RASONA (Allium Sativum)
The Sanskrit word rasona literally means lacking one taste as it contains all of the six tastes except sour, Rasona (garlic) as a food item has been used for thousands of years by millions of people all over the world. It has been also used as a medicine in India, China and Middle East since ages. Maharishi Charka has cited it to be a valuable medicine for vata diseases, tumors, skin disorders and as an aphrodisiac. The great sage Susruta, in addition, has mentioned to possess the properties like a healer in fractures, beneficial for the eyes, voice and for complexion of the skin too. He has a
lso enumerated it to be useful in the ailments like flatulence, abdominal in the ailments like flatulence, abdominal pain, heart diseases, chronic fever, dehydration, cough etc. Maharishi Kasyapa has given the detailed account of rasona as a rasayana. Rasona is still employed today in folk medicine in many parts of the world. Rasona is recommended as a drug of choice in the vata diseases.
The plant is cultivated throughout India in mild climate, without extremes of temperature. It is a small, 0.33-0.66 meters high perennial herb, giving of slender fibrous roots below. The underground bulbs are composed of several bulbils (cloves), encased in whitish pink skin of the parent bulb. The leaves 7 or 8, all from the root-stalk, are elongated, flat, 25-30 long, bright glaucous green. The flowers, in umbel initially enclosed in a spate. The plant flowers in June and July.
The botanical name of rasona is Allium sativum and it belongs to family Liliaceous. The strong smelling juice of the bulbs contains a mixture of aliphatic mono and polysulphides. The chief constituent is allicin, diallyl disulphide oxide. The latter results from spontaneous enzymatic reduction of allin and 5- allylcystine sulphamide. Thioglycoside, amino acids, fatty acids, flavones, vitamins, trace elements, volatile oils etc. have also been demonstrated in rasona. Isolation of biologically active compound scordinin A1 diallyl trisuphide, diallyl suphide, allylmethyl disulphide, diallyl disulphide and allylmethyl trisulphideisolated Gibberllins A3 and A7 isolated and identified from growing garlic bulbs. An organo sulphur compound – ajoene – isolated from garlic extract; E and Z isomers of ajoene separated by HPLC and its structure determined. A new furostanol glycoside – protoeruboside B- isolated from bulbs and its structure determined
Rasona has five tastes, except sour out of which it is predominant in pungent and sweet ones. In each of its parts one taste is predominant. Its bulb is pungent, leaves are bitter, stem astringent, the tip of the stem is salty and the seed is sweet. Rasona is pungent in the post digestive effect and has hot potency. It possesses unctuous sharp, heavy laxative and slimy attributes. It alleviates the kapha and vata doshas but vitiates the pitta dosha and blood (rakta dhatu).
The bulbils or cloves of rasona and its oil are used for medicinal purpose. Rasona is used, internally as well as externally, externally; the juice or the pulp of rasona is applied as paste in rheumatic joints, sciatica, paralysis, facial palsy, pleurisy etc, to ameliorate the pains and swelling. The juice applied, in skin diseases like ringworm infestations and skin ailments of kapha origin, responds well. The fresh juice or the oil medicated with rasona is instilled into ears to mitigate the earache. The pulp applied on glandular swellings or abscesses is the best panacea. In guinea worm infestation (Dracunculus medinensis), the pulp of rasona with chitraka (Plumbago zeylanica) and sarsapa (Brassica nigra) is applied externally. In insect bites, the application of its juice, detoxifies the toxins and combats the itching.
Internally, rasona is useful in innumerable diseases. It is effective in the digestive disorders, especially of vata – kapha origin. It augments the appetite, improves digestion, eliminates the gaseous distension and has mild laxative action. It also imparts a vermicidal activity and stimulates the liver. Hence, it is benevolent in gastro-intestinal ailments like anorexia, dyspepsia, flatulence, piles, mild abdominal pain, worm infestations, constipation and sluggish liver. The rasona fried in pure ghee is used in such conditions. The milk medicated with rasona is effective in treating the tumors due to kapha and vata doshas. In diarrhea, colitis and dysentery and even cholera, the buttermilk medicated with rasona is salutary.
The respiratory ailments like cough, asthma, colds, hoarseness of voice, tuberculosis, and hiccup respond well to rasona preparations. The fresh juice of rasona preparations. The fresh juice of rasona works well, with ghee in bronchospasms in asthma. In children, it is given with honey, in colds and cough. It also stimulates the heart, improves the circulation and eliminates the edema. In enteric fever, it is used with sesame oil, with benefit. As rasona destroys ama, it is a valuable panacea for rheumatic conditions to alleviate inflammatory sings like Pain and swelling. Rasona is externally useful in skin diseases of kapha- vata origin and improves the complexion of the skin in pigmentory disorders. As an adjunct, it promotes the healing of fractures, for which its medicated milk is used.
Rasona is the drug of choice in vata diseases like facial palsy, paralysis, sciatica and also as a brain tonic. It is said to improve the memory and intelligence. The rasona with sesame oil is valuable in epilepsy. The fresh juice is given with the honey and ghee in night blindness and also helps to augment acuity of vision. It is an invaluable aphrodisiac, which helps in spermatogenesis and hence, alleviates the sexual debility. The dysuria of vata type is treated well, with rasona as it has diuretic property and alleviates vata.
In general, rasona should be used with ghee in vata diseases, with sugar in pitta diseases and with the honey in kapha disorders. As it vitiates the pitta dosha it should be sparingly used in pitta constitutions, pregnancy and ratkapitta (bleeding disorders). Before use, rasona is purified by soaking it in sour buttermilk overnight, then washed with water and dried in the shade. The patient should avoid hot, spicy and salty food, exposure to sun and heat, and should not consume jaggery and more water, when on the regimen with rasona preparations. The coriander fruit-cold infusion is the antidote for ill-effects of rasona. The recent scientific research reveals it to be very effective in hypercholesterolaemia and atherosclerosis. The rasona is benevolent as a rejuvenative, especially in the vata diseases. It is specially recommended in hoarseness of voice.
- Rasona vati
- Rasona siddha taila
- Lasunadi ghrta
- Rasona panda
- Lasunadi vati etc.