Akarkara, also known as pellitory root or Anacyclus pyrethrum, is an important herb used in Ayurvedic and other traditional medicine systems.
The roots of this plant have been used since ancient times for their medicinal properties.
What is Akarkara?
Akarkara is a perennial herb that grows up to 50 cm in height. It has daisy-like yellow flowers and hairy leaves. The most used part of this plant is the roots, which are light brown in color with a rough texture.
Akarkara has a strong, pungent smell and taste which produces a tingling sensation in the mouth when chewed. This is due to the presence of active compounds like pyrethrins and alkylamides.
Some of the key identifying traits of high-quality Akarkara powder are:
- Light brown color
- Strong, pungent aroma
- Rough, wrinkled texture
- Tingling taste
Key Takeaway: Akarkara refers to the roots of the Anacyclus pyrethrum plant which has medicinal properties.
Traditional and Medicinal Uses
Akarkara holds an important place in traditional Indian medicinal systems like Ayurveda and Unani. It has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties.
One of the most well-known uses of Akarkara is as an aphrodisiac and libido enhancer. According to Ayurveda, Akarkara can stimulate desire and improve vitality.
Akarkara powder acts as an excellent remedy for various oral health problems. Its numbing and pain-relieving properties help relieve toothache, mouth ulcers, and sore throat.
The antibacterial properties help kill harmful oral bacteria and prevent gum diseases and cavities. It also tightens the gums.
Arthritis and Joint Pain
When applied topically as a paste, Akarkara powder can provide relief from arthritis pain and inflammation. It improves blood circulation in the joints, reducing stiffness and pain.
The warming effect of Akarkara also helps alleviate muscle spasms, sprains, and backache.
Due to its effectiveness against respiratory infections, Akarkara powder has been used in folk medicine to treat cough, cold, and bronchial congestion.
It helps thin out mucus secretions and provides relief from cough and breathing difficulties.
Scientifically Proven Benefits and Uses
Modern scientific research has validated many of the traditional uses of Akarkara powder. Some evidence-based health benefits include:
Studies have shown that Akarkara root contains compounds like polyacetylenes and alkylamides which have potent anti-inflammatory effects. This validates its use in managing inflammatory conditions.
|Reduces joint swelling and pain in arthritis
|Provides pain relief by numbing nerves
Research indicates that Akarkara exhibits antibacterial, antifungal and larvicidal properties against disease-causing microbes. This supports its traditional use for wound healing and protecting oral health.
Studies found that Akarkara was effective against bacteria like Bacillus, Staphylococcus and Streptococcus strains which are responsible for many common infections.
As per traditional belief, modern research has also validated the stimulating effect of Akarkara on libido and sexual health.
Animal studies found that compounds like alkylamides in Akarkara powder may increase testosterone levels and enhance sexual performance. However, more clinical data is required to fully confirm these effects in humans.
Digestive Health Benefits
Akarkara powder exhibits digestive stimulant actions by increasing saliva and bile secretion. This helps improve digestion and appetite.
The carminative effect provides relief from gas and bloating in the gastrointestinal tract. Akarkara also helps relieve constipation by promoting bowel movements.
How to Use Akarkara Powder?
Akarkara powder can be used internally and externally for various health problems. Some popular preparation methods include:
- Mix 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 tsp powder with honey and consume before meals
- Take 250 to 500 mg powder capsules twice daily
- Add powder in milk or juices
- Include in Ayurvedic formulations like churnas and asavas
- Make a paste by mixing powder with hot water/oil and apply on affected areas
- Add to carrier oils and use for joint/muscle massages
- Use powder directly for brushing teeth or as a mouth rinse
Akarkara Powder Dosage
The general dosage is 250 to 500 mg standardized powder, 2 to 3 times per day or as directed by an Ayurvedic doctor.
It’s best to start with a low dose of 125 to 250 mg once daily and gradually increase based on your body’s tolerance.
Safety and Side Effects
When used appropriately, Akarkara powder does not generally cause any major side effects. However, some precautions need to be taken:
- Discontinue use if you experience skin allergy, burning sensation or gastric discomfort
- Avoid oral intake on an empty stomach to prevent acidity symptoms
- Not considered safe during pregnancy and breastfeeding
- Akarkara may interact with medications for diabetes and high blood pressure
Does akarkara increase testosterone?
Some animal studies show Akarkara may help increase testosterone levels. However, more evidence is required to confirm this effect in humans. It is believed to enhance libido by stimulating sexual function.
Is akarkara good for joints?
Yes, akarkara powder acts as an anti-inflammatory and painkiller which helps relieve arthritis symptoms when applied topically over painful joints. Its effects help reduce swelling, stiffness and pain.
Can we take akarkara daily?
Akarkara powder can be taken daily but it is best to use it for short-term periods of about 1 to 2 weeks at a time. Long-term safety with daily use is not well studied. It is better to take breaks in between usage.
Does akarkara tighten gums?
Yes, the astringent properties of Akarkara help constrict tissues. When used as a powder rub, it can effectively tighten swollen or bleeding gums. It also reduces gum inflammation and protects against infection.
Akarkara or Anacyclus pyrethrum is an age-old medicinal herb that exhibits multiple health benefits. Its potent anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and stimulating effects offer solutions for problems ranging from arthritis, oral issues and sexual health.
However, due care must be taken regarding dosage and suitability for each individual to avoid any possible side effects. When used prudently, this wonderful herb can effectively complement various health treatments.