Cassia is one of the most beautiful trees of India. The flowers of Cassia are considered auspicious and have a religious importance for Hindus in the Southern Indian State, Kerala. Those bright ywllow flowers are highly sought for in Kerala during Vishu (beginning of the New Year). It is endearingly called “Kanikonna” in Malayalam.

Cassia fistula belongs to the family Caesalpinaceae and is known as “Aragwadha”  in Sanskrit and “ Amaltas”  in Hindi. It is very decorative and is found throughout India up to an altitude of about 1500 mts. It has bright yellow flowers in very large hanging branches and has shining dark brown almost cylindrical shaped fruits. It is more common in moist evergreen forests.

The parts used for medicinal purposes are the bark, root and the fruit (fruit pulp).

The Healing Power of Cassia

It is considered as “kushtaghna oushadha” (that which relieves skin diseases) according to the Ayurvedic scriptures.

  • It pacifies all the 3 doshas
  • It purifies blood
  • Cleanses the wound
  • Its pulp is purgative

Medicinal Uses of Cassia

  1. Decoction made of cassia bark is very effective in treating all kinds of skin diseases. 30 ml of this decoction has to be taken twice daily for beneficial results.
  2. Boiled milk added with the deseeded fruit pulp and sugar should be consumed to get relief from abdominal pain and constipation.
  3. About 24 grams of the pulp is mixed with a quarter litre of hot milk and used as a mouth wash in case of loss of sense of taste due to excess use of opium or cocaine.
  4. For flatulence in children, the cassia pulp can be applied around the naval to ensure evacuation. It can be mixed with almond oil and massaged over the naval/abdomen to facilitate easy bowel movement.
  5. Common cold: In case of running nose, smoke from the burning root can be inhaled. It facilitates nasal discharge.
  6. Skin disorders: leaf juice or paste can be used as a dressing in case of ringworm infection or inflammation of the limbs due to exposure to cold. It also helps to relieve dropsical swellings due to excessive fluid accumulation in the body tissues. The leaves can be rubbed beneficially on affected parts for relief from rheumatism.
  7. Fever:  The root of the tree is a tonic and is useful in reducing fever.

Major Formulations

  • Aragvadhadi kashayam
  • Katukamalakadi kashayam
  • Vasishatarasayanam
  • Manasamithra vatakam
  • Mahamanjishtadi kashayam
  • Aragvadhadi ghritam
  • Maha rasnadi kashayam

Since Cassia is mild, it can be used by both children and the elderly. But, in large doses it may cause heavy purgation, so ensure to use this under medical supervision.