Bakuci (Psoralea corylifolia)
Bakuci has earned the name Kusthanasini as it is one of the best herbs, used in the treatment of various skin disorders. Bakuci fruit has been mentioned in Susruta Samhita. It has been recognixed since ancient times as panacea for drematoses, in Ayurveda. There are two types of bakuci in Susruata Samhita, namely sveta (white) and krsna (black). Bakuci has several synonyms in ancient scriptures of Ayurveda. Formed with some addition to the synonyms of the moon, like candraledha, sasankalekha, somarekha and somaraji etc.
Bakuci grows throughout India, especially in the plains of Central and Eastern India, in abundance. An herbaceous annual grows upto one metre in height. The leaves, arranged in racemes, are simple and broadly elliptic. Five main nerves spring from the base of the leaf. On both the surfaces, the leaves are clothed with white hairs. The flowers are blue in colour, axillary in 10-30 flowered racemes. The fruits-pods are flat closely pitted and black. The seeds are dark brown and elongated. The glabrous closely pitted seeds are compressed, nonendospermic, smooth, oily and free of starch. The plant flowers from August to December.
The botanical name of bakuci is Psoralea corylifolia and it belongs to family Papilionaceae, Fabaceae. An essential oil is found in baduci seeds. Resins, fixed oil and a crystalline solid, psoralen, a furocoumarin, have been isolated. Psoralens are active priciples for inducing pigmentation.
The structures of new flavonoids bavachinin, bavachalcone, bavachin, isobavachin and isobavachalcone elucidated. Corylifolin and corylifolinin are isolated along with psoralen, angelicin and psoralidin. A new chalcone – bavachromanol, is isolated from the seeds and its structure is determined. A new lupine-type triterpene – psoracinol-isolated and its structure is determined.
Bakuci is bitter and pungent in taste, pungent in the post digestive effect and has hot potency. It alleviates kapha and vata dosas but aggravates the pitta dosa. It possesses light and dry attributes. It is a mild laxative and alleviates various skin diseases. (Raja Nighantu)
The seeds have great medicinal value. The plant is used both internally as well as externally. The seed oil is extremely beneficial, externally, in in numerous skin ailments. In hypopigmented lesions if the skin like leucoderma and psoriasis respond well, to local application along with oral therapy. In leucoderma, the seed powder of bakuci mixed with haratala bhasma (yellow arsenic), in 4:1 proportion, and mashed with the cow’s urine. This paste is applied on the lesions of leucoderma. In scabies and ringworm infestations, the bakuci seed powder mixed with buttermilk, is applied externally. In leprosy, the seed oil is recommended orally, with beatlenut leaf. Amalaki and khadira are valuable adjuvants, with bakuci, in dermatoses. In chronic skin diseases, a mixture of bakuci and karanja oil is commonly used with Vaseline. Scabies, psoriasis, ringworm and tinea versicular are treated successfully with bakuci.
Orally, bakuci is useful in various diseases. It is a well – known nervine tonic beneficial in vata diseases. In intestinal worm infestations. The seed powder is given orally for the duration os one week, followed by a purgative like castor oil, Bakuci in male sexual debility, works well as an aphorodisiac. To alleviate oedema, it is useful as it is stimulant to heart. It is salutary in cough and asthma to alleviate kapha dosa.
The bakuci seeds are purified, before use, by soaking them in ginger juice or cow’s urine, for one week. On larger doses, it produces symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, nausea and headache. The drug should be withdrawn and milk, ghee and butter should be consumed in diet. It is advised to avoid spicy diet, salt and late nights during bakuci regimen.
- Bakuci bija curna and taila
- Svitrakara vati
- Mahamanjisthadi kvatha etc.