Nagadanti: Croton oblongifolius Use, Research, Side Effects

Naga Danti- Croton oblongifolius is an Ayurvedic plant with purgative action, used in the treatment of fistula, severe constipation, snake poisoning and hepatomegaly. 

Latin name- Croton oblongifolius Roxb.
Family- Euphorbiaceae

Names in different languages:
Hindi   name – Ghanasura, Ghansura
Assamese name – Burmaparokupi
Bengali name – Baragach, Bargach
Konkani name – Ghansurang
Malayalam name – Nagadanti
Marathi name – Ganasura, Gunsur
Tamil   name – Milgunari
Telugu name – Bhutalabhairi, Bhutankusamu
Burmese name – Theyin, Thityin
Cambodia – Trapung
Goa – Gonsur
Kolami – Konya, Kuli, Kurti, Poter
Lohardugga – Putri
Malay – Kote, Putol
Marathi – Ganasura, Gunsur
Mundari – Kuti
Nepal – Ach
Oudh – Arjunna
Patna – Chucka
Santali – Gote
Malayalam – Nagadanti

Morphology of Croton oblongifolius:
It is a small to middle-sized, deciduous tree. The leaves are 12.5-25 cm long, crowded towards the ends of the branchlets, oblong-lanceolate, subacute. The flowers are pale yellowish green, solitary or fasicled in the axils of minute bracts on long, erect, often fascicled racemes. Capsules subglobose, little depressed, slightly 3-lobed, less than 1.3 cm across. The plant is found growing in the temperate climate in the plains of India.

Properties:
Rasa (Taste) – Katu (Pungent)
Guna (Qualities) – Guru (Heavy), Teekshna (Strong)
Vipaka – Katu (Undergoes Pungent taste after digestion)
Veerya (Potency) – Ushna (Hot)
Karma (Actions) – Kaphapitta shamaka (reduces vitiated kapha and pitta dosha)

Part used- Root, Seed, Fruit

Dosage-
Powder- 25 to 50 mg
Decoction- 10-20 ml
Chemical composition:
The plant, especially the fruit and seeds contain Oblongifoliol, Deoxy- oblongifoliol, Acetyl aleuric acid. The seeds yield fatty oil. Stem bark contains ß-sitosterol; a diterpene alcohol, oblongifoliol, deoxyoblongifoliol and oblongifolic acid. Flavonoids have been isolated from root bark, stem bark, and wood. Two new cembranoids- crotocembraneic acid and neocrotocembraneic acid and a new cembranoid diterpene, neocrotocembranal have been reported from stem bark.

Uses of Naga Danti:

  • In case of fistula, Naga danti along with trivrit and rock salt is mixed together and made into paste and applied locally over the affected area.
  • In cases of swelling with pus, multiple fistula, application of Nadi danti along with Manjishta is applied in paste form over the affected area.
  • Croton oblongifolius root bark is made into decoction and given in a dose of 15-20 ml to treat hepatomegaly and fever.
  • To treat intestinal worms and ascites, the powder of the seed is given in a dose of 4-5 g with hot water to induce purgation.
  • To treat cases of epilepsy- Vacha, Bharangi and Naga danti powder is mixed with cow urine and used for nasal installation.
  • Decoction of the bark and leaf of Croton oblongifolius is given in a dose of 25-30 ml to treat snake poisoning and hepatomegaly.
  • Other use of Naga danti is similar to that of Jayapala seeds.

