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Common name: Wild Spider Flower, African spider-flower, cat whiskers, Bastard-mustard
• Hindi: jakhiya, safed hulhul, parhar, safed bagro
• Marathi: पांढरी तिलवन Pandhari tilvan, kanphodi, mabli
• Tamil: taivelai, nalvelai, velai, acakanta
• Telugu: vaminta, thella vamita, thivezhai, vaaminta
• Kannada: kiloni, kirikaala, maamballi gida
• Sanskrit: अजगंधा Ajagandha
Botanical name: Cleome gynandra
Family: Cleomaceae (Spider Flower family)
Synonyms: Cleome pentaphylla, Gynandropsis gynandra, Gynandropsis pentaphylla
Medicinal plant Ajagandha (Cleome gynandra)Ajagandha is a medicinal plant that grows as weed throughout warmer part of India. Ayurvedic Materia Medica describes this plant as light (attribute); appetizer, cardiac tonic, Vata and Kapha hara. Some of the other common names of this plant are Tilaparni, Pashugandha, Ugragandha, and Thaivelai, Nalvelai (Tamil).
General InformationBotanical name: Gynandropsis gynandra (Linn.) Briq; Synonym G. pentaphylla DC.
Cleome gynandra Linn
Vernacular names in India
- Sanskrit: Pasugandhi, Ajagandha
- Assamese: Bhutmulla
- Bengali: Hurhuria, Shulte
- English: Dog Mustard
- Gujarat: Talvani, Dhelitalavan
- Hindi: Hulhul, Hurhur, Kavalia
- Kannada: Naram bele Soppu, Nayeetulasi
- Kashmiri: Gandi Buti
- Malayalam: Atunari vela
- Marathi: Tilvan, Bhatvan, Mabli, Tilavana, Tilvant
- Oriya: Anasorisia, anasorisa, Hulhulia
- Punjabi: Bugra
- Tamil: Nal valai, Nal velai
- Telugu: Vaminta, Vayinta
- Unani: Hurhur, Hulhul
- Siddha: Kadugu
Plant descriptionAnnual erect, herb up to 250-600 mm tall;much branched;Stem sticky with hairs;leaves: palmately compound, with 3-5 leaflets, leaf stalk is 20-50 mm long with glandular hairs;Inflorescence: terminal raceme, many-flowered, elongating in fruit;bract is 3-foliolate to simple above, flower stalk is 10-20 mm long with hairs;fruits: in 2 mm capsule form;seeds: seeds are brown, circular in outline, 1.5 mm in diameter;
Habitat: Throughout warmer part of India growing as weed in waste lands, grass lands;
Constituents of leavesCarotenoids, Cardiac glycosides, Cyanogenic Glycosides, Flavonoids, Saponins, Triterpenes, sugars, Tannins etc.
Constituents of seedsFixed oil, essential oil and oleoresin
Properties and Action of seeds
- Rasa: Katu
- Guna: Laghu, Ruksha
- Virya: Shita
- Vipaka: Katu
- Karma: Shulagna, Dipana, Hridya, Pittala, Vatahara
Ayurvedic Therapeutic UsesGulma or Any tumor, lump, Prostate enlargement, Worm infection, Kandu Pruritus, and Ear diseases
Medicinal uses of Ajagandha (Cleome gynandra)Various parts of Ajagandha plant are used for medicinal purpose viz. leaves, seeds and roots. The recommended safe dosage of seed powder is 1-3 grams and leaf decoction 50-100 ml. Ayurvedic texts describes use of this plant for treatment of pain, swelling, fever, cough, asthma, skin and urinary diseases. Seed powder of this plant have carminative (relieves flatulence), antiseptic, and anthelmintic (destroy parasitic worms) properties. Leaves have anti-inflammatory and sudorific (causing sweating) properties. Traditionally few drops of leaves juice is put in ear to treat ear pain. Foe painful joints leaves and seeds poultice is used.
1. For treating sinus infection, use the leaves for steaming. The leaves are very very effective in easing sinus headaches and infection.
2. For insect bites and wounds, take the leaves and crush them in mortar and pestle. Apply it directly in the affected area as a thick poultice.
3. The leaves are very effective in treating chest congestion and mild fevers. To use it as a remedy, pound 1/4 tsp each of cumin seeds and peppercorns coarsely in mortar and pestle. Add 5 leaves along with 1 flower head, crushed pepper and cumin and 1 cup of water in a bowl. Boil till it reduces and drink. It is not very bitter and I prefer to have it without any sweeteners but if you prefer add good quality honey after straining.
The best way to include the plant in the diet is by mixing it with lentils or with other greens.
This plant is found plenty in forests so if you ever find yourself bitten by insects or bugs you can use the leaf poultice immediately...
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