Saireyaka Barleria prionitis Remedies: Arthritis, Hair Wash, Inflammation

This article is by Dr MS Krishnamurthy MD(Ayu), PhD.
Saireyaka is a thorny plant found in Southern India; Its flowers are offered to God during pooja. its roots are used abundantly in therapeutics. The plant is available in different flowers like white, violet, red, yellow, blue and in mixed colors. 

Its botanical name is Barleria prionitis and it belongs to Acanthaceae family.
The roots and leaves aare used for the medicinal purpose.
The roots undergo Pungent kind of bio transformation(Katu vipaka) and it is hot in potency.
The roots are used for both internal and external medication purpose.

Sahacharadi taila, Neelasahachgaradi kashaya, Kurantakadi kashayay, Sahacharadi kashaya and Bala saireyaka kashaya are the important formulations of this drug.

The leaves of the plant are used as a hair tonic. It is used alone or in combination in various hair care recipes especially to wash the hair and to prepare hair oils.

Few of the important simple remedies and health benefits are compiled and presented here below-
1. Root decoction in arthritis:
15-20 gram root is taken and water decoction is made. 30-40 ml of this decoction is administered twice daily in the patients who are suffering from joint pain, neuralgia, aching of the fore-leg etc. It has significant benefits.
General method of decoction preparation is –
1 tablespoon (10 grams) of coarse powder of the herb is added with 2 cups of water. Boiled in open air till the total content is reduced to 1 cup. This is filtered and used.

2. Root powder massage over the swelling:
In case of muscular swelling, root powder is dusted over the swollen area and gentle massage is carried. Later, hot fomentation is given.

3. Fine paste of the root for finger web infections:
The roots of the plant is rubbed well in a stone to obtain fine paste. This is applied on the finger webs, in case of itching skin lesions.

4. Root oil in joint pain, swelling and neuritis:
Matured roots are collected and crushed well. To this four times sesame oil and 16 parts root decoction is added and oil is cooked. This oil is applied in cases like joint pain, swelling, neuritis etc.

5. Leaf decoction for hair wash:
The leaves are taken and crushed into small pieces. This is kept in water (30-40 times water can be used) for 2-3 hours and macerated well. This water is decanted and used for hair wash. This gives good shining to the hair and strengthens the base(root) of the hair.

In a plant, the benefits contributed from the leaves will be different from the roots, than flowers and so on. This is very true in Saireyaka also where leaves are good hair tonics and those qualities are negligible in roots. Similarly, the anti inflammatory and anti arthritic utility is more in roots than leaves.
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