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Kantakari

Kantakari
Kantakari is also known as “Indian nightshade or “Yellow-berried nightshade”. It is an important medicinal herb and is also a member of Dashmul (ten roots) of the Ayurveda. The herb is pungent and bitter in taste.
Kantakari is beneficial for the management of respiratory problems like cough and asthma due to its expectorant property. It helps to release mucus from the respiratory passages and prevent asthmatic attacks.
According to Ayurveda, taking Kantakari powder along with water or honey aids in digestion by improving the Agni (digestive fire) due to its Deepan (appetizer) and Pachan (digestive) properties.
Applying a paste of Kantakari powder with water on joints helps to reduce joint pain due to its vata balancing property. Massaging your scalp with Kantakari juice mixed with equal quantity of water might prevent hair fall and promote hair growth[2].

What are the synonyms of Kantakari?

Solanum xanthocarpum, Vyaghri, Nidigdhika, Ksudra, Kantakarika, Dhavani, Nidigdha, Katvaedana, Kantakar, Febrifuge plant, Bharingani, Katai, Katali, Ringani, Bhatakataiya, Chhotikateri, Nelagulla, Kiragulla, Kantakari chunda, Bhauringani, Kataringani, Bhejibaugana, Ankarati, Chakada Bhoji, Kandiari, Kandangatri, Kandankatri, Kandanghathiri, Nelamulaka, Pinnamulaka, Mulaka, Chinnamulaka, Vakudu[1].

What is the source of Kantakari?

Plant Based

Benefits of Kantakari

1. Cough and Cold
Cough is commonly known as Kapha disorder and is generally caused by the accumulation of mucus in the respiratory tract. Kantakari acts by balancing Kapha in the body and helps to expel out mucus accumulated in the lungs.
Tips:
a. Take ¼-½ teaspoon of Kantakari powder.
b. Mix with water or honey.
c. Swallow it once or twice a day after taking light food.
d. Continue this till you do not get relief from the symptoms of cough and cold.

2. Asthma
Kantakari helps to control the symptoms of asthma and gives relief in case of breathlessness. According to Ayurveda, the main doshas involved in asthma are Vata and Kapha. The vitiated ‘Vata’ combines with deranged ‘Kapha dosha’ in the lungs causing obstruction in the respiratory passage. This results in difficulty in breathing. This condition is known as Swas Roga (asthma). Kantakari helps in balancing Vata and Kapha and removes excess mucus from the lungs. This gives relief from the symptoms of asthma.
Tips:
a. Take ¼ - ½ teaspoon of Kantakari powder.
b. Mix with water or honey.
c. Swallow it once or twice a day after taking light food to control the symptoms of asthma.

3. Indigestion
Kantakari helps to manage indigestion. According to Ayurveda, indigestion means the state of an incomplete process of digestion. The main reason for indigestion is aggravated Kapha that causes Agnimandya (weak digestive fire). Taking Kantakari powder helps to improve Agni (digestive fire) and digests the food easily. This is due to its Deepan (appetizer) and Pachan (digestive) properties respectively.
Tips:
a. Take ¼ - ½ teaspoon of Kantakari powder.
b. Mix with water or honey.
c. Swallow it once or twice a day after taking light food to manage digestive problems.

Precautions when using Kantakari

Breastfeeding
scientific
Modern Science View
Since enough scientific evidence is not available, it is advisable to avoid or consult your doctor before taking Kantakari during breastfeeding.
Patients with diabetes
scientific
Modern Science View
Since enough scientific evidence is not available, it is advisable to avoid or consult your doctor before taking Kantakari in case of diabetic patients.
Patients with heart disease
scientific
Modern Science View
Since enough scientific evidence is not available, it is advisable to avoid or consult your doctor before taking Kantakari in case of patients with heart diseases.
Pregnancy
scientific
Modern Science View
Since enough scientific evidence is not available, it is advisable to avoid or consult your doctor before taking Kantakari during pregnancy.

Recommended Dosage of Kantakari

  • Kantakari Powder - ¼-½ teaspoon once or twice a day.
  • Kantakari Juice - 4-5 teaspoons once or twice a day.
  • Kantakari Tablet - 1-2 tablet once or twice a day.

