Kokilaksha Asteracantha longifolia: Uses, Research, Side Effects, Remedies

By Dr.B.K.Prashanth M.D (Ayu), Ph.D
Kokilaksha – Asteracantha longifolia is a plant mentioned in Ayurveda for the treatment of general debility, jaundice, distention of abdomen, swelling, difficulty in urination and impotency. 

Latin name- Asteracantha longifolia Nees. Hygrophila auriculata, Hygrophila spinosa, Hygrophila auriculata
Family: Acanthaceae

Uses

Uses of Kokilaksha:

  • The decoction of the root of Asteracantha longifolia is given in a dose of 10 ml to treat jaundice and swelling of the body.
  • The powder of the seed is given in a dose of 2-4 g with milk to treat impotency, less sperm count and general debility.
  • The ash prepared by burning the dried plant (Kshara) is given with decoction of Tribulus terrestris to treat renal calculi.
  • The cold infusion of the seed of Asteracantha longifolia is given in a dose of 25-30 ml to treat hepatomegaly and bloating of the abdomen.
  • The ash of the plant of Kokilaksha is mixed with cow urine and given to treat swelling of the body (Anasarca).
  • The cold infusion of the seed of Kokilaksha is given to improve the passage of urine.

Sanskrit verse

Indications

Kokilaksha uses as per Ayurveda:
Vrushya – aphrodisiac, improves vigor
Balya – improves strength and immunity
Ruchya – improves taste, relieves anorexia.
Santarpana – Nourishing

Indications:
Vataroga – Vata Dosha imbalance disorders such as neuralgia, paralysis, constipation, bloating, etc
Amavata – rheumatoid arthritis

Ashmari – Kidney and bladder stones
Trushna – excessive thirst
Drushtiroga – vision related disorders
Asra – blood disorders such as abscess, skin disorders, bleeding disorders such as menorrhagia, nasal bleeding etc.
Shopha  – inflammation
Visha – Toxic conditions, poisoning
Shoola – abdominal colic pain
Pandu – anemia
Udara – ascites, enlargement of the abdomen
Anaha – bloating, fullness
Vatamutra – dysurea
Vibandha – constipation
Vatarakta – Gout

Home remedies

By Dr MS Krishnamurthy MD (Ayu), PhD.

Joint pain

Whole plant decoction in joint pain:
Plants are collected and coarse powder is made. Decoction is prepared out of this powder. This is taken in the dose of 30-40 ml, twice daily with suitable medicines such as Kaishora guggulu, Gokshuradi guggulu etc. It is very effective in joint pain, especially in gouty arthritis.
General method of preparation of decoction (kashaya) – 1 tablespoon of powder is added with 2 cups of water, boiled and reduced to 1 cup, filtered.

Oligospermia

Seed (Talimkhana)- hot infusion for oligospermia:
1 tablespoon of the seed or its powder is added to is added to 300 ml of hot water and kept for a while. Churned well, filtered. Added with a teaspoon of sugar candy powder and administered. This is a useful remedy for oligospermia.

Sexual debility, fatigue

Seed powder with milk for sexual vigor and fatigue:
Fine powder of the seed (very difficult to prepare) is administered in 2 – 3 grams quantity along with a cup of lukewarm milk. This promotes sexual vigor and relieves fatigue. During medication, it is essential to have good digestion strength.

Urinary, gall stones

Ash water for urinary and gall baldder stones:
The dried whole plants are taken and burnt and ash is made. This is dissolved in water in the ratio of 1:100. Later it is filtered and the filtrate is given twice or thrice daily. It is effective in liver gall bladder stones and urinary calculi.

Pedal edema, joint pain

Root decoction for pedal edema and joint pain:
The lukewarm decoction of the roots of Kokilaksha is administered in the dose of 20-30 ml twice daily. This is effective in joint pain and pedal edema. Especially in chronic conditions it shows significant benefits.

Kokilaksha kshara (alkali) is very good in liquefying bile and to dissolve gall bladder stones. Its seeds are potent aphrodisiac. So, the need of the hour is to incorporate the knowledge of the herbal medicines individually and in due combinations by giving true credit to the age old Ayurverdic science.
Click to consult Dr MS Krishnamurthy MD(Ayu), PhD

Adverse effects

Adverse effects of Kokilaksha: There are no known side effects with this herb.

Vernacular names

Names in different languages:
Hindi name- Kokilaskha, Talimakhana
English name- Hygrophila
Bengali name- Kulimakada, Kaatakalia
Gujarathi name- Ekharo
Marathi name- Talimakhana
Tamil name- Nirmuli
Telugu name- Neerugubbi

Sanskrit Synonyms

Ikshura, Ikshuraka, Ikshubalika, – The stem resembles sugarcane
Vajrasthi, Vajrakantaka – the plant looks like diamond shaped in cross section
Chulli, Taila ghantika, Kshura, Dhvanga, Ikshugandhika
Kadamba shali, Brihat Kesha, Bhikshu, Pikekshana, Bhuvanasammita, Picchila,
Shrugali, Shrunkhala,

Morphology

Morphology of Asteracantha longifolia:
Kokilaksha is a small plant growing to a height of 3-5 feet with small thorns or hairy parts all over the plant. The stem resembles to that of sugarcane. The flowers of the plant are of purple color. The seed are black in color and it swell and becomes slimy when it comes in contact with water or saliva. Flowers and the fruits are seen in the month of September to November. The plant is found all over India near water source, fields and marshy land.

