Monthly Archives: July 2012

Adhatoda vasika

Adusi (Adhatoda Vasika) 
Ayurvedic Properties and Action:
Rasa
Tikta, Kasaya
Guna
Laghu
Virya
Sita
Vipaka
Katu
Karma
Hrdya, Kaphapittahara, Raktasangrahika, Kasaghna.

Phytochemistry:
The chief quinazoline alkaloid vasicine is reported in all parts of the plant.
It also contains vasicinine and arachidic, behenic, cerotic, lignoceric, linoleic and oleic acids, ether alkaloids vasicol, adhatodine, vasicinone, vasicinol and vasicinolone.

Pharmacological Actions:
It is expectorant, bronchodilator, antiasthmatic, antispasmodic and febrifuge.
Vasicine is a bitter bronchodilator, respiratory stimulant and hypotensive.

Medicinal Use:
It is used in bronchial, asthmatic and pulmonary affections.
Have mucolytic, mucokinetics and is extensively used for treating cold, cough, whooping cough and chronic bronchitis, asthma and as mild expectorant.

Vasaka (Vasicine) has mucokinetics (Expectorant) and mucolytic properties.
It is used externally in inflammatory swelling, neuralgias, scabies and other skin complaints.

Clinical / experimental study:

Skin
An extract of the leaves showed significant antifungal activity against ringworm.

Bronchodilatory activity
An aqueous solution of vasicinone hydrochloride was found to potentiate the bronchodilatory activity of aminophylline, also that of soprenaline.
Vasicinone exhibited smoothmuscle-relaxant properties of airways.

Alkaloids present in the plant showed significant protection against allergin-induced bronchial obstruction. Adhatoda vasica reduced ovalbumin and PAF-induced allergic reaction. A fraction containing the minor alkaloid Vasicinol and about 20% Vasicine inhibited ovalbumin-induced allergic reaction by about 37% at a concentration of 5 gm.

Antitussive effect
The antitussive activity of Adhatoda vasica (AV) extract was evaluated in anaesthetized guinea pigs and rabbits and in unanaesthetized guinea pigs. AV was shown to have a good antitussive activity.
Intravenously, it was 1/20-1/40 as active as codeine on mechanically and electrically induced coughing in rabbits and guinea-pigs. After oral administration to the guinea-pig the antitussive activity of AV was similar to codeine against coughing induced by irritant aerosols.

Results from animal studies show that Adhatoda vasica extract considerable antitussive activity when administered orally and is comparable to codeine when cough is due to irritant stimuli. The antitussive activity may be due to the action of vasicinone and vasicinol, which have activity in the cerebral medulla.

Bronchodilator and Anti-Asthmatic activity
Clinical trials of drugs containing vasicine and vasicinone have not revealed any side effects while treating bronchial asthma.

According to a 2002 review, both Vasicine and vasicinone possess in vitro and in vivo bronchodilatory activity and inhibit allergen-induced bronchial obstruction in a manner comparable to that of sodium cromoglycate.

Antispasmodic
The essential oil from the leaves has been shown to exert antispasmodic action on guinea pig tracheal chain.
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Terminalia arjuna

Arjun (Terminalia Arjuna) 
Latin Name
Terminalia Arjuna
Sanskrit Name
Kakubha, Partha, Svetavaha
English Name
Arjun Terminalia
Common Name
Arjun, Sadad, Arjuna, Matti, Bilimatti, Nirmasuthu, Vellamaruthi, Marudam, Maddi
Ayurvedic Properties and Action:
Rasa
Kasaya
Guna
Ruksa
Virya
Sita
Vipaka
Katu
Karma
Bhagnasandhanakara, Hrdya, Kaphahara, Pittahara, Vrananasana, Vyanga Hara

Phytochemistry:
The bark extract contains acids (arjunolic acid, terminic acid), glycosides (arjunetin, arjunosides I–IV), and strong antioxidants—flavones, tannins, oligomeric proanthocyanidins2. It also contains alicyclic, amino acids and polyols, Triterpenoid saponins (arjunic acid, arjunolic acid, arjungenin, arjunglycosides), Flavonoids (arjunone, arjunolone, luteolin), Gallic acid, ellagic acid, Oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs), Phytosterols (b-sitosterol), calcium, magnesium, zinc, and copper.

Pharmacological Actions:
It is cardio protective, anti-anginal, spasmogenic, antifungal, antibacterial, hepatoprotective, astringent, tonic, deobstruent, and cardiotonic. 

