Kantakari Uses, Benefits

Chachan by Dindayal Ayurved Bhawan

Kantakari is the common name for the plant Solanum virginianum, which belongs to the Solanaceae family. The plant is one of the members of the Dashmula (an Ayurvedic formulation of ten herbs) of Ayurvedic medicine. It grows on sandy soil and is found all over India. This plant is also listed in the Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India (an official publication presented with a list of medicinal drugs and their uses).

Kantakari has a variety of regional names like Katai, Katali, Ringani, Bhatakataiya in Hindi; Febrifuge plant in English; Bhauringani, Kataringani in Marathi; Katvaedana, Kantakar in Assamese; Kantakari in Bengali; Bharingani in Gujrati; Nelagulla, Kiragulla in Kannada; Kath in Kashmiri; Kantakari chunda in Malayalam; Bhejibaugana, Ankarati, Chakada Bhoji in Oriya; Kandiari in Punjabi; Kandangatri, Kandankatri, Kandanghathiri in Tamil; Nelamulaka, Pinnamulaka, Mulaka in Telugu.

Nutritional Value of Kantakari 

Certain nutrients like carbohydrates, fatty acids, and amino acids are all found in this plant. It contains phytochemicals like alkaloids, flavonoids, glycosides, and saponins. It also contains coumarins, beta-sitosterol and solasodine

Properties of Kantakari

This plant may show a variety of helpful properties, including:

  • It may show hepatoprotective (liver protective) potential
  • It may show cardioprotective (heart protective) potential
  • It may show antidiabetic property
  • It may show anti-asthmatic property
  • It may show anti-inflammatory (reduces inflammation) property
  • It may show anti-cancer activity
  • It may show anti-arthritic property
  • It may show diuretic (increases passing of urine) property

Potential Uses of Kantakari

The potential uses of Kantakari against many disease conditions are given below.

Potential Uses of Kantakari for the brain

Alzheimer’s, depression, and anxiety are the most common brain conditions that affect individuals. Kantakari extract, when given to animals, showed anti-anxiety (relaxing), antidepressant (depression relieving) and memory enhancing benefits. These benefits could be due to the presence of certain phytochemicals in Kantakari. These effects of kantakari on the brain have been observed in animal trials. More studies are required to support the use of kantakari on the human brain. Therefore, you need to exercise precaution and avoid using kantakari without a doctor’s consultation.

Potential Uses of Kantakari for asthma

Asthma is an airway inflammatory (swelling) condition. The whole plant of Kantakari may be utilised to manage asthma. Histamine is a chemical present in our body that acts as a mediator for asthma. Kantakari extract could show potent antihistaminic activity and prevent airway contraction caused by histamine during a lab trial. Therefore, Kantakari may be used to manage asthma. However, if you are suffering from asthma, you need to talk to your healthcare provider before using any herbal remedy to manage your symptoms.

Potential Uses of Kantakari for infections and oxidative damage

The whole plant extract of Kantakari demonstrated antibacterial activity in a lab study, implying that it could be used to manage diseases caused by pathogenic bacteria. Furthermore, another study revealed that Kantakari has potent antioxidant activity. Thus, it may be used as a natural antioxidant with efficacy in avoiding and controlling oxidative damage caused by free radicals. However, infections require medical diagnosis and treatment. If you are suffering from any infectious disease, make sure to consult your healthcare provider.

Potential Uses of Kantakari for the liver

Kantakari extract was found to exhibit a liver protective effect in an animal study. In addition, Kantakari extract could help avoid liver toxicity. Therefore, Kantakari may be used for liver ailments and avoid liver damage. However, if you are suffering from any liver problems, make sure to talk to your healthcare provider before using any herbal remedies as they may cause liver damage.

How to Use Kantakari? 

All plant parts have medicinal values and can be used as follows:

  • You can make a paste of Kantakari fruits and apply it to your skin.
  • The fruits can also be used in the form of juices.
  • The leaves can be made into a paste. This paste can be applied to the skin externally.
  • A decoction can be made from the plant.

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