This spikey fruit looks like the cloven hoof of a cow and hence the name Go-kshura (cow-hoof). ‘Kshura’ also means ‘scratcher’ and as this thorny shrub is found growing in sandy wasteland all over the sub-continent it is responsible for scarring the hide of many a sacred cow. It is a superb diuretic that clears excess fluids from the system. Its hormonal precursor compounds actively nourish the reproductive system. It is also very useful for itchy skin, especially on the hands and feet.
Cleanses urinary system
Gokshura grows throughout India, China, Vietnam and some parts of Europe and South Africa. It is a thorny, trailing plant that can grow up to 1m in length. The leaves are an oblong shape and have 5-8 pairs of leaflets. It produces single flowers which are a pale yellow in colour and its fruits are globular with two characteristic pairs of spines.
All around the world the actions of traditional medicines were understood by their immediate sensory impacts. Click on each of gokshura’s key qualities below to learn more:
Gokshura protects against the formation of calculi in the urinary tract and the kidneys through the inhibition of the enzyme glycolic acid oxidase (GAO) which is involved in the oxalating of certain metabolites. Certain constituents within gokshura have also demonstrated antimicrobial activity.
Gokshura enhances the conversion of protodioscin to dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), a key steroid hormone affecting the functioning of the adrenal glands and also the reproductive organs. As such, gokshura supports the functioning of the reproductive system in both men and women, improving fertility and libido. In men specifically, gokshura encourages spermatogenesis.
Gokshura has an affinity for the kidneys and urinary system, encouraging rejuvenation, nourishment and cleansing of the whole system. Gokshura can effectively clear stagnant and/or toxic accumulations seated in the urinary system and the kidneys whilst also encouraging cellular repair and rejuvenation processes once the cleansing has taken place. Skin based conditions affecting the hands and feet are often effectively treated through cooling excess heat and inflammation present in the kidneys and the liver; gokshura has a cleansing and cooling effect on both organs and is, therefore, effective for treating characteristically hot, irritated and itching skin based complaints.
Gokshura has a direct effect upon hormone production within the reproductive system of both men and women, improving fertility, libido and sperm production in men. It is particularly effective at supporting a weakness within the male reproductive system, including the prostate where it will reduce inflammation and strengthen and nourish the whole system.
Gokshura fruit relieves bladder and kidney infections, renal colic, kidney stones, urinary retention, cloudy urination and haematuria. It soothes the urinary tract membranes and promotes urination and is specific for prostate problems, urinary retention or an obstructed urinary flow.
Gokshura aerial parts and fruits are tonic herbs with sweet post-digestive effects that nourish the reproductive system increasing virility, fertility, sperm production as well as lactation. It rejuvenates the reproductive system, especially the uterus and the gonads and is used in infertility and impotence where there is an obstruction in the reproductive tissue. Its saponin and flavonoid content act as hormonal precursors and protodioscin is actually converted to DHEA, enhancing sexual function.
Gokshura fruit is useful in all aggravations of the nervous system. Its harmala alkaloid content has MAOI activity that can be utilised for psychological and nervous imbalances to enhance the balance of serotonin in the brain.
Gokshura fruit is very useful for stopping itching in the skin caused by toxic congestion in themuscle, blood or plasma. It is also a specific herb for lesions on the psalms of the hands or soles of the feet.
The fruit, aerial parts and root are used in Ayurvedic medicine. The aerial parts appear to have the widest spectrum of rejuvenative activity for the reproductive system and the fruits are best known for their lithotropic activity and for their action on the skin.
Caution with anti-psychotic drugs (especially MAOI medication) as its harmala alkaloid content may speed up the breaking down of the medication in the digestive system.
Traditional Ayurvedic characteristics are
1–9g/day as decoction, 3–15ml/day of a 1:3 @ 25% tincture.