Kanchanara (Bauhinia variegata)

Basonym of Drug

The revered medicinal plant Kanchanara, scientifically known as Bauhinia variegata, holds a significant place in the world of natural healing.

Main Sanskrit Synonyms

Kanchanara’s presence resonates through a tapestry of Sanskrit synonyms, each embodying its diverse roles and therapeutic significance:

  1. Kanchanara: The primary name signifying its remarkable healing attributes.
  2. Kanchana: Reflecting the radiant golden flowers it bears.
  3. Pindika: Indicating its round, pod-like fruits reminiscent of a cluster of berries.
  4. Yugmapatraka: Leaves have a split at the top, which divides it into two halves.
  5. Gandari: It is useful in Gala rogas specially Thyroid gland disorders.

Regional Name (Vernacular Names)

Kanchanara’s influence extends across regions, manifesting in various vernacular names that acknowledge its diverse uses:

  • Hindi: Kachnar
  • Bengali: Kanchan
  • Marathi: Kanchan
  • Tamil: Avarai
  • Telugu: Mandara
  • Kannada: Mandara
  • Gujarati: Kanchan
  • Malayalam: Kovidara

Scientific Classification of Dravya

Peeling back the layers of Kanchanara’s botanical identity reveals its scientific classification:

  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Phylum: Angiosperms
  • Class: Eudicots
  • Order: Fabales
  • Family: Fabaceae
  • Genus: Bauhinia
  • Species: variegata

Classical Classification of Dravya (Gana)

Charaka Samhita: Vamanopaga

Sushruta Samhita: Kashaya varga, Urdhvabhagahara

Bhavprakash Nighantu: Guduchyadi varga

External Morphology

Kanchanara’s distinctive external features contribute to its recognition:

  • Leaves: Distinctive bilobed or ‘butterfly’ leaves, resembling two halves of a heart.
  • Flowers: Showcasing striking golden-yellow petals, often used for ornamental and medicinal purposes.
  • Fruit: Characterized by elongated pods containing seeds, reminiscent of its Fabaceae family.

Useful Parts

Kanchanara offers a range of useful parts, each harnessed for its potential benefits:

  • Bark: The primary medicinal component, rich in therapeutic phytoconstituents, utilized in various preparations.
  • Flowers: It has ability in balancing Pitta dosha.

Important Phytoconstituents

Kanchanara’s healing potential is attributed to its diverse array of phytoconstituents:

  1. Tannins: Known for their astringent and anti-inflammatory properties.
  2. Flavonoids: Contributing to antioxidant and anti-cancer effects.
  3. Saponins: Displaying immune-modulating and antiviral activities.
  4. Alkaloids: Potentially involved in various biological activities.

Rasa Panchaka:

Rasa (Predominant Taste): Kashaya (Astringent)

Guna (Property): Laghu (Light), Ruksha (Dry)

Veerya (Potency): Sheeta (Cold)

Vipaka (Post-digestive Effect): Katu (Pungent)

Prabhava: Vibandha-Hara (Anti-constipation), Gandmala-nashana(useful in Thyroid complications)

Action on Dosha, Dhatu, and Mala:

Dosha: Pacifies “Kapha” and “Pitta”

Dhatu (Tissue): Acts primarily on Rasa (Plasma), Rakta (Blood), and Mamsa (Muscle) dhatus

Mala (Waste): Promotes proper elimination of malas, particularly by reducing excess Kapha

Prayogarha Vyadhi (Therapeutic Indications):

  1. Goiter and Thyroid Disorders: Kanchanara is widely recognized for its efficacy in managing goiter and various thyroid disorders. Its astringent and hot properties help regulate the function of the thyroid gland and reduce the size of goiter.

  2. Lymphatic Congestion: The astringent nature of Kanchanara aids in reducing excessive lymphatic congestion and swelling. It supports the lymphatic system’s drainage and detoxification processes.

  3. Cysts and Tumors: Kanchanara’s influence extends to addressing certain cysts and tumors. Its astringent and purifying properties may help in reducing the size and promoting the resolution of such growths.

  4. Skin Disorders (Leucoderma, Eczema): This herb’s detoxifying and purifying attributes make it beneficial in managing skin disorders like leucoderma and eczema. It aids in balancing aggravated Kapha and supports healthier skin.

  5. Ascites: Kanchanara’s diuretic and astringent properties contribute to managing ascites, a condition characterized by fluid accumulation in the abdominal cavity.

  6. Obesity: As an agent that helps balance Kapha, Kanchanara can play a role in managing obesity by supporting weight reduction and enhancing metabolism.

  7. Chronic Fever: Its heat-inducing quality aids in reducing chronic fever by enhancing metabolism and promoting the elimination of toxins responsible for fever.

Amayikaprayoga and Matra (Therapeutic Administration and Dose):

  • Powder: 3-6 grams per day
  • Decoction: 50-100 ml, twice daily
  • Tablet/Capsule: As per the physician’s recommendation

Vishishta Yoga (Names of Important Formulations):

  • Kanchanara Guggulu: A renowned classical formulation for thyroid disorders and lymphatic issues.
  • Usheerasava: A fermented tonic useful for heavy menstrual bleeding, skin diseases. 
  • Chandanasava: A fermented tonic useful for urine related problems like UTI.

Vishakta Lakshan (Adverse Effects):

  • Excessive consumption may lead to excessive heat in the body (Pitta aggravation).
  • In some cases, it may cause gastritis or acidity.

Chikitsopachara (Remedial Measures):

  • In case of adverse effects, reduce the dose and take with cooling substances.
  • In case of excessive heat, balance with Pitta-pacifying measures.

Shodhana (Purification Method):

  • Kanchanara is not commonly used for shodhana (purification) due to its specific therapeutic properties.

Kanchanara, with its astringent taste and light properties, plays a crucial role in addressing various health concerns, primarily related to excess Kapha and its influence on different tissues. Its use should be guided by an experienced Ayurvedic practitioner to ensure optimal results and avoid potential adverse effects. This versatile herb, when used appropriately, holds the potential to bring balance and vitality to the body’s systems.

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Note: The information provided in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be considered as a substitute for medical advice. Please consult with a qualified healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment of any other medical condition.

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