With the change of seasons from the blooming spring to the sweltering summers, it’s the time when most people fall prey to different types of infections and flu. Well, the answer to all this is improving the overall immunity and well-being of an individual. And how better to achieve this than by incorporating some additional natural supplements into your daily lifestyle. Believe it or not, Ayurveda, a 5000-year-old practice of alternative medicine brings you a quarry of natural herbs and spices which when added in specific amounts offer an absolute solution to most health anomalies. And one such incredible herb that is imbued with immense immuno-protective and restorative properties and used by ayurvedic practitioners for its host of health benefits towards the human race is Vidarikhand.
What Is Vidarikhand?
Touted as one of the most nourishing medicinal plants gifted by Mother Nature, Vidarikhand is a perennial herb that goes by the botanical name Pueraria tuberosa and belongs to the Fabaceae (pea) family. Known as Indian Kudzu in common terms, Vidarikhand possesses a widely spread tuberous root system with a coiling, climbing, trailing vine. The tuberous roots are globose, starchy, white in colour, and have a sweet taste. The young branches are grey pubescent. The leaves of this tuberous plant which resemble that of the leaves of Palash are trifoliate and alternate, while the leaflets are egg-shaped, with a round base and unequal sides. Flowers are usually bisexual in nature with a blue or purplish-blue tone. The fruit pods are linear and constricted densely between the seeds. Seeds have silky, bristly reddish-brown hair and chiefly vary from 3 to 6 in number.
The herb is native to India, Pakistan and Nepal and widely spread throughout the Himalayas, growing at a height of about 4000 ft and even in other areas of Mount Abu, Punjab, Sikkim, Kumaon, Western Uttar Pradesh, and Central India.
In the ancient times, the globous rhizomes of this incredible plant were used by ayurvedic physicians for improving the production of milk in new mothers due to its galactagogue action. And, owing it its high spermatogenic properties, it helped in increasing both quality and quantity of semen in males and also increasing the motility of the sperms and enhancing libido during sexual intercourse. Edible tubers of this plant have also been extensively used to treat chest pain, fever and rheumatism. Additionally, it is also found beneficial in weight gain, enhancing voice quality, and promoting reproductive functions and treating infertility in both male and females.
Common Names Of Vidarikhand
Vidarikhand is known as Indian Kudzu in English. But in the Indian subcontinent, it is known as VidareeKand, Bilaikand, Sural, Patal Kand, Patal Kohda, Patal Kumhra in Hindi, Shimiya, Shimiabatraji, Bhui Kumdo, Bhumikushmanda in Bengali, Nilpushni Kezhugu in Tamil, Nelagummuda, Darigummadi in Telugu, Siali in Punjabi, Bhedeleton, Bhuikumra in Assamese, Khakharvel, Vidaree, Vidareekand in Gujarati, Bendriya bel, Bindree, Vendrichavel in Marathi and Bhui-kumhadaa, Suraal in folf languages.
Ayurveda knows this medicinal plant by the Sanskrit terminologies such as Ikshugandha, Vidari, Vidarikanda, Kandapalash, Bhumikushmanda, Swadukanda, Bidari, Bidarikand, and Charmkaraluk.
Ayurvedic Indications Of Vidarikhand
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, Rasayani (rejuvenates the whole body), Balya (improves muscle strength), Vayasthapana (prevents ageing), Stanyavardhana (increases breast milk), Jvara (useful in fever), Kasahara (Relieves cough, Shwasha (relieves breathing difficulties), Amahara (treats indigestion), Deepana (enhances stomach fire), Pachana (helps in digestion), Rochana (stimulates appetite), Vajikaran (improves libido), Anulomana (improves breathing), Vamana (prevents nausea and vomiting), Dahahara (relieves burning sensation), Prameha (manages diabetes), Trutahara (relieves excessive thirst), Mehahara (treats urinary tract disorders), Gulmajit (useful in abdominal tumours), Hikkanigrahana (controls hiccups), Kantya (relieves sore throat), Triptighno (relieves pseudo-satiation), Hridaya (treats heart problems), Garbhaprada (treats infertility), Vamanopaga (treats emesis), Shonitasthapana (prevents bleeding), Pandu (treats anaemia), Sangrahini (treats diarrhoea), Kustha (treats skin disorders), Medhya (increases memory), Varnya (improves complexion), Kshayajit (treats tuberculosis), Krimihara (relieves intestinal worms), Kanthya (improves voice), Arsha (treats piles), Krichra (treats painful micturition) and Pushtida (good for nutrition).
Biochemical Constituents Of Vidarikhand
The host of boi-chemical components in Vidarikhand include β- sitosterol, stigmasterol, duidzein, tuberosin, puerarin, Pterocarpan-tuberosin, pterocarpanone-hydroxytuberosone, two pterocarpenes-anhydrotuberosin, and 3-O-methylanhydrotuberosin, and a coumestan tuberostan. It also containes an isoflavone-puerarone, and a coumestan-puerarostan. Apart from this, it also contains 64% carbohydrates and 10.9%proteins.
