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Nirgundi: Unveiling the Mysteries of a Medicinal Wonder Plant

Abstract

Nirgundi (Vitex negundo linn) is the five-leaved chaste with many Ayurvedic properties and in Sanskrit it means which is useful in healing various ailments, including Asthma, Muscle Spasms, and Anxiety. The word Vitex is derived from the Latin word Vieo because it has flexible stems and twigs. Commonly known as the Chinese Chaste tree, Horseshoe Vitex or Nisinda is an aromatic shrub which is widely used in parts of South and Southeast Asia. This herb has many great medicinal values which are used traditionally in medicines like Ayurveda, Chinese, Siddha and Unani. Large Aromatic shrub which grows at the height of 4.5 metres and is found throughout the Country and at an altitude of 1500 metres in the regions of the Himalayas. In this, we are going to discuss Herb properties along with their morphology and ayurvedic physical properties in detail.

Nirgundi (Vitex negundo linn)

Introduction

  • Nirgundi Plant's natural habitat is in Southern Asia and Africa and is widely cultivated in Tropical areas of China, India and Madagascar.
  • Nirgundi in Sanskrit stands for protecting the body from various ailments as it has a Bitter, Pungent taste with rose-coloured flowers and is extensively useful in various health conditions.
  • Nirgundi herb Has many multipurpose properties such as being useful in external applications in the form of Oils and ointments.
  • In Indian tradition, this medicine is referred to as Sarvaroganivarani which means it is a remedy for all diseases.
  • Considered a Sacred Plant as it originated from the Abdomen region of Ganadhipa (known as Ganesha).
  • In Puranas, Nirgundi is a forest tree which has various medicinal properties and religious rites in Vamana Purana which is considered as a Holy Plant.
  • Vitex Negundo is a herb which has various effects on the reproductive system.
  • It has been used since ages to reduce the sex drive.

Ancient Verse Of Nirgundi (Vitex Negundo)

Bhav prakash nighantu 113-116

This Shloka indicates Sambhalu and Sindhuvara are the other names of Nirgundi. Sambhalu has two types of flowers- white and blue colour flowers. Sanskrit names of White flowers are Sandhuvara, Sindhuk and Sindhuvarak.

Varieties Of Nirgundi

  • Blue-coloured flowers are known as Nirgundi, Shephali and Suvaha in Sanskrit texts.
  • The White flowers are often bitter and pungent in taste and are light and dry, which are Good for hair and eyes and are Helpful in Abdominal pain, They manage Endotoxins (Ama) and is useful in intestinal worms (Krimi), skin diseases and fever (anorexia). The leaves of nirgundi are helpful in krimi rogas (intestinal worms) and thus balance Vata and Kapha doshas.

Indian Name - Vernacular Names

  • Botanical Name - Vitex negundo
  • Hindi Name - Sambhalu, Mewri, Nisinda
  • Sanskrit Name - Shelphalika, Suvaha, Sinduka, Surasa, Shvetapushpa, Nilamanjiri, Vanja and Hutakeshi
  • Telugu Name - Indhuvara, Vavili, Nalla-vavili, Tella- vavili and Lekkali
  • Tamil Name - Chinduvaram, Nirnochchi, Nochchi, Vellai-nochchi
  • Bengali Name - Nirgundi, Nishinda, Samalu
  • English Name - Five Leaved Chaste
  • Filipino Name - Lagundi
  • Assamese Name - Pochotia
  • Chinese Name - Huang Jing
  • Kannada Name - Bile-Nekki, Lakki Soppu, Lakki Gida and Lekki gida
  • Punjabi Name - Banna, Marwan, Maura, Mawa, Swanjan Torbanna

Synonyms

  • Shephaalikaa - शेफानलका: शेस्ते इनत शेफा, शास्तेअलयो अस्यां इनत शेफानलका |
  • That which is liked by insects and flowers is blue in colour

  • Sindhuka- नसन्दूवाराः: नसन्दुप्रस्रवणंवारयतीनत "स्यन्दूप्रस्रवणे"
  • It checks the accumulation of fluid in the body.

  • Sindhuvaara- नसन्दूवाराः: नसन्दुप्रस्रवणंवारयतीनत "स्यन्दूप्रस्रवणे"
  • It checks the accumulation of fluid in the body.

