Chaturangula Kalpa Adhyaya
Kalpa Sthana Chapter 8.Pharmaceutical preparations of Chaturangula
Chaturangula/aragwadha (Cassia fistula Linn.), just like trivrita, is a mild purgative. The chapter deals with synonyms of chaturangula, the therapeutic utility, various methods of processing of aragwadha, method of administration of the pulp of aragwadha in different age groups, other recipes of aragwadha. Total twelve different formulations of aragwadha to suit different needs of the physician have been discussed in this chapter.
Keywords: Chaturangula, Aragwadha, Cassia fistula Linn.
|Section/Chapter||Kalpa Sthana Chapter 8|
|Preceding Chapter||Shyamatrivrita Kalpa Adhyaya|
|Succeeding Chapter||Tilvaka Kalpa Adhyaya|
|Other Sections||Sutra Sthana, Nidana Sthana, Vimana Sthana, Sharira Sthana, Indriya Sthana, Chikitsa Sthana, Siddhi Sthana|
Aragwadha is indigenous to India and is commonly known as amalataas, it is one of the most beautiful of all tropical trees. It sheds its leaves and bursts into a mass of long, grape-bunches like yellow gold flowers. It is a tropical ornamental tree with a trunk consisting of hard reddish wood, growing up to 40 feet tall. The fruits are dark-brown cylindrical pods, 2' long, which also hold the flattish, brown seeds (up to 100 in one pod). A postal stamp was issued by the Indian Postal Department to commemorate this tree.
The golden shower tree (aragwadha) is the national tree of Thailand. Its flower is the state flower of Kerala, a southern state in India. The therapeutic benefits of golden shower are recorded in traditional medicine texts in Sri Lanka, Burma and India. In Ayurveda, this is called aragwadha meaning the disease killer. Golden shower is effective in treating skin diseases, gastrointestinal disorders and cardiac problems.
Present chapter deals with synonyms of chaturangula viz., aragwadha, shampaka, kritamala, rajavriksha which denotes the nature, morphology and therapeutic benefits of the plant. The therapeutic utility of chaturangula has been in a nutshell described here, among which many have been proved by different experiments conducted by different scientists. Fruit pulp is used but needs to be preserved for longer duration for which different methods of preservation too has been discussed in this chapter.
Method of administration of pulp of aragwadha in different age groups and other recipes of aragwadha are explained lucidly. Drug may not be liked by individual in one form for which twelve different formulations of aragwadha to suit different needs has been discussed in this chapter.
Sanskrit Text, Transliteration with English Translation
इति ह स्माह भगवानात्रेयः||२||
iti ha smāha bhagavānātrēyaḥ||2||
iti ha smAha bhagavAnAtreyaH||2||
Now we shall expound the chapter "Chaturangula Kalpa" (Pharmaceutics of Chaturangula). Thus said Lord Atreya. [1-2]
Note: Chturangula is Cassia fistula Linn.
Synonyms of Chaturangula
आरग्वधो राजवृक्षः शम्पाकश्चतुरङ्गुलः|
प्रग्रहः कृतमालश्च कर्णिकारोऽवघातकः||३||
āragvadhō rājavr̥kṣaḥ śampākaścaturaṅgulaḥ|
pragrahaḥ kr̥tamālaśca karṇikārō'vaghātakaḥ||3||
Aragvadho rAjavRukShaH shampAkashcatura~ggulaH|
pragrahaH kRutamAlashca karNikAro~avaghAtakaH||3||
The different names of chaturangula are as aragwadha (One which overcomes diseases), rajavriksha (royal beautiful tree), shampaka (which gives auspicious fruits), chaturangula (four angula in pramana), pragriha (which seizes the disease), kritamala (flowering forms a garland), karnikara (tree/golden shower) and avaghatuka (which overcomes the diseases) are the synonyms of chaturangula.
