Vidanga, Embelia ribes

(Ref: Bhavaprakasa Nighantu)

Introduction

Vidanga is the very amazing herb of Ayurveda used from years because of its anti-parasitic properties. This herb is used to treat various intestinal worms. Dried mature fruits of this beneficial herb are used to treat various parasites and seeds just look like pepper seeds.

This plant shows various anti-microbial, wound healing, anti-cancerous, anti-diabetic, diuretic, anti-parasitic, hypoglycaemic, anti-oxidant and blood purifying properties. Vidanga possesses very pungent taste and this herb is very hot in potency. Due to these properties, this herb is used to pacify vata and kapha dosha but due to its hot potency, it increases pitta dosha in the body.

Plant Description

Basically, vidanga is a creeping shrub with a flexible, slender and brittle stem that belongs to Myrsinaceae family. Branches of this shrub are terete and whitish grey stem of this is studded with lenticels. The average height of this strangling shrub is about 50-75 cm. Elliptical simple and alternate leaves of this plant are 7-14 cm long and about 3-5cm broad. The plant contains small greenish yellow to whitish pink flowers. Fruits of this herb are about the size of white pepper, reddish brown to black in colour. Roots of the plant are reddish brown in colour and covered with small red coloured hair.

Habitat

Embelia ribes is found in the hilly regions of India, it is widely distributed from the central to lower Himalaya and also found in Konkani, Deccan, Sothern and the Western Ghats. Sri Lanka, Singapore, Indonesia, Africa, and China are the other countries in which vidanga is also distributed and cultivated for its medicinal uses.

Names

  • Latin name - Embelia ribes
  • English name - Embelia, flase black pepper
  • Hindi name - Vidanga, Vaividanga
  • Bengali name - Biranga, vidang
  • Telugu name - Vayu-vidangalu, vidangamu
  • Marathi name - Bavidang , ambti
  • Gujarati name - Bavadan
  • Punjabi name - Bavidang
  • Tamil name - Vilanga, vellal
  • Kannada name - Vayu-vilanga, vayu-vulanga
  • Oriya name - Vidanga
  • Malayalam name - Vijhala
  • Assamese name - Vidang
  • Kashmiri name - Babading
  • Urdu name - Baobarang

According to Bhavprakash Nighantu

Ancient verse about Vidanga (Embelia ribes)

According to above-mentioned verse of bhavprakash nighantu vidanga, kmighna, jantunashan, tandul, vell, amogha and chitratandul are the various synonyms of herb vidanga. This herb is pungent in taste, piercing in nature and hot in potency. Vidanga is dry in nature, light in digestion and also helps to stimulate low digestive fire. This herb is used to treat severe stomach ache and abdominal distention. This herb is used to pacify vata and kapha dosha. It helps to treat intestinal worms and constipation.

Reference:-

The bhavprakash nighantu with elaborated Hindi commentary of Padamshri Prof Krishna Chander chunnekar and edited by Dr. Gangasahay Pandey: edition 2010; page number- 50 and verse number- 111-112.

Uses of Vidanga (Embelia ribes)

  • Vidanga is a very powerful herb for tapeworm. According to bhavprakash nighantu 4gm of vidanga churna for children and 8gm of vidanga churna with honey or yogurt is recommended to kill the intestinal worms and to clear the gut.
  • According to this nighantu, vidanga is very powerful Rasayana for our body. In Sushrut samhita this herb is used in the treatment of paralysis. In the treatment of paralysis vidanga powder and mulethi powder is recommended with normal water.
  • Regular use of this herb is also beneficial for the sufferers of piles.
  • It is also good for treating prameha (diabetes), kushtha (leprosy), kshay (tuberculosis), shwaas (asthma), vran (wounds) and updansh (insect bites).
  • In children, this herb is used to treat various problems. Milk boiled with powder of vidanga and anantmool used to relieve colic pain, abdominal distention, indigestion and also good to stimulate low digestive fire.
  • Vidanga, guggul, manshilla and shring bhsama along with ghee and honey are used to treat gandmala.
  • The external paste is applied to relieve irritation, rashes, and various skin disorders.
  • Vidanga oil is used in nasya therapy to treat a severe headache and rhinitis. Oil is also applied over the skull to relieve headache.

Health Benefits of Vidanga (Embelia ribes)

  • Krimighna - Vidanga is very effective of Ayurveda that is used to kill harmful intestinal worms and give relief from various major problems caused by these worms in our gut.
  • Vatahara - Vidanga is used to pacify vitiated vata dosha in the body. It is used to relieve excessive pain and inflammation in joints caused by the vata dosha.
  • Deepan - Vidanga helps to improve loss of appetite and also helps to stimulate pachka agni. This herb is very beneficial for both amashya and pakwashya.
  • Pachan - Vidanga helps to promote the process of digestion and it also helps to fight against various disorders caused by disturbed the digestive system.
  • Balya - Regular use of vidanga helps to improve both immunity and internal strength of our body. It gives energy to our body cells to fight against various micro-organisms and infections caused by these microbes.
  • Rasayana - Regular intake of this herbs helps to attain longevity, intellect, memory, health, and youthfulness. This herb also helps to rejuvenate new body cells and repair the damaged body cells. It boosts our energy level, general body health and internal immunity.

Medicinal Properties of Vidanga (Embelia ribes)

  1. Vidanga is used to treat various disorders associated with a digestive system like indigestion, bloating, flatus, nausea and vomiting etc.
  2. Vidanga is also used to treat various worms that are harmful to the intestine. It helps to aid with threadworm, roundworms and other harmful parasites for the gut.
  3. Vidanga is also a very helpful herb for treating throat infections. It helps to pacify aggravated kapha dosha in the body. It is also good for treating asthma, bronchitis and common cold etc.
  4. Anti-depressant properties of this herb make it potent to fight against depression, stress, and anxiety.
  5. Vidanga fights against various harmful toxins and free radicals and helps to protect our body cells and skin from various harmful infections.
  6. This herb also possesses mild diuretic properties due to which this herb helps to fight against various urinary tract related infections.
  7. A decoction prepared by this beneficial herb helps to overcome bad breath and also good for treating dental caries.
  8. Regular use of this herb help to reduce extra fat and helps to reduce weight in obese people.
  9. Anti-diabetic and hypoglycaemic activities of this herb make it efficient to fight against diabetes.
  10. The external use of this herb helps in quick healing of wounds and ulcers.

Dosage of Vidanga Powder

  • 3-5gm in divided doses is the normal prescribed dose.
  • 4-16gm – to treat intestinal worms.
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