Acacia catechu (L.) willd, commonly referred to as Khadira, is widely utilized in Ayurveda for the treatment of diseases. Its heartwood extract is employed in asthma, cough, bronchitis, colic, diarrhea, dysentery, boils, skin afflictions, sores and for stomatitis. The decoction of heartwood is used for drinking purposes in the southern part of India especially in Kerala.
Ayurveda uses the bark and heartwood of this plant for various formulations. Khadirarishta may be a famous Ayurvedic skin tonic prepared from A. catechu. Khadira Sara, the heartwood extract is used as an ingredient in many medicines such as Lavangadi Vati .
“Ercha” may be a traditional Chinese medicine prepared from the heartwood extract of catechu utilized in the treatment of cough, dysentery, skin ulcerations and lesions . The gummy extract of the wood called catechu , is employed as an anodyne, astringent and bactericide.
|Vipak (Post-digestive effect)||Katu|
|Guna (Quality)||Light ,Dry|
|Doshic Effect||K-P decreasing|
The principal pharmacological action of Khadira is Kusthaghna (destroy any skin ailments).
Khadira contains tikta-kashaya rasa (bitter and astringent taste). These two rasa by the virtue of their pharmacological properties like Soshana (absorption), Vishakhadatta (anti poisonous), Kandu prashamana (reduce itching sensation), nourishment and strengthening of skin and muscle and wound healing, Kledaupashosana (dry of exudation) causes therapeutic action of reducing edema, detoxification, restoration, antihistaminic action and contraction, healing, clearing of derbies.
All these pharmacological properties as a whole are able to exert an anti-inflammatory action on the affected areas of skin, which is beneficial to cure psoriasis, especially during active lymphocyte infiltration.
Crushed bark of acacia catechu is used topical on wounds as it is a very potent wound healing medicinal plant. It has an astringent effect and also causes precipitation of skin which makes it a very good wound healing plant. Furthermore it also exhibits antimicrobial properties which prevent growth of microbes on wounds. This property is due to the presence of tannins, flavonoids and other active ingredients.
Khadira possesses Flavonoids, Saponins and Alkaloids which work against diabetes. . Flavonoids in Diabetes usually alternate the diabetes treatment by regenerating the pancreatic cells, enhancing insulin release and increasing factor IV uptake. The role flavonoids are quite important in fighting with complications of diabetes mellitus than any other method of treatment.
Saponins- Saponins have been found to have Pharmaceutical properties of anti- inflammatory, anti- fungal, anti-bacterial, antiviral and anti-diabetes.In the aspect of anti-diabetes, saponins regulate gluconeogenesis and glucose uptake.
In type 2 diabetes, insulin is secreted in lesser amounts than required, thus causing much of the sugars to remain in the bloodstream. Acacia also increases the extent of beta cells, thus encouraging them to secrete more insulin.
This is helpful for type 2 diabetes mellitus. It also helps to lose body weight. Its adrenergic amine content stimulates beta- receptors to interrupt down the lipids within the body. This, in turn, enhances the rate of metabolism as cholesterol is broken down and hunger is curbed.
The bark of Acacia catechu Wild family Fabaceae, maintains healthy fat metabolism and reduces the conversion of carbohydrates to fats. In studies of rats fed on a diet containing cholesteryl oleate, betel nut extracts significantly lowered cholesterol and triglycerides.
Khadira is useful in the treatment of diarrhoea, compounds like catechin and epicatechin helps to reduce the spontaneous contraction of colon smooth muscles.
A study done in School of Biosciences, Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, kerala suggested that the immunomodulatory effects of A. catechu extracts on humoral, cell mediated and non-specific immune functions.
Dosage and side effects (only after consultation with an ayurvedic doctor).
Khadir Powder - 1-2 gm twice a day.
it is advisable to avoid or consult a physician before taking Khadir during pregnancy or lactation.