Palash (Butea monosperma)

Basonym of Drug

Palash, a revered medicinal plant, is scientifically known as Butea monosperma. This botanical nomenclature forms the foundation for identifying and categorizing the plant both in scientific and traditional medicinal contexts.

Main Sanskrit Synonyms

Palash, with its rich therapeutic properties, has earned numerous Sanskrit synonyms in Ayurveda. Some notable Sanskrit synonyms of Palash include:

  1. Palasha: This name highlights the distinct identity of the plant and its significance in traditional medicine.
  2. Kimsuka: Recognizing its vibrant and eye-catching flowers.Flower is like beak of parrot.
  3. Raktapushpa: Highlighting the plant’s striking red flowers.
  4. Tripatra: leaf has 3 leaflets.
  5. Vakrapushpaka: Flower is curved in shape.
  6. Krimighna: Seeds are useful in Krimiroga.
  7. Ksharashreshtha: A powerful kshar is made form it.

Regional Name (Vernacular Names)

Palash’s popularity transcends regions, evident from its vernacular names across diverse languages. Some regional names for Palash include:

  • Hindi: Palash, Dhak
  • English: Flame of the Forest
  • Bengali: Palash, Palashphul
  • Marathi: Palas
  • Tamil: Paratai
  • Telugu: Modugu
  • Kannada: Maatti
  • Gujarati: Khakharo
  • Punjabi: Dhak

Scientific Classification of Dravya

  • Kingdom: Plantae 
  • Sub-Kingdom: Angiosperms 
  • Division (Phylum): Spermatophyta 
  • Class: Dicotyledons 
  • Order: Fabales
  • Family: Fabaceae
  • Genus: Butea
  • Species: monosperma

Classical Classification of Dravya (Gana)

Sushruta Samhita: Ambashtadi, Mushkakadi, Rodhradi, Nyagrodhadi

Vagbhata: Ambashtadi, Mushkakadi, Rodhradi, Nyagrodhadi

External Morphology

Palash, an emblem of natural beauty, is a deciduous tree that can grow up to 15 meters in height. It features distinct pinnate leaves and clusters of striking red or orange flowers that resemble flames, lending it the name “Flame of the Forest.” Its unique flowers are a visual spectacle and have cultural significance.

Useful Parts

Various parts of the Palash tree hold therapeutic potential. The flowers, leaves, bark, and gum are the primary parts utilized for their medicinal properties.

Important Phytoconstituents

Palash’s remarkable medicinal attributes are attributed to its diverse range of phytochemicals. Some significant constituents found in Palash include:

  1. Flavonoids: These compounds offer antioxidant properties, aiding in protecting cells from oxidative stress and supporting overall health.
  2. Tannins: Known for their astringent properties, tannins contribute to Palash’s use in managing various health concerns.
  3. Glycosides: These compounds exhibit pharmacological effects, contributing to Palash’s diverse healing potential.
  4. Resins: Palash contains resinous substances that play a role in its traditional applications.

Rasa Panchaka of Palash:

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

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

Veerya (Potency): Ushna (Hot)

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

Prabhava: Krimighna (Anthelmintic)

Action on Dosha, Dhatu, and Mala:

Dosha: Palash primarily balances the “Kapha” and “Pitta” doshas due to its bitter and heating properties. It can increase “Vata” dosha if used excessively.

Dhatu: It affects the “Rakta Dhatu” (blood tissue) due to its anthelmintic and blood-purifying properties.

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

Prayogarha Vyadhi (Therapeutic Indications):

Palash’s diverse properties contribute to a range of therapeutic indications in Ayurveda:

  1. Skin Disorders: Palash’s bitter taste and blood-purifying properties make it a valuable remedy for various skin disorders. It is used to manage conditions like eczema, psoriasis, acne, and dermatitis. Its anti-inflammatory and detoxifying effects help in alleviating skin itching, redness, and inflammation.

  2. Digestive Disorders: The bitter taste and hot potency of Palash stimulate digestion and improve appetite. It is employed in managing indigestion, loss of appetite, and gastrointestinal discomfort. Palash supports the digestive fire (Agni) and helps in the efficient breakdown of food.

  3. Anthelmintic: Palash is renowned for its anthelmintic properties, making it effective in expelling intestinal worms and parasites. It helps in treating worm infestations in the digestive tract, promoting gastrointestinal health.

  4. Anti-inflammatory Effects: Palash’s anti-inflammatory properties extend its usage to conditions like arthritis, joint pain, and inflammatory disorders. Its ability to reduce inflammation contributes to pain relief and improved joint mobility.

  5. Bleeding Disorders: Due to its astringent and hemostatic properties, Palash is used to manage bleeding disorders such as bleeding gums, heavy menstrual bleeding (menorrhagia), and bleeding piles (hemorrhoids). It helps in controlling excess bleeding by promoting blood clotting.

  6. Diabetes Management: The bitter taste of Palash aids in managing diabetes by regulating blood sugar levels. It helps improve insulin sensitivity and reduces the risk of blood sugar spikes.

  7. Fever Management: Palash’s heating potency contributes to fever reduction. It induces sweating, which aids in breaking fever and eliminating toxins from the body.

  8. Urinary Disorders: Palash’s diuretic and detoxifying properties support kidney health and urinary function. It is used in managing urinary tract infections (UTIs) and promoting healthy urine output.

  9. Respiratory Health: The anti-inflammatory and expectorant effects of Palash make it beneficial in managing respiratory conditions like cough, bronchitis, and asthma. It helps in clearing respiratory passages and promoting easy breathing.

  10. Cardiovascular Health: Palash’s properties contribute to managing cardiovascular concerns by improving blood circulation, regulating blood pressure, and maintaining heart health.

  11. Mild Analgesic: Palash’s analgesic properties provide mild pain relief, making it useful in managing various types of pain.

  12. Inflammatory Skin Conditions: Its anti-inflammatory properties extend to managing inflammatory skin conditions like itching, rashes, and redness.

Amayikaprayoga and Matra (Therapeutic Administration and Dose):

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

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

  2. Powder: 2-4 grams of Palash bark powder can be taken with honey or warm water.

Vishishta Yoga (Names of Important Formulations):

Palash is often integrated into formulations to enhance its therapeutic effects. Some noteworthy formulations containing Palash include:

  1. Palash Kshar: This herbal alkaline preparation contains Palash and is used for managing hemorrhoids and anal fissures.

  2. Krimikuthar Rasa: This classical formulation includes Palash and other herbs. It is used to address parasitic infections and intestinal worms.

  3. Kumkumadi Taila: Useful for skin glowing. 

  4. Krimimudgara Rasa: Useful in parasitic infections and intestinal worms.

  5. Ayaskriti: It is mainly used in anemia, weight loss therapy, skin diseases etc.

  6. Palasha Arka: It is used for the treatment of cataract.

Vishakta Lakshan (Adverse Effects):

Palash 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 Palash usage, the following remedial measures can be taken:

  1. Discontinue Use: Stop using Palash 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):

Palash’s inherent bitter taste and hot potency contribute to its cleansing effects. Its cleansing nature reduces 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 Palash 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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