Botanical Name : Vitex negundo
Family Name :Verbenacae/Lamiaceae
Bengali Name : Nishinda, Nirgundi, Samalu
Chinese Name : Huang ping
English Name : Five-Leaved Chaste Tree
French Name : Gattilier incise
German Name : Mönchspfeffer
Gujarati Name : Nagod, Nagad
Hindi Name : Sambhalu, Sawbhalu, Samhalu, Nirgandi, Nisinda, Mewri
Kannada Name : Belenekki
Latin name : Vitex negundo Linn.
Marathi Name : Lingad, Nigad, Nirgundi
Persian Name : Banjangasht, Sisban
Punjabi Name : Bharwan, Maura, Banni, Swanjan
Sanskrit Name : Nirgundi, Nirgumdo
Urdu Name : Tukhme Sambhalu
Habitat: Vitex negundo is native to tropical Eastern and Southern Africa and Asia. It is widely cultivated and naturalized elsewhere.
Countries it is indigenous to include Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, and Vietnam.This plant is commonly found near bodies of water, recently disturbed land, grasslands, and mixed open forests
Vitex negundo is an erect shrub or small deciduous tree growing from 2 to 8 m (6.6 to 26.2 ft) in height. The bark is reddish-brown. Its leaves are digitate, with five lanceolate leaflets, sometimes three. Each leaflet is around 4 to 10 cm (1.6 to 3.9 in) in length, with the central leaflet being the largest and possessing a stalk. The leaf edges are toothed or serrated and the bottom surface is covered in hair. The numerous flowers are borne in panicles 10 to 20 cm (3.9 to 7.9 in) in length. Each is around 6 to 7 cm (2.4 to 2.8 in) long and are white to blue in color. The petals are of different lengths, with the middle lower lobe being the longest. Both the corolla and calyx are covered in dense hairs.
The fruit is a succulent drupe, 4 mm (0.16 in) in diameter, rounded to egg-shaped. It is black or purple when ripe.
Cultivation method: It is raised through seeds and cutting. After harvesting of mature seeds sown in nursery beds. Normally germination commences within 2-3 weeks. Four to six months old seedlings are used to transplant in the field.
Uses : The leaves are astringent, febrifuge, sedative, tonic and vermifuge. They are useful in dispersing swellings of the joints from acute rheumatism and of the testes from suppressed gonorrhoea. The juice of the leaves is used for removing foetid discharges and worms from ulcers, whilst an oil prepared with the leaf juice is applied to sinuses and scrofulous sores. A decoction of the stems is used in the treatment of burns and scalds.
The dried fruit is vermifuge and is also used in the treatment of angina, colds, coughs, rheumatic difficulties etc. The fresh berries are pounded to a pulp and used in the form of a tincture for the relief of paralysis, pains in the limbs, weakness etc. The root is expectorant, febrifuge and tonic. It is used in the treatment of colds and rheumatic ailments. The plant is said to be a malarial preventative and is also used in the treatment of bacterial dysentery – extracts of the leaves have shown bactericidal and antitumor activity. The leaves are used to repel insects in grain stores. Extracts of the leaves have insecticidal activity. The fresh leaves are burnt with grass as a fumigant against mosquitoes.
It is one of the ten herbal medicines endorsed by the Philippine Department of Health as an effective herbal medicine with proven therapeutic value. Lagundi has been clinically tested to be effective in the treatment of colds, flu, bronchial asthma, chronic bronchitis and pharyngitis. Studies have shown that Lagundi can prevent the body’s production of leukotrienes which are released during an asthma attack. Lagundi contains Chrysoplenol D. A substance with anti-histamine properties and muscle relaxant.
The leaves, flowers, seeds and root of Lagundi can all be used as herbal medicine. A decoction is made by boiling the parts of the plant and taken orally. Today, Lagundi is available in capsule form and syrup for cough.
Nirgundi is an important herb in Ayurveda. This herb pacifies the kapha and vata doshas of the body. The roots, seeds and leaves part of this herb are used to prepare medicines.
Nirgundi herb has various properties such as bitter, acrid, astringent, heating, anthelmintic and cephalic. It is used to cure various diseases such as leucoderma, inflammations, spleen enlargement, eye diseases, bronchitis and various other diseases. Some Ayurvedic properties and other benefits of nirgundi herb are discussed in this article.
Medicinal uses: As medicine its leaf, root, flower and fruits are used. Boiled water from its leaves is used to cure chronic pain. Its is a also used for swelling, rheumatism, sores, fever and headache. Leaves and branches are insect repellent so village people are used for preserving stored grains (especially in rice) against insect attacks.
1. Relief of asthma & pharyngitis
2. Recommended relief of rheumatism, dyspepsia, boils, diarrhea
3. Treatment of cough, colds, fever and flu and other bronchopulmonary disorders
4. Alleviate symptoms of Chicken Pox
5. Removal of worms, and boils
For 1. For boil half cup of chopped fresh or dried leaves in 1 cup of water for 10 to 15 minutes. Drink half cup three times a day.
For2. The lagundi flowers are also good for diarrhea and fever. Boil as with the leaves.
For 3. The root is specially good for treating dyspepsia, worms, boils, colic and rheumatism.
Lagundi tablets (300 mg) are available from the Department of Health’s Philippine Institute of Traditional and Alternative Health Care (PITAHC) Telephone # (632) 727-6199.
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.