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Karanja

Karanja
Karanja is a medicinal herb mainly used for skin disorders. All parts of Karanja tree (roots, flowers, leaves, bark) are used for medicinal purposes.
Karanja is widely used in managing constipation as it helps to improve gut motility and has a laxative property. It might also be used for piles due to its astringent and anti-inflammatory properties.
According to Ayurveda, Karanja oil is mainly applied on the skin to manage boils and eczema as well as heal wounds due to its Ropan (healing) and antimicrobial property. The paste of its leaves can also be applied on cuts and wounds to help promote healing. Karanja oil is also useful in arthritis due to its anti-inflammatory activity. Regularly bathing with Karanja leaf infusion helps to manage pain and inflammation.
Karanja stem has been used for cleaning teeth and strengthen gums since ancient times[1][2].

What are the synonyms of Karanja?

Pongamia pinnata, Indian beech, Pongam oil tree, Karanj, Honge, Karajata, Pungai, Kanuga, Karach, Naktamala, Magul karanda, Sukh Chain, Ghrtakarauja, Karanjaka, Naktahva, Dahara, Natakaranja, Korach, Hulagilu, Naktamala, Kantaki, Kanaji[2].

What is the source of Karanja?

Plant Based

Benefits of Karanja

1. Indigestion
Karanja 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). Karanja helps to improve Agni (digestive fire) due to its Ushna (hot) potency and digests food easily.
Tips:
a. Take 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of Karanja Churna (powder).
b. Take it with water after meals twice a day to manage indigestion.

2. Loss of Appetite
Karanja helps to improve appetite when it is made a part of the daily diet. In Ayurveda, loss of appetite is due to Agnimandya (weak digestion). It is caused by an aggravation of Vata, Pitta, and Kapha doshas leading to incomplete digestion of food. This causes insufficient secretion of gastric juice in the stomach resulting in loss of appetite. Karanja stimulates digestion and improves appetite due to its Deepan (appetizer) property.
Tips:
a. Take 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of Karanja Churna.
b. Take it with water after meals twice a day to improve appetite.

3. Osteoarthritis
According to Ayurveda, osteoarthritis occurs due to an aggravation of Vata dosha and is known as Sandhivata. It causes pain, swelling and difficulty in moving. Karanja has Vata balancing property and gives relief from the symptoms of osteoarthritis like pain and swelling in the joints.
Tips:
a. Take 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of Karanja Churna.
b. Take it with water after meals twice a day to get relief from the symptoms of osteoarthritis.

4. Cough and Cold
Karanja is iseful to manage cough and cold especially whopping cough. This is due to its Kapha balancing property. Karanja powder helps to melt thick mucus due to its Ushna (hot) potency. It also helps to expel out from the lungs thus giving relief from cough.
Tips:
a. Take 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of Karanja Churna.
b. Mix it with honey and have it after meals twice a day.

Precautions when using Karanja

Advice from Experts
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Use Karanja oil in small quantity if you have acidity and other gastric problems since it is hot in potency.
Breastfeeding
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Consult your doctor before taking Karanja during breastfeeding.
Pregnancy
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Consult your doctor before taking Karanja during pregnancy.

Recommended Dosage of Karanja

  • Karanja Churna - ¼-½ teaspoon twice a day.
  • Karanja Capsule - 1-2 capsules twice a day.

How to use Karanja

1. Karanja Churna
a. Take ¼ - ½ teaspoon of Karanja churna.
b. Mix it with honey or take with water after taking meals twice a day.

2. Karanja Capsule
a. Take 1-2 Karanja capsule.
b. Swallow it with water after meals twice a day.

Benefits of Karanja

1. Skin disorders
Karanja oil is widely used in skin disorders like boils, abscess, and eczema. This is due to its Ropan (healing) and antiseptic properties.
Tips:
a. Take 3-5 drops of Karanja oil and mix it with coconut oil as per your requirement.
b. Apply on the affected area 1-2 times a day.
c. Repeat till you do not get relief from the symptoms of skin disorders.

