Padmak, also known as the Wild Himalayan cherry tree, is an incredible ayurvedic plant used since times immemorial for its indispensable therapeutic and medicinal qualities. It belongs to the Rosaceae family and goes by the botanical name Prunus Cerasoides D. Right from its seeds, fruit, bark, and gums are used largely in traditional medicine for preparing several herbal formulations. The holistic system of Ayurveda vouches by this plant for managing several skin woes. Pitta pacifying nature of padmak supports enhancing complexion and radiance of the skin. While its Snigdha (oily) and Kashaya (astringent) actions support enhancing skin health and glow from deep within.
Padmak is a medium to a tall growing plant, widely distributed across the temperate region of the Himalayas from Kashmir to Bhutan, Akka and Khasi Hills in Assam and Manipur at an altitude of 8000 feet. The tree requires mild lighting -a temperate climate and grows well in shady hills and farms. The trunk is pale reddish with nodules and has the fragrance of lotus and blossoms are white or pinkish in hue. It is a plant-based herb, and its propagation material is a seed, while it can also be propagated vegetatively by air layering and stem cutting.
Synonyms Of Padmak
The plant is recognised by various names in different languages. Bird cherry, wild Himalayan cherry or sour cherry in English, Padmaka, Padmak in Hindi, Padma Kashtam in Telugu, Padimukham in Malayalam, Padmakashta in Gujarati and Padam in Bengali and Padmavarna, Patala Pshpavarnaka in Sanskrit.
Uses of Padmak
The bark and seeds of this herbal medicine are largely valued for their incredible healing nature. The seeds of this herbal plant are beneficial for treating kidney stones, burning sensations, bleeding disorders and skin diseases. While the infusion of its twigs strengthens the uterus, controls bleeding, and treats insect bites. The flowers are recognised for their laxative and diuretic traits. The seeds are used as anthelmintic and leaf extract of the plant is used in treating kidney disorders. The bark or the heartwood of padmak is made into a concoction, drinking this helps people suffering from excessive sweating, burning sensation of the whole body and treats fever. Padmak pacifies aggravated Kapha and Pitta dosha. It has an astringent, bitter taste, and calming actions.
Padmak is an extremely impressive medicinal plant as every part of the plant have healing traits and is used for therapeutic purposes. The key chemical components of padmaka comprise beta-sitosterol, stigmasterol, uroslic acid, prunetinoside and neosakuranin The plant contains flavone glucoside-puddumin A. While the seeds contain flavonoid glycosides and their leaves, twigs, bark, and kernels contain a cyanogenetic compound. Furthermore, padmak is credited to possess wound-healing, skin-enhancing, anti-inflammatory and bolstering actions.
Padmak is a highly potent herb that has been used as a key ingredient in several ayurvedic formulations and works as an herbal cure. Some of the key ayurvedic indications of this medicinal plant include:
Visarpa: Treats herpes
Daha: Alleviates burning sensation caused due to gastritis, neuropathy, and burning sensation in the eyes
Visphota: Heals boils and blisters
Kushta: Cures skin problems
Asra: Effective in treating blood disorders like an abscess, skin problems, bleeding disorders such as menorrhagia, nasal bleeding
Visha: Treats toxic conditions and poisoning
Trushna: Eases excessive thirst
Raktapitta: Treats bleeding problems such as nasal bleeding, heavy periods
Jware: Relieves fever
Moha: Dizziness, delusion
Bhranti: Improves dizziness, insanity
Garbha Smasthapana: Shields the pregnant women
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Health Benefits Of Padmak
Augment Women’s Reproductive Health
This herbal plant promotes the healthy functioning of the reproductive system and strengthens women health. Padmak acts as a uterine tonic that enhances the weak uterus and nurtures it for conceiving the foetus. Further, pitta and Kapha pacifying actions of padmak help in the management of irregular menstrual cycle.
Vitiligo or Shwitra is caused due to aggravated pitta dosha in the system. The imbalanced pitta results in the accumulation of ama, which eventually weakness the deeper body tissues that results in depigmentation of the skin. Padmak herb works wonders in averting and lessening the white patches in the skin and bringing the skin back to its normal colour.
The potent anti-inflammatory and healing actions of this herbal plant are very effective in healing wounds. The topical application of padmak extracts on wounds, bruises and cuts speeds up the healing process.
Treats Skin Conditions
Eczema is caused due to an imbalance of the pitta dosha, applying padmak paste to the affection region helps in easing the symptoms of eczema, owing to its Pitta balancing actions. The astringent and oily traits of padmak avert skin dryness and improve skin complexion and glow. Additionally, bark powder of this plant is applied to the skin to ease skin rashes and itching.
Padmak herbal formulation is attributed to have antipyretic actions that are valuable in treating fevers. The bark of this medicinal plant is boiled in hot water, this infusion when taken offers respite from severe fever and excessive sweating. Apart from this, it cools the body and offers relief from burning sensations.
Padmak is available in the form of churna, powder and extracts. The right therapeutic dosage of padmak may vary from person to person depending on their health conditions, age, and nature of the disease. It is advisable to consult an ayurvedic practitioner, as he or she will completely evaluate the indications and recommend the appropriate dosage for the specific period.
There are not many side effects of padmak. However, if taken in large amounts may result in weakness, muscle spasms, dilation of pupils and convulsions in a few people.