Home Remedies and health benefits of Abutilon indicum
Lalithamba from India, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Abutilon indicum is a herbaceous plant which has been traditionally known for its medicinal uses. The leaves are toothed and it bears solitary yellow flowers which bloom in the evening. The seeds are dark brown or black. The whole plant including the root, bark, flowers and seeds are used as natural cure for various symptoms. Abutilon indicum is used for treating digestive problems like IBS. It also has tremendous health benefits for women's health and is used as a uterine tonic.
Botanical name - Abutilon indicum
Common Name - Indian Mallow
Sanskrit - Atibala, Kantika
Tamil - Thuthi
Hindi - Kanghi
5 Major Health Benefits of Abutilon indicum
Abutilon indicum has been used extensively as a home remedy in traditional Chinese and Indian form of medicine. In folk medicine, the plant is reportedly used for treating fever, cough, lung disease and urinary diseases. They are also used to treat deafness, ringing in the ears, mumps and pulmonary tuberculosis. In Ayurveda, the whole herb is used to treat Hemorrhoids, Diabetes and Menorrhoea.
The leaves are used as a demulcent, aphrodisiac, laxative, sedative and diuretic. The leaf extracts also shows hypoglycemic activity in rats. The bark is astringent and diuretic. The seeds are considered to be a laxative, expectorant and demulcent. The whole plant is uprooted dried and made into a powder to be used as a laxative and tonic. It is also anti-inflammatory and anthelmintic. The roots are diuretic and is prescribed in fever and urethrities. It is also used in the cure of leprosy.
In Ayurveda, it is said to improve immunity and strength. The roots of the herb are used to extract an oil which is used in ayurvedic medicine to treat various ailments. The oil is also used to treat swollen and painful joints. The extract of the plant is also used to relieve thirst and inflammation of the bladder. The flowers are used to increase semen in men, and the flower paste is used to treat boils and ulcers.
Research has shown that the medicinal properties of Abutilon indicum include anti-inflammatory, lipid lowering, analgesic, antioxidant and antibacterial. It is also antidiabetic, hepatoprotective, antimycotic, anti-diarrhoeal and anti-convulsant. More on the health benefits of Abutilon indicum
1. Abutilon indicum for Piles
Atibala seed paste might have health benefits for piles because of its laxative property. It helps to loosen the stools and promotes bowel movement. This helps in the easy excretion of stools thus helping to cure piles.
Abutilon indicum for Asthma
Clinical studies done on Indian asthmatic patients has proved the effectiveness of the herb in decreasing the severity of asthmatic symptoms and improving various lung functions. In the study on the efficacy of Abutilon indicum in the treatment of bronchial asthma, 30 patients in the age group 15-80 years with mild to moderate asthma were given a powder of the aerial parts of the plant. After four weeks of treatment, there was a significant improvement in various parameters of pulmonary functions in asthmatic subjects. Significant improvement was also observed in clinical symptoms and severity of asthmatic attacks. Researchers believe that the anti-inflammatory activity and mast cell stabilizing activity in A. indicum may be the mechanism responsible for anti-asthmatic activity.
Abutilon indicum for Diabetes
Another study in Thailand on rodents, found that "aqueous extract from the A indicum plant has antidiabetic properties, which inhibited glucose absorption and stimulated insulin secretion. Phytochemical screening also revealed that the extract contained alkaloids, flavonoids, tannins, glycosides, and saponins that could account for the health benefits of the plant extract."
Abutilon indicum for Arthritis
Abutilon indicum is anti-inflammatory as well as an analgesic, according to both in-vitro as well as in-vivo studies. In a in-vitro study on the anti-arthritic activity of A. indicum, various anti-arthritic pharmacological models were studied, where the herbal extract showed dose dependent activity which was found to be better than that of acetyl salicylic acid, which we know is responsible for the anti-inflammatory action of aspirin. Abutilon indicum helps to manage the symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis, by working on the central nervous system and by reducing inflammation in the joints
Abutilon indicum for Cough
Atibala has expectorant properties and hence may be good for cough. It helps to secrete the sputum from the respiratory airways, thus clearing congestion and making it easy to breathe.
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Natural Home Remedies with Abutilon indicum
Abutilon indicum has many health benefits ranging from elimanation of thread worms to colds and fevers. Abutilon indicum benefits also include treating piles and the symptoms of tuberculosis. It is a sweet and cooling herb.
- Its antibacterial properties help to treat all kinds of wounds. Grind the leaves of the herb with a little turmeric and apply on wounds to treat inflammation, pain and infections.
- The seeds are used to help alleviate the symptoms of diarrhoea and to rid the body of thread worms. Seeds are crushed and then simmered in water to make a tea. It also cures irritants that can cause diarrhoea.
- It has also been used traditionally as a home remedy to treat colds and fever. The part of the plant that is above the ground are simmered to produce an infusion. This is said to relieve the symptoms of colds and fevers when consumed several times each day.
- The whole plant can be boiled down into a decoction to relieve the symptoms of lung ailments, tuberculosis and bronchitis.
- The roots and bark of the plant are diuretic and help in the discharge of urine. It is therefore used in urinary tract infections.
- The juice of the leaves helps to relieve toothache. An infusion made out of the twigs of the plant are used as a mouthwash for tooth pain.
- Another home remedy for toothache and tender gums is as follows: Make a decoction by boiling the leaves in water with a little alum. Gargle with this decoction.
- Its health benefits include its being used as a drug to stimulate intestinal secretions.
- The seeds are a laxative and very effective home remedy for curing piles. Warm a few leaves on a pan along with castor oil and use this as a compress to treat piles. It eases the inflammation. A decoction of the leaves also helps in curing constipation and thus piles. To make a decoction, take 4-5 leaves of the herb Abutilon indicum and boil it in a cup of water till it reduces to half a cup. The leaves can also be cooked and eaten as a remedy for bleeding piles.
- A decoction made from the leaves is useful to cure gout, tuberculosis, ulcers, and bleeding disorders.
- A. indicum also gives relief from the symptoms of pain and swelling in the joints in osteoarthritis. This herb is very useful to manage the pain. Half a tsp of the powder made from the aerial parts of the plant, mixed with honey can be consumed twice a day to get relief from pain.
Abutilon indicum Side Effects:
Diabetic patients should monitor their blood sugar levels closely when taking this herb as it is anti-diabetic.
Heart patients should consult their doctor before having this herb.
Pregnant women should check with their doctor before consuming this herb.
The Ayur Times says, that "Abutilon Indicum is LIKELY SAFE in natural crude form of the plant parts. The dosage should not exceed from 12 grams per day.......you should not use extracts of Indian mallow."