Kutaja, Holarrhena Antidysenterica

KUTAJA


Latin name: Holarrhena Antidysenterica

English names: Connesi Bark, Coneru, Tellicherry Bark

Sanskrit name: Kutaja, Vatsaka

Indian name: Kura, Kora, Kureya, Kurchi

Medicinal parts used: Stem, Root bark, Seeds

Kutaja tree is popular for its numerous medicinal properties. Considered to be one of the most valuable medicinal products of India, finding mention in Hindu mythology, the seeds and bark of the tree have been used in the British Materia Medica for a long time. The tree forms part of several indigenous systems of medicines, where is has been used in the treatment of dysentery and diarrhoea. Several Indian tribes have used the plant in ailments like anemia, epilepsy, stomach pain and cholera. In the Ayurvedic system of medicine, Kurchi is used as an antihelminthic, for diarrhoea and skin diseases.

Holarrhena Antidysenterica is a deciduous shrub or small tree. The bark is rather rough, pale brownish or greyish; the leaves are opposite, subsessile, elliptic or ovate-oblong, membranous; the flowers are white, in terminal corymbose cymes; the follicles, divaricate, cylindric and usually white spotted; the seeds are light brown.
It grows throughout India up to an altitude of 4,000 ft. It is especially abundant in the sub-Himalayan tract.

Therapeutic use:

  • The flowers improve appetite.
  • The seeds are cooling, appetising and astringent to the bowels.
  • The bark is the main usable part in treating dysentery.
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