicines, it should be repeated until the herbs take effect.
Whether in dried, pulverized or essential oil form, jalapa also is effective when applied directly on wounds. Such a remedy also can be derived from the plant’s purgative characteristic. It even can be used as a remedy for hemorrhoids in lieu of a stimulating laxative.
As an alternative to laxatives, jalapa also can be administered to children for the purgation of intestinal worms. It might not have the same parasiticidal effect, but it is said to speed up the expulsion of worms from the body. In addition to being a bowel remedy, the herb also can facilitate normal urine flow and thus is considered a powerful diuretic.
Homeopathic doctors also believe that taking three grains of the herb one hour before each meal can decrease one’s appetite. This serves as a good way to relieve some people’s desire to overeat. Those who are cutting down on calories might find jalapa to be the solution to their unhealthy eating habits.