Khadira, commonly known as kattha or black catechu is a deciduous tree, where the wood and bark of the tree are mainly valued for their indispensable medicinal purposes. It is commonly grown in the Himalayan and North-eastern states of India, the tree has short hooked spines and bipinnately compound leaves with 50 pairs of leaflets that look like a beautiful feather. The tree grows to a height of 9-12 meters, while the flowers are pale yellow in colour with cylindrical spikes bearing fruits that are flat with oblong pods. It is a popular plant also known by other common names black catechu, black cutch, catecu, cutch, cutch tree, dark catechu, gum catechu that has been used for ages as a remarkable herb of great therapeutic value.
It is chiefly used for treating skin and respiratory problems of allergic origin, dental health and potent astringent properties help in curing bleeding disorders.
Khadira is bestowed with huge amounts of tannins, tannic acid, catechin, gum, and quercitin. It has strong healing activity owing to its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial traits. According to the holistic science of Ayurveda anti-obesity properties of khadir churna helps in shedding extra kilos by triggering the metabolism, while anti-diarrhoeal properties manage diarrhea. Furthermore, it is known to pacify kapha and pitta dosha.
Khadir is known as Cutch tree, heartwood tree in English, while in the Indian subcontinent it is known as Chandra, Sandra in Telugu, Kaggali in Kannada, Karanagalli in Tamil, Karingali in Malayalam, and Khaira in Marathi and Oriya. Ayurveda knows this medicinal plant by the Sanskrit terms such as Khadira, Rakta Sara, Kantaki, Dantadhavan, Yajniya, and Balapatra.
Potential Health Benefits of Khadira
Fortifies Bone Health
Khadira is a proven Ayurveda herb laden with vital bioactive compounds and antioxidants, for treating a host of bone and joint-related disorders such as RA and osteoarthritis. The anti-inflammatory characteristics of khadir are beneficial in reducing inflammation and ease arthritis, asthma and inflammatory bowel diseases. Evidence has shown that seed extract of khadira is used to mitigate symptoms associated with rheumatoid arthritis and prevents cartilage damage in osteoarthritis by inhibiting pro-inflammatory pathways. Taking this supplement regularly reduce the progression of osteoarthritis and helps regain range of motion in bones, muscles.
Aggravated Vata dosha leads to loose, watery motions or diarrhoea. The antidiarrheal properties of Khadir are valuable in treating diarrhoea. Loaded with a wealth of chemical constituent khadir helps in lowering the spasm of intestinal muscles and also reduces the frequency of loose stools. Having Khadira powder helps to regulate the loss of water from the body and makes stool thicker owing to its astringent property. Take 1-2 gm of khadir powder swallow with lukewarm water after taking food to cure diarrhoea.
Treats Bleeding Disorder
Khadira is an effective herb that promotes blood clotting and control bleeding disorders such as bleeding gums, piles, and other skin injuries. Taking this herb orally aids to control bleeding due to its potent astringent and cold properties. Aside from this, khadir decoction can also be used topically on wounds or cuts to stop bleeding and fasten the healing process.
Haemorrhoids are caused due to poor dietary habits and a sedentary lifestyle, which leads to an imbalance of all three doshas, chiefly vata. This eventually leads to low digestive fire leading to constipation, swelling and inflammation in the rectum area resulting in piles. Khadira powder assists to control bleeding when taken orally, while decoction can be applied externally to reduce swelling and inflammation associated with piles.
Khadira formulation is very helpful in detoxifying the body of harmful toxins and impurities. The astringent and antioxidant properties help to pacify pitta disorders in the system. Having this herbal churna helps to manage liver problems and promotes liver function.
Recommended Dosage Of Khadir
The effective therapeutic dosage of khadira may vary from person to person depending upon the age, effects on appetite, severity, and condition of the patient. It is strongly recommended to consult an Ayurveda practitioner, who would evaluate the patient’s indications, past medical conditions and prescribe an effective dose for a specific period.
Churna or Powder - 2-3gm twice a day, after meals, alongside lukewarm milk, or as directed by the doctor.
Capsule- 1 capsule twice a day or as directed by a physician.
Tablet -1 tablet twice a day or as directed by a physician.
Most herbal formulations have active compounds that may react with medications, thus person's suffering from chronic health problems or those taking medications for any other medical conditions should refrain from taking this herb. Though there is no evidence regarding the safety of khadir plants during pregnancy and breastfeeding, it is best to consult with a doctor before taking this herb. Avoid this herb if you are undergoing surgery.