  • Suvahaa - The flowers are blue in colour or that which purifies the body
  • Bhootakeshi- भूतकेशी: भूतानन केश इव ध्यैध्यान्यास्याः भूतघ्नीत्यथथाः |
  • Eliminates all the evil organisms

Botanical Distribution Of Nirgundi

  • Nirgundi is a shrub which has quadrangular, densely whitish branches.
  • This erect shrub is a small tree which grows from a height of 2-8 metres and is red-brown in colour.
  • The leaves have digits with 5 lanceolate leaves and sometimes have 3 leaves. So, commonly known as the Five-leaved chaste tree. The leaves of this plant are Pneta foliate and they are arranged Palmately and are lanceolate with hairs and both ends are pointed.
  • The fruits are fleshy, 4 mm in diameter and egg-shaped which turn black-purple in colour (ripened) with a straight embryo.
  • Petals are of different lengths and the middle lobe is the longest.
  • There are numerous flowers which are seen in the form of branches (inflorescence) from 10-20 cm in length.
  • The flowers of this Nirgundi plant usually begin in the summer and rainy season (June-August) and the Fruits begin in the December season.
  • There are two types of flowers that are Blue and White colour flowers. The Blue colour flowers are known as Nirgundi (Vitex Negundo) and the white colour flowers are known as Siduwar (Vitex trifolia).
  • Roots - Roots are cylindrical 2-7 cm in diameter and the external surface of the root is grey-brown in colour which is longitudinally wrinkled and has circular roots. Slight aromatic with a bitter taste.

Geographical Distribution

  • Nirgundi Grows in Humid areas or along the Watercourses in waste areas or in open areas.
  • It is well distributed in Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka.
  • Vitex is commonly found in water bodies which are well-distributed land, Grassland and open forests.

Production Technology

  • Cultivation - It is a plant which is found in between fields and is not eaten by cattle. Reproduced by cutting the shoot. This plant needs well-drained loamy soil with warm sunlight and can tolerate a temperature of -10 degrees Celsius.
  • Propagation - Seeds are sowed in March in a greenhouse, The germination is quick and free.
  • Harvesting - Leaves are harvested in Early summer and are commonly used fresh or dried leaves.
  • Roots are harvested in Late summer and in the Autumn season.

Production Technology

  • Cultivation - It is a plant which is found in between fields and is not eaten by cattle. Reproduced by cutting the shoot. This plant needs well-drained loamy soil with warm sunlight and can tolerate a temperature of -10 degrees Celsius.
  • Propagation - Seeds are sowed in March in a greenhouse, The germination is quick and free.
  • Harvesting - Leaves are harvested in Early summer and are commonly used fresh or dried leaves.
  • Roots are harvested in Late summer and in the Autumn season.

Classification Of Nirgundi

  • Kingdom - Plantae
  • Subkingdom - Tracheobionta
  • Superdivision - Spermatophyta
  • Division - Magnoliophyta
  • Class - Magnoliopsida
  • Subclass - Asteridae
  • Order - Lamiales
  • Family - Lamiaceae
  • Genus - Lamiaceae
  • Species - Negundo

Ras Panchak

Physical Properties of Nirgundi (Vitex Negundo)

  • Rasa - Tikta (Bitter) And Katu (Pungent)
  • Guna - Laghu (light), Rooksha (dry)
  • Virya - Ushna (Hot)
  • Vipaka - Katu (Pungent)
  • Effect On Doshas (Nirgundi) - Balance Vata and Kapha doshas

Ayurveda is helpful in dealing with the prevention of disease and promotion of health which cures the disease. Vitex Negundo is a useful plant in Indian medicine which is commonly known as Sarvaroganivarini. Nirgundi (Vitex negundo) is the one which protects the body from various ailments, it is a wonderful Gift of nature which offers excellent results for the health of Humans. There are 270 known species of this genus and 18 are already in cultivation known as Chaste Tree. The Roots, leaves and Flowers of the Nirgundi are well utilised which cure disorders from fevers and is a magical herb to neutralises and is propagated in various regions of the World including America, Australia and on global rate. This herb has various essential properties which show its results on Various Dhatus (body tissues) that are Rasa dhatu (plasma), Rakta (blood), Mamsa (Muscles), Asthi (bones) and Shukra (reproductive area). According to Ancient texts, Nirgundi possesses Krimighana and Vishghana property.