2. Piles Mass
Karanja or its oil helps to control swelling and inflammation of pile mass when applied externally. This is because of its Ropan (healing) property.
Tips:
a. Take 3-5 drops of Karanja oil and mix it with coconut oil as per your requirement.
b. Apply on the pile mass once or twice a day after clearing the bowel.
c. Repeat till you do not get relief from swelling and pain in case of piles.

3. Arthritis
Karanja oil helps to reduce pain and improve healing on rheumatic arthritis and psoriatic arthritis when applied externally due to itsRopan ( healing ) and Ushna (hot)potency.

4. Joint Pain
Karanja oil helps to reduce bone and joint pain when 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. Applying Karanja helps to reduce joint pain due to its Vata balancing property.
Tips:
a. Take 3-5 drops of Karanja oil and mix with Sesame oil.
b. Massage on the affected area.
c. Repeat to get complete relief from joint pain.

5. Ulcer
Juice of Karanja roots helps in quick healing of sinus ulcer due to its Ropan (healing) property.
Tips:
a. Take 3-5 drops of Karanja oil and mix with coconut oil.
b. Massage on the affected area.
c. Repeat for quick healing of ulcer.

6. Wound healing
Karanja or its oil helps in quick healing of wound, decreases swelling and brings back the normal texture of the skin. It also works on skin problems like cuts due to its Ropan (healing) property.
Tips:
a. Take 3-5 drops of Karanja oil and mix it with coconut oil.
b. Massage on the affected area.
c. Repeat for quick healing of wounds.

Precautions when using Karanja

Allergy
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
1. Use Karanja root juice or leaves paste with rose water due to its Ushna (hot) potency.
2. Use Karanja oil with coconut oil if your skin is hypersensitive.
3. Avoid the application of Karanja oil on the face.
Pregnancy
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Consult your doctor before using Karanja oil externally during pregnancy.

Recommended Dosage of Karanja

  • Karanja Oil - 2-5 drops or as per your requirement.
  • Karanja Powder - ½-1 teaspoon or as per your requirement.

How to use Karanja

1. Karanja Oil
a. Take 3-5 drops of Karanja oil and mix with coconut oil.
b. Apply on the affected area 1-2 times a day to get rid of boils, eczema and other skin infections.

2. Karanja Powder
a. Take ½-1 teaspoon of Karanja powder.
b. Add honey to it and apply on the affected area.
c. Wait for 10-15 minutes.
d. Wash thoroughly with tap water.
e. Use this remedy once a day to control fungal infections.

3. A poultice of paste Karanja leaves
a. Make a poultice (substances that is wrapped in a piece of cloth, heated and placed on the skin) of paste Karanja leaves.
b. Apply on the affected area 1-2 times a day.
c. Repeat to get relief from pain and swelling.

Frequently asked questions

Q. What are the forms of Karanja available in the market?

scientific
Modern Science View
Karanja is available in the market in various forms such as:
1. Oil
2. Powder (Churna)
3. Kwath
4. Capsules
Average Price of Karanja oil is about Rs 100 per litre.

Q. What is the shelf life of Karanja Oil?

scientific
Modern Science View
The shelf life of Karanja oil is 2 years.

Q. What are the benefits of Karanja for leprosy treatment?

scientific
Modern Science View
Karanja seeds have been traditionally used internally for leprosy. Karanja oil contains certain constituent (Karanjin) which possess antileprotic activity. Karanja oil also helps in quick healing of leprotic wounds when applied topically[11][13].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Leprosy generally occurs due to an imbalance of any of the three doshas which leads to pain, dryness or itching. Karanja oil helps in the management of this condition due to its Vata and Kapha balancing and Ropan (healing) properties. It helps to heal these conditions thus providing relief in leprosy.
Tip
a. Take 3-5 drops of Karanja oil.
b. Mix with coconut oil or other carrier oil.
c. Apply it on the affected area once a day to manage the symptoms of leprosy.

Q. Can Karanja cause constipation?

ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
No, in fact Karanja helps to relieve constipation due to its laxative nature. Karanja also improves digestion due to its Deepan (appetizer) and Pachan (digestive) properties.

Q. Can Karanja help to cure arthritis?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Karanja may be useful in managing the symptoms of arthritis. Certain compounds present in Karanja have anti-inflammatory property. They inhibit the production of chemicals that cause inflammation. Also, Karanja leaves contain certain compounds that have pain-reducing property. Bathing with a hot infusion of Karanja leaves may reduce arthritis pain[4].