Enriched with these bio active components and host of qualities like immuno-protective, rejuvenative, cardiotonic, diuretic, anti-emetic, galactagogue, hypertensive, detoxifying, febrifuge, digestive, anti-inflammatory, broncho-dilatory, pain-relieving, anti-microbial properties, this medicinal plant is extensively used for treating and providing relief from infections, male and female reproductive problems, skin conditions, heart issues, indigestion, constipation, diarrhea, fever, allergy, asthma, blood infections, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Formulation Containing Vidarikhand
This potent whitish tuberous root is extensively used for preparing various formulations aimed at improving milk production, increasing vitality, enhancing immunity, detoxifying the blood, treating skin diseases, improving complexion, managing cardiac diseases and many more. Be it in the form of Kalka (paste), Shrita / kwath (decoction), Swaras (juice), Shita (cold infusion), Phant (hot infusion), Churna (powder), Ghrita (ghee) or Arka (tincture), the stellar benefits of Vidarikhand can be used via all. One such incredible herbal formulation containing Vidarikhand is Saraswatarishta.
Saraswatarishta, also known as Saraswatharishtam is a classical ayurvedic decoction that not only helps in treating mental and neurological problems but also improves cardiac functions. Concocted according to the principles of Asava and Arishtam, this propreitary medication contains Brahmi in combination with other herbs and Swarna (Gold), the formulation becomes effective in increasing memory capacity, attention span, concentration, intelligence and treating several health anomalies depression, anxiety, ADHD, heart diseases, insomnia, anorexia, restlessness, vertigo, skin problems etc. It is even used for decreasing stress and mental fatigue.
1 kg Brahmi (Water Hyssop) -Bacopa Monnieri
250 grams Shatavari – Asparagus Racemosa
250 grams Vidarikand (Kudzu) – Pueraria Tuberosa
250 grams Haritaki – Terminalia Chebula
250 grams Sonth (Ginger) – Zingiber Officinale
250 grams Saunf (Fennel) – Foeniculum Vulgare
250 grams Ushira (Khas) – Vetiveria Zizanioides
12.8 litres Water for Decoction
500 grams Honey or Old Jaggery
1 kg Sugar
250 grams Dhataki – Woodfordia Fruticosa
12.5 grams Gold Leaf
12.5 grams Kushta – Saussurea Lappa
12.5 grams Ashwagandha – Withania Somnifera
12.5 grams Bibhitaki – Terminalia Bellerica
12.5 grams Guduchi (Giloy) – Tinospora Cordifolia
12.5 grams Nirgundi Seeds (Renuka) – Vitex Negund
12.5 grams Pippali (Long Pepper) – Piper Longum
12.5 grams Trivrit – Operculina Turpethum
12.5 grams Laung (Clove) – Syzygium Aromaticum
12.5 grams Vacha – Acorus Calamus
12.5 grams Elaichi (Cardamom) – Elettaria Cardamomum
12.5 grams Vaividang – Embelia Ribes
12.5 grams Dalchini (Cinnamon) – Cinnamomum Zeylanicum
Clean, dry and powder the kwatha dravyas seperately.
Add them into the specified quantity of water and boil it till it reduces to ¼th of its volume.
Filter the decoction and add the prakshepa dravyas one by one into the decoction.
Pour the decoction in a golden or earthen vessel.
Add the thin gold leaf of mentioned quantity to the decoction.
Close the mouth of the vessel and allow it to ferment for about 30 days.
After the completion of the time, open the seal to see whether the gold leaf has disintegrated.
Now, filter the concoction and store it in ghee smeared food-grade containers for future use.
Health Benefits Of Vidarikhand:
Imbued with a quarry of antioxidants and bioactive components, Vidarikhand confers several traditional remedies for improving the immune system, fighting microbes and shielding the body against various infections. It also portrays the presence of strong anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and antifungal properties, which is quintessential in preventing infections like fever, common cold, sore throat, and other respiratory anomalies.
Owing to its potent galactagogue action, Vidarikhand or any of its formulation help increase the production of prolactin and corticoids, which in turn improves lactation and the quality of breast milk. This is extremely beneficial towards the young ones since breast milk is ideal for their nourishment and helps strengthening their immune system
Consume 1 tsp of Vidarikhand powder infused in milk as prescribed by doctor at night to boost lactation.
Enhances Fertility And Libido
Vidarikhand offers a one-shot traditional remedy for boosting libido and improving fertility in men. It showcases strong aphrodisiac properties that not only helps in reducing mental stress and anxiety but also stimulates the production of testosterone that increases fertility and libido. It plays a key role in increasing virility and stamina in men. Consuming vidarikhand powder alongside milk before sleeping has been known to increase blood circulation in the genitals which thereby improves the production of male hormones like testosterone and luteinizing hormone, thus improving the motility and quality of sperms in male.
Slows Ageing Process
Vidarikhand is well known for its regenerative effects. Not only does it help in tissue repair and regeneration but also owing to the potent antioxidant activity, it protects against cellular damage, and hence reduces the ageing process in the tissues of the heart, lungs, liver, and skin. The alkaloids present in it shields the body against free radical damage and the abundance of antioxidants maintains a balanced ratio of calcium in the bones making one stronger. The herb also bolsters the immune system and prevents infections.
