PRIYANGU (Callicarpa macrophylla)
The Sanskrit word priyangu literally means that which is lovable or charming. It is one of the herbs mentioned in all ancient scriptures of Ayurveda and has numerous synonyms like phalapriya, subhaga, nandini, mangalya, priya, sreyasa, syama, priyavalli etc. There are two varieties of the plant, described in Samhitas, as priyangu and gandha priyangu. The second variety is fragrant one. Maharsi Caraka has categorized priyangu as sandhaniya – a healing herb, purisa sangrahaniya – give fform to the faeces, mutra virahaniya – give color to urine and sonata sthapana – haemostatic or styptic, which arrests the bleeding.
The plant grows in sub-Himalayan tracts, Bengal and Assam, up to 1800 – 2000 meters altitude. An erect shrub grows 1-2 meters in height, with branches having tomentose tips. The leaves are 15-25 cm long, opposite, ovate-lanceolate, with rounded base and white tomentose beneath. The flowers are small, rose colored, in globose cymes of 2 cm length and 5 cm diameter. The fruits are white drupes, succulent, 30 - 45 cm in diameter.
The botanical name of priyangu is Callicarpa macrophylla and it belongs to family Varbenaceae. A new tetracyclic diterpene – calliterpenone – and its acetate isolated and their stereo structure estabilished. The structure of calliterpenone revised to 3-oxo-13 kurane-16 diol.
Priyangu is astringent, bitter and sweet in taste, pungent in the post digestive effect and has cold potency. It alleviates all the three doshas, especially, vata and pitta. It possesses heavy and dry attributes. It is cooling, fragrant, astringent and rejuvenative in properties. It is used in the diseases like tumors, hyperdipsia, diarrhea, diabetes, hyperhidrosis, fever, burning sensation of the body, dysentery etc.
The fruits leave and flowers of priyangu have great medicinal vale and are used for medicinal purpose both, internally as well as externally, externally, the poultice of the leaves is applied on swollen and painful joints in arthritis and gout. It is used as a deodorant in excessive sweating. In burning sensation of the body, fever and headache it is extremely beneficial . The powder of the flowers is salutary in dressing the non-healing and foul ulcers and wounds. The flowers are used for its oil preparation, which promotes the growth of hair. The seeds are cooling, astringent, anti-diarrhoeal, constipation, alleviate pitta and kapha doshas and are flatulent. The fragrant variety, gandha or sugandha priyangu(Prunus mahaleb) is refrigerant, gragrant and is useful in burning sensation of the body, fever, skin ailments and blood disorders due to bitiation of pitta dosha. The flowers are used as eye drops in conjunctivitis.
Internally, priyangu powder is given along with sugar in hyperacidity, with great benefit. The bulbs of kamala (Nelumbium speciosum). Tender fruits of udumbara (Ficus racemosa) and priyangu cooked in milk, are given in pregnancy to alleviate the bleeding. Priyangu stimulates the appetite. Alleviates vata and are astringent, hence, used in anorexia, abdominal pain, tumors and dysentery. It is a potent blood purifier and alleviates the pitta dosha, thus useful in raktapitta and blood disorders. In diabetes of pitta type, it is recommended as a mutra virajaniya herb, which gives colour to urine. In fever and burning sensation of the body, priyangu is highly recommended because of its cold potency and bitter taste. It is one of the best bitter tonics used in general debility and also as a detoxifier, being visaghna in property.
Classical Ayurvedic Preparations