Therapeutic utility of Chaturangula
राजवृक्षोऽधिकं पथ्यो मृदुर्मधुरशीतलः||४||
बाले वृद्धे क्षते क्षीणे सुकुमारे च मानवे|
rājavr̥kṣō'dhikaṁ pathyō mr̥durmadhuraśītalaḥ||4||
bālē vr̥ddhē kṣatē kṣīṇē sukumārē ca mānavē|
rAjavRukSho~adhikaM pathyo mRudurmadhurashItalaH||4||
bAle vRuddhe kShate kShINe sukumAre ca mAnave|
- Guna- mridu(mild), sheetala(cooling effect)
- Karma- Aragwadha is very much beneficial to people who are suffering from diseases viz.,
- Jwara (fever)
- Hridroga (cardiac ailments)
- Vatarakta (gouty arthritis dominant of vata-pitta dosha) and
- Udavarta (upward movement of wind in abdomen).
- Aragwadha is a drug of choice for
- Bala (children),
- Sukumara (delicate constitution)
- Urakshata (injury to Chest),
- Kshina (debilitated).
The reason for this is due to its guna (attributes) and anapayitvata(harmlessness/safe).[4-5]
Processing and storage of aragwadha
फलकाले फलं तस्य ग्राह्यं परिणतं च यत्|
तेषं गुणवतां भारं सिकतासु निधापयेत्||६||
सप्तरात्रात् समुद्धृत्य शोषयेदातपे भिषक्|
ततो मज्जानमुद्धृत्य शुचौ भाण्डे निधापयेत्||७||
phalakālē phalaṁ tasya grāhyaṁ pariṇataṁ ca yat|
tēṣaṁ guṇavatāṁ bhāraṁ sikatāsu nidhāpayēt||6||
saptarātrāt samuddhr̥tya śōṣayēdātapē bhiṣak|
tatō majjānamuddhr̥tya śucau bhāṇḍē nidhāpayēt||7||
phalakAle phalaM tasya grAhyaM pariNataM ca yat|
teShaM guNavatAM bhAraM sikatAsu nidhApayet||6||
saptarAtrAt samuddhRutya shoShayedAtape bhiShak|
tato majjAnamuddhRutya shucau bhANDe nidhApayet||7||
- Aragwadha fruits that are mature are collected by an intelligent physician at an appropriate season.
- Such mature fruits which are endowed with therapeutic attributes are then covered with cloth.
- It is then kept beneath the sand for seven days.
- After seven days the fruit of aragwadha are taken out and washed and dried in the sun.
- The fruits when dried, the pulp is taken out and stored in clean containers.[6-7]
Method of administration of pulp of aragwadha
चतुर्वर्षमुखे बाले यावद्द्वादशवार्षिके||८||
चतुरङ्गुलमज्ज्ञस्तु प्रसृतं वाऽथवाऽञ्जलिम्|९|
caturvarṣamukhē bālē yāvaddvādaśavārṣikē||8||
caturaṅgulamajjñastu prasr̥taṁ vā'thavā'ñjalim|9|
caturvarShamukhe bAle yAvaddvAdashavArShike||8||
catura~ggulamajj~jastu prasRutaM vA~athavA~a~jjalim|9|
Children (between age group of 4 years to 12 years) who are suffering from daha (burning sensation) and udawarta (upward movement of vata in abdomen) should be administered Aragwadha (fruit pulp) mixed with draksha rasa (juice/decoction). The dosage of fruit pulp may be either one prasruta(2 pala = 96 gram) or one anjali ( 4 pala=192 gram).
