Kutaja Ghana Vati is a traditional ayurvedic remedy that has potent anti-dysenteric, antidiarrheal, anti-amoebic action and haemostatic properties for treating and curing a horde of ailments including dysentery, diarrhoea, irritable bowel syndrome, malabsorption syndrome, intestinal infections and different bleeding disorders.
This classical medicine uses the aqueous extract of the bark of the Kutaja plant which goes by the botanical name Holarrhena antidysenterica as the main ingredient and also uses Ativisha in powder form, which goes by the botanical name Aconitum heterophyllum as the secondary ingredient. The term Kutaja ghana vati means a formulation obtained from the dried liquid or decoction of the Kutaja plant in the form of a pill or tablet.
Traditional ayurvedic scriptures of Charaka Samhita strongly advocate this potent herb as Arshoghna (used for treating piles or arsha), Kandughna (used to get relief from itching), Stanyasodhana (used for cleansing and purifying breast milk and made fit for children) and Asthapanopaga (used for the treatment of enema). Traditionally, it is also used for curing Atisara (diarrhoea), Jwaratisara (secondary diarrhoea), Asra (blood or blood-related disorders), Pravahika (amebiasis), Trsna (thirst), sukrasodhana (sperm-purifier), Kusthahara (skin disorder), Deepana (improves digestion), Vatasruk (treats gout) and Jantujit (relieves from worm infestation).
Preparation Of Kutaja Ghana Vati
48 grams Kutaja bark – Holarrhena antidysenterica (connessi bark)
12 grams Ativisha – Aconitum heterophyllum (root powder)
768 ml Water
Wash and clean the herbs.
Purify the Ativisha root by the swedana process using cow’s urine.
Boil the Kutaja bark with water in a thick bottomed vessel until the water quantity reduces to 1/8 part.
Filter the decoction with a muslin cloth to remove parts of the bark.
Boil the decoction again on medium and further on low flame.
During the entire boiling process, it should be stirred by a wooden ladle until it thickens and becomes semi-solid.
It is then removed and kept under direct sunlight to get it dried.
Powder of Ativisha root is added to the dried Kutaja extract and mixed thoroughly to get a homogeneous mixture.
Roll the powder onto your palm to make circular vatis or use a tablet punching machine for large scale production.
The vatis or tablets are again subjected to an air dryer to remove any moisture present in it.
Store it in airtight containers for future use.
Therapeutic Benefits of the Ingredients:
Kutaja, clad by the vernacular names Vatsaka, Girimallika, Kalinga, Shakshaki, Indra, Yavphal, Virishak, and Panduindra is the main ingredient of this formulation.
Kutaja being a deciduous plant grows at a lower altitude. It has broad, oval, bipinnate leaves arranged oppositely on the stalk and white five-petalled corymbose cymes. The fruits of this herb are mostly paired and cylindrical in shape.
Although the entire plant has therapeutic benefits, the bark which is rough, pale and brownish-black in colour, has steroidal alkaloids that show potent anthelminthic, astringic, amoebicidal and diuretic activities and holds high significance in treating dysentery, diarrhoea and gastric ailments. It also holds high significance in treating bleeding piles, herpes, liver and heart problems.
The flower, fruit and seeds of this plant apart from being used for diarrhoea are also useful for treating skin diseases, nausea, vomiting, gout, fever, abdominal pain and various types of worm infestations in the body.
Kutaja is by far one of the few plants which have two separate types i.e. the male Kutaja plant or Pum Kutaja and the female Kutaja plant which is the Stri Kutaja.
The Pum Kutaja is Holarrhena antidysenterica which is also known as Krishna Kutaja and is the main ingredient used in this formulation for treating diarrhoea.
It has Tikta (i.e. bitter) and Kashaya (i.e. astringent) rasa (i.e. taste) and shows Laghu (i.e. light) and Rukhsha (i.e. dry) guna (i.e. quality). It also shows Shita virya (i.e. cold potency) and Katu vipaka (i.e. pungent after digestion). It is a potent herb that pacifies Kapha and Pitta Doshas. Although used mainly for dysentery, the active alkaloidal ingredients conessine and conimine also protect the body from shigellosis, a bacterial infection caused due to the Shigella bacteria. It also prevents intestinal infections caused due to Acinetobacter baumanni. The Kutaja herb when taken with nishoth powder (i.e. Operculina turpenthum) effectively removes AMA toxins from the body and prevents kidney stones and renal diseases. The bark of this plant is also effective in treating gout and herpes.
