Parijat Harsingar (Night jasmine) Medicinal Usage, Dose and Side Effects

Parijat is commonly known as Harsingar and Night jasmine. The scientific name of plant is Nyctanthes arbor-tristis Linn. It is one of the most useful traditional medicinal plants in India.  Various parts of the plant like seeds, leaves, flowers, bark and fruit of the plant has some medicinal value and used in folk remedy.

Parijat has hepatoprotective, anti-leishmaniasis, anti-viral, antifungal, anti-pyretic, anti-histaminic, anti-malerial, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant activities due to presence of phyto-chemicals like flavanoid, glycoside, oleanic acid, essential oils, tannic acid, carotene, friedeline, lupeol, glucose, benzoic acid.  The leaves have been found to contain tannic acid, methyl salicylate, amorphous glucosides, mannitol, resin, ascorbic acid, carotene, and traces of a volatile oil.

Parijat Leaves are used in sciatica, chronic fever, cough, rheumatism, loss of appetite, piles, liver disorders, biliary, disorders, chronic fever, obstinate sciatica, rheumatism, fever and internal worm infections. Juice of the leaves is used as digestives, antidote to reptile venoms, mild bitter tonic, laxative, diaphoretic and diuretic. Leaves are also used in the enlargement of spleen.

Juice of leaves acts as a cholagogue, laxative and mild bitter tonic. The decoction of leaves is extensively used for the treatment of arthritis, obstinate sciatica, malaria, intestinal worms and as a tonic.

The Parijat flowers has stomachic, carminative, astringent to bowel, antibilious, expectorant and hair tonic action and used in piles, skin diseases, ophthalmic purposes etc.

Nyctanthes arbor tristis Plant

Nyctanthes arbortristis is locally known as Harshingar, Har, Kuri, Shephalika, Gangasiuli and Parijat.  Parijat is a mall deciduous tree with drooping 4-angled branchlets. The leaves shed in February or March and renewed in June-July. Flowering occurs in August with peaking in September-October. Fruit ripen in April-May.

  • Bark: pale or dark grey in colour, sometimes greenish, rough and wrinkled.
  • Leaves: in opposite pairs, dark green, very rough on upper surface, paler and hairy below, margins often large with distant teeth with pointed apex.
  • Flowers: white in colour with 5-8 petals at the end of bright orange tube in clusters and are highly fragrant.
  • Fruits: flat, with round capsule bright green at first and later turned brown.

It bears small white orange highly fragrant flowers, which bloom at night and fall off before sunrise.

Parijat is distributed widely in sub-Himalayan regions and Southwards to Godavari. It belongs to the family Oleaceae. Latin name Nyctanthes has been coined from two Greek words Nykhta (Night) and anthos (flower).  During the day the plant loses all its brightness and hence is called Tree of sadness or arbor-tristis.

In Hindu mythology Parijata is regarded as one of the five wish-granting trees of Devaloka. Traditionally the flowers are gathered for religious offerings and to make garlands.

Soil Type

Parijat does well in a wide variety of loamy soils and in soils found in average garden situations, with pH 5.6–7.5. It can be grown in full sunlight to partial shade. It needs water regularly.

Taxonomical Classification

  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Division: Magnoliophyta
  • Class: Magnoliopsida
  • Order: Lamiales
  • Family: Oleaceae
  • Genus: Nyctanthes
  • Species: arbor-tristis
  • Binomial name: Nyctanthes arbor-tristis

Vernacular Names of Night jasmine

  • Bengali: Harsinghar, Sephalika, Seoli, Sheoli
  • English: Coral Jasmine, Night Jasmine
  • Filipino: Coral Jasmine
  • Gujarati: Jayaparvati, Parijatak
  • Hindi: Harsinghar, Harsingur, Seoli, Sheoli, Sihau
  • Indonesian: Srigading (Sundanese, Javanese)
  • Kannada: Goli, Harsing, Parijata
  • Konkani: Pardic, Parizatak, Parzonto, Parzot
  • Lao (Tibetan): Salikaa
  • Malay: Seri Gading
  • Malayalam: Mannapu, Pavizhamalli, Parijatakom
  • Marathi: Kharbadi, Kharassi, Khurasli, Parijatak
  • Oriya: Godokodiko, Gunjoseyoli, Singaraharo
  • Punjabi: Harsinghar
  • Sanskrit: Parijata, Parijatah, Parijataka, Sephalika
  • Tamil: Manjhapu, Pavala-Malligai, Pavazha-Malligai
  • Telugu: Kapilanagadustu, Pagadamalle, Parijat, Sepali
  • Thai: Karanikaa
  • Urdu: Gulejafari, Harsingar
  • Vietnamese: Iai Tau

Phyto-constituents

Leaves

Alkaloid nyctanthine along with nannitol, βAmyrin, β-Sitosterol, hentriacontane, benzoic acid, astragalin, nicotiflorin, oleanolicacid, nyctanthic acid, friedelin, lupeol, mannitol, astringent, resinous substances, ascorbic acid, coloring matters, sugar and traces of an oily substance, tannic acid, methyl salicylate, carotene, an amorphous resin andtraces of volatile oil.