Note: Specific age mentioned here indicates that this recipe should not be given to the patients below four years and above twelve years of age.[8-8½]
Other Recipes of aragwadha (chaturangula)
सुरामण्डेन संयुक्तमथवा कोलसीधुना||९||
दधिमण्डेन वा युक्तं रसेनामलकस्य वा|
कृत्वा शीतकषायं तं पिबेत् सौवीरकेण वा||१०||
surāmaṇḍēna saṁyuktamathavā kōlasīdhunā||9||
dadhimaṇḍēna vā yuktaṁ rasēnāmalakasya vā|
kr̥tvā śītakaṣāyaṁ taṁ pibēt sauvīrakēṇa vā||10||
surAmaNDena saMyuktamathavA kolasIdhunA||9||
dadhimaNDena vA yuktaM rasenAmalakasya vA|
kRutvA shItakaShAyaM taM pibet sauvIrakeNa vA||10||
Aragwadha (fruit pulp) in a dose of 2 pala to 4 pala to be taken with anupana (adjuvants) namely Suramanda (supernatent fluid of sura a type of alcoholic drink), Kola sidhu (A type of wine prepared from jujube fruit), Dadhi Manda (whey) and Amalaki swarasa(fresh juice of gooseberries). The Sheeta kashaya (cold infusion) of Aragwadha fruit pulp with Sauviraka (A type of vinegar) can be consumed. These combinations can be as according to the taste and likes of the patient or his disease pathology.[9-10]
त्रिवृतो वा कषायेण मज्ज्ञः कल्कं तथा पिबेत्|
तथा बिल्वकषायेण लवणक्षौद्रसंयुतम्||११||
trivr̥tō vā kaṣāyēṇa majjñaḥ kalkaṁ tathā pibēt|
tathā bilvakaṣāyēṇa lavaṇakṣaudrasaṁyutam||11||
trivRuto vA kaShAyeNa majj~jaH kalkaM tathA pibet|
tathA bilvakaShAyeNa lavaNakShaudrasaMyutam||11||
Paste(kalka) of the pulp Addition with decoction of trivrita (decoction of Operculina turpethum) or bilva kashaya (decoction of Aegle marmelos) and addition of lavana (rock salt) and kshoudra (honey) 
कषायेणाथवा तस्य त्रिवृच्चूर्णं गुडान्वितम्|
साधयित्वा शनैर्लेहं लेहयेन्मात्रया नरम्||१२||
kaṣāyēṇāthavā tasya trivr̥ccūrṇaṁ guḍānvitam|
sādhayitvā śanairlēhaṁ lēhayēnmātrayā naram||12||
kaShAyeNAthavA tasya trivRuccUrNaM guDAnvitam|
sAdhayitvA shanairlehaM lehayenmAtrayA naram||12||
Avaleha (linctus) of kashaya of aragwadha kashaya of aragwadha is dissolved in four parts of trivrita kwatha (decoction of Operculina turpethum). To this twice the amount of jaggery is added and heated on mild flame till it attains semisolid consistency.
मज्ज्ञः कल्केन धात्रीणां रसे तत्साधितं पिबेत्||१३||
majjñaḥ kalkēna dhātrīṇāṁ rasē tatsādhitaṁ pibēt||13|
majj~jaH kalkena dhAtrINAM rase tatsAdhitaM pibet||13||
Ghrita (ghee)- Milk is processed with aragwadha phala majja; this milk is boiled and from the cream of this, ghee is prepared. Addition of aragwadha phala majja and amalaki(Emblica officinalis) juice. Processed and given to the patients as and when required.
तदेव दशमूलस्य कुलत्थानां यवस्य च|
कषाये साधितं सर्पिः कल्कैः श्यामादिभिः पिबेत्||१४||
tadēva daśamūlasya kulatthānāṁ yavasya ca|
kaṣāyē sādhitaṁ sarpiḥ kalkaiḥ śyāmādibhiḥ pibēt||14||
tadeva dashamUlasya kulatthAnAM yavasya ca|
kaShAye sAdhitaM sarpiH kalkaiH shyAmAdibhiH pibet||14||
Ghrita (ghee)-To the ghee add dashamoola(ten medicinal roots) decoction, kulattha (Dolichos biflora) decoction and yava kwatha (Hordeum vulgare) and add paste of shyama trivrita(Operculina turpethum), aragwadha (Casia fistula), tilvaka (Symplocos racemosa), snuhi (Euphorbia tirucauli), saptala, shankhini, danti (Baliospermum montanum), dravanti(jatropa sp). in one fourth quantity and it is processed. 
दन्तीक्वाथेऽञ्जलिं मज्ज्ञाः शम्पाकस्य गुडस्य च|
दत्त्वा मासार्धमासस्थमरिष्टं पाययेत च||१५||
dantīkvāthē'ñjaliṁ majjñāḥ śampākasya guḍasya ca|
dattvā māsārdhamāsasthamariṣṭaṁ pāyayēta ca||15||
dantIkvAthe~a~jjaliM majj~jAH shampAkasya guDasya ca|
dattvA mAsArdhamAsasthamariShTaM pAyayeta ca||15||
Arishta- Pulp of aragwadha 96g is added with danti kwatha. To this jaggery is added and then fermented in a vessel which is previously oleated with ghee for one and half months. 
