Harsingar (Parijata and shuilee in Hindi, night jasmine, coral tree, coral jasmine in English) is a shrub grown for its flowers, which are extremely fragrant. The plant grows up to the height of 10 meters. It has a flaky grey bark, opposite leaves, and clusters of fragrant flowers with white lobed petals and orange red centre. The flowers bloom at night and fall early morning. The fruit is flat heart shaped bilobed with seeds. The plant is a native of sub Himalayan regions of central and south India, but also grows in Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Nepal.
Part used: Flowers, leaves and seeds.
Chemical composition: The leaves contain Nyctanthic acid, tannic acid, ascorbic acid and carotenes. Flowers contain essential oil, tannins and carotenes.
The leaves of this plant can be used externally as well as internally.
An extract obtained from the leaves is widely used to treat sciatica and arthritis.
A powder made from dry leaves taken twice a day with honey is beneficial for dry cough and bronchitis.
Taking 3-5 fresh leaves with black peppercorns reduces gynecological problems.
Taking five leaves and flowers in the morning on empty stomach reduces blood sugar level in diabetes.
The juice obtained from the leaf is anti-helminthic; it removes intestinal worms.
A paste made from the leaves, mixed with mustard oil, can reduce skin problems including ring worms.
The flowers of this plant are also beneficial. They are anti-helminthic, hepatoprotective, antioxidant and laxative.
A decoction made from the flowers reduces gout and arthritic pain.
Crushed flowers are often added to face packs as they give a glow to the skin and remove dark circles under the eyes.
The flowers are also added to soup; they increase energy levels, and reduce stress and anxiety
A paste made from the seeds is beneficial for piles. A decoction made from the seeds is used as a hair tonic; it reduces dandruff and kills lice.
Contraindications: This herb has no known contraindications in prescribed doses, however, excessive dose cause diarrhea.