Kashtadaru – Polyalthia longifolia Uses, Research, Side effects

Kashta Daru – Polyalthia longifolia is often referred to as False Ashoka, because it is very commonly used as a substitute for Ashoka – Saraca indica. This is because, both these trees have similar qualities and appearance.  

It is planted on the sides of highways, as it is very effective in reducing noise pollution!
Botanical name- Polyalthia longifolia  Benth Hook.f.ver. Pandurata
Family- ANNONACEAE

Vernacular names

Names in different languages:
English name- Mast tree, False Ashoka, Buddha Tree, Cemetery tree
Hindi name- Devadari, Nakali Ashoka
Kannada name- Gauri, Habbe, Ubbina mara
Tamil name- Nadunar, Nettilinkam நெட்டிலிங்கம்
Telugu name- Naramamidi
Malayalam name –  araNamaram: അരണമരം
Gujarati name – Asopalav
Urdu name – Asupal
Bengali name – Debdaru
Indonesian name – Glodogan tiang
Sanskrit Synonyms – Devadari

Major chemical constituents

Stem bark- Leucoyanidin , Proanthocyanidin(I) , a- Sitosterols; Campesterol etc
(Reference: Illustrated Dravyaguna VIjnana, Vol. II, by Dr JLN Shastry)
Crude extracts of the leaves of Polyalthia Longifolia indicated the presence of alkaloids, tannins, saponins and glycosides.
Identification of anti oxidant principles – Activity guided fractionation of the ethanolic extract of the leaves of the P. longifolia var. pendula led to the identification of quercetin 1, quercetin-3-O-ß-glucopyranoside 2, kaempferol-3-O-α-rhamnopyranosyl-(1→6)- ß-galactopyranoside 3, kaempferol-3-O-α-rhamnopyranosyl-(1→6)-ß-glucopyranoside 4, rutin 5 and allantoin 6 as the active constituents from butanol fraction.

Mast tree - Polyalthia longifolia

Habitat

It is native to Sri Lanka. But it is planted on the road sides, throughout India.

Medicinal qualities

Polyalthia longifolia medicinal qualities:
Guna (qualities) – Laghu (lightness), Rooksha (dryness)
Rasa (taste) – Tikta (bitter), Katu (pungent)
Vipaka- Katu – Undergoes pungent taste conversion after digestion.
Veerya- Ushna – Hot potency
Effect on Tridosha – Kapha Pittahara – Balances Kapha and Pitta Dosha.

Part used, dosage

Part Used: Stem bark, Leaves
Dose – Decoction – Kashayam – 50 – 100 ml,  in divided dose per day, or as directed by doctor

Sanskrit verse

Mast tree - uses

Uses

Kastadaru – Mast tree – Polyalthia longifolia uses:
Laghu – light to digest
Rooksha – dry
Tikta – Bitter
Katu – Has pungent taste as well.
Ahima – Hot potency
Deepana – Improves digestion.

Useful in the treatment of :
Krumi – worm infestation (in wounds and in intestines)
Meha – urinary tract disorders, diabetes
Jwara – fever
Kushta – skin diseases
It is useful in reducing Blood pressure
Because of its mild laxative effect, it is useful in constipation.

Research

Phyto-chemical screening, antibacterial activity – Uzama D, Ahmadu R, Bwai DM, Thomas SA. Phytochemical Screening And Antibacterial Activity Of Polyalthia Longifolia Crude Extracts. www.scopemed.org/?mno=13194 [Access: March 09, 2015].
Anti-microbial potential of seed oil

Side effects

There are no known side effects with this herb.
Seek medical guidance for use during pregnancy and lactation.

Interaction with medicines, supplements

Can this be used while taking Homeopathic medicine?
Yes. This product does not react with homeopathic medicine.

Can this medicine be continued while taking supplements like multivitamin tablets, Omega 3 fatty acids etc?
Yes. Generally, this product goes well with most of the dietary supplements. However, if you are taking more than one product per day, please consult your doctor for an opinion.

With western medicines
Seek your doctor’s advice if you are taking this product along with other western (allopathic / modern) medicines. Some Ayurvedic herbs can interact with modern medicine.
If both Ayurvedic and allopathic medicines are advised together, then it is best to take Allopathic medicine first, wait for 30 minutes and then take the Ayurvedic medicine.

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