यस्य यत् पानमन्नं च हृद्यं स्वाद्वथ वा कटु|
लवणं वा भवेत्तेन युक्तं दद्याद्विरेचनम्||१६||
yasya yat pānamannaṁ ca hr̥dyaṁ svādvatha vā kaṭu|
lavaṇaṁ vā bhavēttēna yuktaṁ dadyādvirēcanam||16||
yasya yat pAnamannaM ca hRudyaM svAdvatha vA kaTu|
lavaNaM vA bhavettena yuktaM dadyAdvirecanam||16||
Food and drinks - Pulp of aragwadha. Is added to sweet (swadu), pungent (katu), and lavana (salt) food articles.
The tastes are as such chosen and added so that they are hridya or pleasing to the heart of the patient.
द्राक्षारसे सुरासीध्वोर्दध्नि चामलकीरसे|
सौवीरके कषाये च त्रिवृतो बिल्वकस्य च||१७||
लेहेऽरिष्टे घृते द्वे च योगा द्वादश कीर्तिताः|
चतुरङ्गुलकल्पेऽस्मिन् सुकुमाराः सुखोदयाः||१८||
drākṣārasē surāsīdhvōrdadhni cāmalakīrasē|
sauvīrakē kaṣāyē ca trivr̥tō bilvakasya ca||17||
lēhē'riṣṭē ghr̥tē dvē ca yōgā dvādaśa kīrtitāḥ|
caturaṅgulakalpē'smin sukumārāḥ sukhōdayāḥ||18||
drAkShArase surAsIdhvordadhni cAmalakIrase| sauvIrake kaShAye ca trivRuto bilvakasya ca||17||
lehe~ariShTe ghRute dve ca yogA dvAdasha kIrtitAH| catura~ggulakalpe~asmin sukumArAH sukhodayAH||18||
To sum up:
In the chapter dealing with Pharmaceutics of aragwadha, twelve formulations have been detailed for the mild natured person‘s betterment. These formulations are mridu (mild) and sukhakara (pleasing).
The recipes are as follows.
- Recipe to be taken with grape juice – 1 formulation
- Recipe to be taken with sura manda - 1 formulation
- Recipe to be taken with kola seedhu – 1 formulation
- Recipe to be taken with dadhi manda – 1 formulation
- Recipe to be taken with amalaki Juice – 1 formulation
- Recipe to be taken with sauviraka – 1 formulation
- Recipe to be taken with trivrit kwatha – 1 formulation
- Recipe to be taken with bilva kashaya – 1 formulation
- Recipe in the form of avaleha(linctus) – 1 formulation
- Recipe to be taken in the form of arishta (mild wine) – 1 formulation
- Recipe to be taken in the form of ghee – 2 formulations
इत्यग्निवेशकृते तन्त्रे चरकप्रतिसंस्कृतेऽप्राप्ते दृढबलसम्पूरिते कल्पस्थाने चतुरङ्गुलकल्पो नामाष्टमोऽध्यायः||८||
Thus, ends the eighth chapter of Kalpa Sthana which deals with Pharmaceutics of chaturangula in Agnivesha’s work which is redacted by Charaka, supplemented by Dridabala, due to non availability of further contents.
Tattva Vimarsha (Fundamental Principles)
- Chaturangula is mild purgative in nature and is safe to be used in children, aged and tender persons.
- Mainly the fruit pulp of chaturangula is used for purgative action.
