Sunday, 19 December 2010

Indian beech: Pongamia pinnata fights stomach problems

By Syed Akbar
Pongamia pinnata or Indian beech is a wildly grown tree found on canal bunds, road margins, wastelands, and in TB sanatoria. The tree is a sort of invasive plant species because it grows wildly even in harsh conditions including sandy soils. Pongamia is widely used in Ayurveda and Unani for many centuries for problems relating to the stomach, particularly in treatment of cholera and its associated loose motions often with 

There have been several studies to revalidate the claims of Ayurveda and Unani on the medicinal properties of Pongamia and all of them confirmed that this herb is effective for treatment of a number of health complications and conditions including severe joint pains, eczema, diabetes, fever and anaemia, and for strengthening of gums and teeth. However, Pongamia is hailed for its unique properties that help in maintenance of the digestive system and its ability to fight problems related to stomach and intestines.

Pongamia is a good natural choice for treatment of flatulence, ulcers and damage to the delicate lining of the stomach and intestines. Ayurveda and Unani doctors often prescribe Pongamia for diabetes, swelling, treatment of wounds, cold and cough, and as an anti-bacterial agent.
Home remedies
Pongamia is considered a natural home remedy for cholera and common diarrhoea. Decoction obtained from the shade dried leaves of Pongamia is given to patients for relief. Take a gram of shade dried leaves of Pongamia and boil them in half a tea cup of water till the quantity is reduced by one-fourth. Cool the decoction and filter it before consuming a tablespoon full.

Oil obtained from Pongamia is prescribed for rheumatism. Take a small quantity of Pongamia oil and gently massage it against the affected portion for relief.

Roots of Pongamia are used as tooth stick to brush teeth. Brushing with Pongamia root helps not only in fighting harmful agents in the mouth, but also keeps the gums and teeth strong and healthy.

Ash obtained from Pongamia is used for gently rubbing against the teeth for prevention of cavities, bad odour and mouth ulcers.

In case of inflammation of sinus, take a few leaves of Pongamia, dry them and obtain powder. Take a small quantity of the leaf powder and boil it in water. Filter the decoction and drink it two times a day for relief from painful sinusitis.

Those suffering from joint paints (arthralgia) may try Pongamia decoction obtained from leaves. Leaf extract of Pongamia is available in market and it can also be used. Drinking Pongamia leaf extract twice a day for about a week will provide the much needed relief from pains and inflammation.

Eczema patients may apply emulsion, made from the seeds of Pongamia and lemon juice, on the affected portion of the skin.

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This Day In History

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Syed Akbar in an island in river Godavari with Papikonda hills in the background

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Syed Akbar at the 11th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity