Yavasa, referred to as Alhagi mauroum, Alhagi camerolum, Alhagi pseudalhagi, is a perennial shrub famous for its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, aphrodisiac, and antimicrobial properties. Found extensively in Asia, the Middle East, and Africa, the stems of this drought-resistant shrub, belonging to the Fabaceae family, sports sharp thorns, with roots penetrating very deep into the soil. Yavasa is loaded with certain plant-based compounds offering various medicinal properties.
According to biologists, Yavasa was imported from Iran and Afghanistan many centuries ago and was soon discovered by traditional Ayurvedic practitioners in India for its potent laxative and diuretic properties. Yavasa, known as Bharbhara, Jawasa in Hindi, and Yavaska in Sanskrit, is also used in cosmetics and natural sweeteners. The famous names of Yavasa are Camelthorn, Caspian manna, Persian manna, Hebrew manna, Moor’s alhagi. Other vernacular languages in India are also known as Turuche, Punaikanjuri, Javasa, Kappa Tumma, Dhanvayasam, and Kachori.
The goodness of Yavasa was first reportedly mentioned in the Holy Quran, where it was described as a divine food provided by God. Ancient ayurvedic text Bhavprakash Nighantu classified Yavasa into two varieties, Yasa and Dhanvayasa.
Ayurvedic Indications Of Yavasa
Yavasa is a powerful carminative herb that is recommended time and again in various Ayurvedic journals and scriptures. Some of its medicinal indications include Deepana (enhances stomach fire), Pachana (helps in digestion), Rochana (stimulates appetite), Anulomana (improves breathing), Kashahara (Relieves cough), Vamana (prevents nausea and vomiting), Prameha (manages diabetes), Rasayani (rejuvenates the whole body), Sangrahini (treats diarrhoea), Kustha (treats skin disorders), Kamala (prevents jaundice), Varnya (improves complexion), Amahara (treats indigestion), Krimihara (relieves intestinal worms), Jvara (useful in fever), Shwasha (relieves breathing difficulties), Arsha (treats piles), and Krichra (treats painful micturition).
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How To Identify Yavasa?
Yavasa is a perennial shrub that grows on massive, long, rhizomatous roots that can go 6 feet deep into the soil. The long, thorny stems on heavy branches can reach up to 4 feet sporting tiny, bright magenta and maroon flowers. The stems also contain small legume pods filled with brown or reddish beans.
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Health Benefits of Yavasa:
Yavasa is highly recommended for treating various digestive issues like constipation. The yavasa powder provides instant relief from hemorrhoids and piles by reducing itching, irritation, and swelling around the rectal region. Intake of Yavasa balances pitta and Kapha doshas in the body, thus regulating bowel movements. It is also prescribed to improve appetite, reduce bloating, and bring down the burning sensation caused by stomach ulcers.
The flower and leaf extracts of Yavasa are loaded with antimicrobial properties and can fight against diarrhea, dysentery caused by E.Coli, and various skin infections triggered by Staphylococcus aureus. It also combats fungal infections caused by Fusarium, Aspergillus, and Trichoderma.
Manages Liver Ailments:
Traditional Iranian medicine vouches for the goodness of Yavasa for treating liver-related ailments. The hepatoprotective properties found in this plant improve liver functioning, reduce the complications caused due to fatty liver and prevent inflammation in liver cells.
Rich in Antioxidants:
The presence of methanol extract A. maurorum, other flavonoids, and phenolics aid in shielding the body against free radicals, thus reducing oxidative stress. Yavasa in prescribed amounts improves organ functioning, prevents chronic diseases and premature aging, and stimulates metabolism.
Improves Respiratory Health:
Yavasa is a wonder herb for combating respiratory infections. The Kapha balancing nature of Yavasa improves immunity and treats cold, cough, and other chronic conditions like asthma, bronchitis, etc.
Yavasa Effect On Doshas
Traditional ayurvedic texts explain Yavasa as Tikta rasa (bitter) and a mix of Kashaya (astringent) and Madhura (sweet) tastes. It has Laghu (light) property but stimulates Ushna (heat) and is very intense. All parts of this plant, including leaves, flowers, and stems, are used in ayurvedic preparations.
The recommended dosage for Yavasa churna usually depends on the age, severity of the issue and the condition of the patient. It is usually given ½ tsp for adults and ¼ tsp for children. However, check with your doctor about the dosage that suits your body.
How To Use Yavasa?
- Yavasa is available in the form of churna or powder. It can be consumed along with water or honey after lunch or dinner
- The herbal kashyam can be made by boiling one spoon of yavasa powder in 4 cups of water, for 5 minutes. Strain the concoction, let it cool. Stir in honey
- Yavasa powder can be used as a topical application for skin infections. Mix it with water and apply to the affected areas for instant relief from irritation and itchiness and to reduce redness
- Mix Yavasa churna with coconut oil and apply it to bone joints for pain relief from arthritis. It also reduces inflammation and balances pitta in the body.
- A face pack made by blending Yavasa powder and rose water prevents acne breakouts and gives an instant glow to the skin
Frequently Asked Questions:
Can Diabetics Take Yavasa?
Yavasa is described as Madhura or sweet to taste. There is no evidence that it can interfere with the increase in blood sugar levels. However, ayurvedic doctors suggest exercising caution, as it may show a hypoglycemic effect on certain people, bringing the blood sugar down rapidly.
Contraindications or Precautions:
Yavasa being a diuretic, can lead to excess urination and dehydration. Talk to your doctor about the proper dosage and take it in prescribed amounts to prevent diarrhea.
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, always talk to your doctor if you can take Yavasa.