How to use Kantakari

1. Kantakari Powder
a. Take ¼ - ½ teaspoon of Kantakari powder.
b. Mix with water or honey.
c. Swallow it once or twice a day after taking light food.

2. Kantakari Tablets
a. Take 1-2 tablets of Kantakari.
b. Swallow it with lukewarm water once or twice a day after taking light food.

3. Kantakari Juice
a. Take 4-5 teaspoons of Kantakari juice.
b. Add honey or water to it and drink once or twice a day before taking food.

Benefits of Kantakari

1. Osteoarthritis
Kantakari helps to reduce bone and joint pain when applied to the affected area. According to Ayurveda, the bones and joints are considered as the site of Vata in the body. Pain in the joints is mainly due to Vata imbalance. Applying a paste of Kantakari powder helps to reduce joint pain by balancing Vata. This is due to its Ushna (hot) potency.
Tips:
a. Take ½ -1 teaspoon of Kantakari powder.
b. Make a paste with water.
c. Apply evenly on the affected area.
d. Leave it for 1-2 hours and wash with plain water.
e. Repeat until you get relief from joint pain.

2. Hair loss
Kantakari helps control hair fall and promote hair growth when its juice is applied to the scalp. This is because hair fall is mainly due to an aggravated Vata dosha in the body. This creates dryness of the scalp. Kantakari juice acts on hair fall by balancing Vata dosha and removing excessive dryness. Together, this helps control hair loss.
Tips:
a. Take 4-6 teaspoons of Kantakari juice or as per your requirement.
b. Mix with an equal amount of water.
c. Apply evenly on the hair and scalp.
d. Let it sit for 2-3 hours.
e. Wash with shampoo and rinse well.
f. Use this remedy 1-2 times a week to control hair fall.

Recommended Dosage of Kantakari

  • Kantakari Juice - 4-6 teaspoons or as per your requirement.
  • Kantakari Powder - ½ -1 teaspoon or as per your requirement.

How to use Kantakari

1. Kantakari Juice
a. Take 4-6 teaspoons of Kantakari juice or as per your requirement.
b. Mix it with an equal amount of water.
c. Apply evenly to the hair and scalp.
d. Let it sit for 2-3 hours.
e. Wash with shampoo and rinse well.
f. Use this remedy 1-2 times a week to control hair fall.

2. Kantakari Powder
a. Take ½ -1 teaspoon of Kantakari powder.
b. Make a paste with water.
c. Apply evenly on the affected area.
d. Leave it for 1-2 hours and wash with water.
e. Repeat this to get relief from joint pain.

Frequently asked questions

Q. Can I take Kantakari on an empty stomach?

scientific
Modern Science View
It is advisable not to take Kantakari on an empty stomach. It is better to take after meals as it aids in better absorption of the herb.

Q. How to store Kantakari?

scientific
Modern Science View
Kantakari should be stored in a tightly packed container in a cool and dry place.

Q. Can Kantakari be used in case of liver injury?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Kantakari is found to be beneficial for liver injury due to its liver-protecting activity. The antioxidants present in the Kantakari fight against certain chemicals (free radicals) and help prevent liver cell damage[9].

Q. Does Kantakari help in the management of cough in children?

scientific
Modern Science View
Although enough scientific evidence is not available, Kantakari powder might help in the management of cough in children. It acts as an expectorant that helps expel mucus from the air passages and give relief from cough[4].

Q. How does Kantakari help in Asthma?

scientific
Modern Science View
Kantakari is good for asthma due to its cough-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties. It decreases inflammation and the production of mucus in the air passages which is considered to be useful in asthma. Kantakari also has anti-allergic properties due to which it inhibits allergic asthmatic reactions[4][7].

Q. Can Kantakari be used in case of high blood sugar levels?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Kantakari is found to be useful in lowering blood sugar levels due to its blood glucose-lowering properties. Although enough scientific evidence is not available, it might also increase the secretion of insulin from the pancreas[3].

