Saptachakra: Qualities, Uses, Research, Medicines

Saptachakra is an Ayurvedic herb which is used to treat obesity, piles, dysmenorrhea, hepatomegaly and localized swelling associated with pain. 
Latin name- Salacia reticulata Linn., Salacia chinensis
Family- Hippocrateaceae

Vernacular names

Names in different languages:
Hindi name-Saptarangi
English name – Chinese salacia, Lolly berry,
Kannada name – Ekanayaka, Ekanayakana Balli
Bengali name- Dimal
Marati name- Ingali
Goa / Konkani name – Satagunda
Tamil name- Koranti
Malayalam name- Cheru kuranti

Sanskrit synonyms

Svarna mula- The bark of the root is golden colored
Saptachakra- When the root is cut it shows 7 wheel like structures

Scientific classification

Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Celastrales
Family: Celastraceae
Genus: Salacia
Species: S. reticulata

Saptachakra is a big climbing shrub or small tree growing wildly through -out India. The flowers are pale yellow in color. The fresh root exhibit different colors; hence the Hindi name Saptarangi.

Properties, part used, dosage

Rasa (taste) – Kashaya (Astringent), Tikta (Bitter)
Guna (qualities) – Laghu (light to digest), Ruksha (dry), Teekshna (strong)
Vipaka- Katu (undergoes pungent taste after digestion)
Veerya (potency)- Ushna (Hot)
Karma- kapha pitta hara (reduces vitiated kapha and pitta dosha)
Part used– Root bark, Root
Dosage Powder – 1-3 g
Decoction- 50-100 ml

Chemical composition

The root bark contains proantho-cyanidins, consisting of monomeric leucopelargonidin, triterpenoids, mangiferine, phlobatannin and glucosidal tannins. The stem of the plant contains gutta, dulcitol and proanthocyanidin consisting of dimer of leucopelargonidin.

Use of Saptachakra

  • The paste of the root of Salacia reticulata is applied locally to relieve swelling and pain.
  • The powder of the root of saptachakra is given in a dose of 5-6 g to treat dysmenorrhea.
  • The powder of the root is given in a dose of 4-5 g to treat diabetes.
  • The decoction of the root bark is given in a dose of 40-50 ml in divided dose to control excessive sweating.
  • The root paste of the plant Salacia reticulate is applied over the external piles to treat it.
  • The decoction of the plant is given as a uterine stimulant in a dose of 25-30 ml daily.

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.

Precautions, formulations

Precaution: The decoction of the plant saptachakra may cause abortion if given in a large dose or for long duration of time. Hence the intake of the herb should be avoided during pregnancy.

Formulations containing Saptachakra:
Paranthyadi tailam: It is an ayurvedic medicated oil used externally in the treatment of spider bite, dermatitis, insect bites.
Himasagara tailam: It is an ayurvedic oil applied externally to treat neuro muscular diseases, frozen shoulders, muscle emaciation, burning sensation of the body. It is also used for shiro dhara to treat insomnia.
Katakakhadiradi kashayam: This medicine is available in decoction and capsule form to treat diabetes.
Niruryadi gulika: This is a tablet used for the treatment of diabetes and is available in tablet form.
Glucostat capsule: This is a proprietary ayurvedic medicine used in the treatment of diabetes. It acts as pancreatic stimulant and insulin sensitizer. 

Research articles

Research articles related to Saptachakra:
Anti- obesity effect: The extracts of Salacia reticulata (Salacia extract), a plant that has been used for the treatment of early diabetes, rheumatism and gonorrhea in Ayurveda, have been shown to have an anti-obesity effect and suppress hyperglycemia. In this study, the effects of Salacia extract on various symptoms of metabolic disorder were investigated and compared using these TSOD mice and non-obese TSNO mice.

Anti- diabetic and Anti- hyperlipidemic effect: In human studies, Salacia extracts have been shown to decrease plasma glucose and insulin levels, decrease HbA1c, and modulate serum lipid levels with no adverse effects being reported. Similar results have been demonstrated in rat and mouse models as well as in vitro systems.

Anti diabetic and Anti obesity effect: Salacia sps belong to family Celastacea have prominent place in plant based medicine because it is used in management of diabetes and obesity. Salacia sps contain salacinol, katnanol, mangiferin are active principles which inhibit ?-glucosidase enzyme and slow down the absorption of glucose in intestine. Salacia species possess many therapeutic properties like anti-obesity, anti-diabetic etc.

The root extract of Salacia reticulata Wight (family: Celastraceae) is used in Sri Lanka by traditional practitioners as a herbal therapy for glycemic control even during pregnancy. It is recognized that some clinically used anti-diabetic drugs have harmful effects on pregnancy but the effects of the S. reticulata root extract on reproductive outcome is unknown and deserves examination. The authors of this article determined the effects of the S. reticulata root extract on the reproductive outcome of Wistar rats (250-260 g) when administered orally (10 g/kg) during early (days 1-7) and mid- (days 7-14) pregnancy. The root extract significantly (P<0.05) enhanced post-implantation losses
We conclude that the S. reticulata root extract can be hazardous to successful pregnancy in women and should not be used in pregnancy complicated by diabetes.

Author:  Dr.B.K.Prashanth M.D (Ayu), Ph.D
E mail: [email protected]

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