Mode Of Propagation

Seeds and grafts

Phytoconstituents Of Vitex Negundo

Nirgundi contains 0.25% of Negundoside and 1% of Agnuside. The details of all phytochemical constituents are described below

  1. Leaves - The leaves of Nirgundi are Fridelin, Vitamin C, Carotene, Casticin, Artemetin, Terpinene 4-ol, Sabenine, Globulol, Spathulenol, Farnesol, Terpinyl Acetate, Ursolic acid, Sabinene, Linalool, Stearic acid and Squalene.
  2. Seeds - The Seeds of Vitex negundo have chemical constituents such as N-Tetratriacontane, Vitamin A, Phydroxybenzoic acid, 3-4 dihydroxybenzoic acid, Artemetin, Vitedoin A, 6-hydroxy-4, Methoxy-3-hydroxymethyl-7-methoxy-3, Beta Sitosterol.
  3. Stem and Bark - Various Constituents present in the stem and bark are Vitexin caffeate, Beta amyrin, Oleanolic acid, Phenyl-cyclopentasiloxane, Hexadeca methyl, 1,2- dien-28-oic acid.
  4. Roots - Vitexoside, Agnuside, Negundin A, Negundin B, Vitrofolal E, Vitexin and Isovitexin, Acetyl oleanolic acid, Sitosterol, 3-formyl-4,5- dimethyl 8-oxo-5H-6,7 Dihydronaphtofuran.

Pharmacological Activities

  • Anxiolytic Activity - Vitex has an anxiolytic activity which is seen in different parts such as Leaves, Stems and Roots. Among other parts of the plant, roots have more significant activity of Anti-anxiety. It is very similar to Diazepam.
  • Analgesic -Nirgundi is seen in the Peripheral and central analgesic activity of the ethanolic extract of Vitex.
  • Anti-tubercular Activity - The leaf extract of nirgundi with ethanol contains the extract of Anti-tubercular activities.
  • Cardiotonic Activity - The Aqueous extract of Nirgundi is helpful in increasing the rate of contraction at lower doses. In various research, it is found to be an alternative to Digoxin as it is safe and useful in the management of Congestive heart failure.
  • Antiasthmatic Activity - The Ethanolic extract of Nirgundi has antiasthmatic activity which acts on various models like Mast cell degranulators. It is explained that Vitex negundo has Antieosinophillic activity which reduces the bronchial inflammation.
  • Anti-inflammatory activity - The leaf of Vitex negundo possesses Anti-inflammatory properties and it inhibits the COX-2 receptor without inhibiting the COX-1 inhibition.
  • Antioxidant Activity - This plant of Nirgundi contains natural anti-oxidant properties. Due to the presence of Vitamin C, Flavonones and carotenes, the Nirgundi is helpful in reducing the peroxidation of Lipid. The anti-inflammatory effect is due to the prevention of Oxidative damage to the tissues.
  • Hepatoprotective Activity - Negundoside and Agundoside which are present in the Extracts of Vitex Negundo are helpful in improving the function of the Liver and reducing the markers of the liver which are present in Liver damage.
  • Antibacterial Activity - Vitex Negundo has antibacterial properties so it is effective in exhibiting the various activities of E.coli and P. vulgaris in all dosages. It is revealed that the activities of nirgundi extracts against Methicillin which is resistant to Staphylococcus aureus.
  • Effects on Reproductive Health - The extracts of Vitex negundo which are seen in the later stages of spermatogenesis, it is seen interfering with the reproductive functions of male rats. The plant's ethanolic extract, which exhibits estrogen-like properties, might be used in hormone replacement treatment.
  • Antipyretic Activity - Nirgundi leaf extract of Vitex Negundo in yeast elevates the body's temperature so it is useful in reducing fever and has pain-relieving activities.
  • Anti-Venom Activity - The blue extract of the leaf has antioxidant and anti-snake venom properties which neutralise the effect.
  • Anti-tumour Activity - The Ethanolic extract of Nirgundi (Vitex negundo) is seen in Dalton's Lymphoma in mice as it increased the Life Span to assess the tumour volume, survival rate and cell count.

