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Dronapushpi: Uses, Benefits and Side Effects By Dr. Rajeev Singh 

By Dr Rajeev Singh +2 more

Introduction: 

Hippocrates, “the father of medicine,” has rightly described Nature as the best physician. Since ancient times, different parts of the plants like leaves, seeds, flowers, roots and stems have been used for their medicinal value. One such plant which is of great significance is dronapushpi. Dronapushpi is a herb commonly found in India, from the Himalayas and down to Ceylon. The scientific name of this plant is Leucas aspera, and it belongs to the family Lamiaceae. In Sanskrit, it is known as dronapushpi, chitrak-shupa and chitrapathrika. In Hindi, it is called goma madhupati. It is known as thumbai, bahuphul in Marathi and Tunni in Southern India. In this article, we will learn more about dronapushpi, its health benefits, side effects, precautions, etc.1  

Nutritional Value of Dronapushpi: 

Dronapushpi contains different types of phytochemicals, which include phytosterols (plant sterols) like β-Sitosterol and its glycoside and terpenes (organic compounds found in oils) like norlabdane, labdane, abietane-leucasdins A, B, C and leucastrins A and B. The oil of dronapushpi contains fatty acids like adipic acid, laballenic acid, tridecanoic acid, lauric acid and glutaric acid.2 

dronapushpi

Properties of Dronapushpi: 

Dronapushpi shows numerous scientifically proven properties, some of which are mentioned below: 

  • It may have antioxidant properties.1 
  • It may have properties to arrest the growth of fungi and bacteria.1 
  • It may have the potential to reduce pain.1 
  • It may have properties to manage fever.1 
  • It may have the potential to reduce cough.1 
  • It may have properties to reduce blood glucose.3 

Potential Uses of Dronapushpi for Overall Health: 

Some of the potential benefits of dronapushpi are described below. 

Potential use of dronapushpi on fungal infections 

Literature states that dronapushpi may have the potential to kill harmful fungi. Prajapati et al. conducted a study in 2010. The findings of this study showed that leaves obtained from dronapushpi plant helped in killing fungi like Microsporum gypseum and Trichophyton rubrum. This indicates that it may have the potential to manage hair, skin, scalp and nail infections caused due to these fungi. However, we have yet to claim these results with greater reliability. It is further advised not to self-medicate and consult your physician for proper treatment of any fungal infection.1 

Potential uses of dronapushpi on bacterial infections 

Ayurvedic literature supports the use of different plant extracts that may help manage bacterial infections. A study conducted by Prajapati et al. in 2010 stated that the oil extracted from dronapushpi might arrest the growth of bacterias like S.aureus, S.typhi, K.aerogenes, E.coli and P.vulgaris and may have the potential to manage pneumonia, typhoid, urinary tract infections and diarrhoea caused by these bacteria. However, due to limited studies, it is advised not to rely on dronapushpi as a remedy and kindly consult your physician for the proper management of any bacterial infections.1 

Potential uses of dronapushpi in diabetes 

Ever wondered what happens to the food that we eat? The food that we eat is broken down into glucose by enzymes like alpha-glucosidase and alpha-amylase. Verma et al. 2017 conducted a study, and the results of this study show that dronapushpi may help lower blood glucose and may have a positive impact on diabetes. This effect is due to the inhibition of alpha-amylase, which helps in reducing blood glucose levels. However, we need more studies to claim these results with greater reliability. Also, it is advised not to consider dronapushpi as an alternative to modern medicine; you should always consult your doctor for proper management of diabetes.3 

Potential use of dronapushpi on fever and cough 

Literature studies support the use of herbs like dronapushpi for managing fever. A study conducted by Prajapati et al. in 2010 stated that dronapushpi might help reduce body temperature if you have a fever. Additionally, it may help manage the cough. This indicates that this herb may positively impact fever and cough. The exact mechanism behind these effects is unclear, and thus, you should not rely on dronapushpi for the treatment of fever or cough. It is best to consult your doctor for the proper treatment.1 