The other variety of Kutaja i.e. the Stri Kutaja which goes by the botanical name Wrightia tinctoria and is also known as Shweta Kutaja in ayurveda. The plant is also known as Pala indigo plant or dyers' oleander is widely available in India, Southeast Asia and Australia.
Shweta Kutaja balances all three doshas (Vata, Pitta and Kapha). It has Tikta (i.e. bitter) and Kashaya (i.e. astringent) rasa (i.e. taste) and has Laghu (i.e. light to digest) and Rukhsha guna (i.e. absorbs moistness while getting digested). This herb has Shita virya (i.e. cold potency).
Shweta Kutaja is extensively used for managing diabetes, treating dandruff, enhancing the digestive system, purifying the blood and also used for treating obesity.
Although both the plants have similar outward characteristics, the seeds of Holarrhena antidysenterica are said to be Bitter Indrayava, while the seeds of Wrightia tinctoria are said to be Sweet Indrayava.
Ativisha, also known as Ativish or Atees herb has potent antipyretic, digestive, anti-helminthic and anti-diarrhoeal properties and is used for treating a host of ailments. Although it is highly useful, it has to be first purified by the swedana process to remove toxins and make it consumable by humans. The purified root is extremely beneficial for treating fever, malaria, bronchitis, nausea, indigestion, diarrhoea, piles, intestinal infections, lung disorders, etc. It has Tikta (i.e. bitter) and Katu (i.e. pungent) rasa (i.e. taste) and Laghu (i.e. light) and Rukhsha (i.e. dry) guna (i.e. quality). It also shows Shita virya (i.e. cold potency) and Katu vipaka (i.e. pungent after digestion). It balances the three doshas and normalises the Kapha Doshas.
Benefits and Therapeutic Uses:
This formulation is a magical remedy and due to the presence of the active ingredient Kutaja, it is the ultimate choice for effectively treating dysentery. In the case of amoebic dysentery, it completely kills the causative agent Entamoeba histolytica, clear its traces from the liver and intestines and also prevents the dormant amoeba to remain inside the digestive system and create further problems. The formulation also treats dysentery caused due to the Shigella bacteria causing bacillary dysentery and the bacteria Escherichia coli causing Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli adhesion.
Apart from dysentery, the potent anti-bacterial and anti-diarrhoeal properties of Kutaja ghana vati is extensively used for removing bacteria from the intestines that cause diarrhoea and other intestinal infections. When ingested alongside nagarmotha (i.e. Cyperus rotundus) and sonth (i.e. Zingiber officinalis), it can be used for treating a type of diarrhoea known as AMA ATISARA i.e. acute diarrhoea where the bowel is slimy, sticky, full of mucus and has a foul odour. This formulation not only removes the toxins from the body but also effectively reduces the frequency of stools.
Relieves From Pain:
The analgesic property of kutaja plays a key role in managing arthritis by relieving pain and inflammation and hence the medicine widely used for alleviating pain in the case of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
Difficulty in Urination:
The formulation is also used for treating urinary disorders like urinary incontinence, painful urination, burning sensation while urinating. When the medicine is taken alongside cow’s milk, it not only reduces the pain and burning micturition but also stimulates proper urination.
The hypoglycaemic property of kutaja plays a significant role in alleviating the blood sugar level of the body. The production of insulin from the pancreatic β-cells becomes active on the consumption of this formulation. It helps to reduce the breakdown of starch into glucose which in turn leads to low blood glucose levels.
Several types of research strongly advocate the use of this medicine in treating infections like flu, common cold, flatulence, constipation, agitation, nausea, nervousness, insomnia, vertigo, syncope, and xerostomia (i.e. dry mouth syndrome).
The antipyretic nature of the drug is also useful in reducing body temperature in fever.
The hemostatic action of the medicine plays a key role in treating and curing haemorrhoids and the calming and cooling after effect relives from the pain of bleeding piles.
The medicine is found to be extremely beneficial in reducing inflammation and treating irritable bowel syndrome and ulcerative colitis. Being a potent digestive, it stimulates the secretion of digestive juices thereby increasing the absorption of essential nutrients and enhancing digestion.
Abdominal Pain and Cramps:
Kutaja ghana vati has powerful digestive, anti-bacterial and anti-helminthic properties, which makes it highly beneficial for treating and excavating worms from the intestine. When taken along with hing churna, it provides fast relief from abdominal pains and cramps.
