Nagarmotha (Cyperus Rotundus)
Nagarmotha: A detoxifying herb
Ayurvedic texts, while discussing the pathogenesis of disease, have repeatedly mentioned the word “ama” which, if briefly explained, can be called the toxic material produced in the body as a result of faulty digestion. The concept of “ama”, if properly explained to the experts of modern medicine and other health scientists, can really help in making a breakthrough in the treatment of many autoimmune disorders and other serious diseases. Nagarmotha is the herb which has been described in Ayurveda as the best ama-pachaka or corrective and remover of endo-toxins.
This ordinary-looking herb grows wild along water courses or wet places inmost parts of India. Known as mustaka in Sanskrit and Cyperus rotundus scientifically, it has been described as bitter, pungent and astringent in taste and light dry and cold in effect. Nagarmotha is a pacifier of kapha and pitta. Its different varieties possess an aromatic oil, besides protein, starch and carbohydrates.
Nagarmotha has very good digestive and carminative properties. It is an effective killer of intestinal worms, a diuretic and anti-pyretic medicine. Many ancient texts have also described it as an anti-inflammatory medicine, a general and nervine tonic, a promoter of uterine contractions and an excellent binder of stool.
Even in ancient times, nagarmotha was a favourite of ayurvedic physicians for treating a number of diseases. It is a drug of choice now for treating the majority of gastrointestinal problems like anorexia, vomiting, diarrhoea, dysentery and specific and non-specific colitis. Nagarmotha is also used in various other ailments like fever, burning micturation, skin diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, painful menstruation, neurasthenia and general debility. Here area few tips with regard to nagarmotha as a household remedy:
Nagarmotha, sonth and the dried pulp of the bael fruit, all crushed in equal parts, and two grams of this powder, if taken two or three times a day, works well in case of chronic mucous diarrhoea. Similarly, taking twice a day two grams each of the powder of nagarmotha and the pulp of bael and two tablets of the famous Kutajghan Vati has been reported to have reduced the frequency of stool besides controlling abdominal cramps in cases of ulcerative colitis. The same combination can be given with rice water to control the coming of blood in the stool.
The decoction of nagarmotha and pitapara is the most common household remedy for excessive thirst arising in fever and an episode of gastroentritis. During the flare-up phase of rheumatoid arthritis one gram each of the powders of nagarmotha, hararh and sonth can be given with any other anti-arthritic medicines. Acting as a detoxifying medicine, it help reduce inflammation and stiffness in the joints.
In the treatment of alcoholism (madatya roga) ayurvedic texts prescribe that the patient should be regularly given a decoction of nagarmotha. In case of alcoholic liver disease various preparations containing nagarmotha are prescribed. The regular use of it also helps lower the raised levels of serum uric acid.
Mustakadi kwatha, Mustkarishta and Mustadi Churna are the prestigious classic ayurvedic medicines which containing nagarmotha as their chief ingredient. The average dose of the powder of nagarmotha is three to five grams twice or thrice a day and that of its decoction 50 to 100 ml daily.