CANDRASURA (Lepidium sativum)
Candrasura is one of the berbs mentioned in all ancient scriptures of ayurveda. It is the most commonly used herb for nousehold remedies. It has various synonyms in ayurvedic texts like nandini, candrika, carmahantri, pasumehanakarika, karavi, vasapuspa, bhadra, suvasara etc. It is traditionally used in the postpartum period, to promote the lactation and alleviate low back pain de to vata. It also works well as a general tonic for a lactating mother. Candrasura alleviates vata and kapha dosas and is beneficial in treating hiccup and diarrhea Bhavaprakasa).
It is cultivated throughout India and Tibet as a culinary vegetable. An erect glabrous annual grows 15-45 cm in height. The leaves are entire, the upper ones are sessile whereas lower petiolate. The flowers are white in clour, small and are in long racemes. The fruits are small pods, obovate, with two seeds per pod. The seeds are brownish red in colour and become slimy when soaked in water.
The botanical name of candrasura is Lepiduum sativum, and it belongs to family Cruciferae. The seeds contain a volatile essential aromatic oil, the active principle and a fatty oil. Iodine, iron, phosphate, potash, salts, bitter substances, sulphur is obtained from the water-cress. A glycoside is present in seeds, but absent in seed-oil. A new alkaloid – lepidine isolated from seeds along with sinapic acid ethyl ester.
Candrasura is pungent, bitter and sweet in taste, pungent in the post digestive effect and has hot potency. It alleviates vata and kapha dosas. It possesses light oily and slimy attributes. It is usefi; om diseases diarrhea, blood diseases and diseases due to vata.
The seeds of candrasura have great medicinal value. The seeds of four plants viz. candrafura, methika, yavani and krsna jiraka are together called as caturbija. The seeds are useful both, internally as well as externally. The paste of seeds is applied in rheumatic joints to relieve the pain and swelling. The pulp of the seeds applied on the painful joints and on haematoma, effectively reduces the pain and swelling. The paste is salutary in the treatment of various skin diseases also.
Internally, candrasura is used with great benefit to alleviate the hiccup. The seeds (20 gm) are soaked in 250 ml. of sater and the cold infusion is recommended to sip frequently. This household remedy is very commonly used and is effective. This infusion also augments the quantity of urine, hence, mitigates dysuria. As a galactogogue and a general tonic it is often used in the postpartum period. The medicated milk (ksirapaka) is prepared for this purpose. It is a very potent galactogogue, a valuable tonic and is also beneficial to relieve the low – back pain. It also works well, in male sexual debility as it has good aphrodisiac property. Candrasura is a keen stimulant to digestive system and its properties like an appetizer, vata alleviator, anti – colic and stool – binding are useful in the conditions loss of appetite, indigestion, flatulence, abdominal pain, diarrhea and dysentery. It is a blood purifier and so useful in gout. T relieves the mucous, so salutary in cough and asthma.
Classical Ayurvedic Preparations