Eraka (Typha elephantina) – Uses, Dose, Side Effects, Research

Eraka (Typha elephantina) is an Ayurvedic medicine used to treat urine retention, dysuria, renal calculus, burning sensation, bleeding disorders, wounds etc. Gundra (Typha angustata) and Eraka (Typha elephantina) belongs to different species of same family.

Botanical Name – Typha elephantina
Family – Typhaceae

Indications, home remedies

Indications of Eraka
Mutrakrichra – difficulty in passing urine (dysuria), urine retention
Ashmari – calculus
Daha – Burning sensation
Bleeding disorders

Effect on Doshas
Increases Vata dosha

Traditional uses of Typha elephantina

  • Rhizomes are astringent and diuretic. Used in dysentery, gonorrhoea and measles
  • Paste of Typha elephantina flowers is applied over the wound.
  • The soft and wooly floss of male spikes and down of the ripe fruits are used in wounds and ulcers as a medicated absorbent.
  • Typha elephantina can also be made used to relieve pain and anxiety a per the research studies.

Qualities, morphology, chemistry

Medicinal Qualities of Eraka
Potency (virya) – cold (shita)
Qualities (Guna)
Aphrodisiac (vrishya)
Good for eyes (chakshushya)

Morphology of Typha elephantina

These are erect grass like plant growing along the riversides, ponds, streams and water stagnant areas. Grows up to 6-12 ft high. Leaves are glabarous, linear, 4-6 ft long, alternate. Plants have uni-sexual flowers develop in dense racemes. Seeds are minute attached to hairs.

Constituents of Typha elephantina
Typha elephantina Roxb contains carbohydrates, flavonoids, tannins and alkaloids.

Dose, side effects, Shloka

3-6 grams

Side Effects of Eraka
There are no recorded side effects.
However in high dose it may cause constipation due to its astringent property and cold potency.

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.

Vernacular, distribution, synonyms

Names in different Languages
Sanskrit Name – Eraka
English Name – Elephant grass
Kannada Name – Apu
Hindi Name – eraka, patera
Bengali Name – Hogala
Marathi Name – Ramabana
Gujarati Name – Ghabajriyum
Malayalam Name – Nirajah
Tamil Name – Anaikkorai
Telugu Name – Kandra

Distribution of Typha elephantina
It is found in North Africa, South East Asia, China and West Asia. In India it is found in Assam, Bihar, Gujarat, Kashmir, Maharastra, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab.

Sanskrit synonyms
Eraka, Gundramula
Shivi, gundra

Research, category

1. Analgesic and Anxiolytic Activity – The study conducted on methanolic extract of Typha elephantina have concluded that Typha elephantina is effective for the treatment of pain and anxiety.
2. Thrombolytic and Membrane Stabilising Activity – A research study conducted to assess the thrombolytic, membrane stabilizing potential and total phenolic content of Typha elephantina Roxb have concluded that the methanolic extract of T. elephantina Roxb. have potential thrombolytic and membrane stabilising activities. The total phenolic content (126.33 ± 4.33 mg of GAE/g of extract) is also in close conformity to the presence of antioxidant property in this plant.
3. Analgesic activity – A study conducted to evaluate analgesic activity of the different fractions of Typha elephantina Roxb have concluded that the plant extract possesses significant analgesic activity.

Classical categorisation
Bhavaprakasha Nighantu – Guduchyadi Varga
Kaiyadeva Nighantu – Aushadi Varga

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