Vidanga

Description of plant

Embelia ribes is woody creeper shrub with brittle and flexible stem. It is medicinal plant also with terete branches also known as vai vidanga. Leaves are simple, alternate, ovate and sharp at both the ends. Length of leaves is 3 inch long and 1.5 inch broad. Flowers are small, white in color and have small petioles 3 to 4 inch in length. Fruits are small just like black pepper, reddish brown to black in color. Because of its appearance and nature it is also called false black pepper. Fruits are found in bunches. Outer covering of fruits is fragile and from inside seeds are spotted. Roots of this medicinal herb are brownish grey in color.

General information

In Ayurveda false pepper seeds and white flowered embelia are common names of this herb. This versatile herb is used to treat variety of diseases but mainly it is used to cure worm infestation. Achraya sushrut describe its fruit as anti-helminthic and tonic to strengthen. It provides energy to body along with mulethi roots. To clear out excess vata dosha from intestine vidanga is used. It is used to boost up rasdhatva agni which stimulates body metabolism and helps to expel out extra fat from body. Vidanga is an herb used in Ayurveda as energy booster and tonic. Dry seeds of vidanga resemble pepper seeds and this herb is also called false black pepper. Vidanga seeds are best to use after storage of one year.

Rajnighantu described this herb with light properties, pungent taste and hot potency. It is used to make balance between vata and kapha. Vidanga is very effective to improve anorexia and digestive fire.

Major chemical compounds available in this herb are Embelin, homoembelin, christembine, quercitol and vilangine etc.

Habitat

The herb is found in areas up to the height of 1500mts. Embelia ribes found in the hilly areas of India like lower and central Himalayas down to Konkan, Deccan, Western Ghats and South India. It is also distributed in China, Bhutan, Nepal and Pakistan. In India embelia is mostly distributed in Assam, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

Classification

  • Kingdom - Plantae
  • Family - Primulaceae
  • Order - Ericales

Names

  • English name - False black pepper, White flowered embelia,  Embelia fruit
  • Hindi name - Vaividang, Baibidang
  • Telugu name - Vayu vidangalu, Vidangamu
  • Bengali name - Vidang, Bidang, Biranga
  • Marathi name - Bavidang, Ambti, Karkunnie
  • Punjabi name - Bavidang
  • Gujarati name - Bavadan
  • Tamil name - Vilanga, Vayu vidanga, Vellal
  • Kannada name - Vayu vilanga, Vayi vulanga
  • Malayalam name - Vijhala
  • Oriya name - Vidanga

Ayurvedic Properties

Hindi / Sanskrit English
Rasa Kashaya, Katu Taste Astringent, Pungent
Guna Laghu, Ruksha, Teekshan Physical Property Light, Dry, Piercing
Virya Ushna Potency Hot
Vipaka Katu Metabolic Property (After Digestion) Pungent

Effects on Doshas

It balances vata and kapha dosha because of its hot potency.

Charak Samhita Sushrut Samhita Vagbhata
  • Krimighna - Herb used to treat worm infestation.
  • Kushthghna - Herb used to cure skin disorders.
  • Truptighna - Herb used in relieving satiation
  • Sursadi gana,
  • Pipalyadi gana
  • Pippalyadi gana,
  • Sursadi gana

Ancient verse about Embelia ribes

Ancient verse about Embelia ribes

Vidanga, krimighna, jantunashan, tandul,vail, amogha and chitartandul all are synonyms of Embelia. This piercing herb is pungent in taste with hot potency. It is dry in nature used to stimulate digestive fire and this herb is very light to digest. The herb is used to cure abdominal pain, flatulence, ascites, worm infestation, pacifies kapha and vata dosha.

Practical uses of Embelia ribes

  • Vidanga is best herb used for worm infestation that includes roundworm, threadworm and tapeworms. It is used to kill all types of bacteria, virus and fungus. This herb is also very effective for infants that are suffering with worm infestation.
  • This herb is rejuvenating herb that provides good health and energy to body.
  • It also acts as blood cleanser and is used to clear extra toxins that are circulating in human plasma and lymphatic system.
  • Vidanga powder is used for sufferers of piles and other ano-rectal disorders. It is also beneficial in managing obesity and benign tumors.
  • This herb is beneficial for human nervous system. As it is used to treat various disorders associated with nervous system like epilepsy and paralysis.
  • It is also recommended for various dental ailments.
  • Fine powder of vidanga is used to reduce the excessive inflammation of nose.
  • Vidanga improves digestive fire and used to cure nausea, vomiting, flatulence and abdominal pain. Because of its laxative property this herb treats constipation.
  • Its antifungal and antibacterial properties make this herb to treat various skin disorders. Fresh leaves and paste of leaves are used to improve skin complexion, skin pigmentation, eczema and other skin disorders.
  • The herb is used to treat fever and underlying symptoms like generalized weakness and fatigue etc.
  • Vidanga is also considered as fat burner and used to reduce weight. It clears all the fat toxins that are circulating in plasma and lymphatic system.
  • It is used to treat snake bite poisoning.
  • Vidanga is used to cure chronic cough and is also very effective for sufferers of tuberculosis.
  • Astringent leaves of this herb are used for the treatment of sore throats and ulcers of mouth.
  • This herb works on medha dhatu as it effectively treats diabetes.
  • It is used to pacify vata and kapha dosha.

Ayurvedic products from Embelia ribes

Part used

  • Fruits
  • Roots

Dosage

  • Powder - 3-5gms
  • Decoction - 3-15ml

Caution

  • Pregnancy
  • Pitta aggravation
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