Medicinal Use:
It is useful in cardiac disorder, excessive perspiration, fatigue, inflammation, cirrhosis of liver and hypertension.

It is used as a cardioprotective and cardiotonic in angina and poor coronary circulation; as a diuretic in cirrhosis of liver and for symptomatic relief in hypertension.

The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India recommends the powder of the stembark in emaciation, chest diseases, cardiac disorders, lipid imbalances and polyuria.


Clinical / experimental study:
Several studies have been made to assess the efficacy of Terminalia Arjuna bark in cardiac disorders. Decoction of bark powered was found more useful in hypertensive heart disease as compared to congestive heart failure. Alcoholic decoction of bark was found to be beneficial in stable cases of ischemic heart disease. Prolonged use of this drug brought sense of well being in patients and increased euglobulin lysis time and prothrombin time. The drug also showed electrocardiographic improvement.

A particular patient, an adult male who developed Stokes-Adams attacks following acute chest pain, became well after three months use of crude powder of Terminalia Arjuna. In another study 500 mg crude drug powder of Terminalia Arjuna was administered in 30 stable angina pectoris patients. The drug was found to be effective in alleviating angina pain. It was also noted to be useful in cases of ischemic heart diseases associated with rhythm disturbances, particularly premature beats. The drug was found to be beneficial in modifying various known coronary risk factors like obesity, hypertension, hyperglycemia and circulating catecholamine in these patients. No significant side effects were observed in these patients.

A clinical trial was taken on 51 patient of coronary heart disease to assess the effect of Terminalia Arjuna. The studies revealed statistically significant positive results. Reduction in systolic and diastolic blood pressure, pulse rate, erum cholesterol and HDL and LDL cholesterol was noticed.

The bark given to (58 male) patients with stable angina with provocable ischemia on treadmill exercise, led to improvement in clinical and treadmill exercise parameters as compared to placebo therapy. These benefits were similar to those observed with isosorbide mononitrate.

Arjunolic acid exhibited significant cardiac protection in isoproterenol induced myocardial necrosis in rats.

A study demonstrated that the alcoholic extract of Terminalia arjuna bark augmented endogenous antioxidant compounds of the rat heart and prevented from isoproterenol-induced myocardial ischemic reperfusion injury.

Cardiac lipid peroxidation in male Wistar rats was reduced by 38.8% in a study based on aqueous freeze-dried extract of the bark.

Oral administration of bark powder for 10 days produced significant increase in circulating histamine, a little increase in 5-HT, catecholamines and HDL cholesterol, and decrease in total lipid, triglycerides and total cholesterol in normal rats.


Cardiovascular
Experiments in rats with T. arjuna and extracted arjunolic acid have demonstrated an antiplatelet and anticoagulant action similar to that of acetylsalicylic acid.

In dogs, T. arjuna bark extract caused dose-dependent hypotension, suggesting adrenergic beta-2 receptor agonist activity.

Clinical studies have been conducted in coronary heart disease using T. arjuna bark extract at doses of 500 mg every 8 hours. Statistically significant reduction in angina and improved diastolic function was shown in patients with ischemic mitral regurgitation at 1 and 3 months with T. arjuna. Effects similar to treatment with isosorbide mononitrate 40 mg daily were demonstrated in patients with chronic stable angina given T. arjuna bark extract. Reduction in the frequency of angina and improved treadmill exercise test parameters were shown.

Brachial artery endothelial dysfunction was improved after 2 weeks of T. arjuna bark extract versus placebo in young male smokers.A reduction in cholesterol in humans has also been reported with T. arjuna bark extract at a dosage of 500 mg daily.

In clinical trials and animal experiments, T. arjuna exhibited hepatoprotective effects.

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Aconitum heterophyllum

Ativish (Aconitum Heterophyllum) 
Ayurvedic Properties and Action:

Rasa
Katu, Tikta
Guna
Laghu, Ruksha
Virya
Usna
Vipaka
Katu
Karma
Dipana, Pacana, Sangrahika, Kaphapittahara1.

Phytochemistry:
It contains Diterpenoid alkaloids-atisine, atidine, histisine, hetisine, hetidine, heterophyllisine, heterophylline, heterophyllidine, heterastine, isoatisine, dihydroatisine, hetisinone, aconitine, etc.
It also contains aconitinic acid, tannic acid, starch, oleic, palmitic, stearic, mucilage, etc..

