By Dr MS Krishnamurthy MD (Ayu), PhD
Cobra’s saffron or Iron wood tree is known as Nagakesar in Ayurveda. The stamens are bitter and astringent and hot in potency. It is mainly used as a styptic, to arrest the bleeding in several diseases. Botanical name is Mesua ferrea Benth & Hook.
It belongs to Guttiferae family.
This evegreen medium sized tree is found mainly in Bengal, Assam, Kerala, Karnataka, Andaman, Eastern Himalayan area, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Burma, Malaysia, Philippines etc.
Stamens are the main used part but seeds and stem bark also possess good medicinal properties.
Important chemical constituents of the plant are Mesuol, Mammeisin, Mesuagin, Mammeigin, Mesuabixanthone A, Mesuabixanthone B, Mesuaferrol, Mesuaxanthone A, Euxanthone, Mesuaxanthone B, Messianic acid, Mesuaferrone A and Mesuaferrone B.
The stamens are bitter and astringent in taste and hot in potency. It is mainly used as a styptic, to arrest the bleeding in several diseased conditions. It has proven effect in regularizing the menstrual cycle, especially to reduce the metrorrhagia.
Read related: Nagkesar – Mesua ferrea Uses, Research, Side Effects
The notes worthy formulations of Nagakeshar are- Brahma Rasayana, Chyawanprash, Chandanbalakshadi Taila, Kumariasava, Poogakhanda, Mahanarayana taila, Nagkesaradi churna etc.
In addition, this is used as a substitute original Kesar (saffron) and hence it finds place as a flavoring agent in many Lehyams, Asavas and arishta medicines.
Some important, simple and effective remedies of Nagakesar are as follows-
1. Nagakesar along with ghee for haemorrhoids:
2-3 grams of Nagakesar stamens are taken and rubbed well with ghee and fine paste is made. This is applied to the anal region in cases of haemorrhoids. Same medication is given internally also in the dose of 3 grams once or twice a day to stop heavy bleeding caused due to haemorrhoids.
2. Nagakesar and sounf powder to clear the uterus after delivery or abortion:
Equal amount of Nagakesar stamens and seeds of Shatapushpa (sounf) are taken and fine powder is made or else its decoction is made. This is consumed twice daily for 3-4 days regularly. This helps to clear and cleanse the uterus in the conditions like abortion and so as to clear the uterus after normal delivery.
General method of decoction preparation is –
1 tablespoon (10 grams) coarse powder of the herb is added with 2 cups of water. Boiled in open air till the total content is reduced to 1 cup. This is filtered and used.
Burn wounds, ulcers
3. Seed oil application on burn wounds and ulcers:
The seed oil is mixed with coconut oil in the ratio of 1:4 and applied over the burns and scalds. It heals the wounds and helps to prevent from discoloration.
4. Stamens of Nagkesar with Red sandalwood-fine paste for skin glow:
This recipe is very effective in the individuals with oily skin. 1-2 pinches of stamens are taken and rubbed well with water first. Later it is ground/rubbed well with red sandalwood (Raktachandan). This paste is applied over the face after thorough wash of face. Regular application helps to get lustrous skin and to remove the dark marks over the face.
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