Kasmard: Health Benefits and Side Effects
Kasmard, also known as Kasondi, is an erect herb, half woody shrub, branched, smooth herb about 0.8 to 1.8 m tall. In Sanskrit, kasa means cough or phlegm, and mardan means destruction. Therefore, Kasmard is also a well known herb to treat cough (kasa). The leaves, roots and seeds of the plant act as alaxative. It belongs to the plant family of Fabaceae/ Leguminosae and the genus Caesalpinia L. or Caesalpiniaceae. Its botanical name is Cassia occidentalis.
Kasmard has different names in different languages- In English, it is known as “Coffee Senna, Negro Coffee, Coffee Weed”, “Kasavinda” in Telugu, “Kesenda” in Bengali, “Kasvida” in Marathi and “Kasonji” in Urdu.
Importance of Kasmard in Ayurveda
Kasmard is sweet, it relieves kapha and vata. It is carminative that clears the throatandalleviates Pitta. The taste is bitter, sweet, pungent after digestion (vipaka) and hot (virya) in effect.
Medicinal properties in Kasmard like antioxidants, anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory, anthelmintic, diuretic, expectorant, laxative, purgative, stomachic and tonic properties are useful in treating cough, diabetes, piles, fever, asthma, indigestion and anorexia.
Health Benefits of Kasmard
The main doshas involved in asthma are Vata and Kapha. Kasmard helps treat asthma due to its Kapha-Vata balancing properties. These properties help clear airway passage obstructions, making breathing easier.
Anorexia (Loss of appetite)-
Anorexia is the loss of desire to eat, even when you are hungry. Kasmard helps in anorexia due to its Ushna (hot) and Pachan (digestive) properties. It increases Agni (digestive fire), improves digestion and prevents the formation of Ama, thereby providing relief.
Kasmard helps in curing cough due to its Kapha balancing and Ushna (hot) properties. It helps in clearing mucus easily from the airways and provides relief in cough.
The main cause of indigestion is Agnimandya (weak digestive fire). Kasmard helps improve digestion due to its Ushna (hot) and Pachan (digestive) properties which strengthens Agni (digestive fire).
Kasmard helps treat skin infections due to its Pitta balancing properties.
Kasmard may be useful in treating diabetes due to the presence of constituents such as flavonoids. It prevents pancreatic cell damage and increases insulin secretion. It lowers blood sugar levels and controls diabetes.
Kasmard helps in wound healing due to its antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.
Kasmard also helps in treating fever due to its antipyretic properties which provide relief in fever and lowers the body temperature.
Useful in constipation-
Kasmard is used to treat constipation due to its strong laxative and purgative properties. It promotes bowel movement by loosening stools.
Side Effects of Kasmard
Kasmard can cause loose motion when taken in large quantities due to its laxative properties.
Lowers blood pressure-
Kasmard depresses the central nervous system (CNS), which reducesthe rate of metabolic process and lowers down the heart rate, leadingto low blood pressure.
Taking with other medicines-
Kasmard reacts with many drugs such as heparin, aspirin, warfarin, and antihypersensitive drugs which can have serious side effects on the body. Therefore, it is advisable to consult a doctor.
Excessive dosage of Kasmard in the body can cause poisoning as saturation of this herb aggravates (concentrates) its toxic nature.
Where is it found?
Kasmard is found all over India, growing up to an altitude of 1500m. It is mostly found in Northern India.