If there is one chronic health condition that has been challenging the medical experts worldwide in the last two decades, then in all probability it is diabetes. If left untreated, high sugar levels can cause severe damage to the vital organs like pancreas, heart, kidneys and unfortunately, diabetes is also being reported among the youngsters even in their 20s, owing mostly to their poor, sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy eating choices.
While many of us turn to allopathy medicine for controlling high sugar levels, one can also learn about the remedies offered by our traditional medicinal methods. Ayurveda is a treasure-trove of medicinal wonders and offering a cure for various mental and physical problems. If you are interested in learning about how Ayurveda can help in dealing with diabetes, it’s time to know about Vijayasar – the tree bark found extensively in the dense forests of India, Srilanka and Nepal.
Famed as the “Miraculous Remedy For Diabetes”, Vijaysar is an absolute choice for alternative treatment in case of diabetes or as termed in Ayurveda “Madhumeha”. The extensive anti-glycemic, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of the bark of vijaysar not only helps in managing blood sugar levels by preventing the damage of pancreatic cells but also reduces excess fat, promotes digestion, treat bleeding disorders and various skin inflammatory conditions. And these extensive uses of Vijaysar has helped this amazing plant to maintain a strong foothold in the holistic remedies of Ayurveda.
What Is Vijaysar?
VIjaysar is a large deciduous tree that usually grows to a height of 3o metres. Termed biologically as Pterocarpus marsupium, this tree is indigenous to Nepal, Srilanka and India. It is usually found thriving in the western ghat regions, Karnataka-Kerala region, hilly regions of Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, and in the forests of central India.
The trunk of Vijaysar is smoky in colour with visible vertical slit-like marks. The tree usually bears leaves and foliage with a wavy margin, yellowish flowers and legume like fruits with two embedded seeds. The bark of Vijaysar usually produces a reddish coloured gum or latex.
Common Names Of Vijaysar
Vijaysar is popularly known by different names in different parts of the world. It is known as Indian Kino tree, Malabar Kino tree, Red sandalwood, and Sugar Destroyer in English, Bija, Beejaka, Vijayasara, Vijaysar, Asana in Hindi, Venga katal, Vegai, Vengai in Tamil, Yegi Vegisa, Peddagi, in Telugu, Piyasal, Piyasala, Peetashal, Pitasala, in Bengali, Venga in Malayalam, Bijaka, Pitasara, Pitashalaka, Bandhukapushpaka, Krushnasharjaka, Pushpavruksha, Alakapriya Peetasara, Sugandha neela niryasa, Tishya, Karshya, Shouri in Sanskrit.
Ayurveda knows Vijaysar as Asana, Pitasara, Biyo, Asanam, and Bijasal, whereas the branch of Unani medicines knows this plant as Bijaysaar Siddha, and Tamil-Vengai.
Other names in different regions of the Indian subcontinent include; Biyo in Gujarati, Piashala, Piasal in Oriya, Bange mara, Kempu honne, Banga, Bijasara, Asana in Kannada, Chandan Lal, Channanlal in Punjabi, Lal Chandeur in Kashmiri, and Vivala, Bibala in Marathi.
The various scriptures of Ayurveda written by ancient sages categorises Vijaysar into the following categories:
- Salaasaradi gana by Susruta
- Asanadi gana by Vagbhata
- Vatadi varga by Bhavaprakash
- Amradi Varga by Dhanwantari Nighantu
- Prabhabdradi varga by Raj Nighantu
- Oushadhi varga by Kaiyadeva Nighantu
Ayurvedic Indications Of Vijaysar
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, Mehahara (treats urinary tract disorders), Rasayani (rejuvenates the whole body), Deepana (enhances stomach fire), Pachana (helps in digestion), Rochana (stimulates appetite), Anulomana (improves breathing), 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), Balya (improves muscle strength), Gulmajit (useful in abdominal tumours), Hikkanigrahana (controls hiccups), Kantya (relieves sore throat), Triptighno (relieves pseudo-satiation), Visarpa (treats herpes), Hridaya (treats heart problems), Chakushya (treats eye problems), Shonitasthapana (prevents bleeding), Pandu (treats anaemia), Raktamandala (treats ringworm infections), Sangrahini (treats diarrhoea), Kustha (treats skin disorders), Kamala (prevents jaundice), Medhya (improves intelligence), Varnya (improves complexion), Krimihara (relieves intestinal worms), Kanthya (improves voice), Arsha (treats piles), and Krichra (treats painful micturition).
Vijaysar portrays an array of chemical constituents that accounts for the various properties it exhibits. The bioactive components include Proteins, Alkaloids, Epicatechin, Carpusin, Beta eudesmol, Isoliquiritigenin, Liquiritigenin Marsupol, Propterol, Kinotannic acid, Tannic acid, Tannins, Lupeol, Pyrocatechol, Resins, Pterosupin, Pterostilbene, Phenolic C, etc.
