Amaltas (Cassia fistula) Health Benefits, Properties and Warnings

Amaltas is also known as Rajvriskhsa, Aragvadha, Kritamala, Vyadhigata, Samopaka, Nripadruma (Sanskrit) Sarakkondrai, Itazi, Konnai, Kirutamalam (Tamil), Rela (Telugu) and Indian Laburnum.

For medicinal purpose the roots, stem bark, leaves, flower, fruit and fruit pulp of the tree are use.  The main indication of Amaltaas is constipation and skin diseases.

Amaltas tree is moderate sized tree, common throughout India as wild or cultivated plant. It is a deciduous tree, from family Caesalpiniaceae.  6 to 9 m tall with bright yellow flowers in long pendulous racemes, and long cylindrical blackish-brown pods of 25 to 50 cm in length and upto 3 cm in width.  It is commonly planted as ornamental tree in most parts of the country up to an altitude of 1200 m.

The most important medicinal part of the Amaltas tree is the pulp of fruit (devoid of seeds, septa and pieces of pericarp).  The fruits of tree are collected when pods are ripe and black This pulp is separated and dried.

Amaltas is used in treatment of leprosy, fever, cardiac diseases, jaundice, polyuria, urticaria, constipation, skin diseases, venereal diseases, worm infestation, diabetes etc.

Amaltas is given to patients suffering from para (fever), hridroga (heart disease), vatasrk (gout) and uddvarta (upward movement of wind in abdomen). It is mridu (soft), sweet and cooling. The fruit pulp is sweet and strength promoting. It reduces Vata, Pitta and Ama. It is laxative. When taken with water it cures even the severe type of Gridhrasi (sciatica).

The most important phytochemical constituents of cassia fistula are potent phenolic antioxidants such as anthraquinones, flavonoids and flavan-3-ol derivatives. Anthraquinone is responsible for its laxative effect and so it can be categorized as stimulant laxative.

Vernacular Names of Amaltas

  • Sanskrit: Aragvadha, Kritamala, Vyadhigata, Samopaka, Nripadruma
  • Assamese: Sonaroo
  • Bengali: Sondala
  • English: golden shower, Indian laburnum, pudding pipe tree, purging cassia, purging fistula
  • Gujrati: Garamala, Garmalo
  • Hindi: Amaltas
  • Kannada: Aragvadha, Kakke, Kakke-gida, Kakkemara, Kakkedai, Rajataru
  • Kashmiri: Kriyangal Phali
  • Malayalam: Konna, Kritamlam
  • Marathi: Bahava, Garamala, Amaltas
  • Oriya: Sunari
  • Punjabi: Amaltas
  • Tamil: Konnai
  • Telugu: Rela
  • Urdu: Amaltaas

CONSTITUENTS Amaltas

  • Glycosides
  • Anthraquinones Fistulic acid,
  • sennosides
  • Sugars Saccharose
  • Sterols

Amaltas Ayurvedic Properties and Action

  • Rasa (taste on tongue): Madhura (Sweet)
  • Guna (Pharmacological Action): Guru (Heavy), Snigdha (Unctuous)
  • Virya (Action): Shita (Cooling)
  • Vipaka (transformed state after digestion): Madhura (Sweet)

Ayurvedic Actions of Amaltas

  • Anulomna: Anulomna means one which promote excretions and favour discharge.
  • Jwarahara: Decreases vega of jwara and reduces the burning sensation.
  • Jwarghna: Alleviates fever.
  • Kandughna: Cures itching.
  • Raktadoshahar:  blood purifying.
  • Raktapittahar: Cures bleeding
  • Tridoshahara: Corrects the imbalance of Vata, Pitta and Kapha.
  • Virechana: Removes from the anal canal aggravated Doshas.
  • Vran Ropan: Wound healing

Biomedical Action

  • Anti-inflammatory: Reducing inflammation by acting on body mechanisms.
  • Antioxidant: Neutralize the oxidant effect of free radicals and other substances.
  • Antipyretic/antifebrile/febrifuge: Effective against fever.
  • Hepatoprotective: Prevent damage to the liver.
  • Laxative: Tending to stimulate or facilitate evacuation of the bowels.

