RASNA (Vanda roxburghii)
Rasna has been extensively used by Ayurvedic physicians in treating the vata diseases, especially, adhyavata (vata disease in the thigh region) in particular. It is one of the herbs mentioned in all scriptures of Ayurveda. Bhavamisra has described the anti – inflammatory property of the plant. Maharishi Charka has categorized it as vayahsthapana (promotes longevity) and preserves youth and anuvasanopaga (adjunctive to oily enema therapy). Susruta has mentioned it as visaghnaanti-toxin and vimlapana (anti–inflammatory), especially in vata diseases Vagbhata has mentioned it as a drug of choice for vata disorders. Rasna has various synonyms, mentioned in Samhita, like yuktarasa, rasa, rasadhya, rasya, surasa, sugandha, sreyasi, gandhamula etc.
The plant grows throughout India, as a common orchid epiphytic on mango or madhuka trees. It develops two kinds of roots viz. the clinging roots and aerial roots. The leaves are 15-20 cm long, coriaceous, in two rows and are oblique at the apex. The flowers 4-5 cm in diameter, are solitary of axillary racemose. The fruit 7-9 cm long and the roots are fragrant.
The botanical name of Rasna is Vanda roxburghil and it belongs to family Orchidaceae. The plant contains alkaloids and glycoside. The plant also contains tannins, saponins, sterols, fatty acids, resins and coloring matter. From plant and sitosterols and a long chain aliphatic compounds isolated.
Rasna is bitter in taste, pungent in the post digestive effect and has hot potency. It alleviates kapha and vata doshas. It possesses heavy attribute and digests the ama. It augments the uterine contractions and is a bronchodilator, digestant and blood purifier. It is used in diseases like gout, rheumatic disorders, asthma, abdominal pain, fever and edema.
The roots or Rasna have great medicinal value and are used for medicinal purpose, externally as well as internally. Externally, the roots mashed in cow’s urine, used as a paste, for topical application in skin diseases like eczema, scabies, pruritus etc. Also, the skin sash with the decoction of Rasna roots is salutary in skin diseases. Rasna contains an alkaloid, which enters into the composition of several medicated oils, for external epplication in rheumatism and allied disorders and also diseases of the nervous system. The massage with Rasna oil is beneficial in swollen and painful joist.
Internally, Rasna is a keen stimulant, cholegogue, digestant and a mild laxative. Along with external therapy, rasna is a valuable remedy for vata diseases like inflammation of joints, internally also. It is salutary in seizures as well as facial palsy. In respiratory ailments like cough, asthma, pulmonary edema, pleurisy and tuberculosis, Rasna is benevolent. It is a great panacea for oligomenorrhea, amenorrhea and dysmenorrheal; as it augments the uterine contractions. It is also a remedy for secondary syphilis and scorpion bite.
Classical Ayurvedic Preparations
- Maharasnadi kvatha
- Rasnadi curna
- Rasnadi vati
- Rasnadi lepa
- Yogaraja guggula
- Rasnadi kvatha etc.