Mayaphala (Majuphal):Uses, Research, Remedies, Side Effects

Mayaphala (Majuphal) is an Ayurvedic herb used for the treatment of wounds, control bleeding, piles, oral diseases, diarrhea, dysmenorrhea and cases of plant poisoning. 

Latin name- Quercus incana Roxb., Quercus infectoria
Family- Fagaceae

Names in different languages:
Hindi name- Majuphal
English name- Gall oak, Cinnamon oak, bluejack oak, upland willow oak, sandjack oak
Bengali name- Majuphal
Gujarati name- Majuphal
Kannada name- Machikai
Marathi name- Mayaphal
Tamil name- Machi kai, Machkai
Telugu name- Machi Kay
Persian name –  maju/ mazu
Malayalam name – majkani

Sanskrit Synonyms- Majjaphala, Mayuka, Chidraphala, Keetavasa, Mayiphala, Mayuka, Malayu

Morphology of Quercus incana:
Mayaphala is a small to medium tree growing to a height of 6-10 m and a native of United States. The trunk is short and the crooked branches form an open, irregular crown. The platy bark is dark brown or black. The leaves are generally oval and up to 10 centimeters long by 3.5 wide. They are glossy green on top and woolly-haired underneath. The acorn is up to 1.7 centimeters long by 1.6 wide, not counting the cap.

Mayaphala’s useful part appears like fruit; the name of the mayaphala is a misnomer. It is a cocoon which is the pathological out growth formed on the twigs of the tree. These excrescences arise in consequence of the deposition of egg by a small hymenpterous insect “Adleria galloetinctorioe Oliver”, often known as the gall wasp.

The insect by means its ovi position, punctures the young tissue of an oak bud and deposits an egg in the wound. A secretion from its jaws stimulates a rapid growth of tissue which quickly envelopes the grab and forms a spherical excrescence. If an egg fails to hatch, no gall is produced and if the larva dies the growth of the gall ceases.

The galls contain 50 to 70% tannin known as Gallo tannic acid. It also contains Gallic acid, ellagic acid, starch, nyctanthic acid and rubric acid. Gallo tannin present in Chinese gall shown to be pentadigolloyal glucose.

Majuphal – medicinal properties:
Rasa (Taste) – Kashaya (Astringent)
Guna (Qualities) – Laghu (Light for digestion), Ruksha (Dry in nature)
Vipaka – Katu (Undergoes pungent taste after digestion)
Veerya (Potency) – Sheeta (Cold)
Karma (Actions) – Kaphapitta shamaka (reduces vitiated kapha and pitta dosha)

Part used- Gall of insect
Dosage-
Powder- 1 to 3 g
In the form of decoction -1to 2ounces internally

Quercus incana – Chemical composition:
The fruits gave amentoflavone hexamethyl ether, isocryptomerin and beta-sitosterol. The alcoholic extract of fruits showed 36% liver protection against carbon tetrachloride-induced toxicity at a dose of 800 mg/kg. The galls contain 50–70% gallotannic acid, gallic acid 2–4%, ellagic acid, nyctanthic acid, rubric acid, besides sugars, starch, an essential oil and an- thocyanins. Galls were also found to contain beta-sitosterol, amentoflavone, hexamethyl ether and isocryptomerin.

Uses of Mayaphala:

  • Decoction prepared from the gall of Mayaphala is used for gargling to treat oral ulcers, gingivitis. The powder of the gall is used as tooth powder for the same treatment.
  • Dried powder of the gall of Quercus incana is applied over the body to control excessive sweating.
  • Patient is advised sitz bath in the decoction of the gall of Mayaphala to treat external piles, rectal prolapse and hemorrhoids.
  • Decoction of Mayaphala is given to induce emesis as part of treatment in cases of Nux vomica, Opium and Marking nut poisoning.
  • Decoction of gall of Quercus incana is given in a dose of 10-20 ml to treat blood mixed diarrhea and dysmenorrhea.
  • The powder of the gall of Mayaphala is sprinkled over fresh wounds to control bleeding and help in quick healing.
  • The powder is mixed with sesame oil or coconut oil and applied over scalp to blacken the hair.
  • Decoction prepared from the gall is used for vaginal wash in cases of leucorrhea and vaginitis.
  • The drug is chiefly stambhana medicine with grahe it is used as emetic, rakthasthambhana, lekhana, vishagna, mutrasangrahaniya (antidiuretic), checking vaginal  discharge, hair coloring, and vranaropana.
  • In case of wound or septic wound it may be washed with extract and powdered gall be applied externally
  • In case of cough and respiratory diseases 50 to 100 mg or 250 to 500 mg of powdered gall be taken twice a day with honey, milk or water
  • The powder of drug of mayaphala is esteemed for applying as tooth powder having frequent and potent utility. The gargle of galls in dental, throat, moth cavity.

Adverse effect: Increased doses of Mayaphala can cause nausea and emesis.

Ayurvedic medicine containing Mayaphala:
Chiniumco tablet: It is a proprietary Ayurvedic medicine useful for checking profuse bleeding. It is a stimulant to the uterine muscle, and is used in prolonged labor due to defective uterine contraction.

Vajra dantha manjan: – By doing gargle of galls useful in strengthening of teeth, gum and also useful in throat and mouth aliments.

Mayaphaladhi malahara: – Used in grani, vishagna, mutrasangrahaniya, yonisrava hara, vranaropana condition.

Research articles related to Quercus incana:
Anti- microbial activity:  The present study deals with the investigation of antioxidant, free radical scavenging activity, total phenolic content, and antimicrobial activity of Q. incana Roxb. It was observed that Q. incana Roxb. showed significant antibacterial activity against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria.

Anti- nociceptive property: The purpose of the study was to investigate the anti-inflammatory and anti-nociceptive properties of crude methanol fruit extract of Quercus incana (QI), as well as its acute toxicity and phytochemical profile. The extract showed significant (p < 0.01) anti-inflammatory effect at doses of 50, 100 and 150 mg/kg. It also evoked significant anti-nociceptive activity (both peripheral and central analgesia) at all test doses (25, 50 and 100 mg/kg; p < 0.01). Acute toxicity data revealed that the extract was non-toxic up to a dose of 425 mg/kg, while phytochemical screening indicated the presence of alkaloids, flavonoids, steroids, terpenoids, anthraquinones, tannins, coumarins, reducing sugars and resins.

Classical categorization:
Raja Nighantu- Pippalyadi varga
Shodala Nighantu- Lakshmanadi varga
Priya nigantu –shathapuspadi varga
Nigantu adarsha –boorja varga

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fagales
Family: Fagaceae
Genus: Quercus
Section: Lobatae
Species: Q. incana

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


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