Ayurveda is the treasure of many known and unknown herbs. These herbs have been used for the treatment of many medical ailments in a holistic way. We know Brahmi, Amla, Galouti and many other well-known herbs. Here is one more super herb called Akarkara that might interest you. Akarkara or Anacyclus pyrethrum is an undying herb found in the snow-clad Himalayan region. Apart from Ayurveda, this herb gets a special place in Unani (Iranian medicine system) and Siddha (medicine system in Tamilnadu).
It has been used for the treatment of many medical ailments for centuries. Locally it is called by many names, like Akkal-Kara in Hindi, Akkal Kadha in Marathi and Akkarakaaram in Tamil. More than the name it’s the root that has got the eyes rolling. The root is widely used in many herbal preparations. The roots are aromatic and have a strong taste. It has many benefits ranging from pain management to aphrodisiac properties. Let us deep-dive into the medicinal benefits of this super herb.
Akarkara health benefits are many. The roots are mainly used against arthritis, improper indigestion, used to improve sexual performance, used as diuretics and has many skin-enhancing benefits. While the list goes on, let us focus on a few of the mentioned benefits.
Anti-Arthritis Property: The root extract has antioxidant activity and it helps in smoothing blood circulation. This quality is used in the pain management of arthritis by reducing inflammation. According to ayurvedic experts, arthritis occurs due to the imbalance in Vatta dosha. This escalation of Vatta leads to pain, swelling and restricts the movement of joints. Akaraka helps in balancing this Vatta dosha and relieves the symptoms of pain and swelling in joints.
Improves Digestion: It helps to treat indigestion. It helps you to make you drool. It helps to increase salivation. This will help in the primary digestion in the mouth. It also accelerates the secretion of other digestive enzymes. According to Ayurveda, the stomach indigestion is due to the aggravated Kapha dosha. The weak digestive fire is treated by Akarkara and improves the agni tatva and helps in the digestion of food easily.
The Aphrodisiac Property: It is used for the enhancement of sexual performance in men. It improves sexual desire and maintains the testosterone level. It acts as a libido stimulant. Studies have shown spermatogenic activity. Akarkara influences the secretion of androgens. The roots of the Akarkara plant have many alkaloids. Alkylamide is one of the alkaloids that increase the level of testosterone. The mode of action lies in the simulation of the hypothalamus. It gives an overall makeover and increases fertility, sperm count and improves the libido in male. It also increases the blood supply to the genitals. This helps in the erectile dysfunction treatment.
Fights Toothache: The antioxidant and analgesic properties are also used to fight the menacing toothache. The powdered form of the plant is rubbed on the gums and teeth. According to the Ayurveda, the mouth acts as the seat of the Kapha dosha. The aggravation of Kapha dosha can lead to dental problems. Akarkara powder helps in managing the Kapha imbalance.
Diuretics: It helps in the detoxification of the body and increases the urge to urinate. The increased urination is due to diuretic activity.
Benefits in General: It also helps in sensitizing the nerves and improves brain function. This helps in the enhancement of memory and also acts as an antidepressant. It has several antimicrobial properties that help relieve insect bites toxicity and treatment of skin conditions. Like the other members of the Ayurveda, it also gives relief in the common cold.
These are a few of the benefits and uses of Akarkara. But it is important to know how to use it. Always consult an expert Ayurvedic practitioner before including Akarkara medicine in your routine for any kind of treatment.
How To Include Akarkara In Your Routine?
For getting the optimum benefits of Akarkara, the correct dosage and form are required.
For Treating Arthritis and indigestion, it is recommended to take 2 to 4 pinches of Akarkara powder, mix with plain water or honey after meals. Repeat this to relieve the symptoms of arthritis.
For relieving your toothache, it is advised to mix the Akarkara powder with 1 teaspoon of honey and make a paste. Apply it on the gums and teeth to manage the toothache. It can be also used in mixed combinations with camphor or with black pepper, ajwain helps in reducing the toothache.
For treating erectile dysfunction, Akarkara is used along with Ashwagandha and Kaunch beej to avail of maximum benefits.
For a sore throat or inflammation of pharyngitis, mix the powdered form with water and gargle several times a day. 10gm of powder mixed in 250ml of boiling water will give the desired results. Gargling not only helps in the treatment of sore throat and pharyngitis but also aids in relieving your tooth problem. For pyorrhea, mix the Akarkara root powder with mustard oil.
If you are suffering from a common cold, then mix the powder with black pepper and long pepper. It has many antiviral properties that help in reducing the symptoms of flu and alleviates nasal congestion.
It is also available in many commercial preparations either as Akarkara Capsules or as Akarkara powder or churna. The Akarkara medicine dosage is generally 1 to 2 capsules or 2 to 4 pinch in powder form. However, it is recommended to take the guidance of an experienced ayurvedic practitioner. Do not become your own doctor. Apart from several health benefits, there are few contraindications also.
Possible Side Effects Of Akarkara
People suffering from allergic reactions to Chrysanthemums, marigolds and other members of the same family are also allergic to Akarkara. Uncontrolled dosage of Akarkara (Anacyclus Pyrethrum) can lead to hypersalivation, mouth ulcers. In the stomach, it can give you a burning sensation and some people also complain of heartburn. It is also known to cause acidity and stomach ulcers. So, it is advisable to terminate the long term usage of Akarkara. The aphrodisiac effects do not last for long and one tends to use it repeatedly, which is not advisable.
Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should avoid consuming Akarkara. It can induce uterine contractions and stimulate menstrual flow or uterine bleeding. In some instances, it has also shown to reduce the milk flow. Ulcerative colitis is another contraindication where you should avoid its consumption.
Akarkara herb has many benefits but it comes with a warning label. People with ulcers and women with pregnancy or breastfeeding conditions should avoid this herb.
In a Nutshell,
Akarkara is another of those super herbs that can be used for the treatment of several ailments. Its aphrodisiac quality is widely used in the Southeast Asian region. Ayurveda can be used for the treatment of several diseases with fewer side effects but for that one needs to be patient to reap the benefits. Remember one thing! Before switching to any of the Ayurvedic herbs it is recommended to take advice from ayurvedic experts.