Potential uses of dronapushpi in peptic ulcers  

Peptic ulcer or gastric ulcers are sores on the lining of the stomach, food pipe (esophagus) or small intestine. Ulcers are usually associated with stomach pain, indigestion and acid reflux. Many literature studies support the use of herbal preparations like dronapushpi for managing ulcers. Hiremath et al., in 2022 stated that this herb may help in reducing gastric acid production and, thus, help manage ulcers. However, it is advised not to consider dronapushpi as an alternative to modern medicine, and you should consult your doctor for the proper management of peptic ulcers.2 

Potential uses of dronapushpi in psoriasis 

Psoriasis is a skin disease which causes rashes, itchiness and scaly skin. A review conducted by Singh et al. in 2022 stated that the presence of antioxidants in dronapushpi may help eliminate the harmful radicals from the body and helps relieve skin itchiness and rashes. This indicates that dronapushpi may positively impact psoriasis. However, you should not consider it as an alternative to modern medicine; it is always advised to consult a physician for the proper management of psoriasis.4 

Potential uses of dronapushpi in prostate cancer 

Studies show that compounds extracted from different parts of the plants may positively impact prostate cancer. Anjusha et al. conducted a study in 2017, the results showed that dronapushpi might have the potential to manage prostate cancer. To claim these results with greater reliability, we need more studies. It is further advised not to consider dronapushpi as an alternative to modern medicine; kindly consider your doctor for the proper management of prostate cancer.5 

Potential uses of dronapushpi in jaundice 

Jaundice is a disease condition characterised by the yellowing of skin, nails and eyes due to an increase in bilirubin (a breakdown product of red blood cells). Literature studies support the use of dronapushpi to reduce bilirubin. A review which was conducted by Das et al. in 2012 stated that the hot water extract of the entire plant of dronapushpi might help manage jaundice. However, you should not consider this herb as an alternative to modern medicine and should consult your doctor for proper treatment of jaundice. 

Other potential uses of dronapushpi:  

  • Dronapushpi may help improve menstrual flow.1 
  • It may help manage constipation.1 
  • The juice of the leaves is administered in the ears to provide relief from ear pain.6 
  • Traditionally, dronapushpi was used for managing snake bites.1 
  • Dronapushpi is a good source of healthy fats and is used as an effective nutraceutical which promotes general well-being.3 
  • Inhaling the crushed flowers of dronapushpi may help manage migraine.6 

Though there are studies that show the benefits of dronapushpi in various conditions, these are insufficient, and there is a need for further studies to establish the true extent of the benefits of dronapushpi on human health.  

From what I have read, the utilisation of the entire dronapushpi plant in a particular herbal composition has been patented for its effectiveness in dealing with epileptic convulsions and cerebral function disorders. This indicates that researchers may have found positive outcomes in using a combination of different parts of the dronapushpi plant, constituting 70% of the herbal composition, to address conditions such as seizures and problems related to brain function.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, B.A.M.S, M.D (Ayu)

How to Use Dronapushpi?  

  • Dronapushpi is dried and powdered, 1-3 g of this powder is used for the above-mentioned health benefits. 
  • Juice prepared from the fresh leaves of dronapushpi is consumed in 5-10ml quantities for its health benefits.2 

You must consult a qualified doctor before consuming any herbal supplements. You should not discontinue or replace your ongoing treatment of modern medicine with an ayurvedic/herbal preparation without consulting your doctor.  

One interesting but surprising use I have come across is the smoking of dried dronapushpi inflorescences and exhaling the smoke through the nose to possibly address nose bleeds. This unique practice suggests that dronapushpi may have been traditionally employed as a remedy for managing nose bleeding.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

Side Effects of Dronapushpi: 

Hiremath et al. conducted a study in 2022 which found that dronapushpi may result in CNS depression or slowing down of brain activity, which can result in nausea, vomiting, reduced heart rate and breathing, confusion and memory loss.5 

Dronapushpi is considered a safe formulation; however, if you experience any adverse reactions to dronapushpi, it is advised to discontinue its intake and immediately contact a doctor or your Ayurvedic physician who has prescribed it, as they will guide you properly for your symptoms. 

