Nochi – ( Nirgundi – Vitex negundo ): Nochi or Nirgundi as it is commonly called is native to Eastern and Southern Africa and Asia. It is found throughout Indian Subcontinent and can be easily identified by its light purple flowers borne in panicle inflorescence.
Nochi is called by different names in different parts of India. In English the shrub is called Chinese Chaste tree, chaste tree or Horseshoe Vitex and the botanical name is Vitex negundo. It is an erect shrub which grows to the height of 2-8 metres. The leaves are digitate with five and sometimes three leaflets.
Nochi is an amazing herb well known for its excellent medicinal values and numerous uses since ancient times and extensively used in Ayurveda and Siddha. Nochi is also known as “sarvaroganivarini”, the remedy for all diseases. Nochi is an effective Anti-inflammatory, Vermifuge, Alterative and an effective Astringent.
Nochi leaf in particular is known for its effectiveness in the treatment of sinusitis, headache, muscle aches and joint pains. Nochi leaf is also found to be effective against ringworm, eczema and various other skin infections, liver disorders, spleen enlargement, rheumatic pain, gout, abscess and backache.
Some of the Medicinal Uses of Nochi :
- Nochi leaf is famous for its use in the treatment of sinus infection. It relieves the pain as well as the inflammation. There are two traditional ways Nochi is used in the treatment of sinus; Nochi steam and Nochi pillow.
- Nochi leaves are anti-inflammatory in nature. They are used to relieve swelling, arthritic pain and body pain caused due to increased Vata. A small bundle of Nochi leaves are heated and used over swelling as fomentation in the affected area to relieve pain.
- Nochi leaves are highly effective against spleen enlargement. Juice of Nochi leaves is prescribed to be taken early morning on empty stomach to relieve spleenomegally. The paste made out of Nochi leaves is applied externally over the inflamed spleen area.
- Oil made out of Nochi leaves is applied over the head in case of pain and inflammation around neck.
- Nochi leaves are known Vermifuge and the juice from fresh leaves are considered highly effective.
Because of their anti-inflammatory properties Nochi leaves are also used in post natal care to reduce swelling in uterus.
- Nochi leaves are considered valuable against skin disorders like ringworm, eczema, abscess and various other skin infections. The paste made out of leaves is applied on skin infections and the juice extracted out of fresh leaves is used to clean skin ulcers.
- Nochi leaf is also found to be effective in the treatment of liver disorders.
Administration and usage:
1: Nochi steam:
A small stone or piece of brick is heated till red hot. Water is boiled in an open mouthed vessel with Nochi leaves. The patient can bend over the vessel and breathe in the steam. The patient is covered completely with a blanket to retain steam for a longer duration. To maintain the temperature, previously heated stone is placed in water.
2: Nochi pillow:
This needs at least a bunch of Nochi leaves to be put together in the form of a pillow. These leaves are heated in an earthen pot till brown in colour and then put inside a pillow cover. The patient is advised to sleep on this pillow for relief of sinus headache and heaviness in the head.
3. Nochi Kashayam: Boil 10 gms (2 tsp Approx.) of Nochi leave powder and 1 tsp of black pepper in 200 ml of water till it is concentrated to about 1/3. Take 50ml of this decoction twice a day. Improves immunity and highly effective in treating many infectious diseases like Dengue fever and releives body pain.
4. Nochi Fumigation: Traditionally fumigating the house with Nochi leaves powder is done to keep away mosquitoes as well as airborne diseases. It is done by sprinkling Nochi leaves powder on burning hot coal kept in a proper holder with long handle specially made for this purpose and take it around the house to spread the smoke and the positive effects of the herb.
So next time your body is in pain or you get irritated with a ring on your skin just check your garden for this easily found shrub and relieve yourself of pain.
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