Nirgundi (Vitex negundo)

Basonym of Drug

The medicinal plant Nirgundi’s basonym is Vitex negundo. This scientific nomenclature serves as the primary identifier for the plant in both botanical and medicinal contexts.

Main Sanskrit Synonyms

Nirgundi is known by several Sanskrit synonyms in Ayurveda, each emphasizing its unique attributes and therapeutic uses. Some noteworthy Sanskrit synonyms of Nirgundi include:

  1. Nirgundi: The primary name signifying the plant’s identity and prominent qualities.It protects from diseases.
  2. Suvaha: Highlighting its ability to alleviate pain and discomfort.
  3. Bhutakeshi: Indicating its potential to ward off evil spirits and diseases.
  4. Sitasaha: It eliminates Sheetatva.
  5. Indrasurasa: Leaf juice have high efficacy.

Regional Name (Vernacular Names)

Nirgundi goes by diverse vernacular names across different regions, reflecting its extensive usage and significance. Some regional names for Nirgundi include:

  • Hindi: Nirgundi, Sambhalu, Nisinda
  • English: Five-leaved Chaste Tree
  • Bengali: Nisinda
  • Marathi: Nirgundi
  • Tamil: Nirkunji
  • Telugu: Nirguntaku
  • Kannada: Bile-nekki
  • Gujarati: Nagod
  • Punjabi: Nisinda
  • Urdu: Samhalu

Scientific Classification of Dravya

  • Kingdom: Plantae 
  • Sub-Kingdom: Angiosperms 
  • Division (Phylum): Spermatophyta 
  • Class: Dicotyledons 
  • Order: Lamiales
  • Family: Lamiaceae
  • Genus: Vitex
  • Species: negundo

Classical Classification of Dravya (Gana)

Charaka Samhita: Vishaghna, Krimighna

Sushruta Samhita: Surasadi

Vagbhata: Surasadi

External Morphology

Nirgundi is a shrub or small tree, growing up to 5 meters in height. It features distinctive palmate leaves with five leaflets, earning it the common name “Five-leaved Chaste Tree.” The plant produces small white to bluish flowers and small, dark berries.

Useful Parts

Various parts of Nirgundi are utilized for their medicinal properties, including leaves, flowers, seeds, and even roots.

Important Phytoconstituents

Nirgundi’s medicinal attributes are attributed to its diverse range of phytoconstituents. Some important compounds found in Nirgundi include:

  1. Alkaloids: Compounds like vitexin, isovitexin, and negundoside contribute to its anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects.
  2. Flavonoids: These antioxidants help combat oxidative stress and contribute to Nirgundi’s anti-inflammatory properties.
  3. Terpenoids: These compounds exhibit antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and immunomodulatory effects.
  4. Essential Oils: Present in the leaves, these oils contribute to Nirgundi’s aromatic and therapeutic qualities.

Rasa Panchaka of Nirgundi:

Rasa (Predominant Taste): Tikta (Bitter), Katu (Pungent)

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

Veerya (Potency): Ushna (Hot)

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

Prabhava: Vata Shamaka – Pacifying Vata Dosha

Action on Dosha, Dhatu, and Mala:

Dosha: Nirgundi primarily balances the “Vata” and “Kapha” doshas due to its dry and light qualities. It can aggravate “Pitta” dosha if used excessively.

Dhatu: It affects the “Rakta Dhatu” (blood tissue) and “Mansa Dhatu” (muscle tissue), contributing to its potential for blood purification and muscle relaxation.

Mala: Nirgundi supports healthy digestion and elimination, aiding in the balanced formation of malas (excretory waste products).

Prayogarha Vyadhi (Therapeutic Indications):

Nirgundi’s multifaceted properties offer a diverse range of therapeutic indications in Ayurveda:

  1. Musculoskeletal Disorders: Nirgundi’s anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties make it a valuable herb in managing musculoskeletal issues such as joint pain, arthritis, rheumatism, and muscle spasms. It helps alleviate pain, reduce inflammation, and improve joint mobility.

