Herb of the Season: VAMSALOCHANA (Bambusa arundinaceae)

Ayurvedic energetics:
Rasa (taste) – Madhura (sweet); Kshaya (astringent)
Vipaka – Madhura (sweet)
Veerya – Shita (cooling)
Doshic signature – KPV- / K+ in excess
Gunas – Laghu (light, easy to digest), Rooksha (dryness)
Dhatus affected: Plasma, Blood, Nerve
Srota entered: Respiratory, Nervous
Other Names: (Hindi), Vans Karpoor, Vans Sakkar, Tavaksiri (English) Bamboo Manna (Mandarin) Tian Zhu Huang

Bamboo grows all over India, especially Assam. Although all parts of the plant are now used, actual Vamsalochana itself, the most medicinally active part of the plant is silica-like paste secreted into and collected from inside the hollow internodes of bamboo. Vamsalochana means bamboo eyes which is eye-like crack in the bamboo plant. Vamsalochana plants are deep rooted and tall so it is difficult to harvest but it is very common grown although, owing to difficulties in harvesting, it is commonly adulterated and produced synthetically. The genuine natural substance is a white, crumbly product.

Its applications include:

Respiratory: Vamsalochana is the best cough expectorant for infected cough with green sputum, blood streaked in respiratory problems like asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia. It is believed to enter rasa dhatu and helps to clear fever and ama condition in the body plasma. It is nourishing and tonic to repair lungs tissues.
Cardiovascular: Vamsalochana is cardio tonic in nature. Rejuvenator for avalambaka kapha, cardioprotective. It helps promote blood flow used in chest pain, heart burn, heaviness etc.
Bleeding: Vamsalochana is hemostatic in nature. It effect rakta dhatu to prevent from heavy blooding by balancing high pitta anywhere in the body.
Urine: Vamsalochana is a good diuretic as it helps to balance urine flow and act as alkalizer. It prevents dysuria conditions.

Contraindications: High levels of dryness and vata aggravation need to be balanced by using with demulcent ghee and aromatic pungent herbs. No drug–herb interactions are known.

Dosage: 1–9g per day (dried).

Useful combinations:
+ Vasa, Anthrapachaka for pitta kapha coughs.
+ Pippali, Cinnamon for high fevers.
+ Arjuna, Punarnava for heart disorders.
+ Amalaki or Manjistha to stop bleeding due to high pitta.
+ Gokshura, coriander for pitta balance like urinary symptoms.

Provided by William Courson, BVSA, Dpl. Ayur., C.H. an Ayurvedic Practitioner, faculty member and the College Dean of Institutional Development at Sai Ayurvedic College & Ayurvedic Wellness Center.

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