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Amaltas (Cassia fistula) - Uses, Health Benefits, Dosage, Medicinal Properties

(Ref: Bhavaprakasa Nighantu)

Introduction

Ancient Verse of Cassia Fistula

Amaltas is the very miraculous herb of Ayurveda known for its properties to kill disease from roots. Fruit pulp, seeds, leaf and roots of this plant is used to cure various disorders due to its beneficial medicinal properties.

Fruit pulp of this plant contains latex, pectin, various colouring agents, sucrose, few amounts of volatile oil and it also contains hydroxymethyl-anthraquinones.

In Indian state Kerala, this plant is known for its religious values. It is state flower of Kerala and the national flower of Thailand. This flower is very well known for Vishnu puja in Kerala.

According to Ayurveda this herb help to pacify all three body energies- vata, pitta and kapha. It is a very effective anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antipyretic, emetic, purgative and expectorant in nature.

Plant Description

Cassia fistula is deciduous, medium-sized tree that attains a maximum height of 25cm and diameter of the trunk of cassia is about 1.8cm. Alternate, pinnate leaves of this plant are 20-30cm long with a pair of 4-8 leaflets. Fruits are cylindrical pods that contain 20-25 seeds. These pods are green in colour and after maturity colour of pods is dark brownish. Seeds are shiny black in colour. This plant contains beautiful bunches of yellow flowers.

Amaltas, Cassia fistula

Habitat

Amaltas is basically native to India and Pakistan and it is also distributed in some other parts of south-west Asia. It is also distributed in China, Thailand, South Africa and Brazil. Amaltas is national tree and flower of the tree is the national flower of Thailand. This plant is cultivated throughout India for its medicinal and traditional uses.

Names

  • Latin name - Cassia fistula
  • English name -  Golden shower tree, Purging tree, Pudding pipe tree, Indian laburnum, Purging cassia
  • Hindi name - Amaltas
  • Sanskrit name - Aragwadha, Samopaka
  • Gujarati name - Garmalo
  • Assamese name - Sonaroo
  • Bengali name - Sondal
  • Kannada name - Aragvadha, Kakke, Rajataru, Phalus
  • Malayalam name - Kirtamlam, Konna
  • Marathi name - Garamala, Amaltas
  • Oriya name - Sunari
  • Punjabi name - Amaltas
  • Telugu name - Rela
  • Tamil name - Konnai
  • Kashmiri name - Kiryangan phalli
  • Urdu name - Amaltaas
  • Arabic name - Khiyar shamber

According to bhavprakash nighantu

Ancient Verse of Cassia Fistula
Ancient Verse of Cassia Fistula

Aragvadha, Rajvrikash, Shampaak, Chaturangul, Aarvet, Vayadhighata, Kritmal, Suvarnak, Dhiragphala, Swaranaang and Swaranbhushan are the various synonyms of Cassia fistula. Amaltas is heavy, sweet in taste, cold in potency and it is a very effective laxative. This herb is used to treat fever, heart disorders, bleeding disorders, vata dosha, abdominal distention, and abdominal pain. Fruits of this plant are soft purgative, an appetizer in nature and used to pacify Pitta and Kapha dosha. Fruits are used to treat leprosy and are best anti-pyretic and purgative in nature.

Reference

The bhavprkash nighantu with elaborated Hindi commentary of Padma Shri Prof Krishna chander chunnekar and edited by Dr. Gangasahay pandey: edition 2010; page number- 66 and verse number- 148, 149 and 150.

Uses of Cassia fistula

  • The Pulp of fruit pods of Amaltas help to pacify Vata dosha and it is used to relieve burning sensation and to reduce excessive pain. Fruits are mild purgative in nature. They are used to treat constipation (vivandh) and other symptoms in sensitive nature of pregnant females.
  • Seeds of this plant are emetic (vamak) in nature. 5-9 gm. of seed powder is used to induce vomiting (vaman).
  • Cold decoction prepared by using bark of this plant is used as gargle to treat various mouth and throat related problems (mukha and gala roga).
  • Decoction is used to reduce excessive inflammation of neck (galshotha).
  • Leaf juice of amaltas is used in the treatment of ardit (facial paralysis). Locally leaf paste is applied on hands and feet in paralysis.
  • Leaf paste is also beneficial for treating scabies and other skin problems. It is also used to reduce the burning sensation caused by semecarpus anacardium.
  • Roots of this plant are very strong laxative (virechak) and anti-pyretic (jawarhara) in nature.

Health Benefits of Cassia fistula

  • Anti-inflammatory properties of this herb help to reduce the inflammation in the body. Inflammation is major cause of various disorders and this herb effectively work on this problem.
  • Anti-pyretic - This herb is also helps to treat chronic fevers. It also helps to reduce sweating, high-grade fever and burning sensation in the body.
  • Anti-oxidant - due to its anti-oxidant properties this herb help to boost our internal immunity and it makes our body cell potent to fight against various infections.
  • Laxative - It is also very beneficial for the sufferers of constipation. It helps to combat the underlying symptoms of constipation like indigestion, bloating, blenching, and abdominal distress. Hepato-protective – Amaltas is also a very beneficial herb that help to maintain normal health of the liver and also helps this organ of the body from the harmful infections and disorders.
  • Stomachic - It is also good for other digestive system related problems. In cases of ascites, this herb works wonderfully. It helps to stimulate low appetite and digestive fire. It regulates metabolism and helps to protect the digestive tract from the risk of infections.
  • Antirheumatic - This herb is known to pacify both Vata and Kapha dosha in the body. It is good to treat rheumatoid and other Vata dosha related disorders of joints and bones. It helps to relieve excessive tenderness and stiffness.It help to reduce the excessive pain of joint by reducing excessive inflammation in body joints.
  • Expectorant - Amaltas is also very effective expectorant as it helps to pacify aggregated Kapha dosha in the body. It helps to reduce congestion of the respiratory tract and it helps to excrete out phlegm. This herbal remedy is beneficial for treating cough, common cold, asthma and used to reduce inflammation of respiratory tract.
  • Worm infestation - It is also used in children to aid with worm infestations. It is used to kill various tapeworms and ringworms that are harmful to our abdomen and intestine.
  • Skin disorders - external use of this herb help to fight against various micro-organisms that cause serious skin infections.
  • Anti-fungal - Anti-fungal nature of this herb make it efficient to fight against harmful infections caused by fungus. It protects our skin and helps to reduce irritation and rashes.

Dosage

  • Fruit pulp - 5-10gm
  • To induce purgation - 10-20gm
  • Flower powder - 5-10gm
  • A Cold infusion of bark - 50-100ml

Caution

Administration of high dose of this herb can induce diarrhoea and dysentery. It should not be recommended for small children and pregnant women.

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