Q. Is Kantakari useful for relieving discomfort during urination?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Kantakari is useful in relieving discomfort during urination due to its diuretic property. Taking Kantakari juice extract with honey might help in managing pain during urination[4].

Q. Is Kantakari helps in indigestion?

scientific
Modern Science View
Kantakari helps manage indigestion due to its anthelmintic and antimicrobial properties. It prevents the growth of bacteria in the large intestine and provides relief from indigestion[8].

Q. Is Kantakari useful in relieving pains?

ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Yes, Kantakari is useful to reduce pain in arthritis when it is taken orally or applied to the affected area. According to Ayurveda, the bones and joints are considered a site of Vata in the body. Pain in the joints is mainly due to Vata imbalance. Kantakari gives relief from pain due to its Vata balancing property.

Q. Can Kantakari be used in toothache?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Kantakari can relieve toothache due to its an anti-inflammatory property. It helps in reducing redness and inflammation in gums and provides relief to the patient[5].

Q. Does Kantakari helps reduce a fever?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Kantakari might manage fever due to its antipyretic activity. It helps to bring down the body temperature. It also contains certain constituents which has antioxidant properties and prevents the body against cell damage caused by free radicals [10][11].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Yes, Kantakari helps to reduce fever. Fever is a condition which occurs due to an imbalance of any of the three doshas, especially Pitta dosha and often leads Mandagni (low digestive fire). Kantakari helps to manage this condition due its Pitta balancing, Jwarhar (anti-fever) and Ushna (hot) properties. It also reduces the symptoms of fever and improves Agni (digestive fire).
Tips:
1. Take ¼ - ½ teaspoon of Kantakari powder.
2. Mix it with water or honey.
3. Swallow it once or twice a day after taking light food.

Q. Does Kantakari provide relief from spasms ?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Kantakari might be used to manage blood pressure. Dry Kantakari fruits contains certain constituents that have blood pressure lowering property. These constituents also show antioxidant property which helps to relax narrowed blood vessels and maintains normal blood flow, thereby managing blood pressure[10][13].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Yes, Kantakari can be used to manage the blood pressure. It is a condition which generally occurs due to an imbalance of any of the three doshas, especially Vata dosha and lead to the formation and accumulation of toxins in the form of Ama (toxin remains in the body due to incomplete digestion) into the blood vessels. This might obstruct the normal blood flow and lead to high blood pressure. Kantakari helps to manage this condition due to its Vata balancing and Mutral (diuretic) properties. It increases urine production and helps to lower blood pressure by removing toxins from the body.

Q. What are the benefits of Kantakari fruit?

scientific
Modern Science View
The Kantakari fruit has various impressive health and medicinal benefits. It is rich in antioxidants which fights against the free radicals and prevents cell damage. The Kantakari fruit is carminative and helps reduce flatulence or bloating. Kantakari fruit juice is used in the management of rheumatism and sore throat. A paste of Kantakari fruit can also be applied on the skin to manage swelling and pimples due to its anti-inflammatory property[12].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Kantakari fruit is beneficial in managing conditions like swelling in throat, prevents worm infections and improves appetite. These conditions generally occur due to an imbalance of any of the three doshas. Kantakari fruit helps to provide relief in all these due to its Tridosha (Vata, Pitta and Kapha) balancing, Ushna (hot) and Mutral (diuretic) properties.
Tips:
1. Take 4-5 teaspoons of Kantakari juice.
2. Add honey or water to it and drink once or twice a day before taking food.

Q. What are the uses of Kantakari powder?

scientific
Modern Science View
Kantakari powder is used in the management of respiratory conditions such as bronchial asthma due to its expectorant property. It helps to loosen the sputum and removes it from the air passages, thereby eases breathing. It also helps in relieving cough by decreasing the allergic reactions[10].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Kantakari powder helps to balance conditions like asthma, indigestion or arthritis. These conditions occur due to an imbalance of any of the three doshas. Kantakari powder helps to manage all these conditions due to its Tridosha (Vata, Pitta and Kapha) balancing and Ushna (hot) properties. This helps to reduce the symptoms, enhance your appetite and provide you with a better relief.
Tips:
1. Take ¼ - ½ teaspoon of Kantakari powder.
2. Mix with water or honey.
3. Swallow it once or twice a day after taking light food.