Pharmacological Actions:
It is Bitter, thermogenic, expectorant, digestive, alexiteric, stomachic, and excellent tonic, antibacterial, analgesic, antidiarrheal, antidepressant, etc..
The dried root is analgesic, anti-inflammatory, potent immunostimulant, astringent, cholagogue, febrifuge and tonic .

Medicinal Use:
It is useful in haemorrhoids, internal inflammatory conditions, dysentery, stomach disorder, vomiting, malarial fever, intrinsic haemorrhage, and general debility.
It is used in India in the treatment of dyspepsia, diarrhoea and coughs.
It is used to treat the fevers of contagious diseases and inflammation of the intestines.
It is useful in diarrhoea, in protozoal infections (giardiasis and amoebiasis), as analgesic.

Clinical / experimental study:
Aconitum Heterophyllum in powder form administered 6 gm p.o. three times a day for 15 consecutive days to patients with giardiasis and diarrhoea, exhibited symptomatic relief in most of the cases and pathological examination also showed absence of giardia in the stool suggesting its beneficial use.

Powder of Aconitum Heterophyllum orally administered in a dose of 6 gm three times a day for 15 consecutive days in patients with diarrhoeal complaints with giardial and amoebic infections produced excellent improvement of the symptoms by more than 75% cases and also it could eradicate the pathogenicity of the infections. 

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Saraca indica

ASHOKA (Saraca indica)
Ayurvedic Properties and Action:
Rasa
Kashaya, Tikta
Guna
Laghu, Ruksha
Virya
Sheeta
Vipaka
Katu
Karma
Varnya, Vedanasthapana, Vishaghna, Stambhana, Krimighna, Hrdya, etc.

Phytochemistry:

The flowers contain fatty acids and gallic acid; apigenin-7-O-beta-D-glucoside, cyanidin-3,5-diglucoside, kaempferol 3-O-beta-D-glucoside, pelargonidin-3,5-diglucoside, quercetin andits 3-O-beta-D-glucoside andsitosterol.

The bark yields alkanes, esters and primary alcohols. It gave n-octacosanol, tannin, catechin, (+)-catechol, (−)-epicatechin, (−)-epicatechol, leucocyanidin, leucopelargonidin, procyanidin derivatives, methyl-and ethylcholesterol derivatives. It also contains oleic, linoleic, linolenic, stearic and palmiticacid.

Quercetin and its 3-O-rhamnoside, kaempferol-3-O-alpha-L-rhamnoside, amyrin, ceryl alcohol and beta-sitosterol have been isolated from leaves and stems.


Pharmacological Actions:

It is astringent, antileucorrhoeic, antibilious, uterine sedative and uterine tonic.

It has stimulating effect on endometrium and the ovarian tissue.


Medicinal Use:

It is useful in uterine affections, menorrhagia especially due to uterine fibroids, meno-metrorrhagia, leucorrhoea and infertility.

It is uterine tonic (imparts healthy tone to uterus), used for suppressed menses, leucorrhoea, menstrual pain, menorrhagia, complaints of menopause.

The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India recommends the bark in metrohhagia, menorrhagia, chronic lymphadenitis and inflammations.


Clinical / experimental study:

Ashoka found exerting stimulant effect on endometrium and ovaries due to its tannins, catechols and flavonoid principles and regulates excessive bleeding, the effect to be regulating endogenous secretions possibly due to regularizing the Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Ovarian interactions.

Ashoka Have antibacterial, antioestrogenic, and antifungal (have significant inhibitory effect against sh. Boydis, s. viballerup, sh.dysenteriae, E.coli, vibrio cholera, pseudomonas acruginosa, also inhibit fungus like Nunnizia fulva –ve and +ve, trichophyton equinum and c. crasitunicatum)

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Apium graveolens

Ajmod (Apium Graveolens)
Ayurvedic Properties and Action:
Rasa
Katu, Tikta
Guna
Laghu, Ruksa, Tiksna
Virya
Katu
Vipaka
Usna
Karma
Dipana, Vatakaphaghna, Sulahara, Anulomana, Krimighna, Vedanasamaka
Phytochemistry: 
Celery yields an essential oil (3%), major constituent being d-limonene (5-%) and phathalides and beta-selinene; coumarins, furanocoumarins (bergapten); flavonoids (apiin and apigenin).
Per 100g, the plant contains 253 calories, 7.2g water, 20g protein, 4.4g fat, 55.8g carbohydrate, 11.9g fibre, 12.6g ash, 1784mg calcium, 543mg phosphorus, 48.8mg iron, 451mg magnesium, 208mg sodium, 3,308mg potassium, 3.3mg zinc, 0.42mg thiamine, 0.28mg riboflavin, 2.8mg niacin and 1.5mg vitamin B6.
Per 100g, the seed contains 305 calories, 7.7g water, 14.5g fat (0.73g saturated, 124mg phytosterol and no cholesterol), 55.2g carbohydrate, 21g fibre, 6.7g ash, 1,516mg calcium, 277mg phosphorus, 16.3mg iron, 256mg magnesium, 20mg sodium, 1,186mg potassium, 5.2mg zinc, 53IU vitamin A, 0.42mg thiamine and 0.28mg riboflavin.

