Wednesday, October 4, 2000,
Chandigarh, India

L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Herbs & Health
Erand: a medicinal wonder
Dr. R. Vatsyayan

ERAND (gandharvahasta, ricinus communis), a tall shrub that sometimes grows to the height a small tree is a common medicinal plant of the Indian subcontinent. It has large, broad and rounded leaves that are further divided into seven or nine toothed margins. The fruit, like a prickly capsule, contains some hard-shelled seeds. The giri of the seed contains castor oil. The plant is largely cultivated on the borders of agricultural fields and gardens, but is also found near habitations and wastelands at times. The oil of erand is used as a medicine, but the leaves, the root and the seed of the plant are also useful.

Ancient texts of ayurveda describe erand as sweet, but pungent shrub and hot and heavy in effect. It is a destroyer of vata and kapha, but due to its hot nature, it aggravates pitta. The erand seed, which is the source of castor oil, contains an inert alkaloid. Though the oil is non-irritant, in the duodenum, it is decomposed by the pancreatic juice into recinoleic acid that irritates the bowels and causes purgation. This acid is absorbed into the tissues and is excreted with the human milk. The milk, when sucked, imparts to the child its purgative action.

Castor oil has anti-inflammatory, analgesic, carminative and abdominal worm-removing properties. However, in the Indian medical system, it is best known for its anti-rheumatic action. The plant has a variety of applications. It can cure rheumatoid arthritis and sciatica lumbago syndrome, besides a number of disorders of the nervous system like paralysis and parkinson’s disease. Used orally and externally, erand also helps us fight constipation, enlargements of the liver and the spleen and skin and soft-tissue injuries. Some of its common uses are as under.

In the early stage of rheumatism, 10 ml of castor oil taken with two grams of powder of dry ginger (sonth) daily for a fortnight at bedtime reduces the inflammation of the joints. It also relieves the early-morning stiffness of the joints, a characteristic feature of rheumatoid arthritis. Patients can also take this mixture with a cup of warm milk. Varying in dose from patient to patient, castor oil helps in clearing bowels and is given to a person to remove constipation and hard stool in case of piles.

For chronic backache and sciatica, kheer of erand giri is prepared after boiling it in milk for the patient. It also helps a person fight many other diseases of the nervous system. Leaves of castor oil are used for fomentation and as a poultice in the treatment of inflammatory and painful conditions.

There are various ayurvedic mixtures like sinhanaad guggal and rasna saptak qwath that contain castor oil and the erand root. Both are drugs that are used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.

It is suggested that only refined castor oil should be used for medicinal purposes. The dose of castor oil usually varies from 5 ml to 15 ml, whereas its seeds are given to a patient in a dose of two to six pieces only. Patients suffering from constipation are advised against the habitual use of castor oil. It should be given sparingly to pregnant and menstruating women. Overdose of castor oil can cause pain in abdomen, besides nausea and vomiting.


Doctor invited to world conference
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Oct 3 — Dr J.L. Bassi, a renowned orthopaedic surgeon, has been invited to attend the international conference, World Tribology, in Switzerland from October 5 to October 7. More than 800 orthopaedic surgeons from all over the world are expected to attend the conference.

Sirus Nail, a latest product in Orthopaedic surgery, is being used by Dr J.L. Bassi in Dayanand Medical College and Hospital here. Dr Bassi said the nail was made up of titanium, which made it light and biocompatible with the human body. Mr Seinthilnathan, General Manager of a medical products company, said Dr Bassi was the first surgeon in India to use this technology.


Alok, Bhuvan shine in Satluj Club meet
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Oct 3 — Former National Champion Alok Kumar won the Satluj Club Open Snooker Championship by defeating Ashish Dhanda here last night 5-3, in the best of nine match that continued for more than two hours. However, Bhuvan Dhanda scored a clean sweep in the Badminton events winning four titles.

In the under-19 singles (badminton), Bhuvan defeated Anuj Dhand, by 15-3, 15-11, to claim the title. For the doubles crown he paired with Vaibhav Mehta to beat Gaurav Thapar and Karan Malhotra in straight sets, 15-4, 15-4.

In the mens singles (badminton), he defeated Raman Aggarwal, 15-5,15-8. In the men’s doubles (badminton) Bhuvan with Tony Malothra defeated Ravinder Verma and Gaurav Thapar, by 15-13,15-4.

In the men’s singles and doubles tennis events Gautam Dhall created a sensation by defeating Achint Baweja, 6-1, 6-0. In the doubles (tennis) Gautam and Shiv Kumar Sharma beat Achint and Umesh, by 4-6, 6-4, 6-1, to clinch the doubles title.

Mr S.K. Sandhu presided over concluding function of sports carnival of the club and gave away the prizes to the winners. Former world champion Arun Dhand, in 35 plus (badminton) and former National Champion Alok Kumar in snooker were honoured on the occasion.

Badminton championship
The District Mini and Veteran Badminton Championship organised by the Ludhiana District Badminton Association (LDBA), will be held from October 4 to 6 at the Shastri badminton hall, Guru Nanak Stadium, here.

The Ludhiana district team for Punjab Mini and Veteran Badminton Championship, which is scheduled to be held from October 15 to 18, would be selected on the basis of the performance in this championship.

Mr R.S. Behl, General Secretary, LDBA, said in a press release issued today that Mr D.S.S. Sandhu, Commissioner, Income Tax, would inaugurate the championship tomorrow evening. Mr Harmohinder Singh Pahwa, Director, Avon Cycles, will gave away the prizes on October 6. Back


GNIPS wins inter-school bhajan contest
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Oct 3 — Students of Guru Nanak International Public School won the overall trophy in inter-school bhajan and kirtan singing competition held at Shastri Memorial Public School, Shivaji Nagar, here yesterday.

More than 500 students from over 20 schools participated in the competition. There were two groups for both forms of singing, junior for students till Class VI and senior for students from classes VII to X. The senior shabad team of Guru Nanak International sang Ram japoji aise aise and won the first prize. Ramgarhia Senior Secondary School and DAV Public School won the second and third prize, respectively.

In the junior category, the host team won the first prize, followed by the teams of DAV Public School and Guru Nanak International School. The teams of Sargodha Khalsa High School and Everest Public School got consolation prizes.

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