Lagundi, also known as samhalu or meudi In Hindi and Five leaved chaste or cut leaf chaste tree in English. Its botanical name is Vitex negundo. This tree is indigenous to Philippines and it is commonly found in swampy areas. It is also found in tropical, sub tropical and warm temperate places of the globe. This tree is five meters in height and is distinguished by one thick woody stem. It is one of the most renowned plants of Philippines which is widely used to treat wide variety of health ailments. Leaves, roots, seeds and flowers of lagundi is loaded with extra ordinary medicinal properties and health benefits.
Other Names of Lagundi
Dabatan, Khemao, Indian privet, Horseshoe vitex, nirgundi, Sindvar etc.
The Health benefits and medicinal uses of lagundi include its use in the treatment of variety of health problems like skin problems, respiratory issues, digestive problems, dental or oral problems and so forth. Let us have a quick look on the medicinal properties of this marvelous plant. After that, we’ll discuss its health benefits and side effects in detail.
Medicinal properties of Lagundi Leaves, Roots, Flowers and Seeds
All parts of this plant are blessed with natural medicinal values like the plant is blessed with inflammation fighting, stomachic, astringent, analgesic, rejuvenating and anti-microbial properties. Roots of this plant are used in herbal medicine for their tonic, diuretic, expectorant, anti-rheumatic and febrifuge effect. Leaves are aromatic and bitter in taste and possess healing, relaxant, vermifuge, inflammation reducing and bronchial effects. Flowers are natural carminative, digestive, and hepato-protective. Seeds are rich in cooling and anti-inflammatory properties.
Lagundi Health Benefits, Medicinal Uses and Remedies
Treats Digestive Complaints
Lagundi is an excellent herb for digestion related problems. It helps improve appetite and overall digestion process. Flowers and roots of this plant are used to correct problems like cholera, diarrhea, dyspepsia, intestinal worms, colic, stomachache and other gastro-intestinal issues. Root powder contains demulcent properties and hence it is great for treating piles. Moreover, hepato-protective effect of vitex herb is helpful in dealing with liver related troubles. Simply boil a handful of leaves and flowers with two cups of water. Boil until the quantity of water reduces to half. Strain the liquid and have it thrice daily. This mixture is capable enough for solving out majority of stomach problems. To solve ascaris problem, drink 5ml of root decoction once a day on empty stomach. Continue this remedy for ten days.
Lagundi is rich in expectorant, cough relieving, anti-histamine and anti-inflammatory properties. These all properties are essential for maintaining good respiratory health. This herb is widely used in traditional medicinal system for treating problems like cough, asthma, cold, phryngitis and several other bronchopulmonary issues. In Philippine, vitex negundo is used in the manufacturing of cough relieving formulas.
In ayurveda, lagundi is said to relieve kapha (cough) from the respiratory passage, thereby making ventilation much easier. Vitex herb is an effective home remedy for asthmatic symptoms because it is rich in antitussive, inflammation reducing and anti-asthmatic properties. Moreover, this wonderful herb is said to be effective in preventing formation of a group of chemicals called leukotrienes which occurs during an asthmatic attack.
Problems like cough and asthma can be easily relieved by drinking lagundi leaf tea thrice daily. In case of fever, use this remedy at every three hourly intervals. However, this treatment shouldn’t cross seven days limit means if you want to use it for more than seven days then you must first take your doctor advice.
When dealing with fever, boil leaves of vitex negundo with water and inhale the steam. This will give you some relief from your problem.
Pain and Rheumatism
Vitex negundo is blessed with anti-inflammatory and analgesic (pain killing) effects, and hence it is helpful in dealing with various types of pain, aches and rheumatic conditions. There are many ways to use negundo for rheumatism like one can use tincture of Vitex negundo root bark to get relief. Alternatively, you can also use the plant to prepare vapor bath. Leaves of this may also help in bringing down the pain, swelling and inflammation of the joints.
In case of muscle sprain, heat crush leaves of this plant in an earthen pot and make a poultice. Tie or apply this poultice on the affected area.
