All women face certain hormonal or emotional glitches every month during the time of their menstrual cycle. Be it irregular periods, leucorrhea, menstrual cramps, skin issues like acne, pimples, patches etc, most women are plagued with these hormonal disorders throughout the year, especially during that time of the month. Even though women have reached the moon and can attain success in any and every field, it is still considered a taboo to talk about gynecological problems within the society and hence some of these problems often gets neglected and untreated.
But don’t worry and take solace in Mother Nature’s wonders as she blessed us with a quarry of wondrous herbs, spices and foods to treat these hushed problems. So, instead of feeling shy or embarrassed, come out in the open and talk about these issues as believe us you are not alone, there are many who want to do the same!
Although, you cannot avoid these hormonal and menstrual anomalies, there are different ways to calm the underlying symptoms and provide relief from the pain. And one such incredible ayurvedic herb that is considered to be one of the best after Shatavari to regulate hormonal and menstrual problems in women sans any side effects is the wonder herb Lodhra.
What Is Lodhra?
Lodhra is an ancient healing herb in the Ayurvedic practice of medicine that goes by the botanical name Symplocos racemosa roxb and is an integral part of the Symplocaceae family. The plant usually grows to height of 6 metres and is primarily found growing in the in the northeastern hilly areas of the Indian subcontinent (Nagpur, Manipur) and Burma and is also distributed in tropical and subtropical regions of Asia, Australia, America and Malaysia. Although the entire plant with the leaves, roots, flowers and all is quite useful, it is the stem bark that has most importance and is used in the preparation of traditional medicines of Ayurveda and Unani.
Lodhra is an evergreen tree of tropical origin. It has a grayish-brown to pale-whitish brown stem which is uneven and rough and marked with white patches and fissures. Leaves are usually simple, elliptic-oblong or elliptic-lanceolate with a narrow apex, attenuate base and a slightly curved margin. It is mostly globous on both side curves and polished and shining above the nerve pair. Flowers are small, bisexual and white in colour. It is 5-lobed and a distinct fragrance. Fruits are chiefly drupes in nature with a globose, cylindrical shape and purplish-black colour. The embedded seeds are oblong and hard and are generally 1-3 in number with a woody endocarp.
Prized as a ‘Divyaushadhi’ which means a “divine herb” or “heavenly medical plant” in Sanskrit, Lodhra is a magical ayurvedic remedy for the management and treatment of gynecological problems, liver anomalies, blood diseases, dysentery, inflammation, gum diseases, eye diseases and different types of ulcers. The word “Lodhra” in Sanskrit means “that which makes the body firmer and stronger”.
Synonyms Of Lodhra
Lodhra is known by different names in different parts of the world. It is chiefly known as Lodh tree or Symplocos bark in English. In the Indian subcontinent, vernacular names of Lodhra include Lodh, Bodhra, Lodha in Hindi, Pachotti in Malayalam, Lodhra, Lodha, Lodh in Bengali, Vellilathi, Vellilothram, Velli, Velli lothi in Tamil, Lodhuga in Telugu, Vellilathi, Vellilothram, Velli, Velli lothi in Marathi, Lodhra in Kannada, Lodhaz in Gujarati, and Lodhar in Punjabi.
Ayurveda knows this plant by the Sanskrit terminologies which include Paittki Lodhra, Tirita, Balabadhra, Bhillataru, Balipriya, Bhilli, Rodhra, Sabara Lodhra, Hastilodhraka, Galava, Laktakarma, Lodhraka, Mahalodhra, Lodhravriksha, Marjana, Shahara, Hemapushpak, Kandanila, Kandakilaka, Lodhra, Rodhra, Shaharalodhra,Tilaka, Tritaka, Vanarajhata, Shavaraka, Shambara, Shukla, Tririta, whereas the Siddha medicines know it by Velli-lethi and Unani practice knows it by the names Lodh Pathaani, and Lodapathani.
