Mango has fascinated Indians from times immemorial. The cluster of mango leaves can be seen in many of the paintings and sculptures of Ajanta and Elora. The unique fragrance of its blossom and the unrivalled sweet taste of its fruit have been immortalised in the ancient Sanskrit literature which include the Valmiki Ramayana and the voluminous work of Kalidasa. Ayurvedic texts also did not lag behind and have abundantly eulogised the medicinal qualities of mango. It is known as amra and rasala in Sanskrit. Mango had been explored for its healing properties by the ancient seers who have written in detail the usefulness of whole of its tree including the leaves, flower, fruit , seed kernel and the tree bark.
The unripe mango fruit is astringent and sour in taste and light, dry and cold in effect. But the ripe one is sweet , heavy, unctuous and pacifies vata and pitta. Its chemical profile renders it to be a fruit of very high nutritive value. According to modern analysis mango is rich in vitamins and also contains amino acids, starch, sugar content and an alkaloid known as mangiferin.
According to ayurveda, varied medicinal properties are attributed to different parts of the mango tree. Its leaves, root and bark are astringent, acrid, haemostatic, antiemetic and constipating in nature whereas the seed kernel is refrigerant, killer of abdominal worms and is also a uterine tonic. Unripe mango fruit has been described as digestive, carminative and appetizer. Ripe fruit is sweet, laxative, emollient, anti-oxidant, aphrodisiac, cardiac and general tonic.
Ancient ayurvedic texts have mentioned the application of mango fruit and other parts of its tree in various diseases. The root, bark, leaves and the fruit kernel are given to cure vomiting, hyperacidity, diarrhoea, intrinsic haemorrhages, uterine inflammations and other female disorders like white discharge and excessive menstruation. The unripe fruit is known to have very good effect if used in case of heat stroke, burning sensation, loss of appetite and urinary incontinence. The ripe mango is mildly laxative and is indicated for emaciation, anemia, liver and spleen diseases and also in general weakness.
Mango is used as an easy household remedy throughout India. The bark of mango tree has an astringent action on mucous membranes and in case of diarrhoea and dysentery, its two grams dried powder if taken two three times a day with water or buttermilk, has very good effect. Mango seed kernel is famous for its salutary effect in non specific leucorrhoea and is given to eat in roasted form. Mango leaves tone up the gums and are used in many tooth powders. Gargles of decoction of mango leaves are beneficial in case of mouth ulcers and spongy gums.
The amra phala prapanaka (panha) made with juice or pulp of unripe mango, sugar, cardamom and pepper is a popular home dish which always excessive thirst and is a prophylactic remedy against heat stroke. Though mango is used in many other forms like sharbat, murabba, pickles, squashes and is also eaten as fruit, pushyanug churna and chandanadi churna are the famous classic ayurvedic formulations which contain mango as an important ingredient.
Chief Consultant - Sanjivani Ayurvedic
Centre, Near Rose Garden Main Gate, Ludhiana-141 001.