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Ayurvedic Herbs

Rishabaka (Malaxis muscifera) Uses, Medicinal Qualities, Research

By Dr Renita D’Souza
Rishabhaka is one among the Ashtavarga herbs. It is a good antioxidant, rejuvenating, aphrodisiac and used in the treatment of body debility, burning sensation, tuberculosis, bleeding disorders and many other vata and pitta dosha related diseases.

Botanical Name – Malaxis muscifera
Synonyms – Microstylis muscifera, Dienia muscifera
Family – Orchidaceae
Common Name – Adder mouth orchid, Snake mouth orchid, The fly bearing Malaxis
Read – Ashtavarga Group Of Herbs Benefits, Research

Medicinal Qualities

Taste (Rasa) – Sweet
Potency (Virya) – Shita – Cold
Qualities (Guna)
Balya – promotes body strength
Brihmana – nourishes the body tissue
Action (Karma)
Shukraprada – increases sperm count

Effect on Doshas

Increases Kapha dosha
Balances aggravated vata and pitta dosha

Therapeutic Uses

Burning sensation
Kshaya – emaciation
Fever
Raktapitta – bleeding disorders
Sterility
Dysentery
General debility

Part Used

Bulb

Dosage

3- 6 grams of bulb powder
Read – Kakoli (Roscoea purpurea) Uses, Medicinal Qualities, Remedies, Research

Sanskrit Verses

Pharmacological Activities

Malaxis  muscifera possess Rejuvenative, Haemostatic, Antidiarrhoeal, Antioxidant, Anti inflammatory, Antiaging, Spermatogenic, Antidysenteric activities

Botanical Description

Malaxis  muscifera is a terrestrial perennial herb. Stem is long and erect. The bulbs are ovoid with fibrous root below. Leaves are elliptic-lanceolate or ovate, sessile and arise from the base of the stem. Flowers are pale yellowish green in colour. Fruit is a capsule, ovoid in shape and light yellow in color. (A)

Distribution

Malaxis muscifera is found in Himalayan regions, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Nepal, China and Pakistan.

Habitat

Malaxis muscifera is found in forests and grassy slopes. It is usually grown in temperate climatic conditions with low rainfall.

Substitutes

Vidarikand (Pueraria tuberose (Willd.) DC.) and Lal behmen (Centaurium roxburghii (D. Don) Druce are used as substitutes for Rishabaka. (B)

Chemical Constituents

Pseudobulb of Malaxis muscifera contains a bitter principle, alkaloid, flavonoid and glycoside

Research

Threatened medicinal herbs – A review article on “Astavarga plants – threatened medicinal herbs of the North-West Himalaya” have described that the demand of Ashtavarga dravyas is increasing in various Ayurvedic formulations and species like Habenaria intermedia and Malaxis muscifera are considered as endangered species. Ashtavarga herbs are so rare that, their substitutes are used in various Ayurveda formulations.

Classical Categorization

Bhavaprakasha Nighantu – Harithakyadi Varga
Kaiyadeva Nighantu – Oshadivarga
Dhanvantari Nighantu – Guduchyadi varga
Raja Nighantu – Parpataadi varga
Madanapala Nighantu – Abhayadi varga
Charaka Samhita – Included Rishabhaka under Jeevaniyaani and Shukrajananani dashemaani.
Sushruta Samhita – Included Rishabhak herb under Kakolyaadi and Vidaarighandhaadi ghana.
Read – Shukrajanana Gana: Herbs To Improve Semen, Sperm: Review, Formulations

Sanskrit Synonyms

Rushabhaka, Rshabho, Vrishabho, Dhiro, Vishani, Draksha
Durdharo, Matriko, Vrishah, Kakudindraksha
Banduro, Gopati, Kakudmaan, Pungava, Voda,
Shringi, Durya, Bhupati, Kami, Rikshapriya, Uksha, Languli, Gau, Bandura
Goraksha, Vanavasi, Vira, Indraksha

Formulations

Dhaanwantharam mezhukupaakam – Used to treat vata diseases, paralysis, tissue depletion, pediatric problems etc.
Vidaryadi Kashayam – Used for respiratory problems
Bruhath Chandanaadi Thailam
Kamdev Ghrita – Used as aphrodisiac, rejuvenative, improves sperm count, body strength and skin complexion.
Dhanwantharam Kashayam – Used in post natal care of mother
Artilon Soft Gel – Used in osteoarthritis
Vidaryadi ghritham – Used in cough, TB, Asthma etc
Brihat ashwagandha Ghrita – Used in oligospermia, infertility etc
Mahanarayan oil – Used in arthritis, paralysis and other vata diseases
Amruth jeevan rasayan – Used in fatigue, low immunity etc
Sarvamayanthaka ghritam – Used in gout, paralysis, neck stiffness and other such diseases
Vatasani tailam – Used in rheumatism, fracture and deafness
Guduchyadi taila – Used gout, itching in the scalp and headache
Baladhatryadi thailam – Best used in eye diseases
Dhanwantharam thailam – Widely used to treat spondylosis, arthritis and neuro muscular conditions
Madhuyashtyadi taila – Best used in pitta related diseases such as fever and burning sensation

Scientific Classification

Kingdom – Plantae
Division – Tracheophyta
Class – Liliopsida
Order – Asparagales
Family – Orchidaceae
Genus -Malaxis
Species – muscifera

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