Puncture vine fruit (E), Caltrops (H), Gokhru (H):
This spiky fruit looks like the cloven hoof of a cow and hence the name go-ks.ura (cow-hoof). 'Ks.ura' also means 'scratcher' and as this thorny shrub is found growing in sandy wasteland all over the subcontinent it is responsible for scarring the hide of many a sacred cow. It is a superb diuretic that clears excess fluids from the system. Its hormonal precursor compounds actively nourish the reproductive system. It is also very useful for itchy skin, especially on the hands and feet.
Urinary (Fruit) Bladder or kidney infections, renal colic, kidney stones, urinary retention, cloudy urination, haematuria. It has a direct affinity for the mutravahasrotas, ambuvahasrotas as well as mamsa and medas-dhatu. It soothes the urinary tract membranes and promotes urination. Gokshura is specific for prostate problems, urinary retention or obstructed urinary flow. Reproductive (Aerial parts and fruit) As a tonic herb with a sweet post-digestive effect it nourishes the s´ukra dhatu increasing virility, fertility, sperm production, and lactation. It rejuvenates the reproductive system, especially the uterus and the gonads. Used in infertility and impotence where there is an obstruction due to vata or kapha in the reproductive tissue. Its saponin and flavonoid content act as hormonal precursors. Protodioscin is converted to dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and thus enhances sexual function (Williamson 2002). Nerves (Fruit) Useful in all vata aggravations of the nervous system. It draws all three dosas downwards and can treat headaches, hives, itchy skin and eye inflammations. Its harmala alkaloid content has MAO inhibitor activity, which can be utilised for psychological and nervous imbalances to enhance the balance of serotonin in the brain. Skin (Fruit) Gokshura is very useful for stopping itching in the skin caused by vata or kapha obstructing the muscle, blood or plasma. A specific herb for lesions on the palms of the hands or soles of the feet.