Malaxis acuminata, commonly known as Jivak in India, is a Malaxis species, which is an orchid. It originated from India and is majorly found in Uttarakhand. This plant has been used since ancient times, and it is an important ingredient of Chyawanprash.
Jivak has different names in different languages in India; in Hindi, it is known as "Jeevak," in Malayalam and Tamil "Jeevakam," Telugu "Jeevakamu," and Jivak is the English name.
Jivak is a very versatile plant; it is proven that Jivak has anti-inflammatory property which manages swelling and pain, it is antimicrobial, that prevents microbial attack and infections; it is also an antioxidant because it consists of many bioactive molecules (essential fatty acid, vitamin C, flavonoids, carotenoids, phytochemicals). It also has mild antitoxic activity.
In Ayurveda, Jivak is a great vata (body energy) balancer and pitta balancer, which helps in so many disease conditions. Jivak also possesses Rejuvenating or Rasayana property, which is beneficial for overall health. According to Ayurveda, Jivak also helps in sexual weakness. It is generally used as a food supplement in the form of Chyawanprash, or Jivak stem's bulbous enlargement or pseudobulb is processed to make a paste. This paste is applied externally to the affected area to benefit from arthritis pain.
Jivak helps in so many diseases like diarrhea, arthritis, a stomach infection, mild cough and fever, bronchitis, sexual weakness, oligospermia, constipation, etc. It is also used as an anti-aging remedy.
Historical Uses of Jivak
Ayurveda, which is also called "Mother of All Healing'' originated more than 5000 years ago in India. And according to the literature written by the rishis, Jivak is a wonder plant. It has been found that there are more than 35 Ayurvedic formulations of therapeutic value consisting of this plant. These formulations were used to treat many diseases, especially male and female reproductive system-related diseases. We came to know that Jivak has anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, anti-microbial, antioxidant, and many more properties from Ayurveda.
Benefits of using Jivak in Ayurvedic treatment
● Managing Diarrhea
Diarrhea is the discharge of watery, loose stools more than 3 times a day, which decreases the consistency of stools and increases the bowel movements. According to Ayurveda, Diarrhea (Atisar) occurs due to impure water, toxins in food or water, improper food, or even mental stress. Besides all of this, one of the biggest reasons is a weak digestive system or Agnimandya due to imbalance of Vata dosha. All of this causes a serious imbalance in metabolism, this causes other tissues to lose water, and that water comes to the intestine and mixes with the stool. Making the stool watery and thus causes diarrhea. Jivak is a very good Pitta balancer that helps to maintain the digestive fire. Its Vata balancing property also keeps the digestive system strong and thus manage diarrhea.
● Bronchitis problem
Cigarette smoking or the Influenza virus causes inflammation in the windpipe and lungs. Inflammation in the bronchial tract causes accumulation of mucus or sputum. This diseased condition is called bronchitis. Cough, shortness of breath, chest discomfort, and production of mucus or sputum are the symptoms of bronchitis. As it is a virus-infected disease, antibiotics will not work here. According to Ayurveda, bronchitis or Kasa roga occurs due to imbalanced Vata dosha and Kapha dosha. Ayurveda says imbalance in Vata dosha (body energy) blocks the Kapha dosha (immunity), which causes the respiratory tract to inflame and thus causes accumulation of sputum, accumulation of sputum blocks the air pathway. Jivak's rejuvenating or Rasayana property helps to manage bronchitis. The Vata balancing property of Jivak prevents Kapha's blockage, which helps to manage bronchitis condition.
● Sexual problems
A stressful and unhealthy lifestyle creates lots of problems related to sex. It could be a sexual weakness where one or both partners, male or female, face low sex drive or loss of sexual desire, also known as loss of libido. Or, it could be a decrease in semen retention power, or we can say early discharge of semen in case of male partners. Ayurveda says these kinds of sexual problems happen due to an imbalance of Vata dosha, which is the imbalance in body energy. Jivak has great Vata balancing qualities, so it is very helpful in these situations. Jivak also acts as an aphrodisiac (helps increase sexual desire).
● Infection caused by Insect
Jivak gives a cooling effect on applying because of its Sita property. Jivak's sita and Vata balancing properties give relief from an insect bite's burning sensation and pain. It also reduces the poisonous effects of insect bite.
● Joint pain
Joint pain or the pain felt during Rheumatoid arthritis mainly happens due to the immunity problem, where the immune system attacks healthy cells or body tissue. According to Ayurveda, this causes an imbalance in Vata (body energy). Jivak being a great Vata balancer helps in balancing Vata, which in turn manages rheumatoid arthritis pain.
