Health Benefits and Uses of Rasna
Rasna, also known as Alpinia galanga, is a perennial herbaceous plant that reaches a maximum height of 3-4m. Branches of this plant are creeping with a bundle of leaves. The dark green leaves of this plant are long and broad at the base and narrow at the tips.
The rhizome of this plant is about 7 cm long and pale yellow or light reddish in color. Flowers of this plant are greenish white and about 3 cm long. The flowering period of the plant is May-June and the fruiting period is August-September. Its fruits are like small cherries and reddish-orange in color.
Medicinal Properties of Rasna
Rasna has Kasa hara (relieves cough), Sopha hara (relieves swelling), Swasa hara (relieves asthma), Deepana(carminative), Pachan (digestive), Jwaraghna (useful in fever), Vishaghna (useful in poisoning) and Shoolahara (relieves pain) properties which are helpful in treating inflammation, asthma, cough, indigestion, joint pain, diabetes, bronchitis, fever and swelling.
Health benefits of Rasna
Relieves joint pain-
According to Ayurveda, Joint pain is mainly caused by an imbalanced Vata. Rasna or its oil helps relieve bone and joint pain. Since Rasna has Vata balancing, analgesic and antipyretic properties, it is helpful in reducing joint pain.
Manages cough and cold-
Rasna is an effective herb for cough and cold due to its Ushna (hot) potency and Kapha balancing properties. It controls cough by clearing the mucus from the respiratory passages, allowing the patient to breathe freely.
Due to the antipyretic properties in Rasna, it can help control fever as it helps lower body temperature, thereby helping in relieving high fever.
Rasna can be very helpful in preventing indigestion. Due to its ushna properties, it increases the digestive firewhich further stimulates digestion.
Rasna can help wounds heal faster due to the presence of anti-inflammatory, antifungal and analgesic properties that help increase the rate of wound contraction and heal it.
Rasna can help in treating asthma due to its anti-asthmatic properties. It contains certain constituents (flavonoids, terpenes, etc.) which are responsible for stimulating the asthmatic response.
Helpful in diabetes-
Rasna helps in diabetes because it contains certain constituents (flavonoids) which are natural antioxidants. These antioxidants increase insulin production and lower blood sugar levels.
Due to the laxative properties in Rasna, it acts as a stool softener and improves bowel movement.
Useful in pain-
Rasna has analgesic properties which helps in reducing the pain associated with joints or due to any insect bite, mainly scorpion bite.
Relieves muscle spasms-
Rasna can be useful for muscle spasms as it relaxes smooth muscles due to its antispasmodic and analgesic properties.
Useful in Rheumatoid arthritis-
Rasna is useful in rheumatoid arthritis, as it has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.
Uses of Rasna
- Rhizome paste of Rasna is applied to get relief in stiffness and swelling.
- A mixture of Rasna, Sonth, Gond and Dadim powder treats diarrhea and abdominal pain.
- The powder of Rasna leaves, mulethi and goodvach are to be mixed together and taken with lukewarm water in order to treat various Kapha predominant diseases in the bodylike asthma.
- Rasna rhizome paste is used to induce vomiting in panchakarma procedures like vaman.
- Rasna tea decoction acts as a blood purifier.
- Paste made from Rasna plant can be used to relieve joint pain.
- Tea decoction of rasna leaves helps in treating many respiratory diseases like cold, cough, sore throat, and asthma.
Where is it found?
Rasna is basically native to Indonesia and South Asia. This plant is also cultivated in Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Myanmar for its commercial and various health benefits. In India, it is distributed in the Himalayas, Assam, Bihar, and West Bengal. It grows in sunny regions with sufficient rainfall.