By Syed Akbar Cassia occidentalis is often regarded as a weed or “waste” plant, because it grows wildlyin barren soils and wastelands. Some of the species of Cassia grow taller, butoccidentalis is a small herb or at best a shrub. Cassia occidentalis has been used intraditional medicines the world over, from Mexico to India and from China to Egypt. It iswidely used in Ayurveda and Unani systems of medicine too, notably in treating problems and complications related to liver. It forms the basic ingredient in most of the “livertonics” available in the market. Apart from its anti-hepatotoxic properties that remove impurities and toxic elements fromthe liver, Cassia is used as anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-microbial herb inAyurveda and Unani. It is particularly prescribed as a hepato or liver tonic for jaundicepatients. Other medical actions of Cassia include its ability to fight malarial parasitesin the blood and dermatological issues, provide relief from muscle discomfiture, boost the immune system, and promote sweating to reduce high body temperature. Some practitioners of herbal medicine believe that Cassia is a good natural contraceptive that puts off pregnancy for a full menstrual cycle. ------------------ Home remedies ----------------- Leaves of Cassia are helpful in providing relief from skin diseases, rashes and commonringworm infection. It also helps in healing of wounds and cuts. Take some leaves ofCassia, wash them properly and make them into a paste. Apply the paste on the affectedarea. You may also apply the leaves directly on the wound for fast healing. Extract of Cassia root bark readily available in any herbal shop contains anti-pyreticproperties. A little of Cassia root bark extract will bring down the high bodytemperature giving relief from fever and associated health troubles. Herbal doctors prescribe Cassia pulp for quick relief from constipation. Soak a littlequantity of Cassia pulp in a glass of water. Remove the pulp and filter the water. Youmay add a teaspoon of sugar for taste before drinking it early in the morning for relieffrom bowel discomfiture, Extract of Cassia fistula leaves acts as a natural contraceptive, particularly in women.A few drops of Cassia fistula extra taken two times daily for about a week, preventpregnancy for a full menstrual cycle or one month. If common cold clogs your nose with mucus discharge making it difficult for you tobreathe, you may try Cassia root smoke. Get a few twigs of Cassia root, wash themproperly and then burn them. You may inhale the Cassia root smoke for relief from cloggednose and flu. Do make it sure that you do not inhale large quantities of smoke, as it maycause lung problems.