Vetasa (Goat Willow) – Salix Caprea Benefits & Uses

Vetasa, or Salix Caprea, is a commonly used ayurvedic medication for the treatment of several health problems. It can be used as a weight loss supplement. The use of this herb is also beneficial in the treatment of painful diseases like arthritis. It can be used to treat fever. It is also called Goat Willow, Bedamushak, Bendamusk, etc.

Indications, Uses & Benefits

Obesity

Vetasa (Salix Caprea) can be an effective aid for weight loss. It has been used in several ayurvedic supplements known to promote weight loss in a healthy way. Regular use of this herb can help the obese people to lose weight and prevent the complications of this condition.

Obesity is a common precursor to several acute and chronic lifestyle disorders such as high cholesterol, cerebrovascular stroke, myocardial infarction, diabetes, hypertension, and even cancer. Being overweight can also increase the risk of complications associated with these diseases. Hence, it is very important to maintain a healthy weight.

However, most people are unable to lose weight even after several attempts to control their calorie consumption. In most cases, the patients are unable to continue the low-calorie diet due to an increased hunger and cravings. The use of Vetasa along with the consumption of low-calorie foods can help the patients to stick to their diet and ensure steady weight loss.

It helps to control their appetite and thus, allows for better control over their food intake. It can also produce a sense of fullness in the stomach. This creates a sense of satiety after eating a small portion of food. This helps to prevent hunger pangs and allows the patient to follows a healthy diet for a longer duration.

Another common reason for the failure of a low-calorie diet is the deprivation of the body of its essential nutrients. A reduced intake of calories by a person results in the decreased supply of energy to the body. This can lead to severe weakness and even force the patient to eat a high carbohydrate food to meet the energy demands of the body.

Due to this, the patient ends up eating a much higher number of calories causing him or her to gain back the lost weight. However, the use of Vetasa during a low-calorie diet can prevent these consequences. It helps the person to feel energetic and prevents weakness. Thus, the patients can continue with the diet without the urge to eat the high-carbohydrate foods.

The weight loss enhancement properties of the plants belonging to the Salix group have been proved during research.

Cancer

Vetasa can be used for the treatment and prevention of cancer. The anti-carcinogenic property of this herb was proved during a study. It involved the evaluation of the medicinal properties of Salicis Cortex.

The term Salicis Cortex refers to the fragmented or whole dried bark of the branches or twigs of the species of the genus Salix such as Salix Caprea. Most of the medicinal properties of Salicis Cortex have been attributed to the presence of Salicin in them.

Clinical trials have also suggested the possible role of some other compounds in Salicis Cortex, which could contribute to its beneficial pharmacological effects. The result of this study has indicated that, other than the salicylic derivatives, other substances like simple phenols (phenolic acids) and polyphenols (flavan-3-ols, flavonoids,) can also contribute to the therapeutic effects of Salicis Cortex.

This study proved the strong antioxidant activity produced by the phenolic compounds in this herb. The synergistic interactions between these compounds and Salicin could produce a strong anticancer effect.

It also acts as an antimutagenic agent and prevents alternations in the genes, which could initiate the cancerous changes in the healthy cells. The herb works by preserving the genomic stability of the normal cells through the elimination of carcinogenic agents. It also prevents the interference with the normal DNA structure thereby preventing any cancerous changes.

Additionally, the phytochemicals present in these plants can directly affect the signaling systems that play a role in the regulation of cancer invasion and angiogenesis. They also produce a concomitant inhibitory effect on certain enzymes that are involved in the development of cancer. These actions of Vetasa and the other plants belonging to the Salix species make them a potent medication for the treatment and prevention of cancer.

Arthritis

Patients suffering from arthritis can use Vetasa to get rid of the joint pains. This herb is known to possess anti-inflammatory and analgesic activities. This helps to protect the joints against any form of damage and prevents swelling, and degeneration of the joint tissues.

The antioxidant action produced by Vetasa helps to protect the joints from the damage caused by the free radicals. The antioxidant activity of this herb is attributed to the presence of phenolic compounds in it.

The free radicals are produced in the body during oxidative metabolism. A very high level of free radicals in the body due to the ineffective antioxidant defense may lead to oxidative stress. The high levels of free radicals result in significant damage to the healthy tissues of the body including the joints and bones. This can lead to the development of arthritis. Vetasa, by producing an antioxidant action, helps to destroy the free radicals and prevents oxidative stress.

Fever

Vetasa possesses antipyretic properties, which can help in the treatment of fever. Patients with high fever experience symptoms such as irritability, weakness, headache, and sleep disturbances. Vetasa helps to relieve these symptoms by decreasing the body temperature.

It can help to relieve the symptoms accompanying fever caused due to the respiratory conditions such as cough, breathlessness, and chest congestion. The ash of the wood of this plant is useful in the treatment of hemoptysis or blood in sputum that may occur along with fever in some respiratory conditions.

The antipyretic action of this herb is attributed to the high amount of Salicin present in it. Once consumed, Salicin decomposes to form salicylic acid, which is closely related to aspirin. It produces an action similar to Aspirin and helps to reduce fever.

References

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3947866/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3947866/

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