KADAMBA (Anthocephalus indicus)
Kadamba is one of the herbs mentioned in all ancient Sanskrit scriptures. There is a mention of kadamba in Sri Krisna Charitra. Kalidasa, the great ancient poet of India, in his romantic poetry Meghaduta, has cited the ornamental use of kadamba (Nipa) flowers by women of Alka Nagari. Ayurvedic texts, has various synonyms like vrttapuspa, kadambari, nipa, karnapuraka, sindhu puspa, madadhya, lalanapriya etc. The great sage Caraka has categoris vedanasthapana – analgesic, vamanopaga – adjunct to emesis and its fruit pulp as sukrasodhana – purifier of seminal fluids. Susruta has cited it as visaghna – detoxifier and stambhana – anti diarrhoeal.
Kadamba grows throughout India, especially at low levels in wet places. It is a medium sized tree, growing 15-20 meters in height, evergreen, with rounded crown. The bark is dark grey in color, frequently longitudinally fissured, exfoliating in thin scales. The leaves, resembling to those of madhuka, 30 cm long 10-15 cm broad, ovate, with prominent veins. The flowers are small, orange in color, in globose heads. The fruits, round like small balls, hard, yellow when ripe, sweet and sour in taste.
The botanical name of kadamba is Anthocephalus indicus or achinensis or Neolamarckia cadamba. It belongs to family Rubiaceae. Isolation and structure elucidation of cadambine and 3 dihydrocadambine. A glycosidic alkaloid – isodihydro cadambine – isolated and characterised . A new triterpenic acid cadambagenic acid – and along with quinovic acid and sitosterol isolated. Cadambine, 3 – isodihydrocadambine isolated as acetates from leaves. A polysaccharide composed of xylose, mannose and glucose in ratio 1:3:5 isolated from seeds.
Kadamba is bitter, pungent and astringent in taste, pungent in the post digestive effect and has cold potency. It alleviates all the three dosas, predominantly kapha and pitta. It possesses light and dry attributes. By its special potency, it acts as vedanasthapana – analgesic and visaghna – detoxifies the toxins.
In Raja Nighantu, three kinds of kadamba arementioned namely, dhara kadamba that is the kadamba described above, dhuli kadamba – which blooms in the spring and bhumi kadamba – which has small flowers.
The roots, fruits, leaves, bark skin is used from medicinal purposes. Externally, the wounds and ulcers are dressed with its leaves slightly warmed) to alleviate the pain, swelling and for cleansing and better healing of wounds. The decoction of the leaves is also used for this purpose. The paste of its bark skin is benevolent in conjunctivitis, as an external application.
Internally, the decoction of bark skin is an effective remedy for diarrhea, dysentery and colitis. The juice of bark skin combined with cumin seeds and sugar alleviates vomiting. The excessive thirst in fevers is quenched with its fruit juice. Kadamba is the best panacea for raktapitta, edema and cough. The decoction of roots is salutary in urinary ailments like dysuria, urinary calculi and glycosuria. Menorrhagia is effectively controlled with the fresh juice of its leaves or their decoction. The fruit juice augments the quantity of breast milk in lactating mothers and also works well as a lactodepurant. Kadamba is rewarding in skin diseases as it improves the complexion of the skin. In burning sensation of the body and fever, the bark skin is commonly used. The bark skin and the fruits are salubrious in general debility.
Classical Ayurvedic Preparation
- Kadamba tvak curna
- Kadamba phala rasa etc.