Sesbania grandiflora, Agastya, Agathi

Description of plant

Agastya is fast growing and soft wooded tree grows up to 3-8mt in height. Leaves are regular, deciduous, and abruptly pinnate and rounded about 15-30cm long and has 10-20 leaflets. According to different species this plant bears red and white flowers. Flowers are long, has 2-4 flower racemes, shallowly 2 lipped and are boat shaped. Plant bears flowers in month of September and October. Fruit pods re slender, falcate about 30cm long contains 15-30 seeds inside.

General information

Agastya plant is also known as "Agathi" plant in Hindi. All parts of this plant serve some medicinal purpose for us. Like the leaves, pods and flowers are used in cooking for making delicious recipes. The wood of Agastya plant is used for domestic purpose. Its consistency matches that of Bamboo because which it is commonly used as its replacement in furniture making.

The plant is named "Agastya" because its flowers bloom in the Agastya star day of Sharad Ritu (autumn) as per Ayurveda. According to another belief, it was named after "Agathi" a famous seer who practised Ayurvedic Rasayana procedures in the beautiful abode of Himalayas. It is said that this plant was very dear to him and has since been named after him.

Beautiful flowers of this plant are also used as an offering to Lord Shiva. All in all it has a very soothing effect on the body and is helpful in managing stress and anxiety under control. The juice of this plant can help in purifying Diamond within three days.

Habitat

It is a native plant of Malaysia and North America. Now it is widespread in most humid tropical regions throughout world. It is also cultivated in India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Philippines and Sri Lanka. It is often cultivated in between rice fields and with guinea grass.

Classification

  • Kingdom - Plantae
  • Order - Fabales
  • Family - Fabaceae

Names

  • English name - Agathi, West Indian Tree, Vegetable Humming bird, Flamingo Bill, White Dragon tree, Swamp pea, Sesban, Tree bean, Large flowered Agato, Brede
  • Hindi name - Aghastya, Agast, Hathya, Basna, Bakpushpa, Vakrapushpa, Agasi, Chogachi
  • Sanskrit name - Vangasena, Agasti, Agastya
  • Bengali name - Olatkaombol, Bak
  • Tamil name - Sivappututti, Agati
  • Kannada name - Agase, Agache, Kempagase
  • Malayalam name - Aagatti, Atti, Akatti
  • Oriya name - Agastee
  • Gujarati name - Agathiyo, Ayathio
  • Pilipino name - Gauai-gauai
  • French name - Pois valette
  • Nepali name - Agasti
  • Sinhala name - Kathuru
  • Cambodian name - Angkea day

Ayurvedic Properties

Hindi / Sanskrit English
Rasa Tikta Taste Bitter
Guna Laghu, Ruksha Physical Property Light, Dry
Virya Sheeta Potency Cold
Vipaka Katu Metabolic Property (After Digestion) Pungent

Effects on Doshas

It balances kapha and pitta dosha.

Charak Samhita Sushrut Samhita Vagbhata Bhavprakash
Not mentioned in Charak samhita Saka varga Kumbha yoni Pushpa varga, Saka varga

Ancient verse about Sesbania grandifolia

Ancient verse about Sesbania grandifolia

Agastya, vangsen, munipushp, agasit and munidrum are various synonyms of agastya. This herb is bitter in taste with cold potency, rough and aggravates vata dosha. It is used to pacify kapha pitta dosha and it is best used to cure intermittent fever, coryza and running nose.

Rajnighantu

According to Rajnighantu, there are four varities of agastya based on the flower color:-

  1. Sita agastya (white flowers)
  2. Peeta agastya (yellow flowers)
  3. Neel agastya (blue flowers)
  4. Lohita agastya (red flowers)

Practical uses of Sesbania grandifolia

  • The flowers of the plant have a bitter taste and an astringent action on the body. It can be used in intermittent fever, night blindness, rhinitis, running nose, abdominal pain and all kinds of liver and spleen disorders.
  • It can be used to detoxify the body, If there is chronic toxicity due to improper dietary patterns over a period of time.
  • Leaves of Agastya plant have a non – slimy, bitter nature with a hot potency. These are heavy to digest and can effectively balance kapha dosha.
  • Leaves prove to be helpful in worm infestations and bleeding disorders like menorrhagia and ulcerative colitis. These also possess tonic properties for the body.
  • Agastya fruits are very helpful in pacifying pitta dosha. It aids in weight loss and helps to manage abdominal tumors. These also help in improving memory and intelligence.
  • Bark helps to manage IBS symptoms and low digestive power and constipation while the flowers help in treating diarrhea.
  • Roots and bark of the plant are also used for external application over the body.
  • Juicy extract of the leaves can be used as nasya to relieve kapha predominant disorders of the upper respiratory tract and for epilepsy also.
  • Leaf paste can be applied to treat oral and throat problems.
  • Root bark is applied externally to reduce pain and inflammation in arthritis and gout. Paste of red flower agastya is used in rheumatism.
  • Leaf juice extract is used in nasya for epileptic sufferers.

Ayurvedic products of Sesbania grandifolia

  • Agastya haritaki awleha

Recent Research on Agastya

It possesses anti - anxiolytic and anti - proliferative properties (against cancer cells in human beings).

Parts used

  • Flowers
  • Leaves
  • Bark
  • Tender fruits
  • Whole plant

Dosage

  • Leaf juice: 10 - 20 ml.
  • Decoction: 50 - 100 ml.
  • Flower: 5 - 10g.
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