Sagargota used as hedge has medicinal properties
It was during those days when I was mulling over what type of hedge/fence I should have for my farm that Mangesh revealed to me the name of a plant “which doesn’t allow a squirrel to pass.”
Sagargota (Marathi) which grows wild and can be propagated through seeds. It looks like cactus and is a best natural hedge plant and can be propagated by seeds. Soak the seeds overnight. Sow two seeds for every meter around your farm land. Sow the seeds just after first showers. Irrigate immediately after sowing. Keep one healthy plant and remove another.
“In two years time there will be a natural fence which won’t allow a squirrel into your farm land,” said Mangesh. One could prune this prickly shrub periodically as per one’s requirement.
Later I came to know that Katkaranj (Hindi), Fever Nut (English) or Caesalpinia bonduc has beens mentioned in all Ayurvedic texts and has been traditionally used as a uterine stimulant, to cleanse the uterus. It also alleviates the fever, edema and abdominal pain during this period. It has numerous synonyms like duhsparsa (difficult to touch), kantaki karanja (having prickles); vajra bijaka (having hard seeds), kanta phala (has fruits covered with prickles) etc.
A large straggling, very thorny shrub its branches are armed with hooks and straight, hard, yellow prickles. The seeds are globular, hard, bluish grey with a smooth shiny surface. Sagargota flowers in June and fruits in November.
Also called Gachhakaya, it is pungent, bitter and astringent in taste. It is known to alleviate kapha and vata doshas. It has also been useful in curing diseases like liver disorders, splenic diseases, edema, worms etc. The herb is used both, internally as well as externally, externally, the paste of its leaves applied, serves to relieve the pain and edema. The massage with its seed-oil particularly helps in rheumatic disorders and arthritis.
According to Ayurveda texts the wounds and ulcers should be dressed with the paste of its seed mashed in water. On traumatic swellings, the lukewarm paste of the leaves of latakaranja, arka and errand is applied with benefit. In abdominal flatulence, the paste of its seeds mashed in water, eases the problem. On testicular swelling due to hydrocele, the thick paste of its seed is applied. It also works well in traumatic swelling of the testes.