Kasamarda: Cassia occidentalis Uses, Research, Side Effects

Kasamarda – Cassia occidentalis Linn, is used as an aphrodisiac. It improves digestion, cleanses throat, useful in cough, balances all the three Doshas and more. It is also called Negro coffee and coffee senna, coffee weed as its seeds are used in place of coffee in some places.
Its leaves are considered poisonous but it has been used in diet in South India and Maldives since centuries. Please exercise precaution while using this plant. Below mentioned information is only for the purpose of education.
Family- Caesalpiniaceae

Vernacular names

Names in different languages:
English name – Coffee senna, Negro Coffee, Coffee Weed, Stinking Weed, Foetid Cassia, septicweed, Mogdad coffee, senna coffee, Stephanie coffee, stinkingweed or styptic weed.
Hindi name-Kasoundi
Telugu name- Kasavinda, Kasind
Kannada name – Elemuri soppu, Kasamarada Gida
Bengali name – Kesenda
Marathi – Kasvida
Gujarati name – Kasondari
Tamil name – Peyaveri
Urdu name – Kasonji
Assamese name – Hant theng

Kasamarda - Cassia occidentalis

Sanskrit Synonyms

Karkasha – Dried fruis makes sound when held in hand
Kasari, Kasamarda, Kasamard, Kasaghna, Kasamardika – Relieves cough,
Arimarda – releives pain

Chemical constituents

Cassia occidentalis chemical Constituents-
Cassiollin, a phytosphanol, Physcion, Occidentol I,II
Seeds contain tannic acid, 36% mucilage, Emodin,

Classical categorization

Susruta- Sarasadigana
Vagbhata- Sarasadigana
Kaiyadeva Nighantu – Oshadhi Varga – Group of medicinal herbs
Dhanvantari Nighantu – Karaveeradi Varga, Mishraka Varga
Bhavaprakasha – Shakavarga – vegetable group (leaves)

Cassia occidentalis

Properties, part used, dosage

Kasamard – Cassia occidentalis medicinal Properties
Guna (qualities) –Laghu – light to digest, Rooksha – Dryness
Rasa (taste) – Tikta – bitter, Madhura – sweet
Vipaka- Katu – Undergoes pungent taste conversion after digestion
Veerya – Ushna – Hot potency
Effect on Tridosha – Tridoshahara – Balances all the three Doshas. Mainly balances Kapha and Vata Dosha due to Ushna Veerya. Because it is teekshna (strong) and bitter, it acts as Pitta Saraka – lets Pitta out of the body.
Prabhava – Vrushya – aphrodisiac, improves vigor

According to Bhojana kutuhalam twelfth chapter, Kasarmada is bitter and sweet in taste, hot in potency, alleviates kapha and vata. It treats indigestion, cough, vitiated pitta dosha, promotes digestion and cleanses the throat.

Part used- Root, seed, Leaf
Root decoction 40-80 ml;
Seed powder 3-6 g
Leaf juice extract – 10-20 ml

Sanskrit verse

Cassia occidentalis uses

Uses, indications

General qualities and uses of Kasamarda – Coffee Senna: 
Katu – pungent
Tikta – bitter
Madhura – sweet
Kanthashodhana – cleanses throat, useful in sore throat
Pachana – Digestive, relieves Ama Dosha
Rochana – improves taste, relieves anorexia
Sara – induces mobility, causes diarrhea, purgation, relieves constipation
Indicated in –
Visha – Toxic conditions, poisoning
Kasa – cough, cold
Krumi – worm infestation
Aruchi – anorexia

Leaves of Cassia occidentalis –
Katu – pungent taste
Indicated in-
Shwasa – asthma and chronic respiratory disorders
Kasa – cough, cold
Aruchi – anorexia
Shwasa – asthma and chronic respiratory disorders

Kasmard – Cassia occidentalis uses:
Its leaves are used as vegetable in South Indian household. 
It is used for the treatment of cough, cold, eczema, dyspepsia.
It is also useful in treating filariasis.

Flowers of Cassia occidentalis –
Shwasa – asthma and chronic respiratory disorders
Kasa – cough, cold
Urdhvavata – bloating, breathing difficulties.
Its flower decoction is used for the treatment of Asthma in a dose of 20 ml, once or twice a day or as advised by doctor.

Root decoction – Kashaya is used for the treatment of urinary retention, dysuria and inflammatory conditions.
Root is administered orally for the treatment of scorpion bite.

