Herbs Profile

Aragvadha (Cassia fistula)

cassia fistula

A gentle laxative used to clear pitta from the intestines.

Common name Purging cassia (E), Amaltas (H) Sanskrit Aragvadha Latin Cassia fistula–Fructus, Folium (Caesalpiniaceae)

ENERGETICS

  • Rasa (taste) Sweet
  • Vırya (energy) Cold
  • Vipaka (post-digestive effect) Sweet
  • Guna (quality) Heavy, unctuous
  • Dosa effect VPK–
  • Dhatu (tissue) Plasma, blood
  • Srotas (channel) Digestive, circulatory

CONSTITUENTS

  • Glycosides
  • Anthraquinones Fistulic acid, sennosides
  • Sugars Saccharose
  • Sterols (Swami Prakashananda Ayurveda Research Centre 1992, Williamson 2002)

AYURVEDIC ACTION

  • Kusthaghna Alleviates skin diseases
  • Kandughna Stops itching
  • Recana Laxative
  • Sram. sanottama The best bowel cleanser
  • Jvaraghna Reduces fevers
  • Anulomana Directs vata downwards
  • Raktapitta Stops bleeding

BIOMEDICAL ACTION

Laxative, alterative, febrifuge

INDICATIONS

Digestion Beneficial where there is constipation from heat drying  the fluids in the colon. Specific for high pitta in the intestines where pacaka and ran˜jaka pitta are aggravated. As a gentle laxative it is used in children, the elderly and in pregnancy where constitutionally appropriate. It descends apana vayu and clears flatulence. It is a specific remedy to help ease the discomfort of piles (Bhavaprakasa).

Skin By helping to eliminate pitta toxins from the rasa and rakta dhatu it benefits skin aggravations by cleansing the blood. Most useful for hot and damp skin conditions with itching, suppuration and inflammation (Caraka Samhita, Williamson).

Bleeding Helps in bleeding from any of the mucous membranes (Paranjpe 2001).

Fever The ayurvedic adage is to purge a fever after it breaks, ‘natu reco jvarani’, and aragvadha is specifically indicated for cleansing the bowel after a fever (Bhavaprakasa).

COMBINATIONS

* Haritaki as a laxative.

* Manjishtha, neem, kutki for inflammatory skin conditions.

* Amalaki for bleeding conditions.

* Nagkeshar, gotu kola for piles.

CONTRAINDICATIONS

Even though it is traditionally used in pregnancy, as it causes a downwards movement it must be used with caution.

SAFETY

No drug–herb interactions are known

DOSAGE

2–15g per day.

ARAGVADHA

NOTES

  • This medium-sized tree grows all over India.
  • Aragvadha literally means ‘remover of diseases’.
  • It pacifies va-ta and purges pitta and kapha.
  • It loses its properties on boiling, so should be taken as an infusion or a powder.

About the author

Dr. Ram Mani Bhandari

Experienced holistic doctor, healer, teacher, and writer
Specialized in Ayurvedic detox (Panchakarma)
Trained in India and Nepal, the original lands of Ayurveda
Graduate in Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery (B.A.M.S.) from the Institute of Medicine at Tribhuwan University in Kathmandu.
Professional member of Australasian Association of Ayurveda (AAA)
Owner of Sunshine Ayurveda

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