Q. Does Karanja help to cure fever and cough?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Karanja may be useful in managing fever. Karanja has antipyretic (reduces fever) and anti-inflammatory properties. Due to this, it reduces as well as prevents fever. Moreover, it also reduces inflammation and pain associated with fever[5].

Q. Does Karanja help in curing piles?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Karanja may be useful in managing piles. It has digestive, laxative and anti-inflammatory properties. Certain compounds present in Karanja aid the bowel movement and help in easy excretion of stool[4].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Yes, Karanja helps to manage piles when it is taken orally. This is because Karanja has Rechana (laxative) property which helps to improve bowel moment and correct constipation. This helps reduce the risk of piles.

Q. Does Karanja help to cure gastric ulcers?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Karanja may be useful in reducing the risk of ulcers. It reduces the production of acid and other factors that contribute to ulcer-formation. Additionally, it increases the production of mucosal cells as well as the secretion of mucin that protects the lining of the stomach[2][6].

Q. Does Karanja helps to cure constipation?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Karanja might help manage constipation. Karanja contains certain compounds that enhance gut motility[3].

Q. Can Karanja be used to stop vomiting?

scientific
Modern Science View
Not enough scientific evidence is available to support the role of Karanja to stop vomiting[10].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Vomiting is a condition which occurs due to the formation of Ama (toxin remains in the body due to incomplete digestion), which leads to its backflow. This happens due to weak or poor digestion. Karanja might help manage this condition due to its Deepan (appetizer) and Pachan (digestion) properties. It helps to digest Ama and further improves digestion.
Tip
a. Take ¼-½ teaspoon of Karanja powder.
b. Mix with 1 cup lukewarm water.
c. Have it once or twice a day after taking light food.

Q. Can Karanja be used for urinary diseases?

scientific
Modern Science View
Although enough scientific data is not available to support the use of Karanja for urinary disease, traditionally the fruits of Karanja were used to manage urinary and vaginal discharges. Karanja oil was also used internally to manage various urinary disorders[11].

Q. Can Karanja cause rashes in the skin when applied externally?

ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Karanja can cause rashes due to its Ushna (hot) nature. So, Karanja should be used with rose water or coconut oil.

Q. Does applying Karanja paste cures cuts and bruises?

scientific
Modern Science View
Karanja has analgesic and anti-inflammatory activities due to which it can be used to manage the pain in case of cuts and bruises. It reduces the production of inflammation-causing chemicals thereby reducing inflammation and pain. Moreover, due to the antimicrobial activity of Karanja, the wound healing process is accelerated by reducing the risk of infection at the site[7].

Q. What are the benefits of Karanja oil?

scientific
Modern Science View
Karanja oil contains many medicinal properties and is used in various skin diseases like itches, eczema, abscess etc. It controls bleeding when applied to a wound and prevents dandruff. It is also used as an antiseptic, insect repellent and can be applied to pets to get rid of ticks and mites[8][9].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Karanja oil is helpful in skin problems like itching, pain or bleeding in case of eczema or abscess due to its Ropana (healing) property. It helps in quick healing of wounds and provides relief from pain.

Tip
Take 3-5 drops of Karanja oil.
Mix with coconut oil or other carrier oil.
Apply it on the affected area once a day for quick healing of wounds.

Q. How can Karanja oil be used for hair?

scientific
Modern Science View
Karanja oil is used for healthy hair growth and scalp related problems. Mixing Karanja oil in an equal quantity of Neem oil helps control dandruff. Washing the head with a few drops of Karanja oil mixed in shampoo helps to get rid of head lice in children. It is also used as an ingredient in hair oil for baldness[9-11].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Karanja oil is beneficial in case of hair fall, itching or dandruff which generally occurs due to an imbalanced Vata. Applying Karanja oil helps to reduce excessive dryness on the scalp which further helps to prevent dandruff and promote hair growth.
Tip
a. Take 3-5 drops of Karanja oil.
b. Mix with coconut oil or other carrier oil.
c. Apply it on the affected area once a day and thrice a week to control dandruff.