Vidhi Vimarsha (Applied Inferences )
Pharmacological profile of Aragvadha
There are many Cassia species worldwide, which is used in herbal medicine systems. This particular family of plants is used widely for their laxative actions. Cassia fistula Linn. is no exception. It is often used as a highly effective moderate laxative that is safe even for children. However, in large doses, the leaves and bark can cause vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain and cramps. Cassia fistula Linn. is also employed as a remedy for tumors of the abdomen, glands, liver, stomach, and throat, for burns, cancer, constipation, convulsions, delirium, diarrhea, dysuria, epilepsy, gravel, hematuria, pimples, and glandular tumors. The seeds are attributed with antibilious, carminative, and laxative properties while the root is used for adenopathy, burning sensations, leprosy, skin diseases, syphilis, and tubercular glands. The leaves are used in erysipelas, malaria, rheumatism, and ulcers. In Brazilian herbal medicine, the seeds are used as a laxative and the leaves and/or bark is used for pain and inflammation. Various laboratory studies report that aragwadha has evidenced antioxidant, hypoglycemic, Acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitor, antibacterial, antifungal, anticandidal activity, antiviral, laxative, liver protective, mild estrogenic, antitumorous, cholesterol lowering, pain relieving, and fever reducing actions. 
Pulp of pod contains anthraquinone glycosides, sennosides A & B rhein and its glucoside, barbloin, aloin, formic acid, butyric acid, their ethylesters and oxalic acid. Presence of pectin and tannin are also reported. Seed gave galactomannan free sugard and free aminoacids, extract laxative, carminative, cooling and antipyretic. Flowers give free rein to its glycosides Sennosides A & B.
The synonyms play an important role in correct identification of the plant. Apart from the above mentioned synonymns, nighantus (lexicons) suggests names like suvarnaka (beautiful tree), dirghaphala (one which has long fruits), naradipa, apaghataka, swarnahu are the few names of the plant.  In Rajanighantu under prabhadradi varga mentions few more synonymns such as nripadhruma, rajataru, aruna, karnabharanaka and maharajadhruma.
Karnikara has been considered as synonym by Charaka but in Dhanwantari Nighantu it is considered as separate drug. 
Properties and formulations
Aragwadha is mridu (soft) in guna (heavy), bitter and sweet in taste and madhura (sweet) in vipaka due to which it is very safe to be used in bala (children), vriddha (aged), sukumara (delicate constitution) and urakshata (injuries to chest) as well as in kshina (debilitated) too. [4-5]
Charaka has mentioned its uses in following conditions:
- Jwara - Aragwadha given with grape juice(Ch Ch 3-232) 
- Kushta (skin Ailments) – Decoction for bath and internal intake (Ch Ch 7-97) 
- Visarpa(Herpes) – Leaf decoction or anointment with paste of leaves (Ch Ch 21-88) 
- Kamala(Jaundice) – Phalamajja (fruit pulp) is taken with sugarcane juice (As. Hr. 16/41) 
- Urusthambha- Leaves are boiled and eaten without adding salt is useful in urusthambha(Ca. Ch. 27/25) 
- Pittodara – Phalamajja decoction (Ca. Ch. 18/69-70) 
- Twakroga – Leaves processed with buttermilk is applied as paste (Ca Su. 3/17)
- Haridrameha – Phalamajja is given in kashaya form (Su. Chi. 11/07)
For vrinaprakshalana aragwadha patra and jati patra kwatha (leaves of Jasmine plant) are used for washing wound.
Aragwadha with bile of cow and katutaila(mustard oil) is used in skin ailments.
Apart from this aragwadha is used in many more ways which will be discussed in the context of different formulations.[4-5]
Aragwadha leaves, root, bark and flowers are used for medicinal purpose. More specifically, fruit pulp is used for purgation where as flowers are used for urinary strangury. Fruit pulp is sweet in taste, if not processed it gets worm infested. Thus fruit pulp should be used only after proper processing.