Traditionally View - Folk Medicine

  • Nirgundi is widely used in folk medicines which is particularly found in South and Southeast Asia, India and other Countries.
  • This herb is known as Sarvaroganivarani in Indian tradition, which implies it is a cure-all.
  • Nirgundi came from the abdomen of Ganadhipa (also known as Ganesha), it is revered as a sacred plant.
  • In Malaysia, it was used for treating Pests as a cough remedy.

Various Properties Of Nirgundi

  • Krimi (Intestinal worms)
  • Kushta (Skin diseases, Eczema and Ringworms)
  • Rujapaha (Arthritis and various pains in the muscles)
  • Pleeha (Disorders of the spleen)
  • Gulma ( In abdominal tumor)
  • Aruchi (Anorexia)
  • Medhya (Intelligence)
  • Chakushushya (Healthy for the eyes)
  • Deepani (Carminative)
  • Keshya (Quality of hair)
  • Vishapaha (Anti-poisonous)
  • Shulahara (Abdominal colic)
  • Amahara (Endotoxins)
  • Medohar (Cholesterol)
  • Vranahara (Healing of wounds)
  • Kasahara (Cold and cough)
  • Shwashara (Asthma and bronchitis)
  • Smrutida (Memory)
  • Pratishaya (Running nose)
  • Vranakurmi here (Wound)
  • Varnya (Complexion of skin)
  • Kandughna (Itching)

Uses Of Nirgundi (Vitex Negundo)

  • Nirgundi Acts as a Brain Tonic which cures disorders of the Nasal Passages and Mental Channels.
  • This herb is useful for ear problems putting 2 drops of Nirgundi Oil with Honey.
  • The Roots of Nirgundi is made into a paste helpful in the early teething of children.
  • Nirgundi is used as an Anupam in typhoid and malaria.
  • This herb is helpful in improving appetite and digestion which releases gas and cures swelling of the stomach.
  • Nirgundi is helpful in the blood circulation process.
  • Nirgundi herb has a Cleansing property which heals the wound.
  • The nirgundi leaves powder is useful in Endometritis, Colitis and Orchitis.

Benefits Of Nirgundi For Health

1. Nirgundi For Infections

  • Nirgundi has antibacterial properties against E.coli, S.aureus and more
  • The constituents such as d-guaiene and hexadecenoic acid are responsible for Antibacterial activities. It inhibits infections, which regulates the pro-inflammatory mediators PGE2 and LTB4.

2. Nirgundi For Pain

  • The extracts of Vitex negundo decreases the level of Aspartate transaminase and Alanine Transaminase.
  • The constituents such as d-guaiene and hexadecenoic acid are responsible for Antibacterial activities. It inhibits infections, which regulates the pro-inflammatory mediators PGE2 and LTB4.

3. Nirgundi For Liver

  • The extracts of Vitex negundo decreases the level of Aspartate transaminase and Alanine Transaminase.
  • The seed extracts of nirgundi (Negundoside) are helpful in showing the protective action on the Liver.
  • Negundoside is rich in antioxidants which protect the liver cells from the toxicity of calcium which is caused by Carbon tetrachloride (CCl4)

4. Nirgundi For Arthritis

  • The heated leaf extract (Fridelin) Fridelin has anti-inflammatory properties which inhibit the acetic acid-induced vascular permeability so, is useful in Arthritis and muscle sprains.
  • Nirgundi blocks the release of prostaglandins which are used for pain and inflammation.

5. Nirgundi For Lungs

  • The root extract of Nirgundi (Vitexoside, Agnuside, Negundin A) is useful in managing Bronchitis and Asthma .
  • Nirgundi counteracts allergen-induced lung anomalies and suppresses cell infiltration.
  • Alleviates myeloid cell activation.

6. Nirgundi For Diabetes

  • The leaf extracts of Vitex negundo (Negundin A) have anti-hyperglycemic activity.
  • Nirgundi has a methanolic extract which improves the blood glucose level in the body.

7. Nirgundi For Menstrual Cramps

  • The fruits of Nirgundi have Terpenoids, Linalool which lower the hormonal imbalance and ease Menstrual cramps and uterine fibroids.
  • Terpenoids act as a muscle relaxant and are anti-inflammatory in nature.
  • Nirgundi is helpful in improving the circulation of blood and reduces spasms.
  • It also secrete cortisol which acts as an analgesic.

