Because of its medicinal value and popularity it is known by many other names around the world as below Latin: Psoralea corylifolia English: Babchi, Purple Fleabane, French: Psoraléa, Arabic: Mehlab-Aswad, Persian: Waghchi, Sanskrit: Vakuchi, Bakuchi, Hindi: Babchi,Chinese: Bu gu zhi,German: Bawchan
The plant is commonly found in China and India in dry and arid conditions, especially the sandy desserts. The seeds contain essential oil, a nonvolatile terpenoid oil, a pigment, a resin, fixed oil, raffinose, two coumarin compounds viz., psoralen and isopsoralen, psoralidin, corylifolean, isopsoralidin; and the most active ingredient is psoralin alkaloid.
Pharmacological Action: antipleuritic (decreases itching-contains natural antihistamine) antipsoriatic antibacterial anthelmintic moderate selectively antifungal diuretic, diaphoretic.
Remedial uses: It is very useful in hypopigmented lesions of the skin like leucoderma and psoriasis as it contains psoralen, which causes the skin to produce new pigment when exposed to sunlight. It is used both as a local application and orally. Also useful externally in scabies, dermatitis and leprosy and is also useful in painful urination.
Clinical trials were conducted to assess the efficacy of Babchi oil/seeds
Oral administration along with application of oil and exposure of the patient to sunlight for 5-30 minutes daily for 1-7 weeks gave encouraging results. It was shown to improve the color of skin (including removing white spots)
In another a case study consisting of forty-nine patients who used the Babchi seed/oil treatment for 6 months. Of these patients, 14 percent were cured and another 19 percent regained pigmentation on at 2/3 ed of patches.
This herb has been considered by Ayurveda doctors to be so effective in the treatment of leprosy that it was given the name of ‘Kushtanashini’ (leprosy destroyers).
According to ayurveda it will increase Pitta ( Bile) in the body. so it should be taken with honey or ghee. I have tried its powder about 1- 2 grams powder with water before breakfast and after taking it for 5-6 days the skin becomes sensitive to the sun ( if you have tried some other psoralen based cream you would know the feeling) and the marks which are exposed to the sun become red in colour.
The Oil can be used to rub on the white spots and it works the same way, it makes the skin sensitive to the sun and will make the patches red, be sure to use it very cautiously, as over exposure to the sun can and will badly blister and burn the skin. So start with very little oil and very little exposure to the sun and then gradually increase it to what can be sustained without any problem or discomfort
An ointment made by combining one part of an alcoholic extract of the seeds with two parts of chaulmugra oil and two parts of lanoline has been found to be effective in treating leucoderma, white leprosy, psoriasis, and other inflammatory skin diseases and febrile conditions. The oil can be used both internally or as a simple ointment externally. Gently rub the oil once or twice daily. The proportion of the active ingredients may be increased if needed.
Babchi also promotes bone calcification, therefore it is also used in treating osteoporosis in the traditional medicines. This herb is also used to stop the spread of some forms of cancer as it inhibits the multiplication of osteosarcoma (bone cancer cells) and lung cancer cells. Under the chinese medical system the seeds are known to be aphrodisiac and a yang tonic to the genital organs.and is used as as Libido Stimulator: to treat impotence and to iimprove vitality
Safety & Interaction Information: Babchi is generally regarded as safe; however, as it makes the white spots highly sensitive disorder to the sun so it is important to use sunscreen or avoid sun exposure. It is possible to experience skin irritation and blistering when using this herb topically. If that happens, discontinue use. In many cases you would notice stomach pain and discomfort, discontinue its use if you have that problem.
Precautions: Do not take with low body fluids; do not use with licorice root.