Prof. Dr. Dhrubo Jyoti Sen


Rudraksha beads are believed to provide a kind of protective energy for the wearer, to shield them from various circumstances, places and individuals they encounter in their daily life. For this reason, they are often worn by wondering sadhus and sannyasis and by travellers. Rudraksha is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the name Rudra (Shiva) and akṣa (Teardrops). Its size is always measured in millimeters. They range from as small as pea seeds to larger ones, some almost reaching the size of a walnut. A Rudraksha's surface should be hard and the projections should be well grooved, as found in most of the Nepalese Rudrakshas. Indonesian Rudraksha has a different appearance. Rudraksha from India shows very high and deeply grooved projections resembling natural deep hills and valleys. Rudraksha (Elaeocarpus ganitrus), is a large evergreen broad-leaved tree whose seed is traditionally used for prayer beads in Hinduism and Buddhism. The seeds are known as rudraksha, or rudraksh, Sanskrit: rudrākṣa (Rudra's Tear Drops). Rudraksha may be produced by several species of Elaeocarpus; however, E.ganitrus is the principal species used in the making of organic jewellery or mala. In the present review, an attempt has been made to congregate the botanical, phytochemical, ethno medicinal, pharmacological information on Elaeocarpus ganitrus Roxb. belongs to family Elaeocarpaceae. It is prevalent for its fascinating fruit stones and medicinal properties. It procures a remarkable position in Hinduism and Ayurveda, the indigenous system of medicine. In Hindi it is recognized as Rudraksha, is a large evergreen broad-leaved tree whose seed is conventionally used for prayer beads in Hindu religion. In traditional system of medicine, different parts (beads, bark, leaves and outer shell of beads) of Rudraksha are taken for the alleviation of various health problems such as mental disorders, headache, fever, skin diseases and for healing the wounds. Ayurvedic texts categorize Rudraksha fruits as thermogenic, sedative, cough alleviator and are useful for the treatment of bronchitis, neuralgia, cephalagia, anorexia, migraine, manic conditions and other brain disorders. It is employed in folk medicine as a counter agent of stress, anxiety, depression, palpitation, nerve pain, epilepsy, lack of concentration, asthma, hypertension, arthritis and liver diseases. Furthermore it is retrieve to exhibit multifarious pharmacological activities like anti-inflammatory, analgesic, hypoglycemic, antiulcerogenic and very high antimicrobial activity. Phytosterols, fats, alkaloids, flavonoids, carbohydrates, proteins and tannins have been found to be largely responsible for the therapeutic potential of E.ganitrus. Aqueous extract of leaves contains glycosides also. Ethanolic extract of leaves contains gallic acid, ellagic acid & quercetin. This review provides a scientific basis for pharmacological /medicinal properties and therapeutic uses of Elaeocarpus ganitrus Roxb.

Keywords: Rudra, Aksha, Elaeocarpus ganitrus, Indolizidine alkaloids, Mukhi, Deity, Beej mantra.

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