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Kasmard: Health Benefits, Uses, Dosage and Side Effects

By NS Desk | Herbs | Posted on :   17-Dec-2020

Kasmard, which is also called Kasondi, Cassia occidentalis, coffee weed, stinking weed, oeuvre, karkash in certain cultures, is an erect herb widely used for its medicinal properties. This herb is found all over India, and growing up to an altitude of 1500m is used in a multitude of Ayurvedic treatments. It is widely known for its role in managing symptoms of asthma due to its anti-allergic properties. Moreover, this herb helps in the lowering of blood glucose levels in the blood due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
 
How did the word ‘Kasmard’ originate?
The word 'Kasmard' is believed to be a derivative of the Sanskrit word for the same- "Kasamarda' in which 'Kasa' which means cough or phlegm and 'Mardan' which means "to destroy." Hence, the one which destroys 'Kasa' is called Kasamarda.
 
Historical uses of Kasmard
Kasmard has many beneficial medicinal properties and was traditionally used as a purgative, tonic, anthelmintic, and diuretic agent. There is evidence of these herbs' historical use in the treatment of fevers, piles, colic pain, snake bites, and certain venereal diseases. The-then medical experts discovered that this herb, when ingested in a certain amount and under certain conditions, acted as a laxative and helped in resolving stomach problems.
 
Many of the ancient scholars such as Sushruta did not class plants like Kasmard as medicinal plants. However, as an ayurvedic discipline grew, the herb's beneficial factors came to light, and its propagation became extensive. Many of the early scientists took a pragmatic approach in advocating for the medicinal properties of the herb.
 
Benefits of using Kasmar in Ayurvedic treatment
Kasmard is rich in many Ayurvedic properties such as Laghu (light to digest), hot in potency (Ushna), and it alleviates Kapha and Vata. It helps treat indigestion, coughs, vitiated Pitta Dosha, and is a proven throat cleansing agent. However, one of the herb's primary features is its effect on Tridosha.
 
Kasmard, as already mentioned, helps balance Kapha-Vata doshas due to Ushna Veeraya but, because it is high in Teekshna (strong) and bitter, it acts as Pitta Saraka, i.e., it lets Pitta out of the body. This balances the metabolic system and is crucial to hormonal regulation and secretion in the body.
 
Treating diseases/health problems using Kasmard
There are many recognized ayurvedic properties in Kasmard that make it an important agent in the ayurvedic treatment of some of the diseases/disorders such as:
 
1. Asthma
The main problems recognized by Ayurveda in Asthma are Vata and Kapha-doshas. The impaired 'Vata' combines with a deranged 'Kapha-dosha,' resulting in an obstruction in the lungs' respiratory passages and causes difficulty in breathing and wheezing. Kasmard herb is useful in treating Swas Roga (asthma)due to its Kapha-Vata balancing properties, which help remove the obstructions in the respiratory pathways, thereby easing the breathing process.
 
The recommended practice of using Kasmard for treating asthma is to drink 5 to 10ml of Kasmard juice once a day.
 
2. Indigestion
The incomplete digestion of ingested food gives rise to the state called Indigestion. The primary reason for this state is Agnimandiya (weak digestive fire). Kasmard helps in managing indigestion due to its Ushna (heating) and Pachan (digestive) properties, which enhances digestive fire (Agni), resulting in improved digestion.
 
3. Anorexia     
The loss of desire to eat even when the individual is hungry is called Aruchi (Ayurvedic name for Anorexia). The occurrence of Anorexia is attributed to the build-up of ‘Ama’(toxic remains due to improper digestion) in the body. Ama blocks the gastrointestinal tract resulting in Agnimandiya (weak digestive fire).
 
Kasmard, when taken in its juiced form, helps in managing indigestion with its Ushna(heat) and Pachan (digestive) properties and enhances Agni (digestive fire), prevents the build-up of ama, and improves digestion.
 
4. Cough
Cough is a common ailment, and it usually happens due to a change in the weather/temperature. It is known as a Kapha disorder in Ayurveda and is generally caused by mucus accumulation in the respiratory tract due to an imbalance in Kapha-dosha. Kasmard helps in managing cough due to its Ushna (heat) and Kapha balancing properties. The herb facilitates easy expulsion of excess mucus from the respiratory tract and provides relief from cough.
 
5. Skin infections
Ayurveda attributes skin infections to an imbalance in Pitta-dosha, which leads to itching, rashes, irritation, or sometimes burning. Kasmard, despite being rich in Ushna (heat), can help manage infections due to its Pitta-balancing factors resulting in quick healing of the skin.
The paste of Kasmard leaves can be applied on the affected areas once or twice a week to relieve many skin infections.
 
Forms of Kasmard in Ayurveda with the recommended dosage
 
Parts of the plant used: Root, seed, and Leaf.
 
Forms of Kasmard and recommended dosage:
1. Root bark decoction- 40-80ml
2. Seed Powder- 3 -6g
3. Leaf juice extract- 10-20ml
4. Paste- as per the area affected.
 
Types of Ayurvedic care with Kasmard
 
1. Kasmard as a beverage:
The seeds are toasted and ground to prepare a powdered form of the same. This is used to prepare a strong coffee hence the name Coffee Senna. Roasting effectively destroys the seeds' purgative property; drinking this as a substitute for coffee or tea acts as a tonic. This tonic is a known cure for asthma, convulsions, and hysteria.
Tips:
a) Take 3-4 Leaves and dry them under sunlight.
b) Grind them to a powdery form
c) Use a filter to collect the powder and pass hot water through it.
 