Pharmacological Actions: 
It is anti-inflammatory (used in inflammation of the urinary tract), carminative, nervine, sedative, antiemetic, tranquilizer, anticonvulsant, antifungal and antispasmodic.

Medicinal Use: 
It reduces blood pressure, relieves indigestion, stimulates the uterus and is anti-inflammatory.
An essential oil obtained from the plant has a calming effect on the central nervous system. Some of its constituents have antispasmodic, sedative and anticonvulsant actions.
It has been shown to be of value in treating high blood pressure.

Clinical / experimental study: 
Alkaloid fraction of seeds showed tranquilizing activity in animals. The phthalides are sedative in mice and exhibit antiepileptic activity in rats and mice.
Essential oil showed inhibitery activity against P.solanocearum, S. aureus, B. substilis, P. multicida, S. typhy, E. coli, Shigella dysentery and V. choleriae

The essential oil responded excellently against C. albicans and also against most of the pathogens.

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Treatments in Ayurveda

Types of Treatment in Ayurveda



 There are two aspects of treatment in Ayurveda:

1. Shamana Chikitsa (Curing of diseases – Alleviating Therapy)
2. Shodhana Chikitsa (Prevention of diseases – Purification Therapy) 

Shodhana Chikitsa (Prevention of diseases)


The main aim of Shodhana treatment is to eliminate the internal causative factors of the disease. It is one the most important techniques in Ayurveda and is an internal purification process. Purification can be used to cure diseases and at the same time to promote the healthy state of the body. It is possible to successfully cure a number of difficult diseases like Arthritis, Paralysis etc with the help of Shodhana Chikitsa.

Large quantities of toxic byproducts are formed in the body as a result of continuous metabolic process. Most of these toxins are eliminated naturally by the body’s excretory system, some may get deposited in the various tissues of the body, which causes the vitiation of Dosha, Dhatu etc. and then the normal functioning of the system is harmed. Similarly disease causing toxins accumulate in the body as a result of various factors like wrong body habits, wrong food habits, incompatible recipe of food items, suppression of the body urges, emotional imbalance etc.
Shodhana Chikitsa removes toxins from the body and restores the equilibrium of the Dosha. Shodhana Chikitsa consists of a three-stage purification process as follows:

Purva Karma – preparatory purification prior to the main purification
Pradhana Karma – the main five purification methods (known as Panchakarma treatment)
Paschath Karma – post rejuvenation therapy.
‘Shodhana’ treatment is also called as Panchakarma or five- folds line of treatment.

Panchakarma therapeutic procedures are used to facilitate the elimination of harmful factors through following processes: 

Vaman
Emesis
for Kapha dosha
Virechan
Purgation
for Pitta dosha
Basti
Enema
for Vatta dosha
Nasya
Administrating medicines especially through nose
for Kapha dosha from head
Raktamokshan
Blood letting
for Rakta and Pitta dosha
Vaman
Elimination of vitiated Kapha dosha mainly through mouth is known as Vaman karm. It is indicated in Kaphaj disorders such as coughing, Asthma, Chronic Rhinitis, acidity etc.
Virechan
Elimination of vitiated Pitta through anus is known as Virechan Karma. It is indicated in paittik and kapha disorders such as hyperacidity, primary stage of peptic & duodenal ulcer skin disorders and digestive problem.
Basti
It is a per rectal medication in form of enema for the treatment of neurological disorders (Vat disorders). Their are mainly two types of Basti, Niruha Basti (Medicated decoction enema) and Anuvasan Basti (Medicated Oil enema). They are indicated in Vat disorders. Such as paralysis, sciatica, myopathies, multiple sclerosis, polio etc.
Nasya
The administration of medicated Oil or Swaras etc. through the nostrils is known as Nasyakarm. It is indicating for the elimination of adherent situated above the neck. The disease which is treated by the Nasya are sinusitis, migraine, headache, eye and ear disorders.
Raktamokshan
It means vitiated blood letting or removal of vitiated blood. Blood letting is very useful in treating skin diseases erysipelas, boils and carbuncles etc. External use of snehan (Oileation) and swedan (fomentation) is also very important. From these methods following diseases can be treated such as spondylitis, paralysis, sciatica, dryness of body, alcoholism, corrhyza, constipation, monoplegia, indigestion, anorexia, obesity, debility, feeling of heaviness, acute pain, scabies, stiffness, fatigue anaemia, acidity, sleeplessness, loss of memory, insomnia, arthritis, myopathies, polio and other neurological problems. So, Panchakarma is a very fruitful and result oriented therapy. It is a science of cleansing and purifying the body both internally and externally. This method naturally removes the disease from its roots causes and this plays an important role to treating the incurable diseases.

