Talmkhana is a spiny, stout, annual herb, growing to a height of 3-5 feet. It is found in waterlogged places throughout the country. Seeds are Ovate, flat or compressed, truncate at the base, 2-3 mm long and 1-2 mm wide, white, hairy but appearing smooth, when soaked in water immediately get coated with mucilage, light yellowish-brown; taste, slightly bitter and odour not distinct.
Seed contains yellow semi-drying oil, enzymes like Diastase, Lipase, Protease and an Alkaloid. It also contains linoleic acid (11%), palmitic acid (8%) and stearic acid (0.6%), Asterol I-IV, Asteracanthine and asteracanthinine (alkaloids), Lupeol at 0.044%, β-sitosterol (0.031%).
Rasa : Madhura, Guna : Picchila, Snigdha, Virya : Sita, Vipaka : Madhura, Karma : Balya, Kaphahara, Santarpana, Vrsya, Ruchya.
Sotha, Vatarakta, Pittasmari.
It is used in the treatment of general debility, jaundice, Diarrhoea, Constipation, Gonorrhea, Dysentery, Anuria, distention of abdomen, swelling, hepatomegaly and bloating of the abdomen, difficulty in urination and impotency.