Q. Is Kantakari beneficial for pimples?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Kantakari fruit might be useful for pimples. The paste of Kantakari fruit applied topically to the affected area might help in reducing pimples due to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory activities[4].

Q. Is Kantakari beneficial for nasal disorders?

scientific
Modern Science View
Although enough scientific evidence is not available, Kantakari powder might be useful in nasal disorders when mixed with oils due to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties[6].

Q. How Kantakari is useful in dental infections?

scientific
Modern Science View
Kantakari is considered to be useful in dental infections due to its anti-inflammatory properties. The dried fruits of Kantakari can be rolled in a piece of paper and then smoked for some time to help reduce inflammation and redness of the gums[6].

Q. Is Kantakari beneficial for hemorrhoids?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, inhaling the fumes of Kantakari is found to be useful in managing hemorrhoids or piles due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Kantakari contains zinc that helps in reducing the inflammation[6].

Q. Does Kantakari help relieve chest congestion?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Kantakari is useful in chest congestion. It widens the respiratory passages and increases the airflow to the lungs. This relieves the congestion in the chest and provides relief from breathlessness[4].

Q. Can you apply Kantakari juice directly on the scalp?

ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
It is always advisable to use Kantakari juice after diluting with water. This is because of its Ushna (hot) nature. Dilution makes the juice easily absorbable and gives better results.

References

  1. The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India.Part 1 Volume 1.
  2. Parmar S, Gangwal A, Sheth N.Solanum xanthocarpum (Yellow Berried Night Shade): A review.Der Pharmacia Lettre, 2010, 2(4): 373-383.
  3. Reddy NM, Reddy R. Solanum xanthocarpum Chemical Constituents and Medicinal Properties: A Review.Scholars Academic Journal of Pharmacy.2014;3(2):146-149.
  4. Roshy JC, Ilanchezhian R, Patgiri BJ.THerapeutic Potentials of Kantakari.Ayurpharm Int J Ayur Alli Sci.2012;1(2): 46-53.
  5. Shah NB.Textbook of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry.Elsevier;2010.
  6. Gunaselvi G,Kulasekaren V, Gopal V. Anthelmintic Activity of the Extracts of Solanum xanthocarpum Schrad and Wendl fruits. International Journal of PharmTech Research.2010;2(3):1772-1774.
  7. Ramgopal KV, Kumar R.CRitical Review of Herbs acting on Pranavaha Srotovikar. INternational Journal of Ayurveda and Pharma Research.2013.1(3):19-26.
  8. S. Gaherwal, G. Shiv and Nageshwar Wast.Anti-Fungal Activity of Solanum xanthocarpum (Kantkari) Leaf Extract.World Journal of Zoology.2014;9(2):111-114.
  9. Gupta RK, Hussain T, Panigrahi G, et al.Hepatoprotective effect of Solanum xanthocarpum fruit extract against CCl4 induced acute liver toxicity in experimental animals.Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine.2011;964-968.
  10. Sampathkumar N. Evaluation of Pharmacological Potential of Fruits of Solanum Xanthocarpum Dr. Natarajan Sampathkumar. International Journal of Pharmaceutical & Biological Archives.2012; 3(6):1467-1471.
  11. More SK, Lande AA, Jagdale PG, et al. Evaluation of anti-inflammatory activity of Solanum xanthocarpum Schrad and Wendl (Kaṇṭakāri) extract in laboratory animals. Anc Sci Life. 2013 Apr;32(4):222-226.
  12. Dalvi Y.V.The Comprehensive Review on Kantakari Plant.Asian J. Res. Pharm. Sci. 2018; 8(3):140-144.
  13. Zhao Y, Wang J, Ballevre O, Luo H, Zhang W. Antihypertensive effects and mechanisms of chlorogenic acids. Hypertens Res. 2012 ;35(4):370-374.
Disclaimer
The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.

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