Vanshlochan is extensively used in Ayurveda as a stimulant, sweet, cooling, tonic, expectorant, haemostatic, aphrodisiac, diuretic and anti-cough. In Sanskrit, Bans or Vansh is synonym for Bamboo and Lochan means eyes. So the discharge of bamboo eyes is known as Vanshalochan.
Vanshlochan is siliceous concretion discharged from the joints of female bamboo (Bambousa arundinacae) plant and generally found inside the hollow stems. It is white-bluish, hard, opaque and found as irregular fragments. It absorbs great deal of water but does not get easily dissolved in water. It is known as Tabasheer in Unani and Bamboo manna in English.
Vanshlochan is effective in debility, impotence, male sexual disorders, cough, asthma, bronchitis, burning sensations, diseases of the blood, tuberculosis, leprosy and fever. It is added in composition of numerous compound prescriptions used for affections of the lungs.
Nowadays, it is rare to found genuine Vanshlochan in the market, as it is very difficult to procure, costly, and naturally found in low amount. So as a substitute, synthetic Vanshlochan is routinely used in preparation of Ayurvedic medicines. Sometimes the starch of Arrowroot (Maranta arundinacea) and East Indian Arrowroot, Tvakshira, Tvakshiri (Curcuma angustifolia) are also used as substitute of Vanshlochan. Of course, the composition, properties and health effects of Genuine and Synthetic Vanshlochan differ greatly.
Bambusa arundinacea is thorny bamboo and grows wild in most parts of tropical India. Bamboo stems (culms), emerge from the underground rhizomes. The stems are thorny, numerous, tufted, up to 40 m tall and curving at top. Internodes are prominent and 30–45 cm long. Rooting can be seen on the lowest nodes.
Stem is round, hollow and smooth. Leaves are linear, stiff, rough and covered with, dry, rough protective bristly hairs. Young leaves are soft but older leaves are stiff. Bamboo flowers once in life time, often during September to May.
Bamboo is not a tree but a very large grass. Like other grass, it is a monocot, having single cotyledon or seed leaf in the seed coat. The example of other monocots are wheat, maize, rice, sugarcane and grass.
The botanical name of Vanshlochan / Tabasheer is Bambusa arundinacea. It belongs to plant family Gramineae / Poaceae. Poaceae is grass family of monocotyledonous flowering plants, found most abundantly on Earth.
Below is given taxonomical classification of plant.
- Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
- Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
- Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
- Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
- Class: Liliopsida – Monocotyledons
- Subclass: Commelinidae
- Order: Cyperales
- Family: Poaceae – Grass family
- Genus: Bambusa Schreb. – bamboo P
- Species: Bambusa arundinacea (Retz.) Willd. – bamboo P
- Bambusa bambos (L.) Voss.
- Arundo bambos L.
- Duration: Perennial
- Group: Monocot
- Plant type: Grass
- Distribution: throughout India up to an altitude of 1250 meter, also found in other countries of South-East Asia.
- Habitat: moist places
The discharge from bamboo plant is known by following common names:
- Ayurvedic: Tugakshiri, Tuga, Vanshalochana, Vanshlochan, Vanshrochan, Vansharochana, Banslochan, Tvakshiri, Vanshkarpura
- Unani: Tabasheer, Tabaashir, tabaschir
- English: Bamboo manna, Eye of Bamboo
- Gujrati: Vanskapur
- Siddha: Moongiluppu
- Tehran: Tabashir-i-qalami
- Arabic: Tabashira
Dosage of Vanshlochan
The powder of Vanshlochan is taken in dose of half to two grams. Children (above the age of 5) are given half of the adult dosage.
Ayurvedic Properties and Action
Genuine Vanshlochan is natural product obtained from the hollow cavities of female Bamboo stem (as it has larger cavity compared to male bamboo). It is initially, fluid and later dries to form white solid substance.
Vanshlochan is astringent, sweet in taste (rasa), sweet after digestion (Vipaka), and is cool in effect (Virya). It is a Sheet Virya herbs. Sheet Virya or Cool potency herb, it subdues Pitta (Bile) Vata (Wind), gives nourishment to body and steadiness. It supports building of body fluids.
- Rasa (taste on tongue): Kashaya (Astringent), Madhura (Sweet)
- Guna (Pharmacological Action): Laghu (Light), Tikshna (Sharp), Ruksha (Dry)
- Virya (Action): Sita (Cooling)
- Vipaka (transformed state after digestion): Madhura (Sweet)
- Vata-PittaShamak: pacifies vata and pitta.
- Chedan: discharges from the body adherent phlegm or other humours.
- Vasti Shodhan: cleanses the urinary system.
- Kushthahar: cures skin diseases.
- Vrishya: improves overall health.
- Vajikarak: increase the sexual power.