8. Nirgundi For Anxiety

  • Nirgundi is rich in Flavonoids and Linalool as it has a sedative property which shows its effect on the central nervous system. This promotes intelligence, thus improving the memory capacity of the Brain.
  • Modulates the neurotransmitters, including serotonin and dopamine thus alleviates mood.
  • Regulate mood, sleep, depression and Insomnia.

9. Nirgundi For High Fever

  • Nirgundi has Anti-pyretic properties as it contains Spathulenol, Farnesol, Terpinyl Acetate, Ursolic acid, Sabinene and Linalool which are helpful in Reducing high body temperature.
  • This has Natural Antibiotic properties.
  • Boosts immunity of the body.

10. Nirgundi For Epilepsy Symptoms

  • Nirgundi has various Phytoconstituents (methanoic properties) which have a neuroprotective activity which regulates the nerves and effectively controls muscular motions and seizures.

11. Nirgundi For Greying Of Hair

  • Nirgundi has rejuvenating Keshya properties which improve the texture of hair, provide strength to the hair.
  • Nirgundi is helpful in Prevents early onset of grey hair and Provides dense, lustrous hair.

12. Nirgundi For Respiratory System

  • Nirgundi is useful in removing Kapha doshas which improves ventilation so useful in Asthma and Pleurisy.

Home Remedies With Nirgundi

  • Leaves of Nirgundi when boiled in water and the vapours can be inhaled.
  • The leaves of Nirgundi when applied to the forehead are helpful in relieving Headache.
  • The Flowers of Nirgundi are useful in the management of Fever, diarrhoea and various complaints of the Liver.
  • The Seeds of Nirgundi when taken with Sugarcane are useful in the swelling.
  • The powdered form of Nirgundi is useful in the management of Spermatorrhea and serves as an aphrodisiac when taken with warm milk.
  • The seeds of Nirgundi can be made into a paste and are used with Salt and Pepper to treat Fractures.
  • Roots of Nirgundi are used in Dysentery and it has anthelmintic properties.
  • The root extract is dissolved in coconut water to prevent kidney disease.
  • The Fruit of Nirgundi is taken orally with common salt and water and deals with various menstrual and urinary disorders and indigestion.
  • Nirgundi Root is crushed with Water and used as Nasya which is helpful in Gandamala.
  • Parts Used

  • Leaf
  • Root
  • Seeds
  • Dosage

  • Juice of leaf - 10-20 ml
  • Powder of root - 3-6 gram
  • Powder of Seed - 3-6 grams
  • Ayurvedic Formulations Of Nirgundi

  • Nirgundi Oil
  • Nirgundi Swaras
  • Nirgundi Powder
  • Saraswatarishta
  • Manasamitra vatakam
  • Dashamoola Tailam
  • Mahavat Vidhwas Ras
  • Ayurvedic Products By Planet Ayurveda Made From Nirgundi (Vitex Negundo)

  • Nirgundi Oil
  • Nirgundi Swaras
  • Nirgundi Powder
  • Joint Aid Plus
  • Shothari Mandoor
  • Trailokya Chintamani Ras
  • Jai Mangal Ras
  • Sandhivaat Shaman Vati
  • Vat Gajankush Ras
  • Yakrit Plihari Loha
  • Conclusion

    Because of its flexible stems and twigs, the word "vitex" is derived from the Latin word "vieo." Horseshoe Vitex, also known as Nisinda, is an aromatic shrub that is widely used in regions of South and Southeast Asia. It is sometimes referred to as the Chinese Chaste tree. Has antioxidant capabilities so useful in protecting the body from various harmful free radicals improves the texture of the skin and provides long silky hair too. Further, we discussed the ayurvedic properties of this herb with its uses and properties in detail.

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    Author Bio:

    Best Ayurvedic Doctor - Dr. Meenakshi Chauhan

    Dr. Meenakshi Chauhan

    MD (ALT. MEDICINE)

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    Reviewed By:

    Best Ayurvedic Doctor in Mohali - Dr. Vikram Chauhan

    Dr. Vikram Chauhan

    MD (AYURVEDA)

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