Kanchanar is a valuable herb (actually a tree), used since ancient times for reducing growths on the body and for strengthening the glandular system.
The Latin name is Bauhinia variegata. Kanchanar is the Sanskrit name, which literally means that the flowers look like jewelry. This ornamental, flowering tree is a legume, sometimes called the orchid tree, camel’s foot tree or mountain ebony in English.
There are two varieties of kanchanar, distinguished by the color of their flowers, which are either bright pink or white. This is a general principle in Ayurveda that red colored plants usually have more agni (nature’s warming, transforming intelligence) and white colored plants have more soma (nature’s cooling, nurturing intelligence).According to Bhava Prakash, kachanar is gandamalapaha (able to reduce swollen, inflamed glands). The term gandamala literally means that the glands are swollen in the neck and look like a garland.
Kanchanar has the property to clean the glands and reestablish the intelligence of the glands so that they can return to their normal size. It helps the entire glandular system, including both endocrine and exocrine glands, to become more intelligent.
Whether growths are caused by glandular swelling or are tumors in the body, kanchanar is able to reduce their size, according to the ancient Ayurvedic texts. Several of the physical properties of kanchanar support this ability.
Kanchanar is also grahi (enhancing absorption), which helps to remove excess fluid from swollen areas. Finally, kanchanar is hima (cooling), which allows it to balance the inflammation associated with unusual growths and swellings.
Bhava Prakash also mentions that kanchanar is good for healing ulcers (vranapaha). It is also helpful for rectal prolapse (gudabhramsa), and it helps to reduce wasting (kashaya) by building the tissues.
It improves skin diseases (kushta), and it is especially helpful in a disease called raktapitta.