Palasha – Butea monosperma – Medicinal qualities, Ayurveda Details

Palasha is a famous Ayurvedic herb, used since the times of Sushruta. Its botanical name is Butea monosperma, belongs to Fabaceae family. Its leaves are used peculiarly in southern part of India. Its leaves are used to prepare food plates.

English name - Flame of the forest tree
Hindi name – Dhaka
Kannada name – Muttuga
Malayalam name – Palasin Samat
Gujarathi name – Khakhare
Telugu name – Modugu

Sanskrit Synonyms:
kimshuka – flower resembles beak
Raktapushpaka – red coloured flowers
Ksharashreshta – Kshara, a special product is formed from this plant
Brahmavrukhsa, Brahmopanetra, Samitvara – Auspicious tree

Habitat: The tree is found in all parts across India.

Classical categorization:
Sushruta and Vagbhata – Rodhradi, Mushkakadi, Ambashtadi, Nyagrodhadi group of herbs.

Medicinal qualities:
Guna (qualities) – Laghu (light to digest), Rooksha (dry)
Rasa (taste) – Katu (Pungent), Tikta (bitter), Kashaya (Astringent)
Vipaka – Katu – after digestion, it undergoes pungent taste conversion.
Veerya – Ushna – hot potency.
Its flowers have Madhura vipaka (sweet after taste), and Sheeta veerya (cold potency)

Effect on Tridosha
किंशुकं कफपित्तघ्नम् । – सुश्रुत संहिता सूत्रस्थान ४५
It balances Vata and Pitta.

Therapeutic benefits:

Palasha – Ayurvedic details

Deepana – promotes digestion
Vrushya – aphrodisiac
Sara – promotes bowel movement
Vranajit – brings about quick wound healing
Gulmajit – useful in abdominal disorders
Bhagnasandhanakrut – Useful in quick fracture healing
Grahanihara – Relieves malabsorption syndrome
Arsha – useful in haemorrhoids
Krimihara – useful in intestinal worms

Flowers of Flame of the forest-
Katu, Tika, kashaya – Pungent, bitter and astringent in taste
Svadu paka – undergoes sweet taste conversion
Vatala – Increases Vata Dosha
kaphapittasrajit – Decreases imbalanced Kapha, Pitta and Rakta
Mutrakrichrajit -Relieves urine retention
Grahi – has absorption qualities.
Sheetala – Coolant
Trut, Daha Shamaka – Useful to relieve excessive thirst and burning sensation
Vataraktahara – useful in gout
Kushtahara – useful in skin diseases

Butea monosperma fruit
Laghu – light to digest
Ushna – hot in nature
Meha – useful in diabetes
Arsha – useful in piles
Krumihara – useful in intestinal worm infestation
Vatakaphahara -balances Vata and Kapha
Katuvipaka – undergoes pungent taste conversion after digestion
Rooksha – dry
Kushta – useful in skin diseases
Gulma – useful in abdominal disorder and bloating
Udarahara -useful in ascites

Butea monosperma seed – is useful in
Pama, Kandu, Dadru, Tvak dosha nashaka – usfeul in allergic dermatitis, pruritis, contact dermatitis etc. It helps to detoxify skin.

Chronic toxicity study
Phytochemistry and pharmacology

Ayurvedic medicine with Palasha ingredient
A special type of preparation called as Palasha Kshara is used in gynaecological problems.
Its potent action against intestinal worms makes it an essential ingredient in many de-worming Ayurvedic medicines like – Krumimudgara Rasa and Wormnil
Its potent skin benefiting qualities and anti-diabetic properties makes it an ingredient of Asanadi Kashayam
Palasha seeds are used as main ingredient in Palashabeejadi Churna, used for quick wound healing and de-worming.

Dr JV Hebbar is an Ayurveda Doctor, Assistant Professor, From Mangalore, India. Click here to consult Dr Hebbar
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