Good health across all age-groups is ensured not only by a healthy heart, brain, lungs, kidneys, liver and digestive system, but also with strong bones and joints. Mobility is a key metric of optimal wellbeing, which enables an individual to carry out routine chores at home, professional tasks at work, besides traveling and engaging in physical activities, gym workouts and sports. While a diet enriched with the three bone-fortifying minerals – calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, plus vitamin D, vitamin K, omega-3 fatty acids, proteins alongside regular exercising certainly bolster the connective skeletal tissues in the body, additionally, an array of herbs from the time-tested Indian system of medicine – Ayurveda - work wonders in boosting the durability of bones and flexibility of joints as well. One such herb touted for its brilliant merits for bone and joint health is Rasna.
The Rasna Plant:
Designated with the scientific name Pluchea lanceolata, belonging to the Asteraceae botanical family, Rasna is a perennial herb that grows extensively in the Indo-Gangetic plains situated in North West India, reaching a height of up to 30 – 60 cm. The stem and branches are of a terete plant physiology i.e. cylindrical with a tapering form in some parts, with a slender frame having pubescent i.e. soft hairy filaments. The leaves are 2 - 6 cm in length, oblong, with a fine silky surface and tiny hair-like projections on both sides. The flowers of the Rasna plant are in a wide set of colours, ranging from white, yellow to purple and lilac, with 1 – 2 shallow lobes.
Bioactive Constituents In The Rasna Plant:
The medicinal properties of Rasna are attributed majorly to the leaves, with the rhizome segments – stem and root - possessing some therapeutic value as well. Significant amounts of potent bioactive compounds such as the phytonutrients moretenol, neolupenol, hexacosanoic acid, tetracosanoic acid, triacontanol, stigmasterol, beta-sitosterol-D-glucoside are present in the leaf residues of rasna which display powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Ayurvedic Indications Of Rasna:
The spectacular ayurvedic indications of Rasna are documented in the ancient manuscripts of Charaka Samhita, Sushruta Samhita and Ashtanga Hridaya. These consist of remedying Amavata/arthritis by eliminating Ama toxins in digestive system and reducing Vata dosha imbalance, as well as relieving pain, infection and inflammation i.e. shopha in conditions of vatasra – gout, kasa – cough and cold, jwara – fever, shoola – abdominal and colon pain, shwasa – asthma/respiratory ailments and udara – ascites/abdominal enlargement due to fluid retention.
Formulations Of Rasna:
Thanks to its outstanding incentives in lessening joint pain in arthritis, in addition to enhancing respiratory, digestive and kidney health, Rasna leaf extracts are incorporated in several classical Ayurvedic formulations. These include Rasna Erandadi Kashaya, Rasna Saptaka Kashaya, Maharasnadi Kashaya – in decoction form, Rasnadi Guggulu – in tablet form, Rasnadi Choorna – in powder form and Dadhika Ghrita – in an olegenous ghee base.
Health Benefits And Ayurvedic Uses Of Rasna:
Alleviates Rheumatic Pain
Rheumatoid arthritis is defined as Amavata in Ayurveda, due to accumulation of Ama toxins and aggravation of Vata dosha in the body. The leaf extracts of rasna possess marvellous anti-inflammatory qualities to effectively dispel pain and improve mobility of shoulder, hip, knee, elbow and wrist joints.
Treats Cough And Cold
Laden with plant-based compounds that showcase strong Ushna i.e. heat-inducing nature and Kapha dosha balancing qualities, rasna is useful in resolving respiratory issues of cough, cold, wheezing, bronchitis, asthma. Furthermore, by decongesting the nasal and throat passages, rasna leaf extracts are valuable in eliminating excess phlegm from the lungs and upper respiratory tract, regulating body temperature and treating fever and sinusitis.
Uplifts Kidney Functions
Rasna is bestowed with a plethora of powerful antioxidants that reduce oxidative stress and thwart harmful free radicals from the renal tissues. In this manner, rasna is an amazing natural remedy for augmenting kidney wellness and safeguarding renal functions for optimal detoxification of the system.
Pacifies Muscle Spasms
The leaf extracts of rasna contain vast reserves of antispasmodic components. These plant-based residues work to relax smooth muscles, loosen constricted tissues and enable flexible muscular functions. Moreover, rasna is also imbued with analgesic properties to considerably lower pain, soreness and inflammation in muscles.
Rasna is famed for its remarkable potential in soothing intense joint pain and rigidity associated with osteoarthritis. Known as Sandhivata in Ayurveda, osteoarthritis is triggered by an imbalance in vata dosha and hence, consuming rasna herbal extracts and formulations helps in restoring tridoshic harmony. In addition, the strong anti-inflammatory compounds present in rasna aid in relieving pain, swelling, stiffness in joints, thus helping manage osteoarthritis symptoms effectively.
Dosage Of Rasna:
The dosage of rasna to be taken for internal consumption depends on the type of disease and the severity of symptoms in the patient. It is always recommended to consult with a certified Ayurvedic practitioner to ensure taking only the appropriate dose of rasna herbal extracts and formulations, to effectively treat bone and joint ailments, uplift respiratory, kidney and digestive functions and steer clear of any side effects.
Side Effects Of Rasna:
There are no harmful side effects reported with Rasna, when the intake is in recommended doses. However, excess ingestion of this herb may prompt nausea, vomiting, indigestion and hence it is vital to take rasna-based ayurvedic formulations strictly as per the dosage prescribed by the Ayurvedic doctor. Furthermore, the patient should also inform the medical healthcare professional if they are taking any other prescription medications or herbal supplements for other underlying chronic disorders, so as to avert any harmful drug interactions and health complications in the body.