Where there’s traditional cooking and extensive use of seasonal ingredients, you’ll come across a tree with leaves that resemble a camel’s foot: Kachnar or more specifically, Kachnar Kali. Aptly nicknamed Camel Foot Tree/Mountain Ebony (English name) and also known as Bauhinia Variegata (Scientific), this edible flowering plant comes with a multitude of benefits. Its name – Bauhinia – was coined by Linnaeus in honour of the twin Bauhin brothers, Johann and Gaspard, who were 16th- and 17th-century Swiss scientists. In the Ayurvedic context, it has been mentioned in “Bhaisajya Ratnavali,” an ayurvedic book written by Govind Das.
Typically, three varieties populate areas of China, India, the Phillippines, and Australia — white flower species (Bauhinia Variegate), pink-purple flower species(Bauhinia Purpurea), and yellow flower species (Bauhinia Tomentosa).
This plant – belonging to an orchid tree – is a member of the Fabaceae (legume) family, and comes power-packed with nutrients that are wholesome and delicious (if made the right way of course). Note that the buds of the flowering orchid are bitter when raw. Generally, Kachnar grows to about 50 to 60 feet and is easy to care for. In the English language, the red flowers of Kachnar have been compared to the red lips of the beloved – given its beauty, rightly so.
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Division: Tracheophyta
- Class: Magnoliopsida
- Order: Fabales
- Family: Fabaceae
- Genus: Bauhinia
- Species: Variegata
Kachnar Uses: Nutritional Information & Dosage
The orchid tree blossoms with mildly-scented purple, pink, magenta, white, and lavender blooms which can be used to decorate and adorn spaces. Additionally, the best part is that all parts of the orchid tree can be used in one form or another. The oils extracted from the seeds, leaves, and bark can be used for tanning and dyeing; whereas, the young seedpods, leaves, and buds can be used to make culinary delights. In terms of physical characteristics, it is astringent in taste, light and dry in touch-and-feel, cool in potency, and pungent when it comes to post-digestive effects.
Simply, all parts of the Kachnar plant – from the flower and the bark to the fruits and the leaves have medicinal/nutritional properties. These include (but are not limited to):
- Thyroid hormone regulation
Kachnar Tree’s Multi-Purpose Benefits
Ayurveda recommends using Kachnar for a variety of health benefits such as skin and stomach ailments, treatment in glandular diseases, leprosy, intestinal worms, tumours, wounds such as snake bites, ulcers, inflammations, cough, bleeding disorders, etc.
Plus, eating Kachnar is also effective in treating haemorrhoids and the bitter flowers help in blood purification and ridding the body of harmful toxins. This makes sense as it is made from the sap of Mukul (guggul) tree. It is extremely useful for clearing out toxins from the liver. It is also known to aid in good, blissful sleep and is rich in Vitamin C. Let’s explore its other benefits in greater details:
Mouth Ulcers / Foul Smell In The Mouth
Kachnar helps kill bacteria in the mouth and restore the pH balance in the mouth. Acharya Balkrishna suggests you take 10gm of Kachnar’s bark and break it into smaller parts, add 400 gm water to it and boil. Once this solution/decoction (kadha) is reduced to 100 gm, strain it and store. Once the water cools down, gargle with it twice or thrice a day.
According to Acharya Balkrishna, for people suffering from a toothache, you can take Kachnar’s bark, burn it and grind to a powder form. Use this powder to brush your teeth, it will provide immediate relief.
Kanchanar Guggulu Benefits:
Guggulu loosely translated means “protection from the disease.” Kanchanara Guggulu also called “Yogavahi” has synergistic effects on the body that aids in natural healing. It basically means that it can carry other substances deep into the tissues of the body and flush out toxins. This is a multi-ingredient medicine comprising of the bark of Kachnar, Triphala or three fruits (Amalaki, Bibhitaki, and Haritaki), Ginger, Long Pepper, Black Pepper, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Tej Patta, and the bark of Crataeva Nurvala. Triphala is known to cure 50 per cent of diseases! Not surprisingly, a large number of drugs contain Triphala as an ingredient.
Kanchanar Guggulu Thyroid
The bark of Kachnar – one of the main ingredients in Kanchanara Guggulu – is useful in treating goitre and hypothyroidism as it helps correct the thyroid imbalance by removing Kapha in the body.
