Danti (Baliospermum montanum) is an incredible medicinal plant used in ayurvedic medicine for treating an array of health maladies. A monoecious shrub, danti grows up to 1.8mt in height, and a shade loving plant that grows in humid climates. Danti is valued as a medicinal herb that has been used in traditional medicine for treating several health maladies. The leaves, seeds and dried roots are used for medicinal purposes. The plant is widely spread throughout the Khasi hills to Kashmir and is readily available in Bengal, Bihar, Assam, Madhya Pradesh, and peninsular India. The natural laxative property of this plant is beneficial for regularising bowel movements and treating constipation. Anthelmintic action helps to get rid of worms from GI tracts and diuretic action aids in the removal of toxins from the body.
Danti plant with herbaceous branches arises from the roots and upper branches bear small lanceolate leaves and lower branches have 3-5 lobed large, simple, and sinuate leaves. It bears unisexual numerous florals arranged in axillary racemes. The calyx of male flower is round, membranous, and long with 4–6-disc glands, while female flowers are small, and hairy with ovate and lanceolate sepals. It bears three-lobed capsule fruits. Flowers bloom in the month of January and February and fruits appear a month later.
Red physic nut, Wild castor, Wild carton, and wild sultan seeds are some of the common English names of this herb. In the Indian subcontinent, it is known as Danti in Punjabi, Assamese, Danti, Hakun in Bengali, Dantimul, Jamalgota in Gujarati, Donti in Oriya, Niradimuthi, Kattamaraku in Tamil, Danti Hastidanti in Sanskrit, Kadu Haralu in Kannada, Neervalam in Malayalam, and Konda Amudamu in Telugu.
The traditional system of herbal remedies has valued this plant in several ayurvedic scriptures for treating various maladies. The bio-active compounds of danti spread easily in the system and heal several health indications including Krumihara (treat worm infestation and wounds), Kushtahara (heals skin diseases), Vatahara (beneficial in treating Vata dosha imbalance like neuralgia, paralysis, constipation, bloating), Dushtavrana shidhana (purifies the wound), Arshoghna (valuable in piles, haemorrhoids), Ashmarihara (eliminates urinary stones), Shoolahara (eases abdominal colic pain), Deepan (promotes digestion), Pachana (digestive aid), Sara (relieves constipation), Anahahara (alleviates gas, bloating), Shophahara (lessens swelling, oedema, ), Vidahahara ( soothe burning sensation), Kanduhara(useful in easing pruritis), Kushtahara(heals skin disorders), Asra, Pittasranut (useful in bleeding disorders), Pleehahara (treats spleen disorders), and Gummahara ( treats abdominal tumours).
As per Charaka Samhita, Danti root must be purified before usage. The root is coated with a paste of pippali and madhuka, this mass is covered in grass, tied, and wrapped in mud covering. The wrapped mass is heated by fire and sunlight. This process helps to lessen the toxicity of danti, and method is known as shodhana.
Seeds and roots of danti are purgatives in nature. The solvents and extract of this plant are imbued with potent anticancer, antioxidant, antimicrobial, and immune-boosting and hepatoprotective actions. Danti root is bestowed with several bioactive constituents such as glycoterpenoids, steroids, flavonoids, titerpenoids, diterpenes, saponins and flavonoids. While its leaves are credited to have anti-asthmatic and wound healing characteristics.
Excessive consumption of junk food, refined carbs, improper sleep patterns and stress can worsen Vata and Pitta dosha, which lead to constipation. Danti root extract works amazingly well to treat constipation owing to its Bhedna (purgative) nature, this helps to regularise bowel movements and ease abdominal discomforts.
Piles or haemorrhoids are enlarged blood vessels in and around the anal regions. It is known as Arsh in Ayurveda which is caused due to unhealthy dietary patterns and a sedentary lifestyle. When Vata dosha is aggravated in the system it leads to low digestive fire, resulting in constipation. If left untreated it can lead to swelling in the veins in the rectal region resulting in pile mass. Taking danti root powder aids in managing constipation and reducing the size of the piles mass.
Cures Intestinal Worms
Potent anti-inflammatory and anti-worm traits of danti aid to manage intestinal worms. The growth of worms is supported by low Agni (weak digestive fire). Taking danti root powder aids to enhance the digestive fire and impedes the favourable environment for the growth of pathogens. This is owing to the Deepan (appetizer) and Pachan (digestive) actions of danti formulation.
Other Traditional Uses of Danti
Danti is a natural blood purifier, topical application of danti root and seed paste eases edema and pain.
Strong antipyretic and anti-inflammatory traits of danti is effective in relieving fever and reducing inflammation. Taking a concoction of danti extract is used in easing pitta jawara.
Infusion of danti leaves helps in curing asthma and bronchitis by balancing kapha dosha and remedies jaundice.
Danti seed oil is potential in treating Vata disorders like paralysis, sciatica, gout, and other neurological disorders.
Dosage Of Danti
Danti is widely available in the form of root powder, seed powder and even seed oil. Owing to its bitter-astringent taste, consume alongside jaggery or honey and water to mask the taste. The accurate therapeutic dosage of the danti formulation may vary from person to person depending upon the age, severity, and condition of the patient. It is always best to consult an ayurvedic doctor or practitioner, as he or she will thoroughly examine health conditions and prescribe the effective dosage.
Side Effects Of Danti
Danti powder is not recommended for pregnant and lactating women. Also, an overdose of this formulation may lead to severe pain, nausea, diarrhoea, and vomiting. Hence, seek advice from a registered ayurvedic practitioner before using it.