Nirgundi (Vitex negundo) is a herb is known for its analgesic, muscle relaxant, wound healing, hair growth, and many other actions. We can easily identify this plant from its leaves, the upper surface of leaves is green in color and the dorsal side is purple in color. In English, it is known by the name – “Five Leaved Chastle Tree”.
“सिंदुवार …. केश्योनेत्रहितोहन्तिशूलशोथआममरुतान ”
(Reference – Bhavaprakasha / Guduchiadi varga / Nirgundi / Shloka no. 114)
The meaning of this shloka goes as – Sinduwar (Nirgundi) helps to pacify pain, swelling and Vata, eliminates toxins from the body, beneficial for eyes and promotes hair growth.
It Has Properties Like
- Rasa – Katu and Tikta (The taste of this herb is pungent and bitter)
- Guna – Laghu, and Ruksha (It possesses lightness and dryness qualities)
- Virya – Ushna (In potency this herb is hot)
- Vipaka – Katu (An end product of digestion is Pungent)
- Dosha – Vata – Kaphahar (It subsides Vata and Kapha dosha)
- Karma – The action of this herb on our body are Chakshushya (Improves vision), Vranaropana (Heals wound), Keshya (Promotes hair growth), Krimighana (Treats worm infestation)
Useful Parts – Leaves, roots
Mode Of Use
It is a versatile herb which can be used in any form (oil, decoction, etc), externally as well as internally and in any Vataj and kaphaj disease. Mostly, the oil prepared from this herb is used in practice.
Nirgundi oil is a choice of oil for treating muscular- skeletal and neurological disorders, and in managing non-healing wounds.
As we know, there are two modalities of treatment in Ayurveda they are – Shodhana (Purification procedures) and Shamana (Palliative care). These therapies help to cure the disease as well as restrict the re-occurrence.
- Externally – Panchakarma therapies are included in Shodhana therapy where most of the therapies are accomplished with the help of oils. Among them nirgundi oil is used in these therapies -Abhyanga (External massage), Patra potali swedana (Sudation with nirgundi leaves and nirgundi oil is used in preparation of Kalka), Basti (Medicated Enema), Other basti’s like – Kati basti, Merudanda basti, Janu basti, Shiro basti, Greeva basti (In all local basti’s), Karna purna (Instilling the oil in ears), Shirodhara (Pouring the oil over forehead), Gandusha (Oil pulling), Awgaha (Sitz bath)
- Internally – Orally as well as per rectum.
Benefits Of Nirgundi Oil
- It acts as an analgesic hence beneficial in sciatica, frozen shoulder, spondylitis, etc.
- Subsidies inflammation was hence useful in all inflammatory disorders like rheumatoid arthritis.
- It has antibacterial, antifungal properties thus can be used in worm infestations, parasitic infections, abscess, fistula, piles, yeast infections, etc.
- Aids healing of wounds thus can be used in non – healing wounds, skin lesions, etc.
- This oil helps to nourish nerves hence useful in epilepsy, insomnia.
- It is also beneficial in eye ailments.
In our classics, oil pulling is mentioned as Gandusha. It is one among purificatory procedures. Oil pulling means holding or retaining the fluids inside the oral cavity for a stipulated period of time. It helps to eliminate the doshas from the head and neck region. Oil pulling is beneficial in treating diseases of the head and neck i.e. in all ailments of eyes, ears, throat, and face. As per our classics
(Ashtanga Hrudyam / Sutrasthanam / Chapter no. 22 / Shloka no. 12)
The meaning of this shloka goes as – Completely fill the mouth with the medicated liquid, and that fluid shouldn’t move inside the mouth is called as gandusha.
What Is The Procedure Of Doing It?
- After brushing fill your mouth with oil. Use lukewarm oil but avoid direct heat to the oil.
- Hold the oil until tears develop in your eyes. Then spit it out. Afterward, you can wash the oral cavity with lukewarm water.
Time – Prefer in the early morning.
Duration of Gandusha – It varies from person to person but approx 2 to 5 minutes (Depends upon individual’s retaining capacity)
Benefits Of Oil Pulling With Nirgundi Oil
- Oil is considered as the best medicine to pacify Vata and Vata is the main factor that is responsible for the neurological deteriorations. Moreover, Nirgundi is a vata and kapha pacifying herb hence beneficial to use nirgundi oil.
- Removes toxins from the mouth (liquefies kapha dosha and aama)
- Alleviate inflammation and pain pertaining to the oral cavity, face and facial nerve.
- Nirgundi oil helps to strengthen muscles of the face thus beneficial to be used in facial palsy.
- Oil helps to rejuvenate or reform the damaged neurons because it is a rasayan.
- In case of oral infection, it helps to perish the bacterial and viral flora.
- It provides strength to the mandible and also improves vision.
- Oil pulling with nirgundi oil is a best way to deal with halitosis.
- It can be used for oil pulling and as ear drops in otitis media and mastoiditis.
- Helps to heal the inner mucosal layer of oral cavity and it is also effective in pharyngitis.
- Don’t use the hot oil, it should be lukewarm. Immediately after oil pulling avoids exposure to cold water and wind.
- Do not swish the oil inside the oral cavity.
- It can be used on a daily basis for strengthening the head and neck region but in case of ailments, avoid intake of heavy, spicy and sour foodstuffs along with this therapy.
- Oil pulling is more effective if performed after massaging the neck and shoulder region. Avoid in case of bleeding disorders and poisoning conditions.