Remedy: Take 20 gm of Kachnar bark, add 200 ml of water to it, let it boil till it gets reduced to 50 ml. Strain and consume.
Kachnar (particularly its flowers) is known to remove haemorrhoids successfully irrespective of its severity.
Loose Stools / Intestinal Mucus
As per Acharya Balkrishna’s recommendation, take Kachnar’s bark and grind to a powder. Take around 3 gm of powder along with water – morning and night – for relief from loose motion.
Taking Kanchnar Guggul – a rich source of antioxidants – keeps our skin healthy. It comprises of Kachnar chaal (bark) which is useful in regulating blood flow in our body. By combining Kachnar Guggul with other useful herbs, you can address a number of skin-related issues. When taken orally, this medicine helps in the treatment of severe acne that affects the face, chest, and back. It also helps decrease pain, swelling, and intensity of acne outbreaks.
Kachnar is known to delay the growth of cancer cells and also helps shrink them. Prepare a decoction of the flower and stem along with 3 cups of water. Reduce the liquid to half its volume and add some mishri (rock candy) to it and drink twice a day.
Kachnar’s bark helps calm the digestive system while increasing your appetite. It can also be consumed if you have an upset stomach or have worms in the stomach. It is best to consume the bark in powdered form along with water before meals.
Handy tip: The pickles made out of Kachnar help strengthen the intestines. It is also said that ginger and Kachnar consumed together help treat all kinds of digestive issues.
Blood Sugar Levels
It helps control blood sugar levels.
Burning Sensation While Urination
For people who have a burning sensation when urinating, simply take 2 teaspoons of Kachnar’s bark, add 1 teaspoon of coriander seeds and water to it. Bring this decoction to a boil, add mishri, strain and consume.
Blood Flow During Menstruation
If you wish to regulate your blood flow during menstruation, Kachnar should be your go-to vegetable as it helps regulate the circulation of blood.
Liver Problems / Jaundice
Take Kachnar leaves and extract juice from it, and consume twice a day. The recommended dose is 50 ml for adults and 15 ml for children.
1. Tablet form: 2-3 tablets a day for adults, 1/2-1 tablet for children below 5 years of age (once a day), 1 tablet for children between 5-12 years of age (2-3 times a day), and 1-2 tablets for children between 12-18 years of age (2-3 times a day).
2. Bark powder: 1-3 gm
3. Decoction form: 40-80 ml
4. Flower extract: 10-20 ml
Note: While this is the recommended dose, please make sure to consult your doctor before taking it orally or otherwise.
Kachnar Side-Effects & Precautionary Measures
- Kachnar Guggul can cause side effects such as stomach upset, headaches, nausea, vomiting, loose stools, diarrhoea, belching, and hiccups.
- It can also cause allergic reactions such as rash and itching.
- Best to avoid taking Kachnar Guggul in high doses such as 6000 mg per day.
- Although less common, some other side-effects include restlessness, apprehension, and breakdown of muscle tissue.
- Pregnant and lactating mothers should avoid consuming it orally or otherwise.
- People with a sensitive stomach may experience mild gastric irritation.
- People with bleeding disorders should avoid consuming it as it can slow blood clotting and might cause bleeding or bruising.
- People with high cholesterol levels should avoid it as it might increase levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol.
- People suffering from hormone-sensitive conditions such as breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids should also avoid taking Kachnar Guggul as it might act like estrogen in the body.
- People who have undergone surgery recently should not take it as it might increase the risk of bleeding during and after surgery.
- People taking medicine for diabetes should consume it under a doctor’s consultation.
- Do not take it continuously for more than one month.
Important: Please consult your doctor before consuming Kachnar Guggulu as a precautionary measure. Under no conditions should you take it before consulting your physician. Better safe than sorry, right?
Where to Buy it Online
There are a number of renowned brands that offer Kanchanar Guggulu. The price typically ranges from INR 100-150. You can find these online:
- Kanchanar Guggulu Sri Sri
- Kanchanar Guggulu Baidyanath
- Kanchanara Guggulu Dabur: Helps in treating granthi rog and fistula.
- Kanchnar Guggulu Patanjali
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