Cassia fistula Indications

Cassia fistula has laxative and purgative action. It is mainly indication in constipation, low appetite and bloating. It is also useful in treating bleeding disorders associated with burning sensation. It is cold in potency and reduces Pitta and heat. The main action of the herb is seen on circulatory and digestive system.

  • Abdominal Pain
  • Bleeding disorders
  • Burning sensation
  • Constipation
  • Diabetes
  • fever
  • Goiter
  • Gout, Rheumatism
  • Inflammation
  • Intestinal worms
  • Itching
  • Liver diseases
  • Loss of appetite
  • Malabsorption
  • Skin diseases
  • Wound

Health Benefits of Amaltas

Cassia fistula is used as laxative, purgative, immunomodulator, wound healing, antifertility and antiparasitic effects in herbal medicine. It is used to cure pimples, burns, syphilis and constipation.

Intake of 5 gm of cassia pulp with half cup of hot water and half gm ajwain powder, once daily, cures loss of appetite.

Cassia fruit pulp dissolved in water or milk along with a bit of sugar, taken twice daily for five days, cures bleeding from nose during spring.

Cassia fistula Gives Relief in Anaha

Anaha refers to constipation, a condition in which there is difficulty in emptying the bowels, usually associated with hardened faeces.

Cassia fistula is safe and effective herbal option for the treatment of constipation. It has mild laxative and also as purgative action. It has cathartic and laxative effect because of the anthraquinone derivatives present in the pulp.

Cassia fistula is beneficial in case heat is drying up the fluid in colon and there is excess of pachak and ranjak pitta.

The pulp from the mature fruit is collected, preserved and kept in bottles. For constipation, fruit pulp is taken with sugar and water once a day.

The pulp should be consumed in the evening after food in a quantity of about half the size of a gooseberry to help relieve constipation and intestinal worms. It is helpful for indigestion and gas trouble and strengthening of the intestines.

The Tender leaves are cooked and eaten as leafy vegetables in case of severe constipation.

Cassia fistula is for Amavata (Rheumatic/Rheumatoid Arthritis)

Rheumatoid Arthritis is a chronic progressive disease-causing inflammation in the joints and resulting in painful deformity and immobility, especially in the fingers, wrists, feet, and ankles.

Cassia fistula is rich in phenolic antioxidants such as anthraquinones, flavonoids and flavan-3-o derivatives, of which anthraquinones and their variants appear to be the common active principle in

all parts of the Cassia fistula plant. The leaves of the tree which are available throughout year also possess anti arthritic activity. The study shows the tree has good anti-arthritic activity Invitro.  12-24-gram leaves are fried in Ghee and given two times a day.

Cassia fistula in Chronic Cough

Cassia fistula exhibits significant, dose-dependent antitussive activity. The antitussive activity is comparable with that of codeine phosphate, a prototypes antitussive agent.

Prepare medicinal Ghee by cooking decoction of fruit pulp in Ghee. This ghee is taken in amount of 5-10 gram.

Cassia fistula in Ringworm

Cassia fistula leaves and seeds are used in skin diseases. The leaves contain rhein and sennosides A and B and the aqueous extract of leaves are of anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial in nature.

The juice of leaves is useful as dressing for ringworm, relieving irritation and relief of dropsical swelling.

The Lepa of leaves prepared in Kanji is applied on affected part.  In case of severe itching, the patient should scrub the skin with cassia leaves.

The paste of leaves is applied on ringworm lesions and after mixing with bark and rubbed with oil are used efficaciously insect bites, eczema, scabies and psoriasis.

Cassia fistula Contraindications

  • Avoid in pregnancy.
  • It has laxative action, so do not take in diarrhea.
  • In excess dose, it causes purgation.

 

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