Ajagandha – Uses, Research, Dose, Side Effects

Ajagandha is extensively used in Ayurvedic treatment of bloating, parasitic worms, non healing wounds etc. Its seeds, leaves and roots are used for medicinal purposes. 
Botanical name- Cleome gynandra Linn. (cleome pentap. Hylla Linn. or Gynandropsis gynandra (linn) BGriquet)
Family- Capparidaceae (Varuna kula)

Vernacular names

Names in different languages: 
Hindi name- Hulahul, Hul hul, Hur hur
English name- Dog Mustard
Tamil name- Naivelai
Marathi name – Tilavan, Bhatvan, Mabli, Tilavana, Tilvant
Gujarati name – Talavani
Punjabi name – Bogara, Bogra
Telugu name- Vaminta, kukkavaminta
Siddha system of medicine – KaduguOriya:Anasorisia, anasorisa, Hulhulia

Sanskrit synonyms

Ajagandha, Vastagandha – plant smells like a goat
Putigandha, Ugragandha, Vigandhika, Pootikeeta,  – Plant has unpleasant strong odor.
Barbaraka, Barbara, Pooti Barbara, Surapushpi, Kharapushpa, Shakambhara, Badaraka, Karavi, Tungi, Pooti Mayurika,
Tilaparni – the leaves resemble to those of sesame leaves.


On many occasions, the terms Ajagandha and Tilaparni are used as synonyms. Cleome gynandra, Cleome icosandra, Gynandropsis gynandra, Gynandropsis pentaphyla and many such sub-varieties are in use.
Tilaparni is a plant with simple leaf and white flowers, where as Ajagandha is palmately compound leaf and yellow flowers. Both belong to same family; hence many familial characters are common. Both carry similar health benefits as explained below.

Chemical constituents

Gynandropsis gynandra chemical constituents:
Seed-B- sitosterol, Kanempferol, Glucocibrine, Glucoca[[arine, Glucobrassicin, Luteolin, centauridin
(Reference: Illustrated Dravyaguna VIjnana, Vol. II, by Dr JLN Shastry)

Classical categorization

Ajagandha Classical Categorization:
Charaka, Sushruta, Vagbhata – Shaka Varga – Green leafy vegetables.
Kaiyyadeva Nighantu – Oshadhi Varga
Dhanvantari Nighantu – Shatapushpadi Varga
Bhava Prakasha Mishra Prakarana, Pushpa Varga
Raja Nighantu – Shatahvadi Varga
Sodala Nighantu – Shatapushpadi Varga

Medicinal properties

Gynandropsis gynandra Medicinal properties: 
Rasa (taste) – Katu (pungent)
Guna- Tiksna – Has strong piercing qualities
Vipaka- Katu – Undergoes pungent taste conversion after digestion
Veerya- Ushna – Hot potency
Karma- kapha- vatahara – Balances Kapha and Vata Dosha.

As per Bhojana Kutuhalam twelfth chapter, Ajagandha is pungent in taste, hot in potency and treats vitiated vata dosha, gulma, ascites, earache, wound, colicky pain and vitiated pitta dosha. It is also beneficial if used as medicated collyrium.

Part used, dosage

Part used- Seeds, Leaf, root
Seeds powder 1-2 root powder 1-3 g;
Swarasa – leaf juice extract 5-10 ml – in single / divided doses per day.
Leaf decoction (Kashaya) –50 – 100 ml, in divided dose per day 

Method of administration:
For intestinal worms, bloating, indigestion etc seed powder in a dose of 1 – 2 grams is administered along with sugar for 2 – 3 days, followed by mild purgation with castor oil or Avipattikar Churna.

Sanskrit verse

Ajagandha benefits

Ajagandha benefits

Vahnikrut, Agnideepani – Improves digestion strength
Hrudya – acts as cardiac tonic, congenial for heart
Ruchya – improves taste, relieves anorexia.
Druk – good for eyes
Shukrahara – Aphrodisiac
Kapha Vatahara – Balances Kapha and Vata Dosha.
Grahi – absorbent, useful in diarrhea, IBS
Kaphapaha – balances Kapha, useful in productive cough, asthma
Vatahara – useful in treating disorders of Vata Dosha imbalance  such as neuralgia, paralysis, constipation, bloating, etc
Pittala – Increases Pitta Dosha


Indicated in: 
Shopha  – inflammation
Kushta – skin diseases
Kandu – itching, pruritis
Krumi – worm infestation
Visha – Toxic conditions, poisoning
Udara – ascites, enlargement of the abdomen
karnashoola – Earache                                                                                   
Gulma – Tumors of the abdomen
Anaha – bloating, fullness
Shoola – abdominal colic pain
Vataja Jwara – fever due to Vata Dosha increase, associated with headache, bodyache and emaciation.
The yellow flowered variety of Ajagandha is useful in Anjana (collyrium) treatment, to treat eye disorders.

Seed powder of cleome gynandra is useful in bloating, flatulence, it has antiseptic characters.
Leaves have anti-inflammatory and induce sweating, hence used in treating fever and contra indicated in high Pitta disorders.
Traditionally few drops of leaves juice is put in ear to treat ear pain. Foe painful joints leaves and seeds poultice is used.

Cleome gynandra – Usage in ear disorders:
The leaf juice extract alone, or mixed with sesame oil is used as ear drops to treat earache and infection.

External application

Leaf paste or seed paste is applied over joints to treat osteo arthritis pain.
The paste is also applied over infested wounds to clean the wounds and to induce quick healing.
In inflammatory swellings and early stage of abscess, its paste is applied so that pus gets formed soon and wound healing sets in.
Its paste is also applied in snake bite / scorpion bite wounds.

Ayurvedic medicines

Medicines with Ajagandha ingredient:
Narayana Churna – used in the Ayurvedic treatment of Ascites, Abdominal distension, bloating, Constipation, Piles, Anemia, cough, etc
Ayaskriti – used in anemia, weight loss therapy, skin diseases etc.
Agurvadi Tailam

Research, side effects

Phytochemical and antimicrobial studies – Afr. J. Biomed. Res. (2000): Vol 3: 161 – 165

Side effects:
Because it can increase Pitta, it is not indicated in people with Pitta body type (who sweat more, having burning sensation etc).
It is not indicated in Pitta increase related disorders.
Seek medical advice for its use during pregnancy and lactation.
It can be used in children in small doses.

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.

Sthanika Karma

Externally – Cause burning sensation, helps to reduce pain, stimulant, Its leaf juice alone or with oil can be applied in ear pain. Its leaf or seed paste can be applied in case of joint pain. Cleansing the wounds with decoction prepared out of its seeds promote healing and it has anti microbial action. leaf paste can be applied on vidradi (abscess) and in case of elephantiasis. It has anti poisonous property.


Nervous system – Pacify vata dosha. indicated in Akshepaka vata roga (Epilepsy or convulsions)

Digestive system – Carminative, digestant, indicated in abdominal cramp, loss of appetite, phantom tumour, helminthiasis etc.

Tvak – Stimulate sweat production
Tapakrama – Indicated in fever

2 comments on “Ajagandha – Uses, Research, Dose, Side Effects

  • chinmaya

    04/05/2015 - 1:43 pm

    Plz provide pictures of every plant u are describing

    Reply to comment
    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

      04/05/2015 - 10:36 pm

      I am trying my level best to provide them. You can also google the botanical names to find the pictures from other websites.

      Reply to comment

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