If you are a long-time sufferer of spring allergies and tend to experience lung congestion and/or heat and inflammation, then Vasa, or Malabar Nut, could be a lifesaver for you.
Vasa means ‘perfume’ and is a common evergreen perennial shrub that grows in India and Sri Lanka. It has a bitter and astringent (or drying) taste.
According to Sebastian Pole in his book, Ayurvedic Medicine, “…it eases breathlessness and bronchospasm. It clears inflammatory Pitta heat and liquefies congestive Kapha.” It is frequently used as a bronchodilator, expectorant, antispasmodic, alterative, diaphoretic and a febrifuge. This makes Vasa specifically good for Kapha/Pitta conditions and many spring allergies.
In addition to the lungs, Vasa has been eulogized in Sanskrit literature for its ability to astringe mucous membranes and stop bleeding—decreasing menstrual flow, ulcerative bleeding, nosebleeds and bleeding due to gingivitis. It reduces uterine prolapse and helps reduce inflammatory skin diseases. Additionally, vasa stimulates the vagus nerve and causes vasodilation of the capillaries, lowering the blood pressure and increasing the contractile ability of the heart.
Vasa is not recommended for pregnant women or children. And while the names may sound similar, Vasa is not recommended for Vata conditions or any condition caused by excessive dryness. If you are taking an anti-tussive medication, Vasa could magnify the remedy and create too dramatic of results. It should only be used for the short-term as excess use can cause blood pressure to drop too low. In short, it is best to use this exceptionally powerful herb only under the guidance of a qualified herbalist or practitioner.
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of Ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have an acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. If you are seeking the medical advice of a trained ayurvedic expert, call or email Karen Callahan at firstname.lastname@example.org.