A rich array of plants and herbs that have been surrounding us and our environment are known for their precedence as well as medicinal importance since ancient times. In the present day’s medicinal folklore, many plant-based drugs are being evaluated due to their specific healing properties and effects on health and overall wellness. Among many other powerful herbal plants that the planet has bestowed us with, Quercus Infectoria Olivera or the Aleppo oak, popularly known as Majuphal is an effective herb extensively being used in the treatment of various health anomalies.
A small shrub found in all parts of Asia and major parts of Greece and Iran, Majuphal is technically a minuscule outgrowth that emerges on the younger lot of twigs and the fresh leaves of the Oaktree and is known as oak galls. Acknowledged in Ayurvedic science for its potential health benefits and healing capacity, it has been utilised since ancient times for the treatment of many diseases since it possesses strong antioxidant, antifungal, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It is also known by names like Gall Tree, Gall oak, Turkey Gall, Masikai and the Magic nut. Primarily, there are two types of Majuphal: the white gall Majuphal and the green gall Majuphal. This powerful herbal plant is valuable in curing all kinds of skin infections, its antibacterial and astringent benefits help in constricting the tissues of the epidermis, enhancing skin tightening and providing umpteen anti-ageing benefits.
Majuphal is semi sized shrub that grows 4 to 6 feet in height. It prefers partial shade and thrives in moist soil. The branches of the tree are crooked, slender and drooping. The leaves are bright, long and narrow and grow up to 4 centimetres long. The flowers are monoecious and pollinated by wind. The fruits are about 8 mm in diameter and become black upon ripening. The roots of this plant are branched, cylindrical and fibrous, 6 to 9 cm long and about 6 to 8 mm thick. The galls are tiny outgrowths formed due to the attack, and deposit of eggs on young leaves, twigs, and buds by a female gall-wasp called Cynip Gallae Tinctoriae. The galls are globular with uneven surfaces and yellow inner parts.
Synonyms Of Majuphal
In India, Majuphal goes by the following vernacular names in regional languages:
Hindi: Maajoophal, Majuphal, Mazu
Sanskrit: Mayaphala, Majuphul
Bengali: Majoophal, Majuphal
Gujrati: Muajoophal, Mayfal, Maiphal
Hindi: Maajoophal, Majuphal, Mazu
Kannada: Machikaai, Mapalakam
Malayalam: Majakaanee, Mashikkay
Tamil: Machakaai, Masikki, Mussikki, Machakai, Maasikkai
Urdu: Mazu, Mazuphal, Baloot
Chemical Constituents Of Majuphal
The main chemical constituent of gall in the Majuphal plant is about 70% of tannic acid and 3% of gallic acid, a detailed phytochemical screening of the constituents of Majuphal shows the presence of alkaloids, tannins, glycosides, triterpenes, sterols and phenolic compounds. Besides carbohydrates, flavonoids, saponins, phloroglucinol, glycerine, HCl, chloral hydrate and sodium hydroxide were also present in the plant.
Medicinal Properties Of Majuphal
Considered to be an extremely powerful plant, Majuphal consists of the medicinal properties:
Majuphal has the following ayurvedic qualities that offer myriad wellness benefits:
Rasa (taste): Kashaya (astringent)
Guna (qualities): Laghu (lightness), Rooksha (dryness)
Virya (potency): Sheeta (cold)
Health Benefits Of Majuphal
Traditional Health Benefits
Majuphal has been used to treat various inflammatory diseases since ancient times. Some of the traditional properties of Majuphal are as follows:
- Majuphal helps to heal wounds caused due to various bacterial infections
- The anti-parasitic property of reduces infections like leishmaniasis, amoebiasis, and blastocysts
- Topical application of Majuphal extract gels on the vagina reduces its dryness and improves lubrication
- Majuphal galls have been identified to possess anaesthetic properties and have been used as local anaesthesia since the olden days
- As an anti-hypertensive medicine, Majuphal has been found to reduce high levels of blood pressure
- Majuphal has beneficial effects on the central nervous system and reduces risks of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
- The gastroprotective effects of Majuphal alleviate gastritis and reduces ethanol-induced gastric damage to the body
- Majuphal essential oil is applied over the scalp and used for the treatment of hair fall and to blacken hair
- Majuphal is a very effective home remedy for sore throat thus is used as an ingredient in many ayurvedic preparations
Healing Health Benefits Of Majuphal
Diarrhoea known as Atisar in Ayurvedic science happens due to improper food, contaminated water and infection in the intestines caused by a parasite or bacteria. Majuphal has been an effective herb to cure diarrhoea, dysentery and all sorts of acute abdominal pains. Besides, it is also effective in alleviating dysmenorrhea, or the pain associated with menstruation.
Majuphal is an effective remedy to control bleeding piles also called haemorrhoids. Owing to its astringent property, it constricts the tissues of the rectum area and reduces bleeding. Majuphal powder is applied topically as an ointment to provide relief from inflammation and pain due to piles.
Majuphal is useful to reduce the symptoms of hyperpigmentation that is more often caused by an aggravation of Pitta dosha in the body, which is when the skin is exposed to heat. Due to its cold nature and healing property, Majuphal reduces tanning of the skin and helps the skin get rid of pigmentation and dark spots.
The root extracts of Majuphal have been proven to have potent anti-diabetic effects. By inducing insulin production and balancing its levels, it has been a remedial solution to manage uncontrolled diabetes.
Majuphal decoction has proven to reduce inflammation of the throat and manage tonsillitis. Since it contains astringent qualities, it prevents bleeding in the gums and gives a soothing effect to the throat.
Since it has antifungal properties, Majuphal is used in treating vaginal problems such as vaginitis and leucorrhoea. Majuphal powder along with lukewarm water helps to reduce and alleviate problems of thick yellow, whitish discharge from the vagina that women experience during the reproductive cycle.
Effect On Doshas
According to Ayurveda, it is amongst one of the best herbs for pacifying Kapha and Pitta doshas. Due to its Kapha pitta shamaka karma, it reduces Kapha and pitta dosha in the body.
An ayurvedic practitioner can prescribe the exact dosage as per the health condition of an individual, but in general, the safe dosage is:
In Powder Form: 1 to 3 gms twice a day
In Form Of Decoction: 1 to 2 ounces twice a day
Oil Application: Topically can be applied twice a day
Though there are not many side effects that have been noticed of this herb, in certain cases, a high dosage may cause reaction, nausea and induce vomiting.
Despite the herb being considered safe to be used in limited quantities, it is recommended that patients with diabetes and people with cardiac anomalies should consult their doctor before consuming Majuphal. Breastfeeding and pregnant women should also not consume it before consulting a doctor.