Patha: Benefits, Uses and Side Effects
Patha or Laghupatha is a traditional Indian medicine whose roots are used for medicinal purposes. Its roots have muscle relaxing properties and are therefore traditionally used to improve women's health, and relieving menstrual cramps. Theleaves of patha are used as a vegetable in some parts of the world.
Patha is smooth to soft plant, perennial climbing shrub with gnarled stems, rising to 2000m above sea level. Its roots are cylindrical, often curved, 1-1.5 cm in diameter and arelight brown to yellowish in color.
Importance of Patha in Ayurveda
Patha is highly useful in Ayurveda for its Pachana (digestive), Jvarahara (antipyretic), and vranropan (wound-healing) properties. Due to these properties, itis used to treat urinary tract disorders, inflammation, diarrhea, menstrual cramps, epidemics, and skin diseases. It is said to be tridoshic in Ayurveda as it alleviates all three doshas i.e. Kapha, Pitta and Vata.
Benefits of Patha
Treats skin problems-
Patha is good for treating skin problems such as acne because it contains anti-inflammatory properties that helpin regulating hormonal imbalance in the body which isthe main cause of acne on the skin. It also reduces the swelling and redness on the skin.
Patha has antidiarrheal properties that help to treat diarrhea. Antimicrobial properties of patha inhibits the growth of bacteria in the colon and prevents the loss of body fluids.
Lowers high blood pressure-
Patha has antioxidants that are useful for lowering high blood pressure because it helps blood vessels relax and dilate, allowing normal blood flow in the body.
Useful in menstrual pain-
Patha is useful in relieving menstrual pain because it contains analgesic properties to help suppress the pain.
Patha has antimalarial properties that help to manage or treat malaria. Consuming patha can help inhibit the growth of malaria causing micro-organism in the body.
The beneficial properties of patha such as antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties, help wounds heal faster.
Patha has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and analgesic properties that are useful for treating toothache.
Uses of Patha
- Paste of leaves and roots of Patha are used to cure various skin disorders.
- Patha powder and juice is used in nasya karma (panchkarma technique ) in ayurveda.
- Paste of roots and leaves of Patha is used to reduce inflammation.
- Leaves are used to prepare medicine for treatment of scabies, itching and wounds.
- This herb is also used to treat dog bites and snake poisoning.
Side effects of using Patha
- Patha is said to be a strong anti-fertility agent (natural contraceptive). Pregnant women and those trying to conceive should consult an experienced Ayurvedic practitioner before consuming this herb in any form.
- Patha is said to have a hypoglycemic effect. If you are diabetic or prone to low blood sugar, you should stay away from this herb.
- If you are taking medication or have a chronic medical condition, do not take the patch without first consulting your doctor.
Where is it found?
Patha is found in the tropical and subtropical regions of the world including Asia, East Africa, America and India. In India, it is found in West Bengal, Bihar, Nagpur, Rajasthan, Punjab, Maharashtra (especially in the forests of Marathwada) and Tamil Nadu.