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Agastya, Sesbane (Sesbania grandiflora) - Uses, Benefits, Dosage and Properties

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. Also found in most humid tropical regions throughout the world. It is also cultivated in India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Philippines and Sri Lanka. Agastya 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 grandiflora

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, cold, cough and running nose.

Rajnighantu

According to Rajnighantu, there are four varieties 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 grandiflora

  • 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 in detoxification of 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.
  • The 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, improves 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 grandiflora

  • Agastya haritaki avleha

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.

FAQs on Agastya

1. What are the Chief Indications of Agastya?

Chief indications of Agastya:

  • Night blindness
  • Intermittent fever
  • Food poisoning
  • Constipation

2. What is the Effect of Agastya on Vata-Pitta or Kapha?

Agastya balances all the three doshas, mainly alleviates pitta and Kapha doshas. Balancing of these doshas will help you to prevent from various diseases and also boosts the immune system of the body.

3. Is there any side effect of Agastya?

There is no side effect of Agastya if you are taking it as per prescribed dosage. But it is contraindicated in vata imbalance disorders such as bloating, nausea, dizziness, loose stools, weakness and indigestion. If you experience slight discomfort then you should consult your doctor.

4. Is it safe to take Agastya?

Intake of not more than 1 or 2 teaspoons once or twice a day and for children usually 1 teaspoon once or twice a day is safe. You should take agastya as per the Doctor's prescription. If you feel a slight discomfort then you should consult your doctor.

5. How long can I take Agastya?

You can take Agastya for a period of 1 to 2 months. It may also be given as per the severity of symptoms and as per the doctor's prescription. One can take it in repeated infection in children associated with ear, nose and throat infection.

6. What is the Best time to take Agastya?

The best time to take Agastya in the morning and evening on an empty stomach. This herb mainly works on the body when you take it on an empty stomach. It boosts the immunity which fights against the infection. It also maintains the proper functioning of body.

7. Is Agastya a habit-forming medicine?

No, Agastya is not a habit forming medicine. As it is healthy for our health so one can continuously take it.

8. Is it safe to drive while taking Agastya?

Yes, it is safe to drive while taking Agastya but it if you experience headache, dizziness or drowsiness then it is not safe. One should not drive if you are taking medicine that makes you feel drowsy, dizzy or lowers the blood pressure. Patient should not drink alcohol with agastya as alcohol intensifies drowsiness side effects.

9. Can I take Agastya during periods?

Yes, you can take agastya during periods. But this herb shows best results in uterus related problems such as menorrhagia (heavy bleeding) and leucorrhea but it is contraindicated in other menstrual disorders that may trigger your problem.

10. Can I take Agastya during pregnancy?

No, you cannot take agastya during pregnancy as it is considered as contraceptive and may cause several complications. So try to avoid agastya during pregnancy as it may harm the fetus and mother.

11. Can a diabetic person take Agastya?

Yes, a diabetic person can take Agastya because it has an anti-diabetic property that can control the blood sugar levels and prevents from the further complications.

12. Can I give Agastya to children?

Yes, you can give agastya to children but as per the doctor's prescription. Children usually take 1 teaspoon of agastya for a period of 1 to 2 months. It may also be given as per severity of symptoms and as per the doctor's prescription.

13. What happens in case of overdose of Agastya?

Overdose of agastya can cause dryness, loose stools, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, diarrhea and acidity. So, one should always take it as per the doctor's guidance.

15. When to consume Agastya, empty stomach, before food or after food?

You can consume extract of Agastya leaves empty stomach in the morning and evening but don't eat for an hour after taking this extract because it may cause several problems such as bloating, weakness, nausea, dizziness etc.

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