Vāstuka, aka: Vastuka, Vāstūka; 2 Definition(s)
Vāstuka (वास्तुक) is a Sanskrit word referring to Chenopodium murale (nettle-leaved goosefoot), from the Amaranthaceae family. Certain plant parts of Vāstuka are eaten as a vegetable (śāka), according to Caraka in his Carakasaṃhitā sūtrasthāna (chapter 27), a classical Āyurvedic work. The plant is therefore part of the Śākavarga group of medicinal plants, referring to the “group of vegetables/pot-herbs”. Caraka defined such groups (vargas) based on the dietic value of the plant. Note that Chenopodium murale is a synonym of Chenopodiastrum murale.
According to Satish Chandra Sankhyadhar in his translation of the Rājanighaṇṭu (verses 7.122-123), Vāstuka is listed as a synonym of Vāstūka, which is identified with Chenopodium album (lamb’s quarters). This plant (vāstūka) is listed with the following synonyms: Vāstuka, Vāstu, Vastuka, Hilamocikā, Śākarāja, Rājaśāka and Cakravati. The Rājanighaṇṭu is a 13th-century Āurvedic encyclopedia.
Properties according to the Carakasaṃhitā: The vegetables of Vāstuka alleviate three doṣas. It is also laxative.
Properties according to the Rājanighaṇṭu: Vāstūka is sweet, cooling, alkaline besides being slightly acidic. It controls all the three doṣas and is an appetiser. It alleviates fever and is effective in haemorrhoides. It also acts as a mid laxative and diuretic.
Botanical description: This is found throughout India in the cultivated field. That is why its one of the synoyms (according to Bhāvaprakāśa) is Yavaśāka, because it grows in the fields of barley (and also wheat). It contains carotene and Vitamine C and used as laxative and anthelmintic, also contains an anthelmintic oil called Chenopodium oil, which is effective against hook worm.
Species: Vāstūka is mainly of two types: Gauravāstūka and Sugandhavāstūka. The species with bigger and red leaves is identified as Gauravāstūka or Chenopodium purpurascens (synonym of Chenopodium giganteum). This is refered by Surendra Mohan in Kaidevanighaṇṭu as Cillī and the American species containing 60% Chenopodium is known as Chenopodium ambrosioides (synonym of Dysphania ambrosioides). Chuṇekar has described it by the name Sugandhavāstūka. Chenopodium botrys (synonym of Dysphania botrys) is used as a substitute for the American species.
Vāstu (वास्तु) is another name (synonym) for Vāstūka, which is a Sanskrit nam...
Rājaśāka (राजशाक) is another name (synonym) for Vāstūka, which is a Sanskrit ...
Śākavarga (शाकवर्ग) is the Sanskrit name for a group of medicinal plants, cla...
Cakravati (चक्रवति) is another name (synonym) for Vāstūka, which is a Sanskri...
Bhūmibandha (भूमिबन्ध):—The Samarāṅgaṇa-sūtradhāra (72.24-26) nar...
Hilamocikā (हिलमोचिका) is another name (synonym) for Vāstūka, which is a Sans...
Śākarāja (शाकराज) is another name (synonym) for Vāstūka, which is a Sanskrit ...
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