Charaka mentions aragwadha in the context of vamana and asthapana(Ca. Su. 1/82). Apart from this it also finds mention in Charaka Sutra Sthana 4th Chapter under kushtaghna, vamanopaga and kandughna dashemani. In Charaka Vimana Sthana aragwadha has been considered under tiktaskandha (Ca. Vi. 8/164). Sushruta mentions usage of aragwadha in ksharakalpa. Aragwadha has been mentioned in aragwadhadi gana and shyamadi gana (Su 39-9). Even though Charaka mentions khadira as best drug in kushta (Ch Su 25) it may be seen that in Charaka Sutra Sthana 2nd chapter aragwadha has been preferred over khadira. For external usage it may be considered that aragwadha is best, whereas for internal usage khadira is choice of drug in kushta. [6-7]
Below age four years the drug is not advised, because of possible complications and in children above 12 years, drug may not give the desired benefit. As both aragwadha and draksha(grapes) are mild purgative in nature may not induce the desired purgation if given to children above 12 years. Chakradutta mentions the usage of aragwadha with drasksha in pittajajwara. Aragwadha is purgative but when administered alone may bring about untoward side effects like colicky pain so is usually administered with any suitable adjuvants. [8-9½]
Aragwadha phala majja is preferably used in sheetakashaya (or phanta form as tannin content present in it, when boiled tannin in it will increase and its purgative action will be reduced. Apart from this aragwadha with suramanda, sauviraka and kolasidhu can be given to those who are addicted to alcohol. Where as those who prefer amla rasa (sour taste) can be administered with dadhimanda. In general, for others it can be given with amalaki swarasa which will potentiate the action of aragwadha and will also reduce its untoward effects like colicky pain. In eczema and skin ailments like urticarial rashes aragwadha leaves are made into paste with kanji and applied.(Vangasena) [9½-10]
In the formulation mentions in verse 11, 16 tola or 32 tola aragwadha phala majja is dissolved in water and sheeta kashaya (cold infusion) is prepared out of this. But at this dosage it may not be tolerated at present context. Therefore it is said that for sheeta kashaya, aragwadha phala majja is taken in 1 tola pramana where as to dissolve in trivrita or bilva kashaya it may be taken in 6 masha. This form of administration may be for those who desire to take the drug in a simple form as it is easy to administer. Rock salt and honey are added to improve the taste and efficacy of the yoga. Trivrita added to aragwadha will facilitate and hasten the action of aragwadha.
Aragwadha even though has tannin in it, when dissolved with trivrita kwatha and jaggery retains its purgative effect. Avaleha (linctus) form of the drug can be preserved for longer duration. Thus the drug prepared in this form can be used as and when required.
The avaleha should be given to the patient according to his koshtha for inducing virechana. 
Milk is mixed with aragwadha fruit pulp, it is boiled and cooled. Cream is extracted from it, by which ghee is prepared. This can be used for purgation. Other than above said method, ghee (unprocessed) can also be processed with aragwadha fruit pulp and amalaki fruit juice which may also be used to induce purgation. Ghrita prepared from the decoction of the root of aragwadha is very much useful in kushtha (As. Hr. Ch. 19/13). Ghrita like avaleha can be preserved for longer duration and can be used accordingly. Apart from this ghrita can be used as remedy in pitta dosha dominance as well vata dosha dominance where decoction may not be that much suitable.
Three ghrita preparations are told here to suit the need and constitution of the individual. One with simple aragwadha phala majja, other preparation to which amalaki juice is added and third being added with dashamoola and other virechaka dravyas. Thus prepared ghee can be used to induce purgation. 
Arishta (medicated wine) can be preserved for longer duration. It is easy to administer too. Those who can tolerate aragwadha in arishta form can be administered with the above said preparation. Preparation of aragwadha in arishta (medicated wine) form can be given to patients to induce purgation. 
Root of aragwadha is good antipyretic as well as good purgative. Leaves of this plant is good saaraka (that increase intestinal movements). Aragwadha fruit pulp with tamarind fruit pulp taken in the night helps to relieve constipation. Aragwadha fruit pulp can be given even with food and article which patient desires. Foods and articles should be either sweet, pungent or salty in taste. Astringent and bitter even though patient desires should not be used as it hinders drug absorption.
- K Nishteshwar, Text book of DravyaGuna, Chaukhambha Surabharati Prakashan, Varanasi, First Edition 2007, p.no 212
- C P Khare, Indian Medicinal Plants an Illustrated Dictionary, First Edition,Springer(India) Pvt Ltd, New Delhi, P.No 128
- P V Sharma, Guruprasad Sharma, Kaiyadeva Nighantu,Chaukhmbha Orientalia, II Edition, 2006,p.no 174
- Indradev Tripathi, Rajanighantu of Pt Narahari, Chaukhmbha Orientalia 4th Edition,2006,p.no 272
- Vd Bapalal, Nighantu Adarsha, Vol 1, Chaukhabha Bharati Academy, Varanasi,II Edition,1999, p.no 474
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