What is Asteracantha longifolia?
Hygrophila Auriculata botanical name is Asteracantha longifolia, other common names are talmakhana, kokilaksha, gokulakanta, and iksura. It is mainly found throughout the Indian sub-continents, commonly in moist places on the banks of ditches, and paddy fields.
The Asteracantha longifolia is a stout, rough, thorny, slightly tall annual herb. The stem of the plant is thin and small, round, hairy, and red. It grows vertically up to one meter with no branches on the sides. The leaves, roots, and seeds of the plant are mainly used in Ayurveda for various health ailments. The flowers are bright blue, and the root of the plant contains essential oils.
Asteracantha Longifolia Leaf – The leaves have wave or curling margins, subsessile, oblong-lanceolate or linear-lanceolate, spines yellowish-brown, 2-3 cm long.
Asteracantha longifolia Seeds – The seeds are ovate, flat, or compressed, 0.2-0.25 cm long. They contain a yellow semi-drying oil- the oil which possesses diastase, lipase, and protease. An alkaloid is present in the seeds in addition to this chemical substance. The color is light brown and taste is slightly bitter and the odor is not distinct.
What are the benefits of Hygrophila Auriculata / Asteracantha longifolia?
Asteracantha longifolia contains antitumor, hypoglycemic, aphrodisiac, antibacterial, free radical scavenging, lipid peroxidation, hepatoprotective and hematopoietic properties. The herb is a tonic and stimulant, it also increases the discharge of urine and promotes libido.
The ash of the plant serves as an excellent diuretic, and it has a soothing effect on the skin and the mucous membranes. It contains lupeol, stigmasterol, butelin, fatty acids, and alkaloids. The seeds are acrid, bitter, aphrodisiac, tonic, sedative, and used for diseases of the blood.
Talmakhana has a sweet and pungent taste, it has cold potency. It aggravates the Kapha, Vata, and Pitta doshas.
Here are some health benefits of Asteracantha longifolia
Asteracantha longifolia is not only helpful in the treatment of anemia but also acts as a blood purifier. It helps to treat the liver disorder.
The ash of the plant is useful in treating dropsy, a disease marked by an excessive collection of watery fluids in the tissues or cavities of the body.
For Genito-Urinary Disorder
The Asteracantha longifolia root is beneficial in treating gonorrhea and urinary disorders, including inflammation of the urinary tract and stones in the kidneys. The mucilage obtained by infusing seeds in water is not only prescribed in gonorrhea but also in urinary diseases as well as a tonic.
For Liver Disorder
The root of the Asteracantha longifolia is beneficial in the treatment of liver disorders like jaundice and hepatitis. It is especially useful in hepatic derangement.
The leaves of the Asteracantha longifolia are rich in cellulose which is beneficial in rheumatic afflictions such as rheumatism, arthritis, and gout.
It has an antioxidant property that helps to boost immunity and reduces anxiety and stressful conditions.
It has mild carminative, anti-flatulent, and digestive properties reducing the formation of gas in the alimentary canal and improving digestion.
For Male Reproductive System
Asteracantha longifolia seeds are useful in the treatment of erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation. They help to improve the production of male hormones like testosterone and luteinizing hormone.
For Heart Health
It has antioxidant and cardioprotective properties that help to improve the blood supply and reduces the size of the myocardial infarct.
It has hypoglycemic and antioxidant properties that help to lower blood glucose levels and reduces the risk of diabetic complications.
For Male Infertility
It helps to treat male infertility; it helps to increase the stickiness of semen which improves semen quality and quantity.
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How to use Asteracantha longifolia?
The whole plant, roots, seeds, and ashes of the plant are extensively used in the traditional system of medicine for various ailments like rheumatism, inflammation, jaundice, hepatic obstruction, pain, urinary infections, edema, and gout.
Dosage and uses depend upon the health problems and conditions or as recommended by an Ayurvedic doctor. The general recommended dosage is 3-6 grams of Asteracantha longifolia daily once a day.
Here are some home remedies for Asteracantha longifolia / Talmakhana
- A decoction of Asteracantha longifolia root is beneficial in the treatment of liver disorder.
- Taking 30-60 grams of root decoction twice or thrice a day is beneficial for urinary disorders and inflammation.
- Take 60 grams of root powder of Asteracantha longifolia boiled in half a liter of water for 20-30 minutes in a closed-lid vessel, take 30-60ml of this preparation twice a day, helps to treat the liver disorder.
- Take Asteracantha longifolia leaves powder and mix with Holy Basil leaves powder, take this mixture, which helps to treat rheumatism and arthritis.
- Take 2 tbsp. powder of Asteracantha longifolia leaves and mix with one glass of buttermilk, helps to treat rheumatism and arthritis.
- Take 1 tsp powder of each Asteracantha longifolia seed and mucuna purines seeds, help to treat male reproductive problems like erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation, it helps to improve stamina and energy.
Side Effects of Talmakhana
All Ayurveda herbs are plant-based, and they don’ have any side effects but they may react with some allopathy or homeopathy medicine. It is better to consult the doctor if you are on any medications or have special health issues.
Some side effects of Asteracantha longifolia are mentioned below
- Consult the doctor if you are breastfeeding.
- Do not take Asteracantha longifolia without a doctor’s prescription if you are pregnant.
- Do not take Asteracantha longifolia seeds without a doctor’s prescription if you are on any kind of hormonal or sexual-related medication.
- If you are on any health supplements, advise the doctor before starting Asteracantha longifolia.
- If you are on diabetes or on hypertension medication. Consult first the doctor before consuming Asteracantha longifolia.