Q. Can Karanja be used in dental diseases?

scientific
Modern Science View
Although enough scientific data is not available to support the use of Karanja in dental diseases, however in ancient times, the stem of Karanja was used as a toothbrush to get relief from toothache[14].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
The mouth acts as the seat of Kapha dosha and an imbalance in Kapha dosha might lead to several dental problems like toothache. Another reason behind toothache might be an imbalance in Vata dosha. Using Karanja might help manage this condition due to its Vata- Kapha balancing property.
Tip
a. Use Karanja stem as toothbrush to prevent dental problems.

Q. Can Karanja oil be used for psoriasis?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Karanja oil can be used for psoriasis as it contains active constituents (flavonoids) which has antipsoriatic activity. Karanja oil mixed with 10% Neem oil is very effective against psoriasis and eczema[9][12].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Psoriasis is another skin problem which occurs due to an imbalance of any of the three doshas which results in scaling, itching and sometimes bleeding. Karanja helps to manage this condition due to its Vata - Kapha balancing and Ropana (healing) properties, which helps to heal skin properly and reduces the symptoms of psoriasis.
Tip
a. Take 3-5 drops of Karanja oil.
b. Mix with coconut oil or other carrier oil.
c. Apply it on the affected area once a day to manage the symptoms of psoriasis.

References

  1. Chopade VV, Tankar AN , Pande VV,et al.Pongamia pinnata: Phytochemical constituents, traditional uses and pharmacological properties: A review.International Journal of Green Pharmacy.2008;2(2):72-75.
  2. Yadav RD, Jain SK, Prajapati A.Pongamia pinnata: An overview.Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research.2011;3(3):494-500.
  3. Singh KD, Chetia D.Phytochemical screening and gut motility activity of Pongamia pinnata bark in experimental animal models.International Journal of Pharma and Bio Sciences.2013;4(1):63-69.
  4. Bansod MG, Kagathara VG, Somkuwar AD.Evaluation of analgesics and anti-inflammatory activity of a poly-herbal formulation.Int J PharmTech Res.2010;2(2).1520-1527.
  5. Pillai N, Vijayamma N.Some pharmacological actions of Pongamia pinnata linn (Karanja).Anc Sci Life.1988;8(2):133-137.
  6. Prabha T, Dorababu M, Goel S, Agarwal PK, Singh A, Joshi VK, et al.Effect of methanolic extract of Pongamia pinnata Linn seed on gastro-duodenal ulceration and mucosal offensive and defensive factors in rats.Indian J Exp Biol.2008;41(4):304-310.
  7. Badole SL, Zanwar AA, Ghule AE, Ghosh P, Bodhankar SL.Analgesic and anti-inflammatory activity of alcoholic extract of stem bark of Pongamia pinnata (L.) Pierre.Biomed Aging Pathol.2012;2(1):19-23.
  8. Rajput SH, Dhangarmali VD, Bhavsar D, et al.Use of Karanj oil (Pongamia glabra) in topical formulation.Research Journal of Pharmaceutical, Biological and Chemical Sciences.2014; 5(3):546-551.External Link
  9. Trew S, Gould ZB.The Complete Idiot's Guide to Making Natural Soaps: Live Greener—and Cleaner—with Your Own Handcrafted Soaps.Penguin.2010.External Link
  10. Watson RR, Zibadi S.Dietary Factors and Plant Extracts in Dermatology.Springer Science & Business Media.2012.External Link
  11. Khare CP.Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeial Plant Drugs: Expanded Therapeutics.CRC Press.2015.External Link
  12. Divakara P, Nagaraju B, Buden RP, et al.Antipsoriatic activity of ayurvedic ointment containing aqueous extract of the bark of Pongamia Pinnata using the rat ultraviolet ray photodermatitis model.Advancement in Medicinal Plant Research.2013;1(1):8-16. External Link
  13. Ravikanth K, Thakur M, Singh B, et al.TLC based method for standardization of Pongamia pinnata (Karanj) Using karanjin as a marker.Chromatographia.2009;69 (5/6):597-599.External Link
  14. Martinez JL, Munoz-Acevedo A, Rai M.Ethnobotany: Local Knowledge and Traditions.CRC Press.2019.External Link
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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