Aragvada

Cassia fistula( Fabaceae)[edit]

<a href="http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Konnamaram.JPG"><img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/ee/Konnamaram.JPG" alt="Cassia fistula" width="350" height="350" align="right" title="Cassia fistula (Aragvada) ">

Cassia fistula (Aragvada)

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Sanskrit Names: Aragvada English Name: Drumstick or purging cassia Hindu Name: Amaltas Botanical Name: Cassia fistula Linn Synonyms: Krtamala Caturangula, Arevata Family: Fabaceae

Description[edit]

Cassia fistula is widely grown as an ornamental plant in tropical and subtropical areas. It blooms in late spring. Flowering is profuse, with trees being covered with yellow flora, with almost no leaf being seen. It does not grow well in dry climates. Growth for this tree is best in full sun on well-drained soil; it is drought- and salt- tolerant, but will be damaged by even short spells of freezing weather. It can be subject to mildew, leaf spot and root diseases.1

In Ayurvedic medicine, Golden Shower Tree is known as aragvadha ("disease killer"). Its fruitpulp is used as mild laxative, against fevers, arthritis, vatavyadhi (nervous system diseases), all kinds of rakta-pitta (bleeding, such as hematemesis or hemorrhages), as well as cardiac conditions and stomach problems such as acid reflux. The root is considered a very strong purgative, and self-medication or any use without medical supervision is strongly advised against in Ayurvedic texts. Though its use in herbalism is attested to since millennia, there has been rather little research in modern times. While the purgative action is probably due to abundant 1,8-dihydroxyanthraquinone and derivates thereof, whether the reputed nervous system (anti-vatavyadhi) effects are real and if, what causes them, is not known. While many Fabaceae are a source of potent entheogens and other psychoactive compounds, e.g. tryptamines. Such plants are rarely found among the Caesalpinioideae.

The golden shower tree is the national flower of Thailand; its yellow leaves symbolize Thai royalty. A 2006-2007 flower festival, the Royal Flora Ratchaphruek, was named after the tree, which is most often called dok khuen or ratchaphruek in Thailand. The golden shower tree is the state flower of Kerala in India. The flowers are of ritual importance in the Vishu festival of Kerala state of India, and the tree was depicted on a 20 Indian rupees stamp. C. fistula is also featured on a 2003 joint Canadian-Thai design for a 48 cent stamp, part of a series featuring national emblems.

The tree has strong and very durable wood. There is please called "Ahala Kanuwa" in "Adems peek" "Sri Lanka" and its made by Cassia fistula (Ahala) heart wood.

There is also a rare case of it being used for anal autoeroticism.2

== Principle Constituents == 

Classical Categories (Gana)[edit]

This herb belongs to the following classical groups:

Caraka Ganas: Kusthaghna, Kandughna, Virechana, Tiktaskandha
Susruta Ganas: Aragvadhadi, Shyamadi, Adhobhagahar

Energetics[edit]

Rasa (taste): Madhura (sweet), Tikta (bitter)
Guna (quality): Guru (heavy), Mridu (softness) , Snigdha (unctuousness)
Virya (energy): Shita (cooling)
Vipaka (post digestive effect): Madhura (sweet)
Prabhava (Special quality): none
Dosha Effect: VP-
Dhatus:Rakta (liver stimulant)
Srotas (channels): Annavaha, Raktavaha, Purishavaha, Mutravaha

Chemical Constituents[edit]

Pulp has a feeble nauseous odour, a mucilagino-saccarine taste, and contains sugar, gum, impure tannic acid, colouring matter, a gluten-like matter, and moisture. It keeps longest when preserved in the pod. It is largely soluble in water, and its active parts are taken up by alcohol.

Ayurveda Actions[edit]

Amapachaka - digest toxins (ama)
Anulomena - causing downwards movement of apana
Dahaprashamana - anti burning
Kustaghna - useful in skin conditions
Kandughna - antipruritic
Hridya - heart tonic
Jvaraghna - anti pyretic
Mriduvirechana - mild purgative
Mutrala - diuretic
Raktashodhaka - blood purifier
Ruchivardhaka - improves taste
Sramsana - laxative
Shotahara -anti inflammatory
Ruchivardhaka - improves taste
Yakrituttejaka - liver regulator

Important Actions[edit]

For constipations, abdominal pain, lost of taste, hepatomegaly, jaundice, anemia, heart conditions, edema, skin conditions, burning sensation, skin disorders, fevers.

Indications[edit]

External use[edit]

Anti inflammatory and analgesic. The pulp of the leaf paste is used in nodular oedema, gout, rheumatoid arthritis etc. The decoction is used for gargling in diseases of oral cavity and throat. Leaf paste is used in skin disease and itching.

Internal use[edit]

Circulatory system: Cardioprotective, anti inflammatory, purifies blood, so useful in heart diseases, haemorrhagic disorders, gout and swelling. Digestive system: It is bitter so improves tastes. A liver stimulant and purgative due to snigdha property. Mild purgative drug useful in constipation and jaundice. Nervous system: Analgesic due to vatahara property, so useful in vata diseases. Respiratory system: As it is madhas, snigdha, it removes kapha and soothes internal organs by mridu property, in dry cough and dyspnoea flower's avaleha is given. Urinary system: Diuretic by sheeta property. It soothes the urinary tract. Seeds are antidiabetic and pittasamaka. Bark of root is used in fever. Skin: Kusthaghna and refridgerant, so used in skin disease and burning. Temperature: Antipyretic, so used in fever and purgation. Its bitter taste works in digestion and is pittashamak. Bark of root is used in fever.

Precautions[edit]

Even though it is traditionally used in pregnancy, as it causes a downward movement i tmust be used with caution.

Safety[edit]

No drug-herb interactions are known.

Parts Used[edit]

Parts used: Pulp, Root bark, Flowers, Leaves Dosage: Pulp 10-20gms, Pulp for purgative 20-40gms, Decoction of root bark 2-4ml. Flowers 5-10gms

Important Combinations[edit]

Preparations: Aragvadhadi taila, Aragvadhadi leha, Aragvadharista.

Research[edit]