Leaves of Cassia occidentalis as vegetable –
A rasam preparation called Tambuli is prepared in Coastal Karnataka. Having this with rice is advised to relieve mouth ulcers. (Read more about mouth ulcers Ayurvedic treatment)

In Ayurveda, a special preparation called Sambhara is mentioned: its leaves are dried, powdered, mixed along with Veshavara (spice mix of pepper, long pepper, ginger, cumin, coriander, and Long pepper root). It is added with asa foetida and water. The mixture is kept under sunlight and are rolled into pills. It is used along with green vegetables, meat dishes etc. It promotes digestion.

In elephantiasis treatment, Kasamarda root is administered along with cows ghee.

कासमर्दक बीजानि मूलकान्नं तथैव च ।
गन्धपाषाण मिश्राणि सिध्मानां परमौषधम् । – च.द.
जम्बीरस्वरसे पिष्ट कासमर्दाङ्घ्रि लेपनम् ।
विचर्चिकानां सर्वासां परमौषधमुच्यते ॥
कासमर्द शिफाकल्कं गव्येनाज्येन य: पिबेत् ।
श्लीपदं वातजं तस्य नाशमायाति सत्वरम् । वङ्गसेन
य: कासमर्दमूलं वदने प्रक्षिप्य कर्णे फुत्कारम् ।
मनुजो दधाति शीघ्रं जयति विषं वृश्चिकानां स: ॥ च.द. (compilation from PV Sharma, Dravyaguna Vijnana, Vol.2).

External application: The leaves and seed pastes are applied over skin lesions, herpes, ulcers, ring worm and tinea infection.
The roots and seeds of Cassia occidentalis is made paste with Gandhapashana and applied over allergic dermatitis patches.
The root is made paste with lemon juice and applied over eczema and psoriatic patches.

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.

Side effects, Research

Cassia occidentalis side effects:
It is not indicated in people with diarrhoea.
The leaves are considered poisonous. Hence, it is best to avoid during pregnancy, in lactating mothers and in children.

Analgesic and antipyretic activity:
The ethanol and water extracts of leaves were screened for anti-nociceptive activity using acetic acid induced writhing test, hot plate test and tail immersion test in mice. Screening exercise was carried out to determine the antipyretic potential of the extract using yeast induced pyrexia method in rats. The ethanol and water extracts of Cassia occidentalis had significant (p<0.01) dose dependent antinociceptive and antipyretic properties at 150 and 300 mg/kg. ). The inhibition produced by the highest dose (300 mg/kg) of the extracts was significantly (P0.01) lower than that by acetylsalicylic acid (100 mg/kg). Both the ethanolic and water extracts of Cassia occidentalis showed significant (P0.01) effect on pyrexia induced by yeast .Hence present investigation reveals the antinociceptive and antipyretic activities of the ethanolic and water extracts of the leaves of Cassia occidentalis. This seems to provide a rationale for the use of this plant in pain and inflammatory disorders.

Acute and subacute toxicity:
pre-clinical safety evaluation of hydroalcoholic extract of Cassia occidentalis stem and leaf in male and female Wistar rats. Cassia occidentalis did not produce any hazardous symptoms or death in the acute toxicity test, showing a LD50 higher than 5 g/kg. Sub acute treatment with Cassia occidentalis failed to change body weight gain, food and water consumption and haematological and biochemical profiles. In addition, no changes in macroscopical and microscopical aspect of organs were observed in the animals.

Ayurvedic medicines

Ayurvedic medicines with Cassia occidentalis as ingredient:
Himalaya Bonnisan drops
Himalaya Bonnisan liquid

Cassica occidentalis leaf juice extract is used in the incineration process of Mica (Abhraka).


Undershrub with purplish branches
Leaves- compound, ovate / lanceolate shape
Inflorescence – Few flowered raceme
Flower – Yellow in colour
Fruit – Pod recurved, compressed with ovoid seeds

6 thoughts on “Kasamarda: Cassia occidentalis Uses, Research, Side Effects”

  1. This is one of the 4 herbs used in a Maharishi Ayurveda product called Raja’s Cup – it is promoted as a coffee substitute, because of kasamard (coffee weed). The other herbs are ashwagandha, yashtimadhu and katak. It is rich in anti-oxidants, good for coughs…and overall vitality.


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