Nagkesar, Ceylon Ironwood (Mesua ferrea)
Nagkesar, Ceylon Ironwood (Mesua ferrea)
Description of Plant
Beautiful evergreen tree of nagakesar grows up to height of 30mt in height, buttressed at base about 90cm in diameter. Pendulous leaves are 8-15cm long and are simple, narrow, lanceolate, opposite and dark grey to dark green in color. Bark of the tree is dark ash grey in color and branches are glabrous and slender. Flowers of the tree are bisexual about 4-7cm in diameter with four white petals and yellow stamen. Fruit is globose to ovoid capsule and fruit capsule contains 1-2 seeds that are dark brown in color. Cotyledon of the seeds is fleshy and oily. Flowering season is between March to July while fruits are seen during October to November. Hard wood of Mesua is dark deep red in color.
Nagakesar is well known plant famous for both medicinal and economical values. It is one common herb among chaturjata group. Nagkesar is slow growing tree well known for hardness and heaviness of its wood. Because of its graceful shape it is cultivated as ornamental tree. In ayurvedic medicine system this herb is famous for its medicinal values to treat fever, migraine, vomiting and urinary tract infections. Flowers are astringent and contain various oils and oleo resins. Flower oil is reddish or dark brown in color and stamens of flowers is called kesar. Main chemical compound present in this herb is meusol. Other chemical compounds available in this herb are mesuaferron, euxanthon, mesuaferrol, mesuagin, mammegin, mesuol, mammeuisin and bioflavin etc.
Heartwood of this herb is very strong and used in the construction of beams, flooring and furniture. Hard wood is used to construct rail lines. Seeds are powerhouse of energy and proteins. Flowers are used in stuffing pillows and used for many other purposes like dyes and cosmetics.
English name - Iron wood of Assam, Ceylon iron wood, Cobra's saffron
Latin name - Mesua ferrea
Hindi name - Naghas, Nagkesar
Assam name - Naboor, Nahor
Bihar name - Nagkeshur
Bengali name - Nagesar
Kannada name - Kanchana
Malayalam name - Nagachempakam
Marathi name - Nagachampa, Nagakeshra
Punjabi name - Naga kesar
Tamil name - Irul, Karunangu
Telugu name - Naga Kesaralu, Kesaramu
Guajarati name - Nagkesara, Nagchampa
Oriya name - Nageshvar
Farsi name - Naremushk
Thai name - Bunnak, Bhra na kaw
Philippine name - Kaliuas
Urdu name - Narmiksha
Malaysian name - Penaga
Italian name - Croco di cobra
German name - Nagassamen
Arabic name - Narae-Kaisar
Russian name - Mezua zheleznaia
Chinese name - Tie li mu
Malay name - Nagasari, Penaga
Japanese name - Tagayasan
Burmese name - Gungen, Kenga
Vietnam name - Vap
Mesua is native to tropical regions of Sri Lanka. Mesua is mainly found in wet tropical region of India and Sri Lanka. It grows up to altitude of 1500mt in Eastern and Western Ghats in India. In Assam it is easily available and it is also called iron wood of Assam. It is also found in Nepal, Burma, Thailand, Philippines and Malaysia. It also grows in various parts of Tamil Nadu, Travancore and Andaman islands.
Effects on Doshas
It balances vata and kapha dosha.
Ancient Verse about Mesua Ferrea
Nagpushp, nag, keshar, nagkeshar, champey, nagkijjlak, and kanchannhay all are synonyms of mesua.
Mesua is astringent in taste with hot potency. This herb is light and dry and it helps in digestion. It is used to cure fever, itching, thirst, sweating, vomiting, relieves nausea, bad odor of mouth and leprosy. It is used to pacify kapha and pitta dosha and very effective herb to treat poisoning.
Practical uses of Mesua ferrea
Nagakesar is a versatile herb with anti-inflammatory properties and used to treat various ailments. Its flowers also contain medicinal oil that is also beneficial for various disorders.
This herb is used to improve digestive fire and helps to reduce the harmful effects of ama (toxins). It is also beneficial to treat disorders of digestive system and worm infestation.
Flower stem has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. Flower buds are used in the treatment of diarrhea and dysentery.
This herb is hemostatic in nature and it act as blocking agent for bleeding. It is very beneficial herb for treating bleeding piles and menstrual bleeding.
Poultice of leaves are applied on head and chest to treat cold and cough.
Seed oil is used to reduce inflammation and to cure rheumatism.
It is also used for treating skin related disorders like burning sensation, itching, scabies and leprosy.
Being a cardiac tonic and it is very effective in cardiac debility.
This herb is aphrodisiac and used in the treatment of menorrhagia.
Paste of flowers is used externally to cure excessive sweating and it is also used as deodorant for bad odors.
Fresh flowers are very beneficial for cough, excessive thirst, perspiration and indigestion.
Root of this herb is used as best antidote for snake bite poisoning.
Ripe and unripe fruits are best used for gastric troubles.
Flowers are used to treat asthma and impotency.
It is used to pacify kapha and pitta dosha.
Ayurvedic products from Mesua ferrea
Pile off capsules