FISTULA: – Nagadanti along with Trivrit, Tila, Manjishta and Rock salt is made into paste with the help of milk and honey and applied externally. – Su. Chi. 8/40
PITTAJA NADIVRINA: – application of paste prepared with Nagadanti and Manjista. – A. H. U. 30/33 – 34
APASMARA: – indication of 5 or 6 drops of Bharangi, Vacha and Nagadanti triturated with cows urine. Also Jyotishmati and Nagadanti triturated with cow’s urine. – Cha. Chi. 10/ 41 – 42
Nagadanti moolatwak is good for Shotha, Jwara, Rechaka and Shirovirechana. – Bha. Ni
In Theevra Shothayuktha Apasmara Vikaras like pneumonia, pleural oedema, hepatic oedema, etc. Nagadanti along with Karanja is administered. Also it is applied over the area of shotha. – Bha. Ni
In jwara, Nagadanti is taken along with Navasadara. – Bha. Ni
Its beeja and phala has got Rechaka property. – Bha. Ni
In Konkan area Nagadanti is used for Sarpavisha by administrering it in every 2 hrs. at a dose of 1 –2 tola. In South Konkan, bark of Nagadanti is used for treating Hepatomegally and Malarial fever.
Nagadanti is the best medicine for Yakrut Shotha.
It is a good remedy for pain and other complications arthritis.
Bark is used in reducing chronic enlargement of the liver and in remittent fever. It is applied externally to the hepatic region in chronic hepatitis, to sprains, bruises and rheumatic swellings. It has also a reputation as a remedy in snakebite.
The Santals use the bark and root as a purgative and as an alternative in dysentery.
The roots enter into the compositon of pills used by the Mundas of Chota Nagpur for chronic rheumatism. The root bark is given in small doses as a purge; larger quantity is poisonous.
The leaves are used externally in Cambodia for liver complaints and scabies.

Uses as per traditional Ayurveda:

Rochani – improves taste, useful in anorexia
Teekshna – strong, piercing
Ushna – hot
Koshtashodhana – cleanses intestines.

Indicated in –
Visha – Toxic conditions, poisoning
Shoola – abdominal colic pain
Yonidosha – gynecological disorders
Krumi – worm infestation
Kantharoga – Throat and voice related disorders
Apachi – glandular disorder
Shwasa – asthma and chronic respiratory disorders
Kasa – cough, cold
Pleeha – Disease of the spleen, Splenomegaly
Kaphodara – Kapha type of Ascites
Mudhagarbha
Kushta – skin diseases
Dushta Vrana – infected wound
Adhmana – bloating, gaseous distension of abdomen

Adverse effect: Excess dose of Naga Danti can cause severe purgation leading to abdominal cramps and dehydration. The herb should be taken with care and caution.

Research articles related to Croton oblongifolius:
Hepato- protective action: The different extracts ofApium graeolens Linn. (Apiaceae) and Croton oblongifolius Roxb. (Euphorbiaceae) were tested for their hepato protective activity against CCl4 induced hepatotoxicity in albino rats. The methanolic extracts showed the most significant hepato- protective activity comparable with standard drug silymarin. Other extracts namely petroleum ether and acetone also exhibited a potent activity.

Classical categorization:
Sushruta Samhita- Arkadi vara
Astanga Sangraha- Arkadi varga
Bhavaprakasha- Guduchyadi varga
Dhanvantari Nighantu- Guduchyadi varga
Kaiyyadeva Nighantu- Oushadhi varga
Raja Nighantu- Parpatadi varga

Synonyms of Nag danti:
Ekaparni- The leaves are twisted like ear
Nagavinna, Naga danti- The fruit pod resemble hood of snake
Shuklapushpa- Flowers are white in color
Shulani – relieves abdominal colic pain
Puthrashreni – Around the plant there will be new shoots growing like its children.
Sithapushpika – Flowers resembles that of sithapushpa.
Parvapushpa – Flowers arise from the nodes.
Nagini, Nagasphota, Vishalakshi, Sarpadanti, Samadantika, Shvetadanta, Nagini
Madhupushpa, Sarvapushpi, Sashalya, Kandini, Parvapushpi, Shwetaganta,
Ramadantika, Mrugakshi, Mrugadani, Hastidanti, Varuni, Gajachirbhata, Balamota, Madaghni, Durgharsha, Dussaha

Scientific classification:
Kingdom – Plantae
Sub – Kingdom – Phanerogamia
Division – Magnoliophyta
Class – Magnoliopsida
Order – Euphorbiales
Family – Euphorbiaceae
Genus – Croton
Species – oblongifolius
The genus name comes from Greek ‘Kroton’, which means ticks, because of the seeds’ resemblance to ticks.

Author: Dr.B.K.Prashanth M.D (Ayu), Ph.D
E mail: drprashanthbk@gmail.com
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