Nagkesar (Mesua ferrea)

Basonym of Drug

The medicinal plant Nagkesar is scientifically known as Mesua ferrea. This botanical nomenclature is the cornerstone for recognizing and categorizing the plant in both botanical and traditional medicinal contexts.

Main Sanskrit Synonyms

Nagkesar, with its multifaceted therapeutic qualities, is referred to by various Sanskrit synonyms in Ayurveda. Some noteworthy Sanskrit synonyms of Nagkesar include:

  1. Nagakesara: This name emphasizes the plant’s association with the mythological serpent, highlighting its potent healing attributes.
  2. Hemakesara: Suggesting its valuable role in enhancing complexion and skin health.
  3. Vanaspati: Recognizing its status as a revered plant in traditional medicine.
  4. Kanaka/Hempushpa/Kanchana/Hemkanchana/Suvarnam: Flowers are of Golden-Yellow colour.
  5. Champeya: Its stamens are of yellow similar to Champa flower.

Regional Name (Vernacular Names)

Nagkesar’s widespread popularity is reflected in its vernacular names across diverse regions. Some regional names for Nagkesar include:

  • Hindi: Nagkesar
  • English: Ironwood Tree
  • Bengali: Nagkesar
  • Marathi: Nagchafa
  • Tamil: Nagapuspam
  • Telugu: Nagakannika
  • Kannada: Nagakesarada mara
  • Gujarati: Nagkeshar
  • Punjabi: Nagkesar

Scientific Classification of Dravya

  • Kingdom: Plantae 
  • Sub-Kingdom: Angiosperms 
  • Division (Phylum): Spermatophyta 
  • Class: Dicotyledons 
  • Order: Myrtales
  • Family: Guttiferae
  • Genus: Mesua
  • Species: ferrea

Classical Classification of Dravya (Gana)

Sushruta Samhita: Anjanadi, Eladi, Priyangvadi, Vachadi. 

Bhavprakash Nighantu: Karpuradi

External Morphology

Nagkesar is an evergreen tree that can reach heights of up to 30 meters. It features glossy leaves, striking red flowers with numerous stamens, and ellipsoid fruits. The mature fruits encapsulate the seeds that are the source of its therapeutic value.

Useful Parts

The seeds, flowers,stamens (Punkesar) and bark of Nagkesar are the primary parts utilized for their medicinal potential. Each part contributes to various formulations and remedies in traditional medicine.

Important Phytoconstituents

Nagkesar’s remarkable healing attributes can be attributed to its rich composition of phytochemicals. Some significant constituents found in Nagkesar include:

  1. Volatile Oils: Nagkesar contains essential oils with diverse components, contributing to its aromatic and therapeutic qualities.
  2. Tannins: These compounds offer astringent properties and contribute to Nagkesar’s role in managing various health concerns.
  3. Flavonoids: These antioxidants play a vital role in protecting cells from oxidative stress and supporting overall health.
  4. Terpenoids: These compounds exhibit diverse pharmacological effects, contributing to Nagkesar’s multifaceted healing potential.

Rasa Panchaka of Nagkesar:

Rasa (Predominant Taste): Kashaya (Astringent), Tikta (Bitter)

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

Veerya (Potency): Koshna(Not much hot, not much cold)

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

Prabhava: Kaphahara – Pacifying Kapha and Pitta Dosha

Action on Dosha, Dhatu, and Mala:

Dosha: Nagkesar primarily balances the “Kapha” and “Pitta” doshas due to its drying qualities.

Dhatu: It affects the “Rakta Dhatu” (blood tissue) due to its hemostatic and astringent properties.

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

Prayogarha Vyadhi (Therapeutic Indications):

Nagkesar’s diverse properties give rise to a range of therapeutic indications in Ayurveda:

  1. Hemorrhages: Nagkesar’s astringent and hemostatic properties make it a valuable herb in managing bleeding disorders. It is used to control excessive menstrual bleeding (menorrhagia), bleeding piles (hemorrhoids), and bleeding from wounds or gums.

  2. Skin Disorders: Nagkesar is used to treat various skin issues due to its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. It helps in managing acne, boils, wounds, and skin infections by preventing infection and promoting healing.

  3. Digestive Disorders: Its pungent and heating properties contribute to improved digestion and appetite. Nagkesar is used to manage indigestion, flatulence, loss of appetite, and digestive discomfort.

  4. Respiratory Issues: Nagkesar’s bronchodilatory and expectorant effects make it useful in managing respiratory disorders. It helps in reducing cough, asthma symptoms, and congestion by promoting easy breathing and expelling mucus.

  5. Gynecological Disorders: Nagkesar is employed in managing gynecological concerns such as irregular menstrual cycles, menstrual pain, and reproductive health issues. It helps regulate menstrual flow and supports overall well-being.

  6. Dental Issues: Due to its astringent and antimicrobial properties, Nagkesar is used in dental care. It helps manage oral issues like gingivitis, bleeding gums, and infections, promoting gum health.

  7. Fever: Nagkesar’s heating nature supports the body’s immune response and can help reduce fever. It induces sweating, which aids in fever reduction and detoxification.

  8. Cardiovascular Health: Its hemostatic properties are beneficial in managing cardiovascular conditions by preventing excessive bleeding and promoting healthy blood clotting.

  9. Anti-inflammatory Effects: Nagkesar’s anti-inflammatory properties extend its use in managing conditions like arthritis, joint pain, and inflammation-related discomfort.

  10. Menstrual Health: Nagkesar supports female reproductive health by regulating menstrual cycles, managing menstrual pain, and promoting hormonal balance.

  11. Mild Anxiety and Stress: The calming effect of Nagkesar can contribute to managing mild anxiety and stress.

  12. Antioxidant Protection: Nagkesar’s antioxidant properties help protect cells from oxidative stress, supporting overall health.

Amayikaprayoga and Matra (Therapeutic Administration and Dose):

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

  1. Powder: 500 mg to 1 gram of Nagkesar powder, taken with honey or warm water.

  2. Decoction: Nagkesar decoction can be prepared by boiling 1-2 grams of Nagkesar powder in 240 ml of water until the volume reduces to 60 ml. This decoction can be taken once or twice a day.

Vishishta Yoga (Names of Important Formulations):

Nagkesar is often incorporated into formulations to enhance its therapeutic effects. Some notable formulations containing Nagkesar include:

  1. Nagakesara Choorna: This herbal powder contains Nagkesar and other herbs. It is used for managing bleeding disorders, digestive issues, and skin problems.

  2. Mahanarayan Taila: This classical formulation is used for pain relieving.

  3. Pushyanug Choorna: Useful to treat Leucorrhoea.
  4. Chyawanprash: Used as immunity booster.

Vishakta Lakshan (Adverse Effects):

Nagkesar is generally safe when used in recommended dosages. Excessive consumption may lead to mild adverse effects such as digestive disturbances or excessive heat in the body.

Chikitsopachara (Remedial Measures):

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

  1. Discontinue Use: Stop using Nagkesar 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):

Nagkesar’s pungent and heating nature reduces the need for specific purification methods. Its inherent properties contribute to its cleansing effects.

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 Nagkesar 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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