  2. Respiratory Disorders: The bronchodilatory and anti-inflammatory effects of Nirgundi make it beneficial in respiratory conditions like cough, asthma, bronchitis, and even tuberculosis. It helps ease breathing, soothes irritated airways, and reduces congestion.

  3. Skin Disorders: Nirgundi’s antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and detoxifying properties contribute to its effectiveness in managing various skin ailments. It is used to treat conditions like eczema, acne, itching, psoriasis, and even wounds and ulcers. It promotes skin healing and prevents infections.

  4. Fever: Nirgundi’s febrifuge properties make it useful in managing fever and associated symptoms. It helps lower body temperature, reduce fever-related discomfort, and supports the body’s immune response.

  5. Gynecological Disorders: Nirgundi is utilized to manage menstrual irregularities, dysmenorrhea (painful periods), and premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Its muscle-relaxant effect can help ease menstrual cramps and discomfort.

  6. Digestive Disorders: Its carminative and digestive stimulant properties contribute to Nirgundi’s efficacy in managing digestive issues like indigestion, flatulence, and loss of appetite. It aids in improving digestion and alleviating discomfort.

  7. Neurological Disorders: Nirgundi’s nerve-calming and muscle-relaxant effects make it valuable in managing neurological conditions like sciatica, neuralgia, and even mild headaches. It helps reduce nerve-related pain and discomfort.

  8. Hemorrhoids: Nirgundi’s anti-inflammatory properties extend to managing hemorrhoids. It helps reduce pain, swelling, and itching associated with hemorrhoids.

  9. Urinary Disorders: It is used to manage urinary tract infections, cystitis, and painful urination due to its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.

  10. Ear and Eye Disorders: Nirgundi’s antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory effects extend to managing ear and eye infections. It helps reduce inflammation, pain, and discomfort.

  11. Parasitic Infections: Its anthelmintic properties make Nirgundi effective in managing intestinal worms and other parasitic infections.

  12. Mild Anxiety and Stress: The calming properties of Nirgundi make it useful in managing mild anxiety, stress, and nervousness.

Amayikaprayoga and Matra (Therapeutic Administration and Dose):

Nirgundi can be administered in various forms and dosages based on the specific condition and individual characteristics:

  1. Decoction: 30-60 ml of Nirgundi decoction, to be taken on an empty stomach or after meals.
  2. Powder: 1-3 grams of Nirgundi powder, taken with honey or warm water.

Vishishta Yoga (Names of Important Formulations):

Nirgundi is often integrated into formulations to enhance its therapeutic effects. Some notable formulations containing Nirgundi include:

  1. Nirgundadi Taila: This herbal oil contains Nirgundi and other herbs. It is used for massage in cases of joint pain and musculoskeletal disorders.

  2. Nirgundi Kwatha: A decoction of Nirgundi, it is used for managing fever, respiratory issues, and joint disorders.

  3. Vatari Guggulu: This classical formulation contains Nirgundi and is used to manage joint pain and disorders related to Vata imbalance.

  4. Maha Vatavidhwanshan Rasa: Useful in Vata disorders.
  5. Saraswatarishta: Useful for brain related problems.
  6. Dashmoola taila: Useful in headache, migraine.

Vishakta Lakshan (Adverse Effects):

Nirgundi is generally safe when used in recommended dosages. Excessive consumption may lead to mild adverse effects such as digestive disturbances.

Chikitsopachara (Remedial Measures):

If adverse effects occur due to Nirgundi usage, the following remedial measures can be taken:

  1. Discontinue Use: Stop using Nirgundi if any adverse reactions are experienced.

  2. Consult a Healthcare Professional: If adverse effects persist or are severe, consult an Ayurvedic practitioner or healthcare professional for guidance.

Shodhana (Purification Method):

Nirgundi’s bitter taste and purifying nature make it inherently cleansing, reducing the need for specific purification methods.

Note: The information provided is for educational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. Consult with a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner or healthcare professional before using Nirgundi or any other herbal remedies, especially if you have underlying health conditions or are taking other medications.

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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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