Dronapushpi, a.k.a, Leucas cephalotes, is an ancient ayurvedic herb that has been in use in several ritualistic practices and also as a folk remedy. Owing to its anti-microbial, insecticidal, larvicidal, anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, dronapushpi is also used as an alternative medicine for the treatment of respiratory distress like asthma, cough, cold, liver disorders, scorpion sting, snake bites, fever, jaundice etc.
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Coming from the Lamiaceae family, the medicinal herb grows as a weed in India and many Southeast Asian countries. The plant is yellowish-green in colour and exhibits white sessile flowers. It is known as ‘Guma’ in Hindi, ‘Tumbari and Thumbai’ in Tamil, ‘Tummi and Peddatumani’ in Telugu and ‘Dandakalas and Halaksa’ in Bengali. In Sanskrit, it is known as Drona, Dronachatra, Dronakurambaka, Kutumbaka, Kaudinya, Chitrakshupa, Shwashanka and Deerghapatra. According to the scriptures of Raj Nighantu, Dronapushpi originates in two varieties, mainly, Dronapushpi (Leucas aspera) and Maha drona (Leucas cephalotes). Some texts show another variety namely, Drona puspi (Leucas linifilia)
Dronapushpi exhibits and array of chemically bioactive components including laballenic acid, β-sitosterol, oleanolic acid, 7-oxostigmasterol, 7-oxositosterol, 7-alpha hydroxy stigmasterol, pillion, gonzalitosin I, tricin, cosmosin, anisofolin A, luteolin, etc.
Ayurvedic Indications Of Dronapushpi
Ayurveda, the holistic science of herbal remedies has extensively mentioned the use of this time-tested compound multiple times in several ayurvedic scriptures and journals of Charaka and Susruta. It is mostly indicated for use in the following conditions which include, Rasayani (rejuvenates the whole body), Pandu (treats anaemia), Kshayajit (treats tuberculosis), Vayasthapana (prevents ageing), Jvara (useful in fever), Anulomana (improves breathing), Kasahara (Relieves cough, Shwasha (relieves breathing difficulties), Dahahara (relieves burning sensation), Trutahara (relieves excessive thirst), Hikkanigrahana (controls hiccups), Kantya (relieves sore throat), Kamala (prevents jaundice), Krimihara (relieves intestinal worms), Deepana (enhances stomach fire), Pachana (helps in digestion), Rochana (stimulates appetite), Amahara (treats indigestion), Jantujit (treats worm infestation), Shopajit (reduces swelling), Tamakashyajit (improves asthma), Ruchya (improves taste), Garbhaprada (treats infertility) and Agnimandyahara (relieves indigestion).
Remedies Skin Infections
Dronapushpi plays a key role in treating various skin infections. The abundance of antioxidants in the potent herb is very effective in removing harmful free radicals from the body and its antipruritic nature alleviates itching sensation caused due to allergic conditions like psoriasis, scabies, patchy skin, eczema, acne, sunburn etc. Several studies show that Dronapushpi has potent anti-bacterial properties that are extensively used for removing bacteria from the body. The bioactive compounds present in this traditional herb not only prevent worm infestation but also treats wounds and improves healing.
Apply a paste of the leaves over insect bite or any skin infection to get relief from pain and inflammation.
Prevents Anorexia Nervosa
Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder in which an individual suffers from self-starvation. It is also attached to mental health as the individual suffers from low weight issues, fear of gaining weight, lower self-esteem and an intense desire to reduce weight. Additionally, the person also has a loss of hunger or desire to eat any food. Dronapushpi is a natural appetizer and aids in the digestion of food, improves appetite and helps the person to eat.
Improves Respiratory Health
Famed as a traditional remedy for all sorts of respiratory troubles, Dronapushpi is truly effective as an alternative treatment for asthmatic conditions. Having powerful anti-inflammatory, expectorant, and anti-spasmodic properties, the entire plant hold high significance in treating all sorts of respiratory troubles including the common cold, flu, asthma, bronchitis, etc. Being a natural expectorant, it also helps in getting rid of the phlegm deposits within the chest and nasal cavities and thus helps in breathing. Also Read: 5 Home Remedies To Soothe Sore Throat And Cough
Imbued with potent anti-parasitic and temperature reducing effects, the leaves of Dronapushpi is used effectively in treating different types of fever. Traditionally, been used against several infectious conditions, the leaf oil and paste reduce the body temperature and inhibits the growth of microbes and hence prevent aggravation of the infection within the body. The analgesic and anti-microbial effects are found to be extremely effective against filariasis.
Relieves Digestive Anomalies
Dronapushpi is a traditional remedy for treating a wide range of gastrointestinal disorders as well, like indigestion, heartburn, flatulence, peptic ulcer, gastroesophageal reflux disease, constipation, flatulence and stomach pain. Thanks to the potent carminative nature of the herb, Dronapushpi formulations extensively helps in breaking down the food particles in the stomach and intestine, enhances the secretion of the digestive juices and thereby increases the absorption of essential nutrients through the intestines. It helps to eliminate abdominal gas and in turn reduces abdominal distension, bloating and gaseous cramps. Juice of this incredible plant has anti-bilious property and is beneficial in the treatment of jaundice.
Effect On Doshas:
This incredible ayurvedic herb is hallowed with three distinct tastes namely Katu Rasa (i.e. pungent taste). It shows Guru (i.e. heavy) and Rukhsha Guna (i.e. dry quality). It inherently portrays Ushna Virya (i.e. hot potency) and Madhura (sweet) and Katu Vipaka (i.e. pungent metabolic taste). Being heavy and light, the herb detoxifies the Pitta (fire and air) doshas. Also Read: Introduction To Ayurveda: Learn About Vata, Pitta And Kapha Doshas
The effective therapeutic dosage of Dronapushpi may vary from person to person depending upon the age, body strength, effects on appetite, severity, and condition of the patient. It is firmly recommended to consult an ayurvedic doctor or practitioner as he or she would evaluate the patient’s indications, past medical conditions and prescribe an effective dose for a specific period.
Fresh Juice: 5 – 10 ml
Powder for decoction: 1 – 3 gm
Although the herb is extremely beneficial in treating umpteen health conditions, it is still necessary to consume the formulation in the prescribed amount as suggested by the ayurvedic practitioner or doctor. An excess of it can cause allergic reactions in the form of burning sensation in the feet, excessive heat throughout the body, or itchiness.
Since ancient times, this herb has been mentioned in several ayurvedic scriptures as an ultimate remedy for numerous health anomalies. Imbued with powerful analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial properties, it improves immunity, treats fever conditions, aids in digestion, remedies menstrual issues, reduces pain and inflammation due to insect stings and promotes kidney and liver functions.