It has been a month of reading about Hypothyroidism for me. I want to end this by talking about a humble tree that stands right across my balcony in this beautiful resort-like home. Kanchanar.
Importance of Kanchanar in Hypothyroidism?
According to this study: Serum TSH level analysis showed that a combination of high dose (400mg /kg body weight) of Bauhinia variegate and Commiphora mukul gum resin extracts showed a significant effect in lowering serum TSH levels raised due to hypothyroidism. To conclude, a combined extract of plants could be a potential therapeutic alternative for the management of hypothyroidism.
Kanchanar is to hypothyroidism like water is to thirst, according to Ayurveda. It is worded in the pharmacopeia in rapturous detail. It heals the inflammation of the thyroid gland (Gala-ganda).
It reminds me of a satyagrahi. Humble yet resolute and firm.
Why tell everyone about Kanchanar?
Imagine the incredible enrichment your next nature excursion could bring if you possessed the ability to gaze up at the leaf and effortlessly identify it. How much deeper would your connection be with nature, your inner self, and the world around you?
Picture yourself feeling the same elation Wordsworth experienced while observing daffodils or Robert Frost beneath the birch tree. You don't need complex words to articulate your thoughts and emotions; simply stand beneath the tree. Listen to the rustling leaves and the gentle melody of life as the tree selflessly supports all those around it. Allow it to inspire introspection, encouraging you to be true to yourself and resilient as you journey through life.
Imagine sharing your knowledge of this tree with a loved one, standing together under its branches, and gazing into their eyes. Feel your love deepen and your embrace extend, mirroring the magnificence of this tree. Share its story with your children and with anyone standing by your side. Let them know this tree is called Kanchanar, and its lineage has graced this earth for countless millennia, eventually finding its place in the sacred texts of Ayurveda.
On those days when you navigate the chaotic concrete jungle of urban life and find yourself beneath the comforting shade of this tree, envision the joy that fills your heart when you can identify it. It's akin to unexpectedly encountering an acquaintance in a foreign land and recognizing them by their first name. Let this knowledge fill you with hope, for nature is here to nurture, protect, and heal you from your afflictions and ailments.
And just wait until you witness the tree in full bloom. It resembles a breathtaking sky adorned with countless stars. Its blossoms range from exquisite shades of purple to magnificent golden hues. In Hyderabad, I've always come across the pink-purple variety, but I eagerly look forward to The barkWithholdsthe day when I'll behold the yellow one.
According to Ayurvedic Acharyas, both subspecies have a similar impact on our bodies, bestowing their beneficial effects upon us.
The flower buds are edible. In some parts of India the Buds are pickled.
They grow as big trees. Their leaves have a distinct obcordate shape. Once you see it, you will remember. It's easy to spot in the masses of green foliage, even if you are an absolute novice to the world of plants.
Its blossoms can be Purplish pink, or Yellow.
The Purplish-pink variety is called Kovidara, in Sanskrit, while the yellow one is Kanchanar (Kanchan- gold). They share their virtues.
Binomial nomenclature: Bauhinia variegata (yellow flowers) and Bauhinia purpura (purple-pink flowers).
Reference: Bhavaprakash Nighantu.
Bark is useful in
Withholds secretions: Grahi
Cooling: Sheeta virya
Inflammations of the glands in the neck region.
Astringent in taste and action
Flowers are useful in
Rakta-pitta: Bleeding disorders
Pradara: abnormal bleeding per vaginum
Withholds secretions and bleeding: Sangrahi
Popular formulation: Kanchanar Guggul. Effective against inflammations of the thyroid gland.
Home remedies with Kanchanar:
Kanchanar Flower Tea: Steep a couple of fresh/dried flowers in hot water. Benefits: It is a mild laxative and cooling for the system. It also helps relieve cough.
Kanchanar Bark Tea: Harvest a little bark of this tree. Powder / crush it and boil it in water. 1 spoon full in 2 cups of water, reduce to half. This can be used to cleanse wounds. When consumed internally with Dry ginger powder it helps detoxify and cleanse the lymph nodes (Ref: Bhavaprakash), of the upper body, especially near the neck.
Caution: The bark of Kanchanar is a detoxifying herb. Excess use can cause emesis.
Ashmantaka: (Bauhinia acuminata)
Ashmantaka is one more kind of subspecies. The leaves of Ashmantaka resemble Kanchanar. but the bottom part is more pointy (acuminata) instead of being rounded (obovate) like Kanchanar's. This variety is sacred and revered. More popular for its spiritual virtues than medicinal.
Ashmantaka is perhaps the most famous in Maharashtra. It is called Apta, in Marathi. The flowers are white. The leaves of this plant are often distributed on Dassera, as gold.