2. Kasmard Seeds- powdered:
The seeds of this herb have diuretic, febrifugal, emetic, and purgative/cathartic properties. When ingested in a solution or a mixture, it can effectively treat whooping cough and diseases of the heart.
Tips:
a) Roast Kasmard seeds
b) Grind them to a powdery form.
c) Mix with hot water and have it once or twice a day
 
3. Kasmard Leaf Juice:
The leaves are used as a vegetable. Extracts and pastes are common ways of putting the leaves of this herb to use. When ingested, they act as laxatives and are also know to have liver detoxifying properties.
 
Leaf poultice is used to remedy edema (excessive retention of fluid by the body, causing certain tissues to get swollen up). The bruised leaf is used in treating many inflammatory conditions, whether it is external or internal.
Tips:
a) Take fresh leaves of kasmard.
b) Grind them and extract the juice by using a juicer.
c) Take 5-10ml (subject to doctor's approval) of this juice once a day to get rid of asthma symptoms and other mentioned problems.
 
Side effects of Kasmard
The list of side effects resulting from any substance can never be exhaustive or definite. These listed side effects are based on general reports, and a rarity of a peculiar side effect should not be ruled out. Some of the side effects of Kasmard are:
 
1. Diarrhea:
Kasmard, due to its laxative nature, when ingested in large quantities, can lead to loose motion or explosive (severe) diarrhea.
 
2. Low blood pressure:
Kasmard depresses the Central Nervous System (CNS), resulting in decreased metabolic processes and decreased heartbeat, resulting in lower blood pressure. Thus, more than the regular intake of kasmard can result in extremely low blood pressure, which can lead to severe consequences.
 
3. Reaction with other medicines:
Kasmard reacts with many of the drugs such as aspirin, Heparin, warfarin, anti-hypersensitive drugs, which can cause major side effects to the body so, it is advised to consult a doctor before starting a herbal course.
 
4. Overdose
It is strongly recommended that the intake of Kasmard is monitored because an excessive amount of Kasmard in the body may lead to poisoning as the saturation of this herb aggravates (concentrates) its poisonous nature.
 
Precautionary guide while using Kasmard
 
Breastfeeding:
Modern Scientific view on kasmard’s effect on breastfeeding mothers is minimal due to the lack of scientific evidence. However, some classes of scientists believe that it increases lactation. But, it is advised that a doctor is consulted before breastfeeding or to avoid the intake of the herb altogether during such duration. 
 
Pregnancy:
The modern scientific view on the internal use of kasmard during pregnancy is minimal due to the lack of scientific evidence as to its impact on the growing fetus. Some classes of scientists believe that it might interfere with the fetus and could lead to miscarriage. Hence, it is advised that a doctor is consulted before using kasmard.
 
FAQs about Kasmard:
 
Can Kasmard help in managing diabetes?

                           Ayurvedic View

 

                 Modern Scientific View

 

Diabetes is attributed to an imbalance in Vata-Kapha doshas and improper digestion. This leads to a build-up of Ama(toxins) in the pancreas, impairing insulin production.

 

 Kasmard might help manage diabetes because of flavonoids that prevent damage to the pancreatic cells and enhance insulin secretions. This results in lower blood sugar levels, managing diabetes.

 

 

 
Can Kasmard help in managing Cholesterol?

                          Ayurvedic View

                 Modern scientific View

 

Kasmard can help manage normal cholesterol levels due to its Ushna and Pachan properties. It helps in the proper digestion of food and prevents Ama's formation, resulting in the reduction of bad alcohol.

 

 

Modern Science has concurred that Kasmard might help in managing cholesterol due to its antioxidant nature and anti-inflammation properties. This herb lowers LDL (bad cholesterol) and triglycerides and increases HDL (good cholesterol), thereby managing cholesterol levels in the body.

 

 
Can Kasmard help with body pain?

                            Ayurvedic view

 

                  Modern scientific view

 

Kasmard, when used in the form of decoction or paste, can help reduce body pain, which is caused by an aggravated Vata. Due to its rich Vata-balancing properties, it can be mixed with bathing water as a remedy for body pain.

Kasmard is rich in analgesic and antinociceptive properties, which help manage body pain by depressing the Central Nervous system (CNS) and reduce inflammation because of its anti-inflammatory factors.

 

 

 
Can Kasmard help during a fever?

                      Ayurvedic view

 

                Modern Scientific view

 

Yes, Kasmard can help in managing fever and its symptoms due to its Ushna(heat) nature and expulsion of excess Ama (toxins), resulting in better digestion and return to normalcy for the body.

 

Yes, Kasmard, which is rich in the antipyretic property, can lower the body temperature to a normal stage, providing relief from fever.

 

 

 
Can Kasmard be beneficial for malaria?
Modern scientists believe that the growth cycle and multiplication of plasmodium (malaria parasite) are inhibited by Kasmard, which acts as antiparasitic and anti-allergic properties.
 
Can Kasmard be used for cough?
Modern Scientists believe that the expectorant properties of Kasmard make it an able remedy for cough. The herb promotes the secretion and removal of sputum from the respiratory tract, thus, easing the cough and wheezing.
 
Can Kasmard be used for constipation?

                          Ayurvedic view

 

               Modern Scientific view

 

An aggravated Vata is believed to cause constipation (dast). Kasmard is believed to have Vata-balancing capabilities and Sransan(laxative) properties and can help in loosening stools; thus, relieving constipation.

 

 

They believe that Kasmard infusion can be used to provide relief from constipation due to its laxative and purgative properties.

 

 
They believe that Kasmard infusion can be used to provide relief from constipation due to its laxative and purgative properties.
 
Can Kasmard help in healing wounds?
Modern Scientists believe that Kasmard might be helpful in healing wounds due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nature. The antioxidants help wound contraction and prevent further cell damage. This herb further promotes the formation of collagen and new skin cell. Its antimicrobial properties reduce the chances of infection, resulting in accelerated healing of wounds.

NS Desk

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