Aids In Cardiac Functioning
Vidarikhand is one such ayurvedic herb that has been found to have a positive effect on the heart. Being a natural antioxidant and a cardio-protective herb, it plays a key role in treating a host of heart ailments. It relaxes the cardiac system, by soothing the mind, which is extremely advantageous for patients suffering from arrhythmias and palpitations. It is also beneficial in treating coronary heart disease, regulating blood pressure, strengthening the heart muscles, dropping cholesterol levels in the blood and preventing lipid accumulation, which in turn reduces the risk of atherosclerosis, heart blocks, heart attacks, blood clots, etc.
Remedies Respiratory Troubles
Thanks to its prevailing anti-inflammatory, anti-biotic, and anti-asthmatic properties, the root powder of Vidarikhand is pivotal in treating the common cold, cough and flu symptoms. It also thins and loosens rheum deposits within the chest and nasal cavities and hence eases breathing and helps the body to get rid of mucus. It is also beneficial in treating bronchitis and asthmatic conditions. Daily intake of this herb fortifies the lung tissues and augments lung health.
Relieves Urinary Disorders
Vidarikhand is a potent remedy for treating urinary disorders like urinary incontinence, painful urination, and burning sensation while urinating. When the medicine is taken by infusing it with cow’s milk, it not only reduces the pain and burning micturition but also stimulates proper urination. Being a mild diuretic, it also treats dysuria. The host of anti-microbial and anti-bacterial properties prevents urinary infections.
Mix 10 gram of the juice with 2 tsp of honey. Drink it on empty stomach, every morning and evening to treat acidity and indigestion.
Treats Wounds And Ulcers
Enriched with powerful anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties, Vidarikhand plays a quintessential role in treating different types of ulcers like ulcerative colitis, peptic ulcer, canker sores or mouth ulcers, etc. The bioactive components in the tuber powder cleanses wounds, facilitates wound healing, and promotes tissue regeneration. The astringent property of the herb also helps in reducing swelling of wounds.
The host of anti-bacterial properties of the tuber of vidarikhand plays a crucial role in treating skin infections like acne, warts, boils, eczema, blisters, itching etc. Not only does it improve complexion by evening out the skin tone, but also clear blocked pores, and reduces various signs of ageing like wrinkles, fine lines, spots, pigmentation etc. Owing to the antiseptic nature, the oil obtained from vidarikhand root also prevents wounds and injuries and speeds up healing.
Make a paste of 2 tbsp vidarikhand powder and 1 tbsp honey. Apply this paste all over the face, leave it for 10 minutes and wash off with cool water. Doing this on alternate days improves skin quality and complexion.
Effect On Doshas:
This intense immunity-boosting herb, is sanctified with Madhura (i.e., sweet taste) Rasa and Guru (i.e., heavy) and Snigdha Guna (i.e., unctuous or oily quality). It inherently portrays Shita Virya (i.e., cold potency) and Madhura Vipaka (i.e. sweet metabolic taste). It chiefly appeases the Pitta (fire and air) doshas and Vata doshas (i.e., air) while an excess of it often aggravates the Kapha (earth and water) doshas. Owing to the essential properties and doshas, the herb has 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 ayurvedic properties help in portraying the following main prabhabs on the body include, Tridoshahara (i.e., corrects the imbalance of Vata, Pitta, and Kapha), Stanyavardhana (i.e., enhances lactation), Shukrala (i.e. improves sperm quality and motility), Brahmana (i.e., anabolic), Svarya (i.e., good for voice), Vajikarana (i.e., aphrodisiac) and Varnya (i.e., promotes complexion)
The effective therapeutic dosage of Vidarikhand may vary from person to person depending upon the age, body strength, effects on appetite, severity, and condition of the patient. It is firmly recommended to consult an ayurvedic doctor or practitioner as he or she would evaluate the patient’s indications, past medical conditions and prescribe an effective dose for a specific period.
Churna or Powder - 2-3gm twice a day, after meals, alongside luke warm milk or as directed by the doctor.
Gutika or Capsule/ Tablet - 1 cap/tab twice a day, after meals, along with water or as directed by the doctor.
Although the herb has been reported being extremely beneficial in treating umpteen health conditions, it is still necessary to consume it in prescribed amount. An excess of it may lead to certain complications like headache, fever and dizziness. It can also act like a contraceptive and suppress ovulation in females if taken in excess. Vidarikhand in any form is highly contraindicated in people already suffering from and taking other medications for heart disease, diabetes, pregnancy, liver and kidney anomalies. Consult a doctor before starting to take this herb.
Since the ancient times, Vidarikhand has been mentioned in several ayurvedic scriptures as an ultimate remedy for numerous health anomalies owing to its enormous health benefits. This incredible medicinal herb is classified as an immuno-booster and rejuvenative. Being a potent aphrodisiac, it improves libido, treats various infertility issues and improves the reproductive health in both men and women. It also ensures better functioning of the heart, controls diabetes, treats urinary and kidney disorders, aids in digestion and thus improves overall stamina and body immunity.