Medical Reviewer: Dr Surabhi Rawat
In the age where the advancements in medicine are considered the best as of yet, we still see researchers and scientists looking into our roots for answers that the ancients have left behind. And I mean this quite literally, all with reference to a particular plant by name Agnimantha. Agnimantha (family Verbenaceae), botanically known by the name of Premna integrifolia, Arani (Hindi), this plant is a part of the Dashamoola. In the ayurvedic realm, the importance of Dashamoola, the concoction made of ten roots, is significant.
As a part of the Dashamoola and on its own, the Agnimantha plant wields the power to overcome various diseases and is mainly used to treat dropsy, phlegm, rheumatism, etc.
Geography, Morphology And Reference
The Agnimantha plant may be found in regions throughout India, prominently in the upper Gangetic plains and along the coasts. The plant itself grows into an erect shrub/small tree with numerous branches bearing oblong leaves. The root is woody in nature with a slightly aromatic odour and brown in colour. The plant is referred to as Agnimantha due to its use in ancient times to create Agni (fire) by Mantha (rubbing/friction).
Agnimantha is mentioned in numerous Ayurvedic texts, be it Charaka Samhita, Sushruta Samhita or the Astanga Hridaya. Some of the lepas, Rasayanas, lehas and kashayas are listed as follows:
Shonakadi Lepa, Baladi Lepa, Tarkaradi Lepa, Kansaharitaki Leha, Chavanprasha Leha, Patoladi Basti Kashaya, etc.
Dwipanchamoola Kwatha, Panchamooladi ghrita, Dashamoola Ksheera Basti
Dashamoola haritaki, Dashamooladi avaleha, Agnimantha dhoomapana, Agnimanthadi lepa
Ayurvedic Properties (Guna)
Katu(Pungent), Tikta(Bitter), Kashaya(Astringent), Madhur(Sweet)
Pacifies Vata Dosha and Kapha Dosha
Uses And Benefits
Premna integrifolia is known to constitute numerous phytochemicals that have rightfully deemed it an indispensable component of the Dashamoola and continues to be researched on in the field of modern medicine. The many simple derivatives from the plant parts, that is the root, leaves and bark provide ayurvedic practitioners with effective medicines to treat issues pertaining to the following categories:
Agnimantha is well known for treating neurological and musculoskeletal disorders. Given that Neuralgia is a disease that causes stabbing and burning pain in regions of the damaged/affected nerves, administering the patient with a decoction made using the roots of Agnimantha significantly reduces the pain. It is known to improve the blood flow to the brain and soothing the affected nerve regions so as to provide the patient with relief. The administration of the Dashamoola concoction is also seen as an effective method to quell the pain.
The fast-paced world has seemingly affected the nutrition intake of people and their metabolism and has paved the way for numerous digestive disorders. Taking Agnimantha in the form of a decoction increases appetite and improves metabolism. It actively promotes the proper absorption of nutrients upon consumption for those facing issues of malabsorption. It also alleviates symptoms of drowsiness, lethargy and tiredness after the consumption of food.
The effects of Agnimantha on the digestive system are on the positive end of the spectrum, in addition to which the consumption of the juice helps combat obesity. The leaves of the Agnimantha plant contain phytochemicals that are metabolism boosters that also prevent the accumulation of excessive fat. The effects of the same are visibly evident when taken on a regular basis.
The anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and antiviral properties of the wonderous Agnimantha plant are known to treat Lymphadenitis. It helps inhibit microbial growth and alleviates any swelling/inflammation. However, it is recommended that the patient get a thorough diagnosis for tuberculosis, for which the Agnimantha may be of very little use.
Patients that face the burning pain around the perineum area are recommended to regularly give themselves sitz baths. Adding the Agnimantha decoction to the same will provide significant relief to the area affected and also effectively cleanse it.
In addition to all of the above treatments, Agnimantha is also used to treat common colds, Diabetes, Respiratory disorders, Anaemia and numerous inflammatory disorders.
It is seen to be extremely beneficial and maintains the balance in the body by acting on the Kapha and Vata elements.
- Agnimantha is known to be an anti-carcinogen
- It is also used to boost and modulate one’s immunity
- Some of its compounds are considered beneficial for the heart
- It is a cornucopia of anti-oxidants and anti-microbial compounds
- It is also an effective treatment for arthritis
- It is used to treat urinary tract infections and cleanse areas
- It is known to purify the blood
- Agnimantha pulp is used in combination or on its own to treat skin disorders
- It is an analgesic
Agnimantha Remedies, Preparation And Dosage
Also referred to as Agnimantha Churna, the powder is effective in treating Urticaria, Lymphadenitis, etc.
The dosage of the same is restricted to a maximum of 1 mg a day for children and up to 3 mg a day for adults at a time. It can be taken along with warm water to improve absorption and is best taken after meals.
Also known as Agnimantha Kwath, the decoction is effective in treating Neuralgia, Piles, Haemorrhoids, etc.
25 grams of coarse-ground powder of Agnimantha root or bark is added to 400 ml of water. It is brought to a boil and then reduced to 100ml resulting in a well-concentrated decoction.
The dosage of the same and can range from 10 ml to 50 ml for children and 50 ml to 100 ml for adults. The Kwath can be taken as is other ayurvedic medicines- 30 minutes prior to a meal or two hours after a meal to ensure maximum effectiveness.
Agnimantha water or Agnimantha pani is effective in treating disorders related to the digestive system (loss of appetite, malabsorption). It is made by mixing 120 grams of coarse-ground Agnimantha root powder into 480 grams of water. This is boiled and taken in dosages of 60 ml to 120 ml two to three times a day.
For consumption, fresh juice is extracted from the Agnimantha leaves and administered to those that battle obesity and those that wish to choose a natural remedy for weight loss. The juice is to be taken in a dose of 20 ml twice, on a daily basis. This is considered to be very effective and the results are known to be evident after a duration of three months.
Just as the consumption of the Agnimantha Kwath, the Agnimantha juice is to be consumed 30 minutes prior to a meal or two hours after a meal to ensure maximum effectiveness.
Side Effects, Safety And Interactions
Agnimantha is considerably safe for usage and its interaction with allopathic medications and such must be consulted and inquired with a certified medical practitioner. The side effects of this natural medicine may differ from person to person based on their body’s ability to handle and absorb the same.
Although Agnimantha is a natural plant-based ayurvedic medicine, it is recommended that a doctor or a certified Ayurvedic practitioner be consulted before consumption or usage. Numerous Agnimantha products are available on the market and as easy at it seems to self-medicate, it is highly discouraged. A full analysis is suggested with a proper diagnosis of symptoms, medical history and interaction with drugs for those that choose to use Agnimantha for treatments.
Since Agnimantha is part of the Dashmoola (mostly given postpartum) group of herbs, it is considered safe for pregnant and lactating women.