Possible side effects of Jivak use
There are no possible side effects of Jivak. There is not enough evidence or research data available related to the safety and precautions of using Jivak. So one can safely use Jivak.
FAQ’s About Jivak
1. Can Jivak increase sperm count?
Low sperm count or oligospermia is a male reproductive system related problem. In oligospermia, the quality, motility, and production of sperm are hampered. Jivak is proven to be helpful in these situations to increase sperm count as well as improve sperm motility and production rate.
Vata and pitta dosha causes the condition oligospermia when the sperm count in the semen decreases. Jivak act as an aphrodisiac (increase sex drive), and its Vata balancing property both are helpful for oligospermia. It prevents a reduction in sperm count and also improves sperm motility and overall production quality.
2. What are the positive health effects of jivak Chyawanprash?
Jivak's anti-inflammatory property induces smooth respiratory function and also helps in bronchitis. It is also good for the nervous and circulatory system, and it is an antimicrobial that helps fight infection. So consuming Jivak chyawanprash strengthens overall immunity, and it is good for our health.
Jivak chyawanprash is a very good food supplement; it is Vata dosha balancing, has Rasayana, or rejuvenating property. So jivak chyawanprash is good for overall health.
3. Does jivak chyawanprash help in stomach infection?
Jivak is an antimicrobial agent so that it can prevent any microbial growth in the large intestine. This property of jivak helps minimize any risk of stomach infection, so consuming jivak chyawanprash helps to prevent stomach infection.
4. How does Jivak as a food supplement helps in constipation?
Jivak has mild laxative property, so consuming Jivak chyawanprash eases stool excretion by promoting bowel movement. `
According to Ayurveda, constipation causes an imbalance in Vata dosha, where unbalanced body energy leads to dryness in the intestine and makes the stool hard; dry hard stool makes it difficult to pass and excrete. Jivak Vata balancing property prevents this dryness from occurring and also prevents the stiffness of stool. Thus jivak manages constipation.
5. How is Jivak good for health?
Jivak is high in essential fatty acid, vitamin c, flavonoids, carotenoids, and phytochemicals; all of these together act as an immune modulator, which helps to improve the immunity of the body. It is antimicrobial and also shows a mild laxative property. So, jivak is beneficial for overall health.
Ayurvedically, Jivak is a great Vata balancer; its Rasayana quality strengthens immunity and helps fight common cold and cough. Jivak manages inflammation in bronchitis; its aphrodisiac property helps in sexual weakness.
6. Can we prevent skin aging by using Jivak?
Skin aging causes the skin to lose its elasticity and forms wrinkles; it also speeds up collagen breaking, which replaces the dead skin cells. Jivak contains flavonoids, carotenoids, phytochemicals, and other bioactive constituents. These constituents make jivak a good anti-collagenase and anti-elastase, which prevents the breaking of peptide bonds in collagenous tissue. All of this combined makes jivak a good anti-aging product.
7. Is Jivak an anti-inflammatory agent?
The bioactive compounds present in jivak act as an anti-inflammatory agent. These constituents help to manage inflammatory response, thus reducing inflammation. That's why Jivak reduces swelling, pain and also helps in bronchitis.
In Ayurvedic terminology, inflammation occurs due to imbalance Vata or pitta dosha. Jivak’s Vata (body energy) balancing and sita (cooling effect) property manages an inflammatory condition and reduces pain.
8. Can jivak be an antioxidant?
Yes, jivak might act as an antioxidant because it contains many bioactive constituents that help fighting skin aging and free radical-induced damage. Jivak prevents free radical-mediated cell damage; thus, it is good for overall health.
9. Can we use jivak in the case of snakebite?
The paste of jivak pseudobulb, which is a bulbous enlargement of the jivak stem, has antitoxic properties. Applying this paste on the snake-bitten area helps to neutralize the poisonous effect. But it is best to go to a hospital in this kind of situation.
Jivak's Vata balancing and sita property reduce a snake bite's pain and swelling when applied externally.
10. Does jivak help in Rheumatoid arthritis?
jivak has an anti-inflammatory effect and acts as an analgesic. The pseudobulb's paste, which is a bulbous enlargement of the jivak stem when applied externally to the affected area, reduces swelling and pain in the joint. Thus Jivak helps in Rheumatoid arthritis.