People of Asian countries use this herb to get rid of pain and discomfort after tooth extraction. In case of toothache, drink leaf decoction at every three to four hourly intervals.
It can also be used as a sure shot remedy for headache. One can have leaf decoction to get some relief. Another way is to apply crush leaves on the forehead. Or, you can simply stuff you pillow with this leaves and sleep on it to relieve headache naturally.
Pain in joints due to arthritis can be easily relieved by applying warm poultice of lagundi leaves on the affected joints.
No more Skin Problems
Seeds and leaves of lagundi is loaded with cooling, anti-histamine, rejuvenating, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and analgesic effects and hence they are quite helpful in preventing and eradicating problems like boils, itchy skin, chicken pox, dull skin, wounds, insect bites, skin infection and so forth.
Seeds of this herb show cooling and antiseptic properties and that’s why they are good for problems like boils, skin rashes and leprosy.
If your skin is dull and you want to make it smooth, clear and glowing then all you have to do is to add leaves decoction in your bathing water and use this water on daily basis to have healthy, soft and flawless skin naturally. This remedy is also good for itching and insect bites.
A simple remedy for burns and scalds is to apply poultice of crushed leave on the affected area. Decoction of leaves can also be used to clean wounds and cuts. It will prevent infection and speed up the healing process.
Acne issue can be cured by applying crushed leaves or leaves paste on the affected skin.
When suffering from eczema, boil some leaves and make a paste out of them. Apply this paste on the inflamed skin to have instant relief.
Other Benefits of Nirgundi (Vitex negundo)
- It is also good for curing general debility.
- This herb supports cardiac health because it is said to be helpful in improving blood circulation. Moreover, a tea prepared with its flowers is a great cardia tonic. Plus, lagundi is rich in anticonvulsant properties that help protect against seizures.
- Vitex negundo helps stimulate every part of the body hence it is a good health tonice.
- Accoding to Ayurveda, this herb is vatakapha shamak it means lagundi helps correct vata and kapha doshas.
- You can wash your scalp with leaf decoction to get rid of various scalp issues. Drinking leaf tea will give you strong and healthy locks.
- Leaf tea is also a great remedy for milk production and inducing menstruation.
- Being a brain tonic it helps improve the memory. Moreover, it is also helpful in dealing with stress, anxiety, depression and mental worries.
- Being rich in vitamin C it helps strengthen the immune system.
- In case of sinusitis, sleep on a pillow that is filled with lagundi leaves.
- Fresh pulp of berries when used as a tincture can help cure paralysis.
Lagundi Leaf Tea Recipe
Here you’ll learn – how to prepare tea using fresh lagundi leaves at home. The recipe is simple and doesn’t require any special expertise. Seeds, flowers and roots are also used to prepare the concoction. However, we are going to make basic leaf tea recipe. First of all, gather below listed ingredients:
One cups lagundi leaves (you can also use dried leaves for this concoction)
Four cups of water
The first step is to wash the leaves in order to remove dirt and dust from them. Chop the leave and boil them with four cups of water for about 10 to 15 minutes. Allow it to steep for some time. Now, strain the liquid and drink half cup of this tea thrice daily. Store the left over liquid in a clean glass container and keep this container in your fridge.
If you do not have lagundi leaves, seeds and flowers then the easiest ways to use this herb is to either buy from local drug store or order online. This herb is available in capsule, tablet and syrup form. You can also ask naturopath or herb practitioners for help. They will guide you better.
Side Effects of Lagundi
Lagundi is said to be a safe herb that has fewer number of adverse effects. However, avoid this herb in case you are pregnant or lactating mother. First of all, take your doctor’s expert advice before using this herb to treat and health related ailment. Secondly, if you are on lagundi treatment then don’t exceed the treatment for more than seven days. Always, use this herb in moderation and if you notice any sign of side effect or irritation then consult your nearest health care provider immediately. Rest, you know, care should always be taken while on herbal medicine.
Where to find lagundi capsules and teabags?
You can easily order for lagundi capsules and tea bags on online sites like amazon. You can also buy them from your nearby herbal store. Consult with an ayurvedic practioner in order to know the exact dosage of lagundi capsules.