Ayurvedic Indications Of Lodhra
Ayurveda, the holistic science of herbal remedies has extensively mentioned this herb time and gain in several ayurvedic scriptures and journals for various indications which include, Varnya (improves complexion), Kshayajit (treats tuberculosis), Deepana (enhances stomach fire), Pachana (helps in digestion), Rochana (stimulates appetite), Anulomana (improves breathing), Vamana (prevents nausea and vomiting), Sonisthapana (treats bleeding), Chakushya (treats eye problems), Garbhaprada (treats infertility), Vamanopaga (treats emesis), Mehahara (treats urinary tract disorders), Rasayani (rejuvenates the whole body), Vayasthapana (prevents ageing), Jvara (useful in fever), Kasahara (Relieves cough, Shwasha (relieves breathing difficulties), Amahara (treats indigestion), Dahahara (relieves burning sensation), Prameha (manages diabetes), Trutahara (relieves excessive thirst), Hikkanigrahana (controls hiccups), Kantya (relieves sore throat), Triptighno (relieves pseudo-satiation), Hridaya (treats heart problems), Balya (improves muscle strength), Gulmajit (useful in abdominal tumours), Shonitasthapana (prevents bleeding), Pandu (treats anaemia), Sangrahini (treats diarrhoea), Kustha (treats skin disorders), Kamala (prevents jaundice), Krimihara (relieves intestinal worms), Kanthya (improves voice), Arsha (treats piles), Krichra (treats painful micturition) and Pushtida (good for nutrition).
Phyto-chemical Components Of Lodhra
This incredible herb shows the presence of bio-active components like Colloturine, Loturidine, Loturine, Betulinic Acid, Oleanolic Acid, Acetyl Oleanolic Acid, Ellagic Acid, Flavonoids, Symposide, Salireposide, Symplocososide, Betasito-glycoside, Symploveroside, Benzoylsalireposide, Salireposide, etc.
Imbued with potent anti-inflammatory, anti-androgenic, antioxidant, anti-diabetic, anti-cancer, anti-fibrinolytic, astringent, anti-ulcer, digestive, expectorant, hypolipidemic, hepatoprotective and wound healing properties, Lodhra holds high significance in treating a host of disorders including menstrual disorders, skin infections, liver problems, stomach problems, jaundice, fever, allergy, asthma, indigestion, constipation, diarrhea, rheumatic arthritis, bleeding, diabetes etc. Additionally, it is a magical remedy for treating numerous gynaecological problems and hormonal anomalies like menopause, menstrual disorders, dysmenorrhea, amenorrhea, leucorrhea, yeast infection and breast tumors.
Formulation Containing Lodhra
This potent plant is extensively used for preparing various formulations targeted at detoxifying the blood, treating skin diseases, diabetes, gum diseases, improving complexion, remedying liver diseases, correcting indigestion, piles and many more. Be it in the form of Asava (syrup), Churna (powder), or Arka (tincture), the stellar benefits of Lodhra can be used via all. One such incredible herbal formulation containing Lodhra is Lodhrasava.
Lodhrasava also known as Lodhrasavam is an ultimate remedy for detoxifying and rejuvenating the entire body. Although, in the earlier days it was mainly aimed for treating urinary disorders like polyuria, alkanuria, indicanuria, chyluria, biliuria, urobilinuria, chronic nephritis, diabetes insipidus, phosphaturia, albuminuria, malabsorption syndrome, anemia, piles, skin diseases and liver diseases, nowadays, it is also extensively used for abnormal uterine bleeding or metrorrhagia, leucorrhea and other uterine and menstrual problems.
1 part of Lodhra – Symplocos racemosa
1 part of Kachur (Zedoary) – Curcuma zedoaria
1 part of Haritaki or Harar (Chebulic Myrobalan) – Terminalia chebula
1 part of Bibhitaki – Terminalia bellirica
1 part of Amalaki (Amla or Indian Gooseberry) – Phyllanthus emblica
1 part of Ajwain (Carom Seeds) – Trachyspermum ammi
1 part of Chavya (Java Long Pepper) – Piper chaba
1 part of Pushkarmool (Elecampane) – Inula racemosa
1 part of Elachi (Green cardamom) – Elettaria cardamomum
1 part of Murva – Marsdenia tenacissima
1 part of Vaividang (False Black Pepper) – Embelia ribes
1 part of Priyangu – Callicarpa macrophylla
1 part of Supari (Betel Nut) – Areca catechu
1 part of Indravaruni (Indrayana) – Citrullus colocynthis roots
1 part of Chirayata (Kiratatikta) – Swertia chirata
1 part of Kutki – Picrorhiza kurroa
1 part of Patha – Cissampelos pareira
1 part of Indrayava – Holarrhena antidysenterica Seeds
1 part of Nagkesar – Mesua ferrea
1 part of Kutaj (Kurchi) – Holarrhena Antidysenterica bark
1 part of Tejpata (Indian Bay Leaf) – Cinnamomum tamala
1 part of Kali Mirch (Black Pepper) – Piper nigrum
1 part of Nagarmotha (Mustak or nut grass) – Cyperus rotundus
1 part of Bharangi – Clerodendrum serratum
1 part of Tagara – Valeriana wallichii
1 part of Chitrak – Plumbago zeylanica
1 part of Piplamool (Long pepper) – Piper longum
1 part of Kuth or Kushta (Indian Costus Root) – Saussurea lappa
1 part of Ativisha – Aconitum heterophyllum
1024 Parts Water
125 parts of Shahad – Honey
Take the given quantity of water in a large asava vessel.
