Shirisha – Albizzia lebbeck

Shirisha Albizzia lebbeck

Introduction of Shirisha Albizzia lebbeck benth – 

  • Botanical Name of Shirisha is Albizzia lebbeck benth.
  • The family of Shirisha is Leguminosae.

Shirisha is one of the best antitoxic drug mentioned in Ayurveda. The ladies tongue which is nothing but shirisha was used for grahashanti and nakshatra snana etc. during the Vedic period to dispel the evil spirits which are nothing but toxic elements. As in the ancient day, people used to leave in forests the chances for exposure to toxicity become more. Hence Shirisha was identified as anti poisonous drug and it got the name Vishahanta not only for poison but also for different kinds of disease like asthma, piles, skin diseases, eye diseases, ulcers, syphilis etc. The plant can be used as anti-malarial drug also.

Different types of reference about Shirisha can be found in various classics. In Charaka Samhita, Sushruta Samhita and Ashtangahridayam, more than fifty references were found in each of the text under the concept of visha and chikitsa. It includes a description of different formulations, different pharmacological properties, different therapeutic indications, uses etc of Shirisha. Not only in classics but also other successive authentic scriptures specifies the alexipharmic property as the prabhava of plant Shirisha. Hence Shirisha has a brand therapeutic importance and as it is an authentic drug of choice of poison it has got a special importance in Ayurvedic system of treatment.


The literature review of Shirisha Albizzia lebbeck benth –

  • The Vedas are the oldest written document which is available nowadays. In Atharvaveda, Shirisha has been mentioned as an anti-toxic drug. It was used for Grahashanti and Nakshatra snana etc.
  • In Samhita period, Shirisha is considered as one of the best Vishaghna drug (Anti-poison). In Charaka Samhita, Shirisha is mentioned in the second chapter of suthra stana under Shirovirechaniya gana then at several contests, it is mentioned in Sutra sthana, Vimana sthana and Shareera sthana.
  • In Sushruta Samhita, a more than fifty reference was found in each of the text under the concept of Visha chikitsa. He included Shirisha under Salasaradi gana and Shirovirechaniya gana. He mentioned the drug in Sutra sthana, Vimana sthana and Uttara Tantra.
  • Vagbhatta has mentioned Shirisha under Shirovirechaniya, Kashaya skandha and Asanadi gana. He also mentioned this as the best antitoxic drug.
  • In Dhanwantari nighantu, there is a slight change in Veerya as Ushna and Snigdha property.
  • Bhavaprakasha mentioned that it is having Anushna property.
  • Raja nighantu explained it as Sheeta veerya and having Katu rasa.
  • The modern book like Indian medicinal plants, Indian material medica, classical use of medicinal plants etc. books explained the plant Shirisha under the Latin name Albizzia lebbeck.

Varieties of Shirisha Albizzia lebbeck –

  1. Albizzia odoratissisma Benth
  2. Albizzia julibrissin Ourazz
  3. Albizzia amara Boir
  4. Albizzia procera (roxb) Benth

Gana of Shirisha Albizzia lebbeck –

According to Charaka Samhita-

  • Sirovirechana gana
  • Vishaghna gana
  • Vedanasthapana
  • Kashayaskanda

According to Sushruta Samhita-

  • Salasaradi gana
  • Siroviraechanagana

According to Astanga Samgraha & Ashtanga Hridayam-

  • Kashaya skandha
  • Sirovirechana gana
  • Asanadi gana

Vernacular Names of Shirisha Albizzia lebbeck –

  • Hindi- Garso, kalashish, losrin shiris, shirish, sirasa, sirini, tantia.
  • English- Parrot tree, sirisa tree, slizzling tree, lady’s tongue.
  • Sanskrit – Barhapushpa, Bhandila, Kalima, Uddanaka, Shireesha.
  • Kannada- Bage, doddaebage, doddasirisa, hombage, sirisa.
  • Malayalam – Kattuvaka, malanthakara, nenmenivaka, vaka.
  • Tamil- Vaki, vaga, addukavagai, kulindi, kattuvagai, peruvagai, pandil.
  • Telugu- Dirisanamu, girisamu, kapitanamu sirishamu.
  • Bombay- Garso, harreri.
  • Bengali- Siris, sirisha.
  • Urdu –  Daras.

