Kantakari, botanically known as Solanum Xanthocarpum
, is a thorny, branched, perpetual herb
. The branches are thickly covered with tiny star-shaped hairs. The plant has yellow, shiny thorns of approximately 1.5 centimetres in size. It has exceedingly barbed, slightly hairy, egg-shaped leaves, purple flowers and circular fruits which are yellow in colour with green veins and several polished seeds. Unripe leaves and fruits are eaten as a vegetable after cooking. The fruit of the plant makes up the drug. Kantakari is native to India. The plant occurs all around India, oft in wastelands, on roadsides and in open scrublands. The fruit of the plant produces Carpesteral, Solanocarpine and Glucoside-alkaloids such as Solanine-S. On hydrolysis it yields alkaloid Solanidine-S.
Medicinal Uses of Kantakari
Kantakari serves as a curative for various ailments including severe ones like snake bites, dropsy, respiratory problems, disorders of abdomen, throat and gum and many others. Its root is one of the essential medicinal ingredients used by Ayurvedic physicians, who use it to treat numerous common ailments. The drug is sour to taste and a mild laxative. Researches have evidenced that the fruits and shoots of the plant possess anti-bacterial attributes.
Respiratory Disorders Cured by Kantakari
Kantakari is useful in uncluttering catarrh and phlegm from the bronchial tubes. It is hence used in the treatment of respiratory diseases like asthma, bronchitis
Stomach Disorders Cured by Kantakari
The herb can be used to treat constipation
and gastroenteritis. It fortifies the stomach and encourages its action. It redresses perturbed processes of nutrition by which the organism ingests, digests, absorbs, utilises and excretes food substances and reinstates regular function of the system. The drug also owns anthelmintic (worm destroying) property and is handy in exterminating intestinal worms.
Dropsy Cured by Kantakari
Kantakari is useful in curing dropsy, a disease marked by an undue accumulation of fluids in the tissues and cavities or natural hollows of the body. The drug helps boost the secretion and disposal of urine.
Throat Disorders Cured by Kantakari
The herb is particularly useful in throat problems, such as sore throat and tonsillitis
. A concoction of the plant should be used as a gargle in such cases. This is prepared by constantly boiling the plant in approximately 2 litres of water after washing it exhaustively, till it reduces to half its volume and it should be sieved.
Gum Diseases Cured by Kantakari
The concoction of the plant, prepared for throat disorders, is also very constructive in gum sores. For healthier results, black mustard
should be boiled together with the plant.
Snake Bites Cured by Kantakari
The root of the plant has been customarily used in snake and scorpion bites. A paste of the root can be prepared by mashing it on a stone with lemon juice and administered to the affected part. However the patient should also be taken to the doctor immediately.
Other Diseases Cured by Kantakari
The drug is also useful in treating several other diseases, such as heart problems, chest pain, specific kinds of fever
, muscular pains, gonorrhoea
and expansion of the liver and spleen. The fruit of the plant is also weighed useful in treating aching throat.
Dosages of Kantakari
The herb can be used both in the form of infection, decoction or juice. The juice is taken in doses ranging from 2 ml to 8 ml.