Put all the washed and cleaned herbs in it.
Boil the decoction till it becomes ¼th of the initial volume.
Cool the mixture and add honey to it.
Now tie the mouth of the asava vessel with a clay-smeared cloth.
Leave the vessel untouched for 30 days to allow the herbs to ferment.
After completion of 30days, filter the liquid and store it in food grade glass bottles for future use.
For Adults: 10-30 ml twice a day after meals along with water or as suggested by the healthcare provider.
Health Benefits Of Lodhra
Remedies Gynecological Anomalies
Deemed as a powerful female-friendly herb, Lodhra is a boon for treating numerous hormonal problems. Not only does it help in treating endometriosis (i.e., inflammation of the lining of the uterus) but also normalizes FSH and LH levels within the blood, which thereby helps in regulating overall body development, growth, pubertal maturation, strengthens the female reproductive organs, manages the menstrual cycle and triggers ovulation (i.e., it stimulates the ovaries to produce eggs that mature into follicles) and also helps in the development of the corpus luteum. Being a powerful uterine tonic, regular use of this herb imbued formulation improves fertility when an individual is trying to conceive.
It also plays a quintessential role in regulating periods, treating postnatal ailments, and even helps to treat excessive abdominal pain/bleeding. Additionally, it also subdues the pain during dysmenorrhea and encourages easy flow during the menstrual cycle. For women suffering from PCOD, intake of lodhra formulations actively helps in purifying the blood and restores uterus health leading to regular, healthy menstrual cycles.
Decoction of the bark when consumed along with milk, helps treat menstrual problems whereas the powdered formulation is beneficial for treating vaginal infections.
Fights Respiratory Issues
Powered with powerful anti-inflammatory, anti-biotic, and anti-asthmatic properties, Lodhra is considered to be a well-known traditional remedy for all sorts of respiratory troubles. It is quintessential in treating the common cold, sore throat, cough and flu symptoms. Being a Kapha pacifier, it actively thins and loosens catarrh particles within the chest and nasal cavities and hence eases breathing and helps the body to get rid of mucus. It is also beneficial for treating asthma and other bronchial conditions.
Relieves Liver Anomalies
Blessed with potent hepatoprotective and hepato-stimulative properties, Lodhra makes for a magical remedy for most liver anomalies especially jaundice, in which the liver gets mostly effected. The herb not only provides support to the liver functioning by secreting bile but also helps the liver enzymes to tune down to normal levels. It also cleanses and detoxifies the liver and improves liver functioning.
Augments Skin Health
An aggravation of the Pitta doshas within the body, may lead to different types of skin infections, eczema, acne and poor complexion. Sanctified with antioxidant, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, Ayurveda acknowledges lodhra as a well-known one-step remedy for various skin conditions. Owing to its blood purifying properties which helps in removing toxins from the blood, it helps in treating a host of skin infections as well. It not only helps in shielding the skin from oxidative radical damage due to the harmful UVA and UVB rays, but also reduces the risk of the various signs of aging like wrinkles, blemishes, spots, fine lines, and dark circles. It is also beneficial for treating allergic conditions like acne, pimples, zits, psoriasis, scabies, eczema and many more.
Make a paste of 1 tbsp aloe vera gel, 1 tsp lodhra powder, pinch of turmeric and rose water. Apply this paste all over the face and neck for a radiant, blemish-free dewy complexion.
The abundance of hypoglycemic property in Lodhra holds high significance in alleviating the blood sugar levels of the body. The production of insulin from the pancreatic β-cells becomes active on taking the bark powder. It helps to reduce the breakdown of starch into glucose which in turn leads to low blood glucose levels.
The anti-inflammatory and anti-ulcer properties of Lodhra stem holds high significance in treating different types of ulcers like ulcerative colitis, peptic ulcer, canker sores or mouth ulcers, etc. The bioactive components in the herb helps in healing mouth and gastric ulcers. It also helps to speed up the healing process and improves wound contracting ability, tissue regeneration, and wound closure so as to facilitate faster healing.
