DADIMA (Punica granatum)
Dadima is one of the herbs mentioned in all ancient Sanskrit scriptures of Ayurveda. It has been commonly used as an edible fruit, as well as for medicinal purpose, domestically. The medicinal properties of the plant have beendescribed by Susruta as appetite stimulant, antiemetic and antidiarrhoeal. Caraka has categorized it as grahi or atisaraghna – antidiarrhoeal, sramahara relieves fatigue, while Susruta classified it as hrdya heart tonic. Also it is mentioned in other texts as arucighna – alleviates distaste, chardinasaka anti-emetic, medhya nervine tonic and krmighna – vermicidal.
Dadima is cultivated throughout India. It is a bush or small tree, growing 3-5 metres in height, with straight, slender, somewhat angular branches, often with spiny ends. The leaves are usually opposite, shortly stalked, 2-5 cm long, oblong-ovate, smooth and shining. The flowers, solitary or 2 or 3 together, bright red in colour. The fruit is as large as orange, ovoid, 5-6 cm in diameter. The seeds very numerous, entirely filling the fruit. The fruit-rind is woody, coriaceous and the interior is septate with the membranous walls.
The botanical name of dadima is Punica granatum and it belongs to family Punicaseae. The edible portion of the fruit contains glucose, fructose, maltose, starch, oxalic acid, Vitamin C, pectin, amino acids etc. The bark and the rind of the fruit contain 22% tannin. The root bark contains punico tannic acid 20-25% . The flower contains sitosterol, ursolic acid, maslinic acid, Asiatic acid, ellagic and gallic acids. Pelletierine from root bark isolated and characterized. Sitosterol and ursolic acid isolated; two tannins – punicalagin and punicalin – isolated from peels and their structure determined. Pectin isolated from fruits contained mannose, galactose, rhamnose, arabinose and glucose in ratio 1:1.3:2.1:4.4:6.2. principal sugar was galacturonic acid
Dadima is sweet, astringent and sour in taste , sweet or sour in the post digestive effect and semi – hot in potency , It alleviates the kapha and vata dosas. It possesses light and oily attributes. It is an appetizer, digestant, anti – diarrhoeal,nervine tonic and improves the quantity of seminal fluids. It alleviates the diseases of mouth, throat and purifies the blood. (Bhavaprakasa Nighantu)
The fruit, the rind of the fruit, roots and the skin of roots have great medicinal value. Dadima is used both, internally as well as externally. Externally, the rind decoction heals the wounds earlier and reduces the swelling. The gargles of the same, heal up the ulcers in the oral cavity and throat. In epistaxis the nasal bleed, the juice of its flowers is instilled nasally to arrest the bleeding promptly. Even the fruit juice applied on skin, effectively mitigates the allergic skin rashes, due to insect bites.
Generally, the berbs with sour taste (amla rasa) aggravate the pitta dosa. Dadima and amalaki are the exceptions to this rule..nternally, different parts of dadima are used in different diseases. The dadima fruit improves the sensation of taste and stimulates an appetite. It also boosts the digestion and controls diarrhea. It effectively controls hyperacidity and thirst, when given with rock candy. The diarrhea in children is treated with benefit by the giving its tender flowers, matted with goat’s milk. The decoction of the roots is recommended on empty stomach, followed by a laxative nest day, to kill and expel athe worms. In diarrhea and colitis, the rind of its fruit works well with buttermilk. In dysentery, the decoction of dadima rind and butaja roots, mixed with honey, Is the best panacea to control the bleeding. The juice of raw dadima fruit combined with sunthi, lavanga and mayaphala mixed with honey is the best preparation to control the frequency of defecation in colitis. The most popular formulation dadimavaleha is effectively used in anorexia, abdominal pain, tuberculosis, oedema and dysentery with fever. Dadimastaka curna is another preparation salutary in loss of appetite, distaste and ailments of the throat.
Dadima fruit is pleasant and calming to the mind and heart , benevolent to arrest bleeding, hence is rewarding in raktapitta, heart diseases and anaemia. It pacifies the vata and pitta dosas and promptly nourishes rasa and rakta dhatus. Thus, boosts the energy.
Classical Ayurvedic Preparations
- Dadimastaka curna
- Dadimadi ghrta
- Dadimadya taila
- Dadimadi curna