Kushtaghna Gana: Skin Disease Curing Herbs: Review, Benefits, Formulations

This article is written by Dr M S KrishnamurthyMD(Ayu)PhD.
‘Kushtha’ refers to the condition which disfigures the body surface. Hence all skin disease are broadly called by the name ‘Kushtha’ in Ayurveda. 

Depending upon the kind of  manifestation of the skin disease several causative factors and method of manifestations are involved.So for its cure the medicines or herbs possessing the blood purifying, digestive, liver stimulant, rejuvenating, laxative and complexion enhancing drugs are needed. The 10 drugs mentioned under the broad heading of Kushthaghna fulfill all the above needs and same is elaborated here below-

Kushtaghna Gana

Let us review the quality and action of these drugs one by one in brief-

1. Khadira (Acacia catechu Willd.)-Heart wood
  Blood purifier, anti hyperlipidimic, anti diabeteic, complexion enhancer etc.

2. Abhaya – HaritakiTerminalia chebula-Fruit rind
Laxative, astringent tomic, de- moisturizer, eye tonic etc.

3. Amalaka – Amla – (Emblica officinalis Gaertn.)-Fruits
Eye tonic, skin replenisher, complexion  enhancer, skin moisturizer, rejuvinative etc.

4. Haridra (turmeric – Curcuma longa)–Rhizome
Anti hyperlipidemeic, anti diabetic, complexion enhancer, antacid ,detoxifier etc.

5. Arushkara (Semecarpus anacardium Linn. f.)-Fruits
Digestive, carminative, rejuvinative, anti spasmodic, rubificient etc.

6. Saptaparna (Alstonia scholaris R, Br.)-Stem bark
Anti pyretic, blood purifier, liver tonic, anti diabetic, anti hyperlipidimic, skin detoxifier etc.

7. Aragvadha (Cassia fistula)-Fruits/Stem bark
Laxative, anti hyperlipidemic, skin detox, anti spasmodic etc.

8. Karavira (Nerium indicum Mill.)-Seeds/Root
Cardiac stimulant, skin detoxifier, blood purifier, wound healing etc.

9. Vidanga (Embelia ribes Brum. f.) -Fruits
Wormicide, rejuvinative, anti microbial, intestinal flora stabilizer etc.

10. Jatipravala (tender shoots of Jasminum officinale Linn. var. grandiflorum Bailey.)-Tender shoots
Wound healing, blood purifier, antacid, laxative etc. 

Qualities, actions

Qualities in general and actions of Kushtagna gana drugs:
Most of these drugs are bitter or astringent in nature and are cold in potency (except the drugs like Saptaparna, Bhallataka etc).They undergo Pungent kind of metabolic transformation (Katu vipaka) and are light-dry-clear in nature.

Due to the above said Rasapanchaka they act as good blood purifiers, complexion enhancers and laxatives. Potent anti hyperglycemic and skin detoxification effects are also appreciated.

Therapeutic uses

Therapeutic uses of Kushtaghna gana drugs:
The formulations derived out of these drugs are effective in Skin diseases of various kinds like eczema, psoriasis, dermatosis conditions, itching, chronic oozing skin troubles, skin infections especially fungal infections etc.

They are equally effective in type II DM, constipation ,Pyrexia of unknown origin, worm infestation etc.

Ayurvedic formulations

Formulations containing Kushthaghna drugs :
Khadirarishtha, Abhayarishtha, Haridrakhanda rasayana, Aragwadharishtha, Aragwadhadi kashaya, Vidangarishtha, Karaveera taila, Jatyadi taila etc are the few important formulations prepared out of these drugs.


Disadvantages of Kushthaghna  gana drugs:
As such no absolute contra indications or adverse reactions.But the formulations containing the Bhallataka should be avoided by the pregnants, youg children, puerperal women and those who are sensitive to that(especially people with Pitta constitution).

Simple formulations that can be made from the above drugs and their application in routine practice:
In simple skin diseases Haridra taila(medicated oil from turmeric powder) can be prepared and used externally. Regular intake of hot infusion of Khadira or Khadira added water keeps the skin in good condition.

Combination of fine powder of Turmeric and Amla is highly appreciated in initial conditions of Type II DM and all kinds of urinary disorders.

Formulation development opportunities:
Potent syrups and tablets can be made out of these drugs which are suitable in various skin conditions. Hair oil, hair wash, shampoos etc can also be made with the selective ingredients of this group. As the drugs are anti hyperlipidemic and anti hyperglycemic potent medicines useful, in hyper cholesterol and diabetic can also be made.
Click to consult Dr MS Krishnamurthy MD (Ayu), PhD.

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