Astawarga or Astavarga of Ayurveda

Skip to first unread message

Pankaj Kumar

Sep 30, 2010, 2:40:50 PM9/30/10
to indiantreepix

Astavarga literally meaning a group of 8 medicines has been frequently
used in Ayurveda for various purposes. Of these, 5 are found in
Chavanyaprash too.
Next few lines are copied from following reference:

1. VRIDDHI - Platanthera edgeworthii (Hook.f. ex Collett) R.K.Gupta,
Fl. Nainital.: 349 1968). [= Habenaria edgeworthii Hook.f. ex Collett,
Fl. Siml.: 504 (1902)]

In lower part of India Habenaria acuminata (Thwaites) Trimen, may be
used as substitute.
Uses: It is emollient, aphrodisiac, rejuvenating and tonic and is
beneficial in aggravated vata and pitta, burning sensation in the
body, hyperdipsia, fever, cough, epilepsy, insanity, emanciation and
general debility (Bhav Prakash, kai, Nirs, so, Ni, Ni, Ra)

2. RIDDHI - Habenaria intermedia D.Don, Prodr. Fl. Nepal.: 24 (1825).

Uses: Rdhi is Sheetvirya,pacifies vata,pitta, rakta doshas. It is
useful in consumption and fevers. It increases kapha dosha and shukra
dhatu. It is intellect promoting, aphrodisiac, rejuvenating, tonic and
cures emaciation, epilepsy, cough, skin diseases, haematemesis and
general debility.

3. JIVAK - Crepidium acuminatum (D.Don) Szlach., Fragm. Florist.
Geobot., Suppl. 3: 123 (1995). [= Malaxis acuminata D.Don, Prodr. Fl.
Nepal.: 29 (1825)]

Uses: It is sheet virya and calms down vata, rakta and pitta doshas
and is beneficial in burning sensation of the body, fever, and
consumption.It increases kapha and Shukra dhatu. It is aphrodisiac and
tonic.It cures haematemesis, aggravated vata and pitta doshas,seminal
weakness, dipsia,emaciation,tuberculosis and general body weakness.It
increases body flesh and is jeevniya.

4. RISHBHAK - Malaxis muscifera (Lindl.) Kuntze, Revis. Gen. Pl. 2: 673 (1891).

Uses: Tubers are efficacious cure for pitta, rakta, vata doshas. It is
useful in phthisis, burning sensation in the body, fever and increases
Kapha and shukra. It is styptic, aphrodisiac and tonic. It is an
effective cure in vitiated pitta and vata, seminal weakness,
dysentery, emaciation and general debility.

5. KAKOLI - Roscoea alpina Royle, Ill. Bot. Himal. Mts.: 361 (1839)

Uses: Root fingers are sweet sheetvirya,pacifies vata pitta,fever due
to vitiated vata-pitta.It is beneficial in consumption, burning
sensation in body, increases Kapha dosa and shukra. It is also an
effective cure for pains due to pitta, vata, rakta dosha, thirst due
to pitta, rakta pitta etc.

6. MEDA - Polygonatum verticillatum (L.) All., Fl. Pedem. 1: 131 (1785).

Uses: Meda rhizomes are sweet in taste sheetvirya, pacify pitta dosh
and increase kapha and shukra dhatu. They are beneficial in phthisis,
burning sensation in the body, and fever (Dhan.Ni.).They are
emollient, aphrodisiac, tonic, galactagogue, and beneficial in
aggravation of pitta, cough, ulcers, skin diseases, general debility
and vulnerary.

7. MAHAMEDA - Polygonatum cirrhifolium (Wall.) Royle, Ill. Bot. Himal.
Mts.: 380 (1839).

Uses: According to Dhanwantri Nighantu,Mahameda is sweet in taste,
sheet virya,increases Kapha and shukra dhatu and is beneficial in
consumption burning sensation,and fever.Various Nighantus describe its
properties as emollient aphrodisiac,galactagoue,tonic and useful
invitiation of vata-pitta,strangury seminal weakness, anorexia and
general body weakness.

8. KSHIRKAKOLI - Lilium polyphyllum D.Don in J.F.Royle, Ill. Bot.
Himal. Mts.: 388 (1840).

Uses: It promotes appetite and pacifies vata, pitta, rakta dosas.It is
efficacious in bleeding disorders, cardiac diseases, dyspnoea, cough,
consumption and diseases of urine system and is vrsya (tonic).Bulbs
are refrigerant, galactagogue, expectorant and aphrodisiac. They are
useful in bronchitis, burning sensation, hyperdipsia, rheumatalgia and
general weakness in the body.




Pankaj Kumar Ph.D. (Orchidaceae)
Research Associate
Greater Kailash Sacred Landscape Project
Department of Habitat Ecology
Wildlife Institute of India
Post Box # 18
Dehradun - 248001, India

Dr Pankaj Kumar

Sep 30, 2010, 3:09:24 PM9/30/10
to efloraofindia
Unfortunately I dont have the last one,
KSHIRKAKOLI - Lilium polyphyllum D.Don in J.F.Royle, Ill. Bot. Himal.
Mts.: 388 (1840).

I would be grateful if anyone could add....
My apologies for being unable to provide the last one and I dont wish
to add any link from internet pictures.


Gurcharan Singh

Sep 30, 2010, 3:14:23 PM9/30/10
to Dr Pankaj Kumar, efloraofindia
I was waiting for this. I hope I have this one in my herbarium, but perhaps I won't be able to digitise it before January, 2011. May be some members have photographs of live plants.

Dr. Gurcharan Singh
Retired  Associate Professor
SGTB Khalsa College, University of Delhi, Delhi-110007
Res: 932 Anand Kunj, Vikas Puri, New Delhi-110018.
Phone: 011-25518297  Mob: 9810359089 

Pankaj Kumar

Sep 30, 2010, 3:16:51 PM9/30/10
to Gurcharan Singh, efloraofindia
No problems. I am sure you must be having others too. You may add them
and give your valuable comments too.


Balkar Arya

Oct 1, 2010, 9:52:24 AM10/1/10
to Pankaj Kumar, Gurcharan Singh, efloraofindia
Thanks a lot Pankaj Ji for sharing such a nice piece of knowledge and really beautiful pics

Dr Balkar Singh
Head, Deptt. of Botany and Biotechnology
Arya P G College, Panipat
Reply all
Reply to author
0 new messages