Treasures of Nature (Prakriti Ka Khazana) – Lata kasturi
Lata kasturi or Abelmoschus moschantus Medic is a medicinal herb native to India. It is also found in Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam. It is known by different names like Latakasturi (Ayurveda), Habb-ul-mushk (Unani) and Ambrette (English). Latakasturi has immense medicinal as well as non-medicinal values. Almost every part of this plant is used in some way or the other.
Latakasturi is an erect herb, having a soft hairy stem and a long taproot. The flowers are large, about 3-4” in size and bright yellow in colour with a purple centre. It produces musk-scented, greyish brown coloured seeds due to the presence of a ketone and ambrettelide in the seeds. The oil extracted from the seeds of this plant is used in aromatherapy and is used to treat depression, anxiety and nervousness. The oil is also used in perfumery and cosmetic industries.
Medicinal Properties Of Latakasturi
- Antipyretic (Effective against fever)
- Antihysteric (Controls fit or uncontrolled laughter)
- Carminative (Prevents flatulence)
- Aphrodisiac (promotes sexual desire)
- Antispasmodic (Relieves spasm of involuntary muscles)
- Antivenom (Effective against venom)
- Diuretic (Increases the amount of urine)
- Nervine (calm the nerves)
- Tonic (Improves health and vitality)
- Laxative (Clears the bowel, stool softener)
Ayurvedic Properties of Latakasturi
Latakasturi is widely used in Ayurveda, Unani system and Siddha streams of medicine. It is used to treat a large number of diseases like asthma, bronchitis, diarrhoea, gonorrhoea, hysteria, loss of libido and other urogenital problems.
- The decoction of the seeds is used to treat fever, nervous disorder, sore throat, and hysteria.
- The tincture of the seeds is used to give comfort during cramps and intestinal disorder. It is believed they are antispasmodic and carminative in nature.
- The powder of the seeds after dissolving in water is used to treat urinary problems. It cures blood and protein discharge in urine and scanty urination.
- The infusion of the Latakasturi flowers can be used as contraceptives.
- The leaves and roots of this plant are used to treat gonorrhoea, boils, and swellings.
- The fruits of Latakasturi are eaten to reduce phlegm. The juice prepared from the fruits is also used as a general tonic to regain vitality and well-being.
- The tender fruits are chewed to cure oral problems like mouth ulcers, gum bleeding, loose teeth and foul smell of the mouth.
Latakasturi is rightly called as Sheet Virya herb (coolant herb). It has proven the antipyretic property. It is also known as Madhur Vipak herb, which means it sweetens our breath. The plant has a lot of medicinal benefits. So, its cultivation is encouraged and dealt with a lot of care by the Ayurvedic experts.