- Balya: increase strength.
- Svashhar: cures asthma.
- Mutrala: promote the secretion of urine.
- Dahtu Vardhak: nourishes Dhatus.
- Viryavardhak: increases sperm count.
- Shital: cooling.
Ayurvedic Medicines containing Vanshlochan as ingredients
- Dadimashtak churna
- Vilwadi churna
- Prabhakar Vati
- Brahmi Vati
- Sitopaladi Churna
- Talisadi Churna
Composition of Vanshlochan
Vanshlochan contains about ninety to ninety seven percent of organic silica, Potash, iron and many other ingredients. The quality and chemical composition varies depending on various factors.
- Silica 90.56%,
- Potash 1.10%
- Peroxide of Iron 0.90%
- Alumina 0.40%;
- Moisture 4.87%
Silica, is the name given to a group of minerals composed of silicon (Si, non-metallic element with an atomic weight of 28) and oxygen. Silica is a major trace element in the human body. It is required for strength, integrity, and flexibility of skin, bones, nails, and arteries. It gives strength to body connective tissues. Silica increases bone mineral density. It is essential for healthy bones, skin, hairs and nails. It is also known as Beauty Mineral.
Silica supplements are mainly used in treatment bone and connective tissue diseases.
Potash, salt of potassium, is an essential mineral required for smooth functioning of cells, tissues, and organs. It is an electrolyte and carries tiny electrical charges. It is required for the transport of nutrients into each cell and removal of waste products out of each cell. Potassium deficiency in body causes, nervous disorders, sleeplessness, constipation, weak muscles and nerves, and heart diseases.
Potassium is required in human body to build protein, proper breakdown and use of carbohydrates, building muscles, maintaining growth, and electrolyte balance.
Iron performs crucial functions inside body. It is an essential element for blood production. It is required for formation of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen from lungs to the tissues. Iron deficiency is known as Anemia and affects health badly.
The combination of minerals found in Vanshlochan is excellent to improve complete health.
Health Benefits of Vanshlochan
Below is given, health benefits of natural or genuine Vanshlochan:
- It contains micronutrients essential for body.
- It is a tonic and improves overall health.
- It removes obstruction from mind, lungs and heart.
- It improves body immunity.
- It is diuretic and cleanses urinary system.
- It cures brittle nails, hairs and skin disorders.
- It gives relief in disorders of the chest or respiratory tract.
- It has expectorant action. It increases the bronchial secretion and enhance the expulsion of mucus by air passages of the lungs.
- It helps to gain weight.
- It is good aphrodisiac and stimulates sexual desire.
- It strengthens nerves and muscles.
- It increases potency and fertility.
- It is carminative and relieves flatulence.
- It is used to treat weakness, impotence, urinary infections, chest diseases, cough, asthma and Alzheimer’s.
- Since it is rich in organic Silica, it strengthens bones, muscles, tendons and nerves.
- Its intake helps faster healing of fractured bones.
- It is effective remineralizing agent.
- It shows beneficial effects in chronic inflammatory conditions, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, painful joints, osteoporosis, and low bone density.
Medicinal Uses of Vanshlochan
Vanshlochan is used for therapeutic purpose from time immemorial. It is specially used in preparation of Ayurvedic medicines indicated in treatment of disorders of lungs and reproductive organs. Few Ayurvedic medicines containing Vanshlochan as an ingredients are Musli Pak, Madan Prakash Churna, Chyvanprash, Ashwagandha Pak, Saubhagya Sunthi Pak, Stri Rasayan etc.
Vanshlochan is highly recommended in lung diseases due to its soothing, pectoral, expectorant and anti-cough action. For cough, asthma, and other respiratory ailments, it is licked with honey.
For treating Leucorrhoea, the fine powder of Vanshlochan, Nagkeshar and Sugandhbala are mixed in equal amount and taken in dose of 5 grams, twice a day with Chawal ka Pani (Mand).
In case of abnormal discharge from vagina, 10 drops of Peepal latex is added to Vanshlochan powder and taken once or twice a day.
Vanshlochan is well known rejuvenative tonic that promotes good health. It has aphrodisiac action and gives strength to nerves and muscles. All these properties make it excellent natural substance to treat male sexual disorders such as low libido, erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation and impotency.
For impotency, low sperm count, low libido, fine powder of Vanshlochan, Giloy Sat, Ashwagandha, Shatavari and Mishri are mixed in equal amount. This powder is taken in dose of 1-2 teaspoon, each morning and evening with milk.
Caution and Warning
There are many fraudulent substitutes for Vanshlochan are available in market which are not effective as genuine Vanshlochan and may pose many health risks.
Vanshlochan is high in minerals, which in excess may produce side-effects. Therefore always take in recommended dosage.