Chaksu is an erect, annual herb and in India it is used for its medicinal properties. Chaksu is a widely distributed weed of the Old World tropics, introduced and naturalized in some areas of the American tropics. Though this plant has a foreign origin, it is found throughout most of India, commonly in open habitats and wasteland, ascending up to 1500 metre in the Himalayas. The botanical name of this plant is Cassia absus L.
This plant is commonly known as `chaksu; in Hindi
and Urdu and `chakshushya` in Sanskrit. The flowers of `chaksu` are yellow or red-dish-yellow in colour and borne in narrow leaf-opposed. Fruits of `chaksu` are compressed, thin, linear oblong, and are clothed with bristly hairs, elastically dehiscent. `Chaksu` bears flowers during August to February depending on locality.
Apart from these, Chaksu is known as an Indian medicinal plant and has been used among the people of India for umpteen numbers of medicinal properties. Almost all parts of this plant are used for medicinal purposes. The bitter, astringent leaves are used as a purgative and as a remedy for coughs, asthma and bronchitis. Application of the powdered leaves is reported to heal venereal ulcers and haemorrhoids. The seeds are slightly mucilaginous and bitter, astringent, stimulant and diuretic. They are used as a cathartic in cases of habitual constipation
, and for the treatment of ringworm, venereal ulcers and other skin diseases, for relieving pains, headache, bronchitis
, leucoderma, asthma
, haemorrhoids and as an anthel-mintic. The seed extract is used to purify blood and to treat mucous disorders. A decoction of the seeds is used to treat certain eye diseases. The baked, powdered seed kernels are used in the treatment of ophtlialmia and conjunctivitis
In the Unani system of medicine, the plant forms a constituent of a compound drug used to treat leprosy. In India, people of different regions use this plant for treating diseases.
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