Medicinal plant Ajagandha (Cleome gynandra)

Ajagandha is a medicinal plant that grows as weed throughout warmer part of India. Ayurvedic Materia Medica describes this plant as light (attribute); appetizer, cardiac tonic, Vata and Kapha hara. Some of the other common names of this plant are Tilaparni, Pashugandha, Ugragandha, and Thaivelai, Nalvelai (Tamil).

Ajagandha Plant

General Information

Botanical name: Gynandropsis gynandra (Linn.) Briq; Synonym G. pentaphylla DC.

Cleome gynandra Linn

Family: Capparidaceae

Vernacular names in India

  • Sanskrit: Pasugandhi, Ajagandha
  • Assamese: Bhutmulla
  • Bengali: Hurhuria, Shulte
  • English: Dog Mustard
  • Gujarat: Talvani, Dhelitalavan
  • Hindi: Hulhul, Hurhur, Kavalia
  • Kannada: Naram bele Soppu, Nayeetulasi
  • Kashmiri: Gandi Buti
  • Malayalam: Atunari vela
  • Marathi: Tilvan, Bhatvan, Mabli, Tilavana, Tilvant
  • Oriya: Anasorisia, anasorisa, Hulhulia
  • Punjabi: Bugra
  • Tamil: Nal valai, Nal velai
  • Telugu: Vaminta, Vayinta
  • Unani: Hurhur, Hulhul
  • Siddha: Kadugu

Some other common names: Wild Spider Flower, African spider-flower, cat whiskers, Bastard mustard

Plant description

Annual erect, herb up to 250-600 mm tall;much branched;Stem sticky with hairs;leaves: palmately compound, with 3-5 leaflets, leaf stalk is 20-50 mm long with glandular hairs;Inflorescence: terminal raceme, many-flowered, elongating in fruit;bract is 3-foliolate to simple above, flower stalk is 10-20 mm long with hairs;fruits: in 2 mm capsule form;seeds: seeds are brown, circular in outline, 1.5 mm in diameter;

Habitat: Throughout warmer part of India growing as weed in waste lands, grass lands;

Constituents of leaves

Carotenoids, Cardiac glycosides, Cyanogenic Glycosides, Flavonoids, Saponins, Triterpenes, sugars, Tannins etc.

Constituents of seeds

Fixed oil, essential oil and oleoresin

Properties and Action of seeds

  1. Rasa: Katu
  2. Guna: Laghu, Ruksha
  3. Virya: Shita
  4. Vipaka: Katu
  5. Karma: Shulagna, Dipana, Hridya, Pittala, Vatahara

Ayurvedic Therapeutic Uses

Gulma or Any tumor, lump, Prostate enlargement, Worm infection, Kandu Pruritus, and Ear diseases

Medicinal uses of Ajagandha (Cleome gynandra)

Various parts of Ajagandha plant are used for medicinal purpose viz. leaves, seeds and roots. The recommended safe dosage of seed powder is 1-3 grams and leaf decoction 50-100 ml. Ayurvedic texts describes use of this plant for treatment of pain, swelling, fever, cough, asthma, skin and urinary diseases. Seed powder of this plant have carminative (relieves flatulence), antiseptic, and anthelmintic (destroy parasitic worms) properties. Leaves have anti-inflammatory and sudorific (causing sweating) properties. Traditionally few drops of leaves juice is put in ear to treat ear pain. Foe painful joints leaves and seeds poultice is used.

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