Parts Of Vijaysar And Their Use
Be it the Heartwood, Leaves, Bark, Gum, Flowers or Legumes, Vijaysar is one such plant where each and every part has extensive uses in the field of Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani medicines. Drinking water kept in vijaysar bark wood glasses in the morning is an age-old practice for keeping blood sugar levels in control. A poultice made from the bark, leaves and foliage of the tree exhibits potent astringent properties and is extremely useful in treating skin conditions. The coarse powder of the heartwood of vijaysar is also beneficial in reducing obesity.
Formulations Of Vijaysar
With passing time, several herbal formulations are sold in the market with Vijaysar as the main ingredient. Since the foremost activity of Vijaysar is to regulate insulin production and diabetes, many ayurvedic brands have come out with their own formulations of vijaysar for providing an alternative approach for managing diabetes. One such potent formulation is Madhumehantak Churna.
This powdered formulation is a blend of 12 potent ingredients, wherein each of the herbs works in a synergistic manner and are all directed towards managing diabetes or madhumeha roga. Being a fine powder, it can be easily taken alongside warm water or milk along with a few drops of honey or as directed by an ayurvedic doctor or practitioner.
30 gm Vijaysar bark (i.e. Pterocarpus marsupium)
30 gm Saptrangi roots (i.e. Salacia chinesis)
20 gm Bilwa patra (i.e. Aegle marmelos)
20 gm Daruhaldi Rhizome (i.e. Berberis aristata)
20 gm Neem Patra (i.e. Azardirachta indica)
20 gm Gurmaar Leaves (i.e. Gymnema sylvestrae)
20 gm Methi seeds (i.e. Trigonella foenum graceum)
10 gm Tulsi leaves (i.e. Ocimum sactum)
10 gm Sadabahar leaves (i.e. Eochnera rosea)
10 gm Jamun seeds (i.e. Syzygium cumini)
10 gm Karela seed/fruit (i.e. Momordica charantia)
10 gm Babool bark (i.e. Acacia arabica)
Wash all the plant parts to remove impurities.
Dry them completely under direct sunlight until there is no remaining moisture.
Macerate the plant parts in a grinder till it becomes powdery.
Again, dry them under direct sunlight to remove moisture particles.
Pass the powder through sieve 100 to remove any big or small impurities.
Store it in a glass container in a cool, dry place for future use.
Health Benefits Of Vijaysar
According to the holistic remedies of Ayurveda, Vijaysar is an excellent plant for managing high sugar levels by improving the metabolism due to its Tikta (bitter) and Kashaya (astringent) properties and Kapha-Pitta balancing doshas. The excellent anti-glycemic nature of Vijaysar plays a quintessential role in alleviating the blood sugar level of the body. Be it the bark powder, leaf juice or heartwood decoction, the production of insulin from the pancreatic β-cells becomes active on taking Vijaysar. It helps to reduce the breakdown of starch into glucose which in turn leads to low blood glucose levels. Also Read: Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment
Brings Down Sugar Cravings
One of the most annoying habits nowadays in a sedentary lifestyle is the affinity of people towards sugar and sugary products. Several researches indicate that when the leaves of Vijaysar plant are applied directly to the tongue or are chewed or consumed in the form of a decoction, there is a decrease in the ability of the person to taste sweet foods. This effectively limits cravings and sudden binges, thereby helping to achieve a healthier lifestyle.
Aids In Weight Loss
The abundance of alkaloids and flavonoids in vijaysar help the body shed excess weight faster. Owing to its property to vitiate AMA doshas from the body, vijaysar effectively removes unwanted toxins from the body, satiates hunger pangs and prevents overeating. Hence, consuming this every morning on empty stomach plays a pivotal role in one’s weight loss regimen. The powder from the bark also reduces the accumulation of LDL (i.e. Low-Density Lipoproteins or bad cholesterol) in the body, thereby improving metabolism and helping the body to maintain a proper weight. Also Read: Belly Fat Burners From Your Kitchen Shelf
Vijaysar is known as an excellent digestive plant. The anti-flatulent property of the bark powder reduces the formation of gas in the alimentary canal, thus preventing flatulence, bloating and abdominal distension. Consuming vijaysar formulations regularly also reduces indigestion, increases appetite, and promotes better absorption of nutrients in the body. The host of bioactive constituents in vijaysar not only helps in preventing various intestinal infections but also treats diarrhoea. Also Read: Digestive Disorders: 7 Ways To Improve Gut Health
The herbal tea that is made by using the bark of Vijaysar tree shows high efficacy in the case of intestinal parasites and IBS.
Treats Wounds And Ulcers
The powerful anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory and anti-ulcer properties of vijaysar heartwood play a pivotal role in treating different types of ulcers like canker sores or mouth ulcers, peptic ulcer, ulcerative colitis, etc. The bioactive composites in the plant encourage tissue regeneration and the juice extracted from the leaves is also used for dressing wounds.
Promotes Skin Health
The antioxidant, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties portrayed by vijaysar bark and leaves offer blood purifying activity. Owing to the Tikta (bitter) taste and Pitta balancing properties, it removes toxins from the blood and hence helps to manage skin diseases. It is also extremely useful in managing inflammatory conditions like eczema, skin eruptions, boils, psoriasis, and scabies. The leaf juice or bark powder when used as a face pack also helps to prevent the various signs of ageing like wrinkles, fine lines, blemishes and actively increases the glow and bestows a rejuvenated look.
