Sticky Desmodium is an ascending, much branched perennial plant with stems that become more or less woody and persist; it can grow from 60 - 120cm tall often clothed with hooked hairs. The plant is very commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine, being harvested from the wild and traded. It has potential for use as a green manure.
Sticky Desmodium is a perennial under shrub which grows all over India up to 1000 m altitude. It attains the height about 60-120 cm. The branches are slender and covered with minute white hair. The leaves are 7.5-15 cm long and 2.5-5 cm broad, trifoliate, ovate-oblong, hairy and densely grey-silky beneath. The flowers purplish or pink, in 15-30 cm long axillary racemes. The fruits, pods, oblong, flattened, covered with sticky hairs. The seeds 4-6, compressed and brownish black in color. The plant flowers in May. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria; these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby.
The whole plant of salaparni is used for medicinal purpose in Ayurvedic medicine. The herb is seldom used externally. Internally it is useful in vast range of diseases. It is used in the treatment for asthma and nervous dysfunction. It is also used in the treatment of insect bites and used against inflammations, vomiting, etc.