PARNABIJA (Kalanchoe pinnata)
The Sanskrit word parnabija literally means that the leaves of which are furnished with rooting vegetative buds. Parnabija has another synonym dhanvantari, which indicates it as a divine herb. There are no references of parnabija till the era of vagbhata.
The plant grows all over India in hot and moist areas, especially in Bengal. The perennial grows 1-1.5 meters in height and the stem is four-angled. The leaves are opposite, decussate, succulent, 10-20 cm long. The lower leaves are simple, whereas, the upper ones 3-7 foliate and are long-petioled. The flowers, 5 cm long, red, pendent, in large spreading panicles. The fruit-pod with 4 septa and numerous, ellipsoid, smooth seeds within. The plant flowers in November and fruits in April.
The botanical name of parnabija is Kalanchoe pinnata and it belongs to family Crassulaceae. It has synonym Bryophyllum pinnatum. In leaves, pcoumaric, ferulic, syringic, caffeic and phydroxybenzoic acids, kaempferol and quercetin detected. Quercetin-3L- rhamonsido-L- arabinofuranoside isolated (Chem. Abstr. 1970, 73, 84621); quercetin – 3- diarabinoside and kaempferol -3 – glucoside isolated. The wax hydrocarbons, wax alcohols and fatty acids obtained from the wax of leaves
Parnabija is astringent and sour in taste, sweet in the post digestive effect and has hot potency. It alleviates vata and pitta doshas. It possesses light and dry attributes. It is well known for its haemostatic and wound healing properties.
The leaves of parnabija have great medicinal value and are used for medicinal purpose both, internally as well externally. The leaves possess various properties like haemostatic, refrigerant, emollient, mucilaginous, vulnerary, depurative, anti-inflammatory, disinfectant and tonic. They are useful in vitiated conditions of vata and pitta, cuts and wounds, hemorrhoids, menorrhagia, discoloration of the skin, boils, sloughing ulcers, ophthalmic, burns, scalds, corn, diarrhea, dysentery, vomiting and acute inflammations.
Externally, the pulp of the leaves or the juice is applied on traumatic injuries to arrest the bleeding and promote the healing of wounds. The juice of its leaves contract the minute arterioles and arrest bleeding which may be external or internal. On traumatic wounds, the heated leaves of parnabija are crushed and applied. It reduces the edema and promotes the wound healing without leaving a scar. This miraculous haemostatic property of parnabija needs further scientific evaluation.
Internally, the leaves juice and cumin seeds are given along with the double amount of ghee in dysentery. It arrests the bleeding, as well as stimulates the intestines. Parnabija is highly recommended in raktapitta – bleeding disorders, piles and menorrhagia.
Classical Ayurvedic Preparations