Flowers

Apigenin, Anthocyanin, D-Mannitol, Tanninm, Glucose, Carotenoid, Essential Oil, Kaemferol, Nyctanthin, Glycosides, Quercetin, Rengylone, α-crocetin (or crocin-3), β-monogentiobioside, β-monogentiobioside-β-D, β-digentiobioside

Biomedical Action of Leaf

  • Anthelmintic
  • Antibacterial
  • Antifungal
  • Anti-Inflammatory
  • Antioxidant
  • Anti-Pyretic
  • Cholecystagogue
  • Hepatoprotective
  • Immunopotential

Indications of Nyctanthes arbortristis

  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Bronchitis
  • Constipation
  • Cough
  • Dyspepsia
  • Flatulence
  • Heartburn
  • Nausea
  • Reptile Venom
  • Rheumatism
  • Ringworm
  • Sciatica

Leaf Dosage

  • The dried Leaf Powder is taken in dose of 1-3 gram.
  • The Fresh juice can be consumed in dose of 5-20 ml.

Health Benefits of Nyctanthes arbortristis

Every part of Nyctanthes arbortristis is used for medicinal purpose due to health benefitting properties. The seeds are used in treatment of piles. The decoction of flowers and leaf is used in treatment of gout. Leaves juice is given in case of dry cough.

The paste of leaves is used externally in treatment of skin related troubles specifically in treatment of ring worm. The young leaves are used as female tonic. Due to hypoglycemic effect, it is also useful in diabetes.

Reduces Swelling

Parijat has acute and sub-acute anti-inflammatory activity. It is found to inhibit the inflammation produced by immunological methods.

Protects liver

In scientifc studies the decoction of Parijat leaf is found to have anti-hepatotoxic activity against carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) induced hepatotoxicity.

The alcoholic and aqueous extracts protects liver and exhibit significant hepatoprotective activity by reducing the levels of SGPT (serum glutamic pyruvic transaminase), SGOT (serum glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase) and serum bilirubin (total and direct). It also helps in regeneration of hepatocytes.

Calms the mind

The leaves, flowers, seeds and barks of N. arbortristis exhibits significant and dose dependent prolongation of onset and duration of sleep.

It decreases dopamine and increase serotonin level and thus show CNS depressant activity.

Reduces fever

The leaves decoction has significant aspirin-like activity and this helps in managing the fever.

In one Clinical study on 120 patients of malaria, the fresh paste of medium sized 5 leaves of Parijat was given thrice a day for 7-10 days. This cured malaria in 92 patients within 7 days.

Other 20 patients were cured by 10 days while the remaining 8 patients did not respond to the treatment.  The paste was well tolerated and no severe side effects were reported.

Grows the hair

The seeds of plant helps in hair loss and alopecia. The seed paste is applied on scalp helps to grow new hair.

Good for Digestive system

Parijat is usefuul in constipation, intestinal worms, hepatomegaly and piles. It has laxative action and antispasmodic action. Fresh juice of the leaf in a dose of 10-15 ml, is given in cases of constipation, intestinal worms, hepatomegaly and piles.

Medicinal Uses of Parijat

Parijat is useful in fever, worms, cough, sluggish liver, and arthritis and skin diseases. It increases the amount of semen. If its bark is eaten with paan, it cures cough. Its flowers give strength to mind and reduce heat.

Parijat leaves for Arthritis, joint pain

Parijat leaf contain significant amount of flavonoids which helps to reduce inflammation of joints. In case of joint inflammation you can take the extract of Parijat leaf and Maharasnadi Ghan Vati.

Boil 5 to 11 leaves of Parijat in a glass of water till only cup liquid remains. Filter it and drink empty stomach for 3 months in the morning. This decoction will help in arthritis, joint pain, and similar conditions.

Give a gap of 10 – 15 days and again take for 3 months.

Parijat for Sciatica

Make a decoction of 3-4 Parijat leaves by boiling in one glass water. Or

Take the fresh juice of the leaf in a dose of 5 -10 ml.

Malaria fever

Extract juice of 7-8 leaves of Harsingar, mix with ginger juice and honey. Take twice a day, in the morning and evening,

Chronic fever

Extract juice of 7 – 8 soft tender leaves of Parijat. Take 5-10 ml of this juice with ginger juice and honey in the morning and evening helps in the old fever.

Joint pain after Chikungunya

Drinking decoction of Parijat leaves for 10-15 days is very useful.

Enlargement of Liver

Giving juice of 7-8 Harsingar leaves with ginger juice and honey twice a day, helps in this condition.

Cough

Leaf juice is mixed in honey and given thrice daily for the treatment of cough.

Ringworm

Make a paste of leaves and apply on affected area.

Intestinal worms

Extract juice of 7 – 8 soft tender leaves of Parijat. Take 5-10 ml juice with jaggery.

Hair fall (baldness disease)

Grinding the seed of Harsingar with water and applying of the scalp can help.

Hemorrhoids

Soak 2 grams of flowers in Harsingar in 30 ml water at night. In the morning, rub the flowers in water and mix 1 teaspoon of sugar and drink empty stomach. Do it regularly for 1 week.

Side effects

  • No side effect is known when taken in recommended dose.
  • It can reduce the blood sugar level in diabetic patient. So monitor the sugar level.
  • The leaf intake may cause nausea and vomiting due to its bitter taste.
  • Do not chew the leaf.

Toxicity

In clinical studies, the plant was evaluated for acute toxicity studies and the result show toxic effect in dose dependent manner. High dose can have negative effects.

The person who grounded the dried leaves developed vesicles on both palms.

In rats, toxic effect of ethanolic extract of leaves of N. arbortristis were noticed. An administration of ethanol extract of the leaves in high dose (1, 2 and 4 gm/kg/day) orally for 6 consecutive days produced gastric ulcers in rats. This extract also showed irritant effects as it, dose-dependently. In high dose it also show purgative effect.

when extract instilled into the rabbit‘s eye produced conjunctival congestion with oedema.

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