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Dhataki – Woodfordia fruticosa Uses, Dose, Side Effects – Ayurveda

Dhataki is the backbone herb of almost all Asava and Arishta preparations. (Alcoholic liquid Ayurvedic medicines). It is used as ingredient in many products for its medicinal values. At the same time, it is also used as a fermenting agent in Asava and Arishta (such as Dashamoolarishta).

Botanical name: Woodfordia fruiticosa Kurz / Woodfordia floribunda.
Family: Lytheraceae
Hindi name: Dhaaya / Dhaay ke Phool
English name: Fire Flame Bush
Telugu Name: Are Puvvu, Sireenji,
Tamil Name: Dhatari Jargi
Gujarati Name: Dhaavadi
Bengali Name: Dhai
Marathi Name: Dhalas
Punjabi name: Dhavi
Farsi name: Dhaava

Sanskrit Synonyms:
Dhatupushpi – Having blood coloured (red) flowers
Vahnijwala – Flowers are red in colour, resembling flame
Tamrapushpi – has coppery red flowers
Madakara – Causes initiation of fermentation
Madyavasini – used in alcoholic preparations.
Dadimipatra – Leaves resemble pomegranate leaves.
Subhiksha, Kunjara, Ratispruha.

Classical categorization:
Charaka Samhita:

Pureesha Sangrahaneeya: Group of herbs used in increasing the bulk of faeces.
Mutra Virajaneeya: Group of herbs that are used to restore normal urine colour:
Sandhaneeya: Group of herbs that are used in wound healing and fracture healing

Sushruta and Vagbhata: Priyangvadi and Ambashtadi group of herbs.

Dhataki Distribution: It is a bushy shrub found throughout India upto 2000 meters height from sea leve.

Woodfordia fruiticosa medicinal uses:
Rasa (Taste): Kashaya (Astringent)
Guna (qualities): Laghu (light to digest), Rooksha (dry)
Veerya (potency): Sheeta (cold)
Vipaka (taste conversion after digestion): Katu (pungent)
Effect on Tridosha: It balances Kapha and Pitta.
Prabhava (special effect): Madakari causes Mada – delirium.

धातकी कटुका शीता मदकृत् तुवरा लघु: ।
तृष्णातीसार पित्तास्र विषक्रिमिविसर्पजित् ॥
- भाव प्रकाश
Madakrut – in higher doses, it causes delirium.
It is useful in
Trushna – Excessive thirst (due to its coolant property)
Atisara – diarrhoea, dysentery (due to its astringent properties)
Pittasra – useful in bleeding disorders such as menorrhagia, nasal bleeding, bleeding per rectum etc. (due to its astringent properties)
Visha – toxic conditions
Krimi – worm infestation, infection
Visarpa – Herpes, spreading skin disease

Part used: Flower
Research: Phytochemical study with chromatography

Side effects: As stated previously, its over dosage may cause delirium.
Ayurvedic medicines:
It is used in most of Asava and Arista preparations like –
Mustharishtam – used in digestive disorders.
Sarivadyasava – used in gout, skin diseases etc.

It is also used as ingredients in other Ayurvedic medicines such as Chandanadi Thailam, Kutajashtaka Kashayam etc.

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Dr JV Hebbar is an Ayurveda Doctor, Assistant Professor, From Mangalore, India. Click here to consult Dr Hebbar
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