Besides the proven merits of Kutaja Ghana Vati in resolving umpteen gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhoea, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and stomach infections, this herbal blend also possesses powerful therapeutic properties to purify the blood of impurities, elevate brain and nervous system functioning when consumed internally and banish a host of skin conditions when applied topically.
The primary component of the herbal formulation Kutaja Ghana Vati is the bark extract of Kutaja, which houses noteworthy blood-purifying or Raktahara traits, which dispels toxins in the bloodstream. Gout aggravates Kapha and Pitta doshas, triggers swollen joints particularly in the feet due to uric acid build-up and hence, kutaja ghana vati flushes out the excess acidic components as well as balances Kapha, Pitta doshas to lessen joint inflammation and restore harmony of the tridoshas.
Rectifies Skin Disorders:
Kutaja bark residues are imbued with Kashaya i.e. astringent and Ropan meaning healing qualities, which work wonders to accelerate wound healing in skin conditions of sunburn, injuries, psoriasis, eczema, rosacea, by repairing tissue damage and renewing a new layer of skin cells. Furthermore, thanks to its remarkable Sheeta i.e. cooling attributes, combined with its Pitta-pacifying and anti-inflammatory features, kutaja powder diluted and boiled in water is a miraculous natural remedy to mend acne, scars, boils and improve skin texture.
Improves Cognitive Functioning:
The active ingredient conessine in the kutaja plant is a powerful histamine receptor antagonist, hence the formulation acts as a cognitive enhancer and enhances memory, cognitive functioning and creativity in individuals. It is also used to treat Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Effect On Doshas:
The herbal ingredients Kutaja and Ativisha balances the tridoshas i.e. Vata (i.e. air), Pitta (i.e. fire and air) and Kapha (i.e. earth and water) Doshas and effectively removes the AMA doshas (i.e. harmful toxins) from the body.
The precise therapeutic dosage may vary from person to person depending upon the age, severity and condition of the patient. One must consult an ayurvedic doctor or practitioner, as he or she will thoroughly examine the indications and prescribe the effective dosage for the specific time period.
The minimum therapeutic dosage may range between 2 -3 tablets for adults and 1 tablet for children thrice a day infused in cold or warm water or as suggested by the doctor.
Adverse Effects Of Kutaja Ghana Vati:
A potent remedy for treating diarrhoea and dysentery, there are no reported contraindications of this formulation. It is absolutely safe for usage during pregnancy and lactation on the prior doctor’s consultation. As both the herbs used in this formulation are bitter in taste, one might feel slight nauseatic or have vomiting tendency while having the formulation.
Is Kutaja Ghana Vati Safe For Pregnant Women?
As there is no reliable information regarding the usage of this medication during pregnancy, it is safer if pregnant women avoid using this or take it only after consulting with the treating doctor.
Is Kutaja Ghana Vati Safe For Children?
Certain studies show that consumption of this herbal medication causes minor side effects in children. So, it is strictly advised to consult a paediatric before giving it to your child.
Can Consumption Of Alcohol Cause Any Severe Side Effects While Being On This Medication?
There is no adequate data about the usage of alcohol alongside this medication. But it is always safer to avoid using it when you are on this herbal medication to avoid any counter-indications.
Is Kutaja Ghana Vati Habit-Forming?
Although it is extremely necessary to consume the medication only for the prescribed period, it is still not addictive if taken for a few more days.
Does Kutaja Ghana Vati Help In Case Of IBS?
IBS a.k.a Grahani in Ayurvedic terminology is mostly caused due to unhealthy dietary preferences, excessive intake of food that are difficult to digest, intake of allergy-causing foods, or ones that are low on nutrients, overeating, eating at erratic timings, and other physical and mental factors. It can induce both diarrhoea and constipation. The Pitta-reducing quality of the incredible herbs in Kutaja Ghana Vati makes it an absolute choice for treating this painful disease effectively.
Widely advocated as a potent “anti-dysenteric” formulation, Kutaja Ghana vati is a mixture of two powerful herbs i.e. Kutaja and Ativisha, which effectively treats and cures a wide range of ailments including diarrhoea, dysentery, irritable bowel syndrome, indigestion, diabetes, urinary disorders, arthritis, piles, etc. As this medicine does not have any reported adverse effects, hence with a proper doctor’s consultation, you can consume this formulation and reap its benefits.