Cassia occidentalis, a perennial plant native to South America, is known as kasmard in Ayurveda. Belonging to the Leguminosae family, it is a short-lived shrub found across the globe at an altitude of 1500 meters and higher. In Sanskrit, phlegm is kasa, and mardan means to destroy, hence kasamarda. Also known by vernacular names as kasondi, coffee weed, stinking weed, oeuvre, karkash, and vimarda, it is used in many ayurvedic treatments. This ayurvedic herb possesses expectorant properties and is highly effective against cough and Asthma, besides other respiratory ailments.
How To Identify Kasmarda?
The plant is a one to two meters tall shrub with a slender, erect stem and pointed leaves consisting of 3 to 7 pairs of leaflets. Since the plant oozes a strong unpleasant odour, it is pretty easy to identify kasmard even from a distance. The plant has various beneficial properties and has been traditionally used as a laxative and a diuretic agent. It has also been used to treat piles, fever, snake bites, and various venereal diseases.
Kasamard plant has been recommended time and again in various ayurvedic scriptures to treat many ailments such as jwara, kushta, arsha, acne, skin diseases and bleeding disorders. It is also effective in treating swas roga (Asthma).
Some of its ayurvedic indications include Rasa or Tikta (bitter), Madhura (sweet to taste), Guna or Laghu (light to digest). Ruksha-Dryness, Vipaka or Katu (pungent), Ushna(bitter) Tikasna (strong and Prabhava,(effective)
Medicinal Properties Of Kasmard
Kasmard is loaded with anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and antiseptic properties. Here are a few of them that can reduce symptoms of many chronic ailments:
Replete with antioxidants, this powerful property of kasmard helps fight free radicals and other toxic substances in the body.
Kasmard has potential antiallergens that help fight all kinds of allergies present in the body.
When used externally in the form of paste or decoction, kasmard acts on body mechanisms and effectively reduces inflammation of the body.
Antiparasitic property of this ayurvedic herb expels parasitic worms and other internal parasites from the body.
Kasmard is diuretic in nature. It aids the excretion of urine that flushes out harmful toxins from the body.
Kasmard contains several bioactive compounds that promote the secretion of sputum by the air passages. It is widely used to treat all kinds of coughs.
Kasmard is highly purgative in nature. Due to its laxative effect, kasmard facilitates the evacuation of the bowels. It has a powerful effect on digestive health by helping relieve constipation and promoting regular bowel movements.
Kasmard decoction is an effective wellness tonic. It restores the overall health and well-being of the body because of its powerful constituents.
Health Benefits Of Kasmard
Vata and Kapha are the main Doshas involved in Asthma. The Vata combines with Kapha in the lungs and obstructs respiratory passages, causing difficulty breathing. Kasmard helps manage Asthma due to its balancing properties. These properties remove obstruction in the respiratory pathways, thus making breathing easier.
Skin Eruptions And Infections
Skin infections occur due to an imbalance of pitta dosha. This might lead to some conditions like itching and irritation. Kasmard helps manage skin infections and heals all skin problems due to its pitta balancing properties.
Bark infusion of kasmard is used to keep control of insulin levels. Keeping your blood sugar in the healthy range manages the symptoms of diabetes as well.
The paste of Kasmarda leaf is applied topically to get rid of this skin disease that can be very discomforting and itchy.
Due to its antipyretic property, kasmard roots help to lower the body temperature and provide relief from intermittent fever.
The plant has powerful properties to cleanse the liver and prevent the liver by treating the underlying cause of cirrhosis and other liver ailments.
Topical application of kasmard plant in the form of leaves, or juice or paste is very helpful to nullify the poisoning due to snake bite.
Effect On Doshas
One of the primary features of kasmard is its effect on Tridosha. Kasmard helps balance, Kapha and Vata dosha. Since it is Ushna (hot) in potency, it regulates pitta out of the body by acting as pitta saraka. Kasmard being high in Teekshna (strong and bitter flavor), alleviates the balance of the metabolic system.
It also cures raktadosha (impurities of the blood).
The recommended dosage for Kasmard is according to the health condition and severity of the issue. In general, leaves are used in a dose of 5-10 grams, and the seeds in 1-3 grams. Fresh leaf juice can be taken in a dose of 10-20 ml. The root bark decoction can be taken in a dose of 50-100 ml.
However, consult an ayurvedic doctor or medical practitioner for the appropriate dosage for your condition.
Side Effects Of Kasmard
Due to its laxative properties, an overdose of kasmard can cause diarrhoea or loose motions. Sometimes it can also lower blood pressure levels. Excessive consumption can lead to poisoning in some cases.
Cassia occidentalis or kasmard is a powerful ayurvedic medicine that protects the body against many pathogenic fungi and at least nine different human pathogenic bacteria. This plant's leaves, roots, and seeds are purgative besides treating whooping cough and fever. The infusion of the root is considered an antidote to various poisons. Kasmard root is a diuretic and used to treat fevers. Leaves are used externally in scabies, ringworm, and other skin diseases.