Based on a study I read, it was found that dronapushpi flower balls might provide a satisfying combination of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, iron, and calcium. Thus, they may offer a convenient and tasty option that may be enjoyed as a snack while providing the body with valuable nourishment.

Dr. Smita barode, B.A.M.S, M.S.

Precautions to take with Dronapushpi: 

Consuming dronapushpi is okay if taken in moderate amounts. However, the following considerations must be taken: 

  • The safety of consumption of dronapushpi by special groups like pregnant and lactating children and the elderly is not studied in detail. Therefore, it is advised to consult a physician if you belong to these special groups and plan to take dronapushpi. 
  • If you are using fresh leaves of dronapushpi, you should first wash the leaves thoroughly under tap water. 

Interactions with Other Drugs: 

  • There may be an interaction between dronapushpi and your blood glucose-lowering medicines; this may cause blood glucose levels to fall too low. It is best to avoid this combination.3 
  • There may be an interaction between dronapushpi and your anti-cancer medicines resulting in adverse effects. It is best to avoid taking them together.5 
  • Herbal medicines like dronapushpi may interact with your ongoing medications and can result in toxicity or decreased efficacy.7 

However, you must always seek the advice of your Ayurvedic physician about the possible interaction of dronapushpi with other drugs. 

Frequently Asked Questions: 

1) What is the scientific name of dronapushpi? 

The scientific name of dronapushpi is Leucas aspera, and it belongs to the family Lamiaceae.1 

2) What is dronapushpi called in Hindi? 

In Hindi, dronapushpi is called as goma madhupati.1 

3) What are dronapushpi side effects?  

Hiremath et al. conducted a study in 2022 which found that dronapushpi may result in CNS depression which can result in nausea, vomiting, reduced heart rate and breathing, confusion and memory loss.5 

4) Does dronapushpi benefit diabetes? 

Yes, studies have supported the use of dronapushpi may help in reducing blood glucose and may help manage diabetes.2 

5) Can you take dronapushpi during pregnancy? 

The safety of dronapushpi during pregnancy is not well-established; it is therefore advised to avoid its use and consult your doctor for the same. 

Disclaimer: The information or data included on this site is only for educational purposes and should not be considered or counted as a substitute for medical treatment by any healthcare professional or doctor. Based on the individual needs, the reader should consult their physician or doctor to determine the appropriateness of the information provided on this site for the reader’s situation.  

References: 

  1. Prajapati MS, Patel JB, Modi K, Shah MB. Leucas aspera: A review. Pharmacognosy reviews. 2010 Jan; 4(7):85. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3249907/ 
  1. Hiremath S, Pradeep AJ. Leucas aspera Spreng (Dronapushpi): A Review. Journal of Ayurvedic and Herbal Medicine. 2022; 8(1):48-54. Available at: https://www.ayurvedjournal.com/JAHM_202281_11.pdf 
  1.  Verma A, Kumar A, Upreti DK, Pande V, Pal M. Fatty acid profiling and In vitro antihyperglycemic effect of Leucas cephalotes (Roth) spreng via carbohydrate hydrolyzing enzyme inhibition. Pharmacognosy Magazine. 2017 Jan; 13(Suppl 1):S22. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5407111/ 
  1. Singh R. APPLICATION OF HOMEOPATHY IN VETERINARY PRACTICES. 2022. Available at: https://www.pashudhanpraharee.com/application-of-homeopathy-in-veterinary-practices-3/ 
  1. Mohan A, Nair SV, Lakshmanan VK. Leucas aspera nanomedicine shows superior toxicity and cell migration retarded in prostate cancer cells. Applied biochemistry and biotechnology. 2017 Apr; 181:1388-400. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27812900/ 
  1. Das SN, Patro VJ, Dinda SC. A review: Ethnobotanical survey of genus Leucas. Pharmacognosy reviews. 2012 Jul; 6(12):100. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3459451/ 
  1. Singh A, Zhao K. Treatment of insomnia with traditional Chinese herbal medicine. International Review of Neurobiology. 2017 Jan 1; 135:97-115. Available at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/biochemistry-genetics-and-molecular-biology/herb-drug-interaction 

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