Nirgundi also known as the five-leaved chaste tree is used popularly in Ayurveda, Unani, Sidhdha, Homeopathy and Allopathy to treat a number of ailments. It is effective in treating headaches, venereal diseases such as syphilis, rheumatism, sprains, fever, cough, urinary problems, boils and various other ailments. Nirgundi is an effective analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-catarrhal and appetiser among many other attributes that benefit us to stay healthy and recover from various illness.
Nirgundi is a common ingredient in various healing sciences. Indigenous to India nirgundi is an evergreen tree that is now also found growing in Bangladesh, China, Sri Lanka, Japan and Phillipines. The ancient Romans named it the five-leaved chaste tree as it worked to reduce sexual urges and hence got linked to chastity and loyalty. The wives of the Roman soldiers used to spread the leaves of this plant on their bed for this reason when their husbands were away. The leaves, oil extracted from the leaves, fruit as well as the roots of the nirgundi tree are used for a range of health benefits. The scientific name of nirgundi is Vitex negundo.
Nirgundi works well to provide relief from pain. It reduces pain and inflammation of the muscles and the joints caused due to injury as well as internal ailments. It works well to heal fractures too. Ulcers can treated by consuming nirgundi products as well.
Fertility is a major concern for many women. It not only limits a person’s health and bodily functions but also her emotions and her social conditions. It has been seen that consuming nirgundi has improved the fertility levels in many women and helped them conceive.
Women often experience severe emotional, mental and physical turmoil in the days before they start menstruating. Symptoms of PMS such as anxiety, depression and fluid retention can be dealt more smoothly with nirgundi. On a regular consumption a person may also heal completely and not have any further symptoms of PMS.
Nirgundi is an excellent remedy for digestive disorders. It helps to strengthen and improve the functioning of the digestive system. It reduces gas formation and increases appetite. The plant extracts acts effectively in stomach pain caused due to problems in digestion and swelling of the belly for the formation of gas. It cleanses the digestive system.
Using nirgundi as an herbal tea helps decongest the respiratory tract by removing phlegm from it. This helps open passages for air to pass improving the ventilation and normalises the breathing. This attribute of nirgundi makes it a favoured ingredient in Ayurvedic products which targets respiratory diseases such as bronchitis, asthma and pneumonia.
Menopause is a physically and emotionally disturbing phase for a lot of women. The body undergoes a significant change after a certain age and a woman stops menstruating. This change occurs due to the change in the hormonal balance in a woman’s body. Nirgundi promotes progesterone secretion and hence aids in the transition process and prevents its side effects such as mood swings, vaginal dryness and hot flashes.
Acne is a serious concern for a lot of people. Pimples break out at any time and not only are they ugly but also painful. PMS causes acne and pimples in a lot of women. It has been seen that nirgundi has a healing effect on acne caused due to hormonal changes.
The anti-bacterial, analgesic and anti-inflammatory property of nirgundi makes it an excellent ingredient for healing wounds. It prevents the wounds from getting infected and also helps avoid bad smell. It helps reduce pain and inflammation in the affected area.
Nirgundi is an extremely beneficial plant. It not only has medicinal benefits but also various others uses like keeping its dried leaves in between clothes that are stored for a long period of time prevents insects from damaging them, also burning the leaves of this plant works as an extremely effective mosquito repellent. The leaves of nirgundi are used as bio pesticides and insecticides. The chemicals used to ward away pests and insects are bad for the environmental as well as human health and it is always better to use natural alternatives to these.
Nirgundi has a string of side effects and problems attached to its consumption, especially in women. Its ability to regulate hormone secretions makes it a bad option for pregnant women. It interferes with oral contraceptives and may reduce its efficacy. Nirgundi alters the functioning of the heart and should be taken under medical supervision if a person suffers from any heart ailments. There might be alterations in the menstrual flow and might also trigger allergies. It has also been seen that lactating women have faced alteration in the amount of milk production. Though it has a controversy around the nature of the change it is definite that a change does take place. The common side effects of consuming nirgundi are dry mouth, headache, nausea, stomach upset, tachycardia and urticaria. These effects have been seen to be mild, reversible and occur in a small number of cases.