An Introduction to the Kapoor Kachari Herb
Our mother earth contains a range of valuable herbs. The Kapoor Kachri is one of them, and also goes by names of Hedychium Spicatum (latin) or Gandh Amalika (sanskrit). This contains antioxidant and purifying properties which soothe all systems. Most importantly, it helps with hair growth by stimulating growth, thickness, and leaving behind a pleasant fragrance. Overall, it helps with the treatment, prevention and control of various diseases such as pain, asthma, cough and fever.
This plant consists of aromatic rhizomes, a thick and sleek stem, and lanceolate leaves. Further, it holds fragrant white flowers with an orange-red base, stemming from a dense terminal spike. Once the flowers fall, you can find a ripe globular fruit (with three ripe valves and black seeds). You can find this in the subtropical Himalayas, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, at an altitude of 10000-3000 metres.
The plant contains volatile oils and oleoresins. Further, it contains aromatic, tonic, and stimulant fruits and rhizomes which may contain nutritive value. Therefore, certain high-starch varieties are ideal ingredients to cook with. Other forms contain an astringent and diaphoretic juice which is useful to ingenious medicine. For example, the presence of medicinal oils, resins, and organic acids can treat blood purification, indigestion, poor eyesight and inflammation.
Ayurveda prescribes this herb for the treatment of swelling, asthma, fever, and pain. It contains pungent, light, heating, bitter and string qualities, and can further cure mouth grime, cold, coughs, and hiccups. Most importantly, it emulates joy and vigour in the body by purifying its channels, which Ayurveda terms as laghu. Similarly, the Tibetan medicine system uses this species to cure chronic inflammation, vascular diseases, and even hepatitis.
Forms of Use
This plant is also a rhizomatous herb and is thus of high medicinal value. In fact, this is the case wherever it grows. For instance, local people of Manipur utilise this as an everyday vegetable to ward away diabetes. Similarly, Ayurveda prizes this herb for treating tonsillitis, tumours, fevers, and nostril infections.
However, you must remember that the herb is for external use only. Make sure to also try out a patch test in the case of skin reactions or allergies. As the is a natural product, moreover, you will see gradual and steady effects. Its colour may change with time, despite consistence in efficacy.
Here are some specific forms through which you can incorporate the herb into your life.
First, the powder is popular pan-India as an antimicrobial agent and brain laxative. Further, it can ease liver complaints, fever, vomiting, diarrhoea, inflammation, indigestion, poor blood circulation and blood thickness. You may also consume 4-5 mg thrice a day to treat respiratory ailments such as asthma, bronchitis, hiccups and foulness of breath.
Second, the powdered form can strengthen and tone the scalp. Thus, it makes the hair stronger, shinier, and longer, reducing hair loss. You can use this through a hair mask, macerate, or dry shampoo. Simply mix the powder in water and apply it to your hair. In addition, you may add ingredients such as allow, honey, or glycerine to enhance hydration. Then, leave the solution on for 15-20 minutes prior to rinsing.
The rhizome powder is useful in other forms too. For instance, Tibetan medicine uses the paste to increase heating impotency among females. Secondly, in the hills of Uttarakhand, a solution of the powder and small pieces along with milk can cure asthma and internal injury. Thirdly and finally, it is a common ingredient in dye and hair loss across India.
This can prevent and cure various aches and pains.
You can dissolve either the powder or stem in warm milk or water to make a decoction. Just one small cup of this decoction twice a day contains stomachic, stimulant, tonic and carminative properties. Further, it can treat tuberculosis and serve as a brain tonic. This is an easy and effective heating solution which is ideal for cold winter months.
The fruits of the kapoor kachari, alongside lentils, form an immune-boosting and wholesome meal across India. Secondly, you can use its fresh rhizomes as an isolated oil to make a scent, or boil it with salt and eat it as is. Similarly, people of Manipur use this to cook and make chutney to eat alongside their meals.
There are a number of challenges to regular utilisation and outreach of this plant. First, it is a slowly growing one which takes 2-3 years to reach maturity. This is also the case with vegetative propagation via rhizome. Second, the world conservation union (WCU) indicates that the H. Spicatum has fallen in its population by over 20% in the last five years, thus rendering it vulnerable. Similarly, the near-threatened category of oil-bearing plants also lists this species.
Today, the plant faces threats of over-exploitation in pharmaceutical, oil, and other industries. Commercial exploitation is a more recent challenge. Further, grazing, trampling, and weed proliferation may also hinder seed germination. Thus, there is the need for a robust recheck of farming practices, exploitation, and illegal use to keep H.Spicatum thriving.
The Kapoor Kachri is a fantastic and versatile Ayurvedic herb. For instance, you may consume the fresh rhizome, rhizome powder or paste, or decoction to reap its medicinal and flavourful qualities. It can especially improve hair quality and keep respiratory, cardiac, and digestive issues at bay. However, this is a herb on the verge of extinction and endangerment. Moreover, it is time-consuming in both growth and vegetative propagation.