Atibala (Abutilon indicum)

Atibala (Abutilon indicum): The Potent Herb for Muscular Strength and Vitality

Basonym of Drug: The medicinal herb known as Atibala is scientifically referred to as Abutilon indicum.

Main Synonyms: In Ayurveda, Atibala is known by various synonyms, including:

  1. Vatyalika
  2. Shvetapushpa
  3. Kanguni
  4. Kangura
  5. Kakapalmali

Regional Name: Atibala is also known by different names in various regional languages. Some common regional names include:

  • Hindi: Atibala
  • Bengali: Bon-pala
  • Kannada: Dugadha
  • Malayalam: Vellelavalu
  • Marathi: Khatri
  • Tamil: Tutturuni
  • Telugu: Tutturu

Botanical Name: The botanical name of Atibala is Abutilon indicum.

Family: Atibala belongs to the Malvaceae family.

Classification of Dravya (Gana) as described in Charak and Sushrut: In the classical Ayurvedic texts of Charak and Sushrut, Atibala is classified as follows:

  • Charak: Atibala is categorized under the group of “Balya,” which means it belongs to the group of herbs that promote strength and vitality.
  • Sushrut: In Sushrut Samhita, Atibala is classified as a “Vayasthapana,” indicating its ability to restore youthfulness and vitality.

External Morphology: Atibala is a small, erect, perennial herb with heart-shaped leaves and yellow flowers. The plant has a woody base and soft, hairy stems.

Useful Parts: The useful parts of Atibala are primarily the leaves, roots, and seeds.

Important Phytoconstituents: Atibala contains various bioactive compounds, including alkaloids, flavonoids, and mucilage, which contribute to its medicinal properties.

Rasa Panchaka: The Rasa Panchaka (five tastes) of Atibala is as follows:

  • Rasa (Taste): Sweet (Madhura), Bitter (Tikta)
  • Guna (Quality): Heavy (Guru), Unctuous (Snigdha)
  • Virya (Potency): Cooling (Shita)
  • Vipaka (Post-digestive taste): Sweet (Madhura)

Action on Dosha, Dhatu, and Mala: Atibala primarily pacifies the Vata dosha. It acts on the Mamsa (muscle) and Asthi (bone) dhatus and has an effect on the Purisha (stool).

Prayogarha Vyadhi (Therapeutic Indications): Atibala is utilized in Ayurvedic medicine for various therapeutic purposes, including:

  • Muscle Strength: Atibala is well-known for its ability to enhance muscle strength and stamina. It is commonly used to improve physical performance and athletic endurance.

  • Joint Health: It is beneficial for joint health and may help in managing joint pain and stiffness.

  • Nervous System: Atibala supports the nervous system and aids in managing conditions like neuropathy and weakness.

  • Reproductive Health: Atibala is considered an aphrodisiac and may help in managing sexual debility and fertility issues.

Amayikaprayoga and Matra (Therapeutic Administration and Dose): Atibala is commonly administered in various forms, including powder, decoction, and medicated oils. The dosage depends on the specific condition and the individual’s constitution. Commonly used forms and doses include:

  • Powder: 3-6 grams, once or twice a day
  • Decoction: 50-100 ml, once or twice a day
  • Medicated Oils: As prescribed by an Ayurvedic practitioner

Here are some popular Ayurvedic formulations that contain Atibala as a key ingredient:

  1. Baladi Churna: Baladi Churna is a herbal powder formulation that includes Atibala along with other herbs. It is used to promote strength, improve digestion, and support overall well-being.

  2. Chyawanprash: Chyawanprash is a well-known Ayurvedic herbal jam that contains Atibala along with numerous other potent herbs. It is a rejuvenating tonic that enhances vitality, immunity, and respiratory health.

  3. Dhatryadi Ghrita: Dhatryadi Ghrita is a medicated ghee formulation that includes Atibala and Amla (Indian Gooseberry) along with other herbs. It is used to support the nervous system, enhance digestion, and promote overall health.

  4. Atibala Rasayana: Atibala Rasayana is a herbal formulation prepared with Atibala as the main ingredient. It is used to boost physical strength, improve stamina, and promote rejuvenation.

  5. Ksheerabala Taila: Ksheerabala Taila is an Ayurvedic herbal oil prepared with Atibala and Bala (Sida cordifolia) as key ingredients. It is used for massage to relieve muscle and joint pain, improve muscle strength, and provide nourishment to the muscles and bones.

  6. Atibala Avaleha: Atibala Avaleha is a herbal jam prepared with Atibala and other herbs. It is used to support respiratory health, manage cough, and improve strength.

  7. Mahabala Taila: Mahabala Taila is an herbal oil containing Atibala and other potent herbs. It is used externally for massage to relieve pain, improve muscle strength, and promote overall well-being.

These formulations illustrate the versatility of Atibala and its inclusion in various Ayurvedic preparations to enhance their effectiveness in promoting overall health and well-being.

Vishakta Lakshan (Adverse Effects): Atibala is generally safe when used in prescribed doses. However, it is advisable to consult an Ayurvedic practitioner before using it during pregnancy and lactation.

Chikitsopachara (Remedial Measures): Atibala should be used under the guidance of a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner. Proper dosing and considering an individual’s specific health conditions are essential aspects of its therapeutic application.

Shodhana (If Required): Atibala does not typically require shodhana (purification) procedures.

Atibala, the powerhouse of muscular strength and vitality, holds a special place in Ayurveda for its ability to promote physical endurance and overall well-being. Its rejuvenating properties make it a valuable herb for supporting various aspects of health.

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