Systemic Classification of Shirisha Albizzia lebbeck –

  • KINGDOM- Planate
  • PHYLUM- Angiosperm
  • CLASS- Dicotyledonous
  • SUBCLASS- Archichlamydae
  • ORDER- Rasales
  • FAMILY- Leguminoseae
  • SUBFAMILY- Mimoseae
  • GENUS- Albizzia
  • SPECIES- Leddeck

Prayojya anga (parts used) of Shirisha Albizzia lebbeck –

  1. Root Bark
  2. Stem Bark
  3. Leaf
  4. Seed
  5. Oil from seed and flower

Chemical Constituents in Shirisha Albizzia lebbeck –

BARK- The main chemical constituent in the bark is saponin and also condensed tannin acid isomers etc. Also Tannins- D Catechin; Isomers- leucocyanidin malacicidin, neo-leucoanthocynaidin, lebbecacidin, tridelin; Alkaloid- β sitosterol; Acids- echinocystic acids are present in the bark of Shirisha Albizzia lebbeck

ROOT- Contains saponin β sitosterol and stigmasterol.

LEAF- Alkaloids, kaempferol, quercetin, caffeic acid. Mature leaves contain ketoacids.

FLOWERS – It gives a sweet smelling oil.

SEED- Echinocystic acids, β sitosterol, Lebbekain- a, Lebbekain- e, triterpenic saponin.

PODS- Contain a cyclic ester, lupeol, oleanolic acids, decosanonic acids, β sitosterol.

TREE- Yields resinous gum, saponic acids, 7-10% of tannin.

Ayurvedic Properties of Shirisha Albizzia lebbeck –

  • Rasa- Kashaya, Tikta, Madhura.
  • Guna- Laghu, Ruksha, Tikshna.
  • Virya- Ushna.
  • Vipaka- Katu.
  • Doshaghnata- Tridosha hara.
  • Prabhava- Vishaghna.

Karma (Actions) of-of Shirisha Albizzia lebbeck –

Varnya, Vishaghna, Shothahara, Vedanasthapana, Vranaropana, Expectorant, Aphrodisiac, Anti-inflammatory, cephalic, ophthalmic, brain tonic, emollient,  anti hermetic, restorative.

Pharmaco-therapeutic Action of Shirisha Albizzia lebbeck –

Saponin fraction and seed extract of the plant significantly reduce the number of the ruptured mast cell. This Saponin showed infinite hemolytic agent human blood. It also showed antifungal activity against macrophomina phasiolina stemphilum species.

Prayoga (indications) of Shirisha Albizzia lebbeck-

  • Suryavarta
  • Ardhavabhedaka
  • Vishama jwara
  • Visarpa
  • skin disease
  • worms
  • Apasmara
  • Sannipataja murchha
  • hiccough
  • asthma
  • dyspnoea,
  • obesity
  • boils
  • nyctalopia
  • lymphoma
  • dental caries.

Therapeutic Uses of Shirisha Albizzia lebbeck –

  1. Bark powder with ghee is used as balya.
  2. Gargling the decoction of Shirisha bark is used in dental disorder.
  3. External application of the paste of seed and internal use of the powder seed is used in Gandamala.
  4. The flower is helpful as Shukra stambhana in premature ejaculation.
  5. The decoction of leaves is taken internally and juice is used as Tarpana cures nyctalopia.
  6. The powder of seed along with milk and sugar make the semen thick.
  7. Powder of flower processed with ghee and paste is made by adding water is indicated in Kaphaja Visarpa.
  8. Bark’s paste is applied to the skin is beneficial in Kushtha.
  9. The paste of flower is used in the hiccup.
  10. The root and fruit are made into juice and administered in the nose (Nasyam) is used in Ardhrava bhedaka.
  11. Aqueous extract of flower bark is made into powder form and is used in Mooshika Visha (Rat poison).
  12. The juice of Shirisha mixed with honey is used as collyrium in case of conjunctivitis.
  13. Seeds and hardwood powder are used as snuff (Pradhamana Nasya) in Shiroroga.
  14. The application of the paste of Shirisha and Sinduvara is used in Visha chikitsa (poison case).
  15. Triphala, Maduka, Vidari kanda and Shirisha flower is used in Kaphaja Visarpa.
  16. In Dushi Visha, the alkali obtained from Shirisha and Himasara is applied locally.

Matra (Dosage) of Shirisha Albizzia lebbeck –

  • Bark powder 3- 6 masha  (3- 6 gm).
  • Powder of seed 1-2 masha (1- 2 gm).
  • Juice of leaves 1-2 tola (12- 24 ml).
  • Juice of leaves 1-2 tola (12 – 24 ml).
  • Decoction of bark 1-2 pala (50-100 ml).

Vishishtha Yoga (Pharmaceutical Preparations) of Shirisha Albizzia lebbeck –

  • Mahasugandhi Agada, Eakarasa yoga, Pancha Shirisha Kwatha, Shirisharjuna Kwatha, Kshara Agada, Mahakalyanaka ghrita, Parama Agada, Tvagadi Tailam, Vajraka Taila, Shirisharishtam, Siddharthaka grita.

Photographs of Shirisha Albizzia lebbeck benth –

The high-quality images may be found at

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