Make a paste of the vijaysar leaf or bark powder by mixing it with rose water and apply it directly onto the inflamed, irritated skin to get relief from itching and redness.
Relieves Hair Problems:
Vijaysar has been a boon for promoting hair growth since ancient times. Owing to the intrinsic anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties, the plant treats various scalp and hair infections like folliculitis, itching and dandruff. It nourishes the hair follicles with essential nutrients, improves blood circulation and strengthens the hair strands from the roots. By normalising the secretion of the stress hormone, it also prevents hair fall and breakage due to stress and anxiety.
Slows Ageing Process
The regenerative properties of Vijaysar make it a potent Rasayani dravya that helps in slowing the ageing process. 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.
Owing to the detoxifying properties of the Vijaysar, the powder obtained from the bark or heartwood is extremely beneficial in purifying the blood. By cleansing the blood, it improves blood circulation and also helps to remove the toxins from the bloodstream and the various organs in the body.
Shields Against Infections
Owing to the biochemical compounds present in this bitter herb, Vijaysar has been used since time immemorial to battle germs and shield the body against various infections. Thanks to its strong anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and antifungal properties, Vijaysar is not only used for removing bacteria or germs from the body but also used for treating and healing wounds. The bio-active ingredients also help in reducing general debility, weakness, and fatigue and improve the vitality of the body. Also Read: Top 8 Ayurvedic Formulations That Can Bolster Your Immunity
Vijaysar has powerful analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties, which is extremely beneficial in reducing joint and muscle pain, thereby reducing the chances of chronic autoimmune inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis which occurs due to the vitiation of Vata Doshas. A paste of the grounded leaves of the herb effectively provides relief from the pain and inflammation. Also Read: 5 Amazing Essential Oils To Treat Rheumatoid Arthritis
Prevents Dental Problems
The potent anti-microbial nature of the herb makes it a one-shot remedy for various dental anomalies or Danta Moolagata Rogas like bleeding gums, toothache, tooth ulcers, bad breath etc. Small twigs of the vijaysar plant or bark powder are still used as a tooth cleaning equipment and hence made into tooth powder formulations and prescribed in case of bleeding gums by several ayurvedic healers.
Effect On Doshas:
VIjaysar, the wonder herb for diabetes, is sanctified with Kashaya (i.e. astringent taste) and Tikta Rasa (i.e. bitter taste) and Laghu (i.e. light) and Rukshna Guna (i.e. rough quality). It inherently portrays Shita Virya (i.e. cold potency) and Katu Vipaka (i.e. pungent metabolic taste). Being rough and light, it appeases the Pitta (fire and air) doshas and Kapha (earth and water) doshas, whereas having a pungent metabolic taste and cold potency, the herb often aggravates the Vata doshas (i.e. air). The presence of the intrinsic 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). Also Read: Introduction To Ayurveda: Learn About Vata, Pitta And Kapha Doshas
The ayurvedic properties help in portraying the following main Prabhab on the body which are, Rakta Pitta (i.e. bleeding disorder), Krumi (i.e. worm infestation), Kushtha (i.e. skin disease), Shvitra (i.e. leucoderma), Gala doshas (i.e. sore throat) and Madhumeha (i.e. diabetes).
The effective therapeutic dosage of Vijaysar may vary from person to person depending upon the age, body strength, effects on appetite, severity, and condition of the patient. It is strictly 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.
Powder: ½-1 tsp or 3-5 gm
Juice: 1-2 tsp
Paste: ¼-½ tsp
Decoction of bark: 50-100 ml
How To Effectively Use Vijaysar
It can be consumed with lukewarm water, twice a day, preferably before meals or as prescribed by the doctor.
Vijaysar Gutika or Capsule
Take 1-2 Vijaysar capsules alongside lukewarm water, twice a day, preferably before meals or as prescribed by the doctor.
Vijaysar Bark Glass/ Tumbler
Put water in the tumbler or glass made from vijaysar heartwood and allow the water to stay overnight or for a period of 8-10 hours. After the given time, when the colour of the water turns brownish, decant the glass and have the concoction on an empty stomach early in the morning to keep diabetes under control.
Though Vijaysar has been deemed safe to consume and is reported being extremely beneficial in treating umpteen health conditions, it is still necessary to consume it in the prescribed amount. Since it is used for diarrhoea, it is not suitable to take vijaysar in case of constipation. Also, if an individual is already taking synthetic medicines for diabetes, they should consult a doctor before consuming vijaysar to prevent a sudden dip in blood sugar which might become life-threatening.
Since time immemorial, Vijaysar has been mentioned in several ayurvedic scriptures as an ultimate remedy for diabetes owing to its enormous health benefits. This incredible medicinal herb is classified as a Rasayani and helps in regulating diabetes, treating skin infections, promoting weight loss, managing cholesterol, boosting immunity and treating wounds and ulcers.