BRHATI (Solanum indicum)
Brhati root forms one of the Laghupancamula meaning literally, minor five roots, of Dasamula kvatha (decoction of ten roots), one of the widely prescribed formulation of Ayurveda. The major and minor roots (five each) together are known as dasamula. The major five roots (brhat pancamula) are bilva (Aegle marmelos), agnimantha (Clerodendron phlomoides), syonaka (Oroxylum indicum), patala (Stereospermum sauveolens) and kasmari (Gmelina arborea). Whereas the minor five roots (laghu pancamula) are saliparni (Desmodium gangeticum), prsniparni (Uraria picta), brhati (Solanum indicum), kantakari (Solanum xanathocarpum) and goksura (Tribulus terrestris).Maharsi Caraka has categorized brhati as kanthya – benefical for the throat, sothahara – relieves oedema , angamarda prasamana – relieves bodyache and hikka nigrahana – anti – hiccup.
Brhati occurs throughout India, often in waste places, on roadsides and in open scrublands. It is a prickly, much branched shrub, usually spreading or diffused, It grows upto 1-5 metres in height. The young branches are densely covered with minute star – shaped hairs . The prickles are yellow, shining, about 1-5 cm long. The leaves upto 10 cm long, their midribs and other nerves with sharp yellow prickles. The flowers are purple, about 2 cm long, in racemose extra – axillary cymes. The fruits round, 1.5 – 2 cm, dark yellow when ripe. The seeds are smooth, minutely pitted.
The botanical name of brhati is Solanum indicum and it belongs to family Solanceae. In the Ayurvedic formulary of India. Solanum indicum (brhati) and Sulanum xanthocarpum (kantakari), together, are termed as brhari dvayam. The fruit and root of brhati contain wax, fatty acids and alkaloids solanin and solanidine.
Disogenin, lanosterol, sitosterol. Solasonnine, solamargine and solasidine have been isolated from the plant. A glycoalkaloid, solasonine on hydrolysis afforded solasodine, sugars, glucose, galactose and rhamnose,
Brhati is pungent and bitter in taste , pungent in the psot digestive effect and has hot potency . It alleviates kapha and vata dosas. It possesses light , dry and sharp attributes. It is an appetizer, digestant, diuretic and is beneficial to the heart. It alleviates cough and asthma. It is useful in the diseases like fever, cough, skin diseases, distaste and pain.
The roots and fruits are used for medicinal purpose. The herb is useful both internally as well as externally. Externally, the fresh juice of brhati is applied in alopecia areata with honey. The mixture of powders of brhati fruit, haridra and daruharidra rhizomes is beneficial, topically, in pruritus vulvae to alleviate intense itching. In halitosis (bad breath), the gargle with the decoction of brhati is an effective deodorant. The paste of its seeds is applied on the penis, in erectile failure, with great benefit. The inhalation of its seeds powder like snuff is a good stimulant in samjnanasa. The paste of brhati alleviates pain and itching.
Internally, brhati is used in vast range of diseases. The fruit fuice mixed with honey and ghee prepared from cow’s milk effectively curbs vomiting. The plant is beneficial in various digestive ailments like loss of appetite, abdominal pain, distaste, worms and colitis. In respiratory problems like colds, cough, asthma , sinusitis, pleurisy the decoction of its roots works well with the fruit powder of pippali )Piper Iongum). The cough due to kapha and vata are controlled with the decoction of its roots given along with the honey and ghee. Respectively. Being hot and sharp in properties, brhati liquefies the phlegm and relieves the blocked mucous and clears off the respiratory channels. It is the best blood purifier, hence, benevolent in blood disorders. Brhati stimulates and strengthens the heart and ameliorates the oedema. It also works well in dysuria and urinary calculi as it is diuretic in action. In fever, it is of special benefit, as it digests ama for which, its decoction is recommended with sunthi and dhanyaka. The seeds boost uterine contraction, so are used in dysmenorrheal, amenorrhea and in difficult labour. The seeds also bestow an aphrodisiac action. In urinary disorders like dysuria, urinary stones and cystitis, the medicated ghee of its roots brhati mula siddha ghrta, is commonly used. Brhati is useful in various deramatoses.
Classical Ayurvedic Preparations
- Brhatyadi kvatha
- Brhati mula siddha ghrta