Epistaxis also known as nose bleed usually occurs due to aggravation of Pitta doshas. Imbued with hemostatic and astringent properties, lodhra thickens the blood, constricts blood vessels, reduces inflammation and thereby restricts nose bleeds.
Imbued with excellent carminative and digestive properties, Lodhra even helps in treating a host of digestive woes. The anti-flatulent property reduces the formation of gas in the alimentary canal, thus reducing flatulence, bloating, constipation, and abdominal distension. The potent antacid property of the herb prevents the formation of excessive acids in the stomach thereby treating indigestion, ulcer, gastritis and promoting better absorption of nutrients in the body.
Other Uses Of Lodhra
Apart from the above-mentioned therapeutic uses, lodhra has secondary indications as well. The paste of the bark when applied on the eyelids is pivotal to treat conjunctivitis. It is also useful for reducing inflammation and pain in case of insect bites, itching and rashes. The decoction of the bark is useful for treating diarrhea and bleeding disorders. To control discharge from the ears, powdered lodhra bark is beneficial when blown into the ear canal.
Effect On Doshas
This magical detoxifying herb showcases Kashaya (i.e., astringent) Rasa. It is blessed with Rukhsha (dry) and Laghu (i.e., light) gunas. It has Shita Virya cold potency) and Katu Vipaka (pungent metabolic property). Owing to the dry and light qualities, the herb may aggravate the Vata doshas if taken in excess. The herb helps to cut through the thick rheum matter caused due to increased kapha doshas, and it also reduces pitta and kapha doshas in the head and chest, thus helping to uphold a normal body temperature. Additionally, being a Pitta pacifier, it detoxifies the kidney, liver and blood, while simultaneously fortifying the vital organ and enhancing cellular growth and tissue regeneration. In accordance to the intrinsic properties and doshas, Lodhra portrays a positive effect on the various Dhatus (i.e., body tissues) which are Rasa (i.e. Plasma), Rakta (i.e., Blood), Mamsa (i.e., Muscles), Asthi (i.e., Bones) and Shukra (i.e., Reproductive Fluids).
The holistic science of Ayurveda groups Lodhra under Amvashtadi Varg (plant that cures diarrhea), Sandhaniya Varg (group of the plants that promote the union of fractured parts), and Nyagrodhadi Varg (herbs that cure boils and sores, constipate the bowels, unite fractures, and also allay blood-bile, burning sensation, and faults of the female reproductive organs).
The ayurvedic properties that help in portraying the following main prabhabs on the body are Varnya (improves skin quality and complexion), Chakushya (good for eyes), Raktastambhan (controls bleeding), Vrana ropana (treats ulcers and wounds), Grabhashaya srava-nashak (prevents uterus discharge) and Kushtaghna (alleviates skin diseases).
Lodhra is widely available in the form of churnas, asavas, kashayams and even as dried stem bark. Owing to its pungent-bitter taste, one can consume it alongside honey to mask the taste.
The precise therapeutic dosage of lodhra 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 a specific period of time.
Churna (Powder) - ½-1 tsp along with plain water or rice water twice a day after meals.
Water decoction (Kashayam) - 10-20 tsp (about 50-100 ml) decoction in divided doses during the day.
Lodhra Side Effects
Imbued with potent bioactive components, this traditional herb exhibits no recorded side effects when used in the correct proportion. It is extremely effective in regulating hormones and treating different gynecological and reproductive issues in women. But care should be taken that men do not take it in excess or for longer duration as due to its testosterone decreasing and progesterone increasing property, it may have an anti-androgen effect and reduce the male sex hormones such as testosterone. It should also not be taken on empty stomach as it chiefly causes abdominal heaviness, constipation and nausea in individuals with gastrointestinal disturbances. Moreover, since there is no reliable information of the effects of lodhra during pregnancy or lactation period, hence it is suggested that pregnant women and breast-feeding mothers should avoid using this humble herb without medical supervision.
Lodhra is an incredible female-friendly herb that has immense regenerative and detoxifying properties. Thanks to the goodness of the essential bio-active ingredients, and the host of therapeutic properties, it is extensively used for treating a variety of skin conditions, menstrual anomalies, relieving liver problems, managing cough and cold, sore throat, treating respiratory diseases, promoting digestion, healing ulcers and wounds and many more.