Shirish (Albizia Lebbeck)
Shirish (Shirisham) - Albizia Lebbeck
Shirish, an Ayurvedic anti-poisonous herb and considered as the most powerful antidote against large number of animal and plant origin poisons. The experiments have proven the property of this herb, like antimicrobial and Immune-modulator actions. Shirish is used in treating Aama visha (difficult to digest products generated within the body). Aama visha creates imbalance of three doshas namely Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Shirish is one among the best medicine in curing different type of allergies.
Action of Albizia Lebbeck or Shirish in Allergies
Phytoconstituents found in Albizia lebbeck are having the properties to suppress histamine induced allergic reaction like bronchospasm, pulmonary eosinophilia, spreading skin diseases like erysipelas and anaphylaxis in food allergies.
Allergic reactions are mediated mainly by Histamine H1 receptor (H R) and Histadine Decarboxylase (HDC) genes. The expression level of both H R and HDC will be directly proportional to the severity of the allergic symptoms. Administration of Shirish bark extract resulted in significant reduction of allergy symptoms in patients.
Botanical Classification and Native Names
|Botanical Name||Albizia Lebbeck, Mimosa Lebbeck|
|Sanskrit Name||Shukriya, Kapitana, , Bhandira Mrudupushpa,Bhandi.|
|English Name||Lebbek Tree, Flea Tree, Frywood, And Woman’s Tongue Tree|
|Telugu Name||Dirisena Chettu|
|Kannada Name||Bage Mara|
|Punjabi Name||Siri, Shari|
Morphology of Albezia lebbeck or Shirish
It is a long tree which grows upto 50-100 feet with wide trunk of 3-4 feet in diameter. There are three best ways to identify Albizia lebbeck Shirish visually –
- The gum keeps coming out of the tree, like acacia gum.
- The leaves are similar to tamarind leaves and
- The flowers are very tender and are having an apperance of a bunch of threads.
Geographical distribution of Albizia Lebbeck or Shirish
Albizia lebbeck or Shirish being one of the most widespread and common species of Albizia in the world. It is found extensively in all the provinces of India as well as in different parts of south-east Asia and northern Australia. In sub-range of the Himalayas, this herb is found up to the height of 3800 feet.
Phytoconstituents of Albizia Lebbeck or Shirish
Chemical constituents in Shirish bark are condensed tannins, saponins, gums and acid isomers etc. These metabolites are known to possess action against several pathogens and aid the antimicrobial action. Albizia lebbeck is also known for traditional use in the treatment of food, skin and nasal allergies
Ayurveda reference of Albizia lebbeck or Shirish
Dosage of Albizia Lebbeck or Shirish
- Powder(Choornam) – 3-5 gm per day
- Juices(Swarasam)– 20-30 ml two times a day
- Decoction(Kwatham)- 60-100 ml per day
Medicinal Properties of Albizia Lebbeck or Shirish
- Shothhara – anti inflammatory
- Visarpa Ghana – relieves herpes, relieves spreading skin disease
- Kasahara – relieves cold and cough
- Vranahara – brings about fast wound healing
- Vishapaha – useful in treating poisoning
- Varnya – good for skin, improves complexion
- Kushtaghna – useful in skin diseases
- Kandughna – relieves itching, pruritus
- Twak Doshahara – detoxifies skin
- Shwasahara – helps in asthma, COPD, wheezing, breathing problem
Home remedies of Albizia lebbeck or Shirish
Ayurvedic herbs are clinically proven against various diseases. Due to the overuse of chemically processed drugs, which results in higher incidence of adverse reaction, people are now motivated to use herbal solutions. The fine powder of Shirts bark has a general anti-inflammatory and analgesic effect on the wounds, lymphadenitis and skin disease.
- Shirish in dental care: Ayurvedic kashaya (decoction) of its bark is used as gargle due to its antimicrobial property for cleansing of buccal cavity. Shirish stem/twig is used from ancient time for brushing teeth.
- Shirish in eye allergies: 2 drops of shirish fresh leaf juice is instilled to each eyes to prevent from the seasonal eye allergy, excess lacrimation and night- blindness.
- Shirish in nasal allergies: 2-4 drops of shirish fresh leaf juice is instilled to each nostril to prevent from the seasonal nasal allergy and sinusitis.
- Shirish in headache: fine paste of shirish flower is applied over the forehead in headache (migraine).
- Shirish in skin allergies: fine paste of its bark or leaf is applied over the skin lesions such as viral herpes or blisters associated with burning and itching.
Article Written By: Dr. Sahil Gupta, Ayurvedic Allergist