The Marvel Herb Khadira
A famous quote by Hippocrates says – “Nature itself is the best physician”.
One of the herbs that is naturally available to us and works wonders in the treatment of skin diseases is the Catechu tree. Catechu is called ‘Khadira’ in Sanskrit which means it relieves the diseases and gives strength to the body. Along with skin diseases, Khadira is used to treat an array of other diseases.
The scientific name of the drug Khadira is Acacia catechu. It belongs to the family Fabaceae. The Catechu tree is a thorny tree with curved spines and the heartwood is firm and red. It is mostly found in drier regions of Sub Himalayan range up to 1500m, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu. It is considered as ‘Gayatri’, a holy tree worshipped by Hindus.
The properties of Khadira are it is bitter (Tiktha) and astringent (Kashaya) in taste. It undergoes conversion to pungent (Katu) taste after digestion. It is cold in nature and helps in balancing Kapha and Pitta.
Khadira has many uses and hence is referred to by different names. Khadira is called Raktasara as the heartwood is red in colour. It is also called Dantadhavana as the twigs are used as toothbrushes. Another name for Khadira is Kushtagna which means it is useful to relieve skin diseases like Kushta. It is also called Balapatra as the leaves are small. It is included under Kushtagna and Kashayaskanda gana according to Acharya Charaka.
Acharya Bhavamishra has described the qualities of Khadira as Dantya- that which improves the quality of teeth, Kandugna- that which relieves itching and pruritus, and Kasagna- that which relieves cough. It is also described to be useful in obesity, worm infestation, diabetes, leukoderma, bleeding disorders, anemia, and skin diseases.
Khadira is available in various forms like Khadira churna, Khadira kwatha and Khadirasara. Various formulations are prepared using Khadira. Some of the formulations are Khadirarishta, Khadiradi kwatha, Khadirastaka, Khadiradi vati, Mahakhadiradya ghrita, Khadirakalpa and irimedadi taila. Khadirarishta is one of the most used formulations to treat skin disorders.
Khadira is useful to treat skin diseases and tooth disorders. Khadira decoction is used for bathing and drinking in many skin diseases. Khadira exerts an anti-inflammatory action on affected areas of skin and is beneficial in curing diseases like psoriasis, eczema, and acne. Its decoctions, fermented liquids are used internally to treat various skin disorders. Oils, ointments, and dusting powders made from Khadira are useful in external applications. Khadira also has anti-microbial properties due to which it is used in wound healing. Oil pulling using irimedadi taila useful in preventing gum problems and tooth disorders.
Thus, we got to know about Khadira and its wondrous properties. A herb that has been used for centuries in Indian households as a part of our daily routine. I hope you had a great time reading about Khadira. Let us learn something new in the next blog.
I recommend Bhama Veda’s Kumkumadi Tailam for a healthy and glowing skin.