Chandrashura or Chandsur as it is called in Hindi is a plant which is used in Ayurveda to cure many ailments such as joint pains, stiffness, arthritis, osteoarthritis, hiccoughs, eye disorders, blood and skin related diseases, diarrhoea and asthma. As the mention of this plant cannot be found in Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Samhita, the plant is believed to have been introduced by Arabs or Persians in the 12th century. The details of this plant have been later mentioned in Bhavaprakasha Nighantu in the 16th century.
Quick facts about Chandrashura or Lepidium sativum
Sanskrit name: Chandrashura
English name: Garden cress or Water cress
Hindi or common name: Chandsur
Scientific name: Lepidium sativum
Rasa: Katu, Tikta
Guna: Laghu, Ruksha, Tikshana
Dosha: Alleviates Vata and Kapha
Karma: Balapushtivivardhana, Vatasleshamahrit
Chandrashura plant is a native of West Asia and it is cultivated in most parts of India. This plant is an erect, herbaceous, glabrous and yearly plant. It is a small plant growing up to 60 cm in height. The leaves are ovate shaped and are in opposite directions. The flowers are in purple and violet colours with no scent. The drupes or fruits are round or spherical shaped and seeds are oval shaped.
Some of the bio-chemicals found in Chandrashura or Chandsur include alkaloids such as lepidine, glucotropaeolin, N,N’-dibenzyl urea, N,N’-dibenzylthiourea, sinapic acid and its choline ester (sinapin); carotene, cellulose, calcium, phosphorus, iron with vitamins like thiamine, riboflavin, niacin and uric acid. The seed oil contains palmitic, stearic, oleic, linoleic, arachidic, behenic, lignoceric acids, benzyl isothiocyanate, benzyl cyanide, sterol and sitosterol. The leaves contain proteins, fats, carbohydrates, minerals – calcium and phosphorus, trace elements such as iron, nickel, cobalt and iodine. This also contains various vitamins such as vitamin A, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin and ascorbic acid. Other parts of the plant include stigmast-5-en-3β, 27-diol- 27-benzoate, glucotropoeolin, 4-methoxyglucobrassicin, sinapine, sinapic acid, calmodulin, sinapoyglucose, esters of caffeic, pcoumaric, ferulic, quinic acids, protein, minerals, vitamins, 5-4’-dihydroxy- 7,8,3’,5-tetramethoxyflavone, 5-3’- dihydroxy-7,8,4’-trimethoxyflavone, 5-3’- dihydroxy-6,7,4’-trimethoxyflavone.
Anti-inflammatory properties: For a very long time, Chandrashura has been used in Ayurveda to cure arthritis, osteoarthritis and other related diseases. Studies on Chandrashura have shown that its extracts possess anti-inflammatory properties which actually help in arthritis and osteoarthritis as prescribed in Ayurveda.
Analgesic properties: The anti-inflammatory properties of Chandsur are effective with the presence of analgesic or pain-killing properties. These pain-killing properties were tested against induced pain in lab rats and the results could be significantly compared to standard pain killing medications.
Heals fractures faster: The seeds of Chandrashura are very much useful in healing fractures quickly. Studies on animals with X ray induced microscopic fractures administered with Chandrashura seed extracts showed an improvement in fracture healing compared to the control goup.
Lowers diabetes: The extracts of Chandrashura have been noted to be effective in controlling diabetes as well. Test results show that the blood glucose levels in test subjects had been controlled over a two week study period.
Controls hypertension: The extracts of Chandrashura when administered to lab animals induced high urine passage along with the excretion of sodium salts. This was also observed in spontaneously hypertensive rats. As the sodium salts were excreted, the hypertension had reduced significantly.
Protection of liver: The extracts of Chandrashura possess liver protecting properties against chemically induced damages to the liver. This study suggests that consuming Chandrashura on a regular basis can strengthen liver.