Plants

Inula racemosa (Root)

PUSHKARA (Root)
Pushkara consists of dried root of Inula racemosa Hook. f. (Fam. Asteraceae), a stout herb, 0.5 to 1.5 m high, mostly found in Western Himalayas upto 2600 m.

SYNONYMS
Sanskrit : Kasmira, Poushkara
Assamese : Pohakarmul, Puskar
Bengali : Pushkara, Pushkaramula
English : Orris Root
Gujrati : Pushkarmula
Hindi : Pohakar Mul
Kannada : Pushkara Moola
Kashmiri : —
Malayalam : Puskara
Marathi : Pokhar Mool
Oriya : Puskara
Punjabi : Pokhar Mool
Tamil : Pushkarmulam
Telugu : Pushkara Mulamu
Urdu : —

DESCRIPTION

a) Macroscopic
Root available in cut pieces, upto about 15 cm long and 0.5 to 2.0 cm in dia.; cylindrical, straight or somewhat curved; surface rough due to longitudinal striations and cracks, scars of lateral rootlets and rhytidoma present, externally brownish-grey and internally yellowish-brown; fracture, short and smooth; odour, camphoraceous and aromatic; taste, bitter and camphoraceous.

b) Microscopic
Mature root shows a wavy outline due to development of rhytidoma; cork composed of 8 to 12 layers of thick-walled, tangentially elongated, rectangular cells, some filled with reddish-brown contents; secondary cortex 1 or 2 layers or absent; secondary phloem consists of sieve elements and parenchyma having secretory cavities and traversed by medullary rays; cambium not distinct; wood occupies bulk of root consisting of vessels, tracheids, fibres, parenchyma, secretory cavities and medullary rays; vessel have reticulate thickenings, a few fibres occur in small patches adjacent to vessels and abundant in xylem parenchyma, thin-walled; a few small tracheids; parenchyma in general contain granular, slightly yellowish or colourless inulin granules and also a few yellowish oil globules; starch grains either absent or very rarely seen in cortical and ray cells; yellowish resinous masses present in secretory canals.
Powder – Reddish-brown; under microscope shows fragments of cork cells, vessels, fibres and parenchyma cells containing tannin and inulin.

CONSTITUENTS – Essential oil

PROPERTIES AND ACTION
Rasa : Katu, Tikta
Guna : Laghu
Virya : Ushna
Vipaka : Katu
Karma : Kaphavatajit

IMPORTANT FORMULATIONS – Kankayana Gutika, Kumaryasava, Mahanarayana Taila, Manasamitravaaka, Dasamhularishta, Lodrasava, Rasnadi Kvatha Churna

THERAPEUTIC USES – Aruci, Adhmana, Hikka, Jvara, Kasa, Swasha, Parsvasula, sopha, Ardita, Pandu

DOSE – 1-3 gm of the drug in powder form.