Shamana Chikitsa (Curing of diseases)


Shamana is specially done after the Shodhana therapy and in less vitiation. Ayurvedic medicines are used internally and externally to manage the symptoms and cause of the disease through the balancing the equilibrium of Dosha, Dhatu, Mala and Agni and also to increase the Immunity. The restoration of normality is brought about without any elimination. In Ayurveda there are thousands of medicines consisting of herbs, minerals and biological products, which are used alone or in compound form to suppress and cure diseases, particularly when the disease is at an early stage.

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Five Fundamentals Elements of Ayurveda (Panchmahabhuta)

Five Fundamentals Elements of Ayurveda (Panchmahabhuta) 


 
Five Fundamentals Elements of Ayurveda (Panchmahabhuta) According to Ayurveda everything in life is composed of the Panchmahabhuta – Akash (Space), Vayu (Air), Jal (Water), Agni (Fire) and Prithvi (Earth) that combines in different ratios to form material world. Every organism living or non-living is said to be composed of Panchmahabhuta. Each element possesses different amounts of Guna (quality). Hence, each of them has unique qualitative nature.
The relationship of Panchmahabhuta with Sense organs, its Properties and Actions are as follows: 
Panchmahabhuta
Sensory Organs/work
Properties and actions in the body
Space (Aakash)
Ears/Hearing Sound
Akash forms vacuumed organs of the body. All body channels, working for the movement of the nutrients and all other fluids. It produces softness, lightness and porosity
Air (Vayu or Pavan)
Skin/Touch
Governs inhalation, exhalation, opening and closing of eyelids, locomotion and other motor functions. Air creates dryness, lightness and emaciation.
Fire (Agni or Teja)
Eyes/Visual (Sight)
Fire controls temperature and luster of body colour. It helps in digestion and assimilation of food, maturation and improves eye sight.
Water (Aap or Jala)
Tongue/Taste
Jal is the connecting force and fluid part of the body and slimy, fat and sweat by nature. It makes things supple and smooth, Imparts glossiness and Enhances fluid content. It acts as nutrient, emollient and purgative.
Earth (Prithvi or Bhoomi)
Nose/Smell
Prithvi controls organs as teeth, nails, flesh, skin, tendons and muscles. It is heavy, immobile, compact and rough and increases firmness & strength of the body. It acts as nutrient, emollient and purgative.
Theory of Panchmahabhuta

Within a simple, single living cell for example the earth (Prithvi) element prevailed by giving structure to the cell. The water (Jala) element is present in the cytoplasm (liquid portion) within the cell membrane. The fire (Agni) element regulates the metabolic processes regulating the cell. The air (Vayu) element is the gases part therein. The space (Akash) occupied by the cell denotes the presence of the element Akash.
In the case of a complex, multi-cellular organism as a human being for instance, Akash corresponds to spaces within the body (mouth, nostrils, abdomen etc.); Vayu denotes the movement (essentially muscular but nervous system also); Agni controls the functioning of enzymes (intelligence, digestive system, metabolism); Jal is in all body fluids (as plasma, saliva, digestive juices); and Prithvi manifests itself in the solid structure of the body (bones, teeth, flesh, hair et al).
The Panchmahabhuta therefore serve as the basis of all diagnosis & treatment modalities in Ayurveda and has served as a most valuable theory for physicians to detect and treat diseases of the body and mind successfully.
Tridosha Theory as an Adaptation of Panchmahabhuta theory
Space + Air = Vatta
Fire = Pitta
Water + Earth = Kapha

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