Hygrophila auriculata is also used as synonym for Asteracantha longifolia.

Properties, part used, dosage

Properties:
Rasa (Taste) – Madhura (Sweet)
Guna (Qualities) – Guru (Heavy), Snigdha (Slimy)
Veerya (Potency) – Sheeta (Cold)
Vipaka – Madhura (Undergoes Sweet taste after digestion)
Karma (Actions) –Vatapitta shamaka (reduces vitiated vata and pitta dosha)

Part used- Root, Seed
Dosage-
Decoction- 5 to 10 ml
Seed powder- 3 to 5 g

Botanical name –  Hydrophila spinosa T. synonym Asteracantha longifolia Nees.
Acanthaceae family.
Common name – Talamkhana.
Roots, seeds and even the whole plant are used in medicinal field.

Its preservation is very difficult as it is affected by moisture very quickly and seeds are hydroscopic and get infested very fast.

Kokilaksh is well appreciated in the treatment of Vatarakta – Gout (gouty arthritis) and biliary stones (especially, Kokilaksha kshara).
Seeds are proclaimed as best aphrodisiacs and improve sperm count and increase viscosity of semen.

The seeds and plants are cold in potency and sweet mixed bitter in taste. The seeds are slimy, heavy and tonics in nature.
The drug is effective in Vata disorders, edema, calculi, thirst and blood borne disorders.

Kokilaksha kashaya, Talimkhana choorna, Vrishya yoga, Ikshurakadi yoga etc are the unique classical preparations of this drug.

Chemical constituents

The plant gave lupeol, stigmasterol and hydrocarbons, the seed gave sterols and the flowers have apigenin glucuronide.

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.

Ayurvedic medicines

Formulations containing Kokilaksha:
Kokilaksha kashaya: Kokilaksha Kashayam is an Ayurvedic medicine used in treating jaundice, anemia, rheumatoid arthritis, gout and hepatic conditions.  It is in herbal decoction form.

Chopachinyadi choorna: Chopchinyadi Churna is an Ayurvedic medicine, in herbal powder form.  It is used in treating insect bite, rheumatoid arthritis, gout arthritis.

Biogest capsule: It is a proprietary ayurvedic medicine in capsule form used for improving the defense mechanism of the body.

Ashwamed capsule: Ashwamed Capsule is a proprietary Ayurvedic medicine and used to treat male sexual dysfunction, premature ejaculation and erection problems.

Rathi capsule: It is a proprietary Ayurvedic medicine and is useful to tone up male reproductive organ and functions, enhances virile power and reduces sexual weakness. It enables better retention power and ensures longer sexual pleasure.

Cardiraksh capsule: It is a proprietary medicine in capsule form useful to control hypertension, stress and lower down the lipid profile level.

Research

Research articles about Asteracantha longifolia:
On hematological factors: A haematological study was performed using Swiss albino rats (90-110 g) of either sex. Haematological parameters were evaluated in the anaemic animal model. These samples were evaluated for haematological parameters (erythrocyte count, leukocyte count, haemoglobin count and haematocrit value) using haematology cell counter (ERMA, Japan), repeatedly (five times) to check the reproducibility of results. A significant lowering in blood parameters was observed.

Evaluation of anti- cancer activity: The objective of the study is to explore the anticancer activity of the methanolic extract of A. longifolia on 7,12-Dimethylbenz (a) anthracene (DMBA)-induced mammary carcinogenesis in rats. The anticancer activity of the methanolic whole plant extract of A. longifolia was evaluated in Sprague Dawley rats in the mammary tumor induced by DMBA. The results showed that the methanolic extract of A. longifolia was more effective in inhibiting the tumor growth and safe in DMBA-induced mammary tumor in rats as compared to the standard drug, cyclophosphamide.

Anti- microbial activity: The antibacterial and antifungal activity of methanolic extract of Asteracantha longifolia Nees has been evaluated against 4 Gram positive bacteria, 7 Gram negative bacteria and 7 fungi. The extract showed varying degrees of antimicrobial activity with zone of inhibition ranging from 15.0 to 26.0 mm. A. longifolia demonstrated significant zone of inhibition against all experimental bacteria.

Hepato protective action: This study was aimed to investigate the phytochemical constituents, antioxidant activity and hepatoprotective activity of Asteracantha longifolia leaf extract. Hepatotoxicity was induced in normal albino rats. Phytochemical screening of aqueous extract of A. longifolia leaves indicates the presence of flavonoids, tannins, glycosides, phenol, steroids, alkaloids, quinone, saponin, and coumarin. Supplementation of A.longifolia significantly restored the liver markers, lipid profile, and antioxidant markers on in CCl 4 induced Wistar albino rats.

Classical classification

Charaka samhita- Shukra shodana
Bhavaprakasha- Guduchyadi varga
Kaiyyadeva Nighantu- Oushadhi varga
Raja Nighantu- Shatahvadi varga

Scientific classification

Family- Acanteaceae
Kingdom- Plantae
Order- Lamiales
Family- Acanthaceae
Genus- Hygrophila

Author:
Dr BK Prashanth MD (Ayu), PhD
Click to consult Dr Prashanth

2 thoughts on “Kokilaksha Asteracantha longifolia: Uses, Research, Side Effects, Remedies”

  1. this is very good article . every dr should study carefully on it . i thank you very much Dr prashant .

    Reply

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