Mesua ferrea Linn, also known as Nagkesar in Hindi, and Ceylon ironwood in English is a tree with high medicinal and ornamental value.

Mesua ferrea or nagkesar is a medium to a large-sized evergreen tree with a short trunk widely distributed in Kerala, Assam, Tamil Nādu, Western, and the Eastern Ghats in India. The flowers and leaves of Nagkesar are used for a variety of health conditions.

Therapeutic Uses of & Benefits of Nagkesar:

  • Nagkesar has been used as an important ingredient in Jawarish Shehryaran which is a liver tonic and in Hab Pachuluna, n appetizer.
  • It is also effective in treating fever and relieving nausea. Nagkesar has been used as an expectorant (used to treat cough), diuretic (expelling excess water from the body), and antipyretic (reducing fever) in Thai medicine. 
  • It has several pharmacological properties such as analgesic (pain-relieving), hemostatic (ceasing bleeding), anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anti-fungal, antimalarial, anti-arthritic, anti-oxidant, and antivenom properties.

Different parts of Nagkesar are used to treat a variety of conditions, either alone or in conjunction with other herbal remedies.

Uses of Nagkesar Flowers

  • One of the main applications of Nagkesar is that the paste obtained from its flowers is used in the treatment of bleeding piles. 
  • The flower stem of Nagkesar contains anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. 
  • The paste obtained from its flowers is helpful in excessive sweating and can also be used as a perfume for bad odors. 
  • The flowers of Nagkesar have also been used as a laxative and astringent.
  • They also contain stomachic (promoting digestion) properties.

Uses of Nagkesar Leaves

  • The leaves of Nagkesar can be made into a paste and used in stomach disturbances, indigestion, excessive sweating, scorpion stings, etc.
  • The paste made from the leaves of Nagkesar is applied to the head and chest to manage common cold and cough.
  • It is also used in treating burning of feet. The ashes obtained from its leaves are used in treating sore eyes.

Uses of Nagkesar Seeds

The oil obtained from its seeds is helpful in itching. Oil made from the seeds of Nagkesar is used to decrease inflammation.

Uses of Nagkesar Bark and Roots

The bark and roots of Nagkesar have been used as a tonic for the management of bronchitis and gastritis.

Benefits of Nagkesar in Piles: 

  • Bleeding disorders occur due to an imbalance in pitta (heat) dosha. Nagkesar is effective in the treatment of bleeding piles as it helps in pacifying pitta dosha, resulting in a balance in the body’s heat.  
  • Piles or hemorrhoids are swollen blood vessels that can occur inside or around the anus. This makes defecating difficult with continuous throbbing pain accompanied by bleeding stools. 
  • Nagkesar helps shrink pile lumps, decreasing inflammation, reducing pain, and arresting bleeding. The paste obtained from the flowers of Nagkesar can be used for treating piles.

Benefits of Nagkesar for Arthritis: 

Arthritis occurs due to an imbalance in Vata dosha and the gathering of Ama (toxins) in the joints. Nagkesar helps balance Vata dosha and is aids in reducing joint pain due to its Ushana (heat) property.

Benefits of Nagkesar for Skin:  

  • The kernels of Nagkesar are helpful in skin eruption.
  • The oil obtained from Nagkesar can be used for skin infections, scabies, and wounds. 
  • Nagkesar also contains antiseptic and disinfecting properties. 
  • Nagkesar taken with red sandalwood can be made into a paste and used on the skin to fade away the dark marks on the face and to obtain glowing skin.

Benefits of Nagkesar for Infertility: 

  • Nagkesar has been used as an ingredient in Baladi Churna which is effective in inducing ovulation and conception. 
  • The extract obtained from flowers of Mesua ferrea possesses estrogen and progesterone-like effects which are helpful in the treatment of hormonal imbalance during menstrual problems.
  • Nagkesar improves sexual performance and is also helpful in impotency.

Benefits of Nagkesar on the Central Nervous System: 

  • Nagkesar contains anticonvulsant properties and has been used in curing seizures.
  • Other central nervous system depressant effects like loss of muscle tone, ptosis (drooping of upper eyelids), and sedation have been observed with Nagkesar.

How to Use Nagkesar:  

  • Mesua ferrea is available in different Ayurvedic formulations like dasamoolarishta, kanakasava, mahakaleshwara, lakshadi Taila, Nagakesaradi Churan, Kumaryasava, and various other churnas that are used to cure many conditions.
  • The parts of Nagkesar used for treatment are Buds, bark, leaves, seeds, stamen, and fruits.  
  • Your Ayurvedic physician will prescribe you the form and dosage according to your health condition. 

Side Effects of Nagkesar:  

Nagkesar can be safely taken with other herbal medicines, vitamins, or remedies and no side effects are observed.

Precautions and Warnings to be Taken with Nagkesar: 

Nagkesar must be taken under the supervision of a medical doctor in situations like pregnancy, breastfeeding, and diabetes.

Frequently Asked Questions: 

1) What are the Other Names of Nagkesar? 

The different names of Nagkesar include Mesua ferrea L, Ceylon Ironwood, Cobra’s Saffron, Penaga Lilin, Indian rose chestnut, etc.

2) What are the Medicinal Properties of Nagkesar? 

The medicinal properties of Nagkesar include anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritis, antifungal, anticonvulsant, anti-ulcer, wound healing, antivenom, disinfectant, diuretic, herbal formulation, anticancer, prevention of COPD, antidiabetic, immunomodulatory, hormone balancing, and more.

3) How Can Nagkesar be Used for Bleeding Piles? 

Nagkesar can be taken with butter and sugar for the management of bleeding piles.

4) Is Nagkesar Found Only in India? 

Mesua ferrea is distributed in countries like Nepal, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, and Cambodia.

5) How is Nagkesar Used for Burning Sensation in Hands and Feet? 

The powder made from the dried fruits and leaves of Mesua ferrea mixed with ghee is used by some communities of Bangladesh for the treatment of burning sensation of hands and feet.

6) Can Nagkesar be Used as a Biofuel? 

The oil synthesized from the seeds of Nagkesar can be used as an alternate for petroleum gasoline.

7) Can Nagkesar be Used for Postpartum Care? 

Nagkesar and fennel seeds made into a powder or decoction can be used for cleansing the uterus post-delivery and in abortions.

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