NAGKESAR, Mesua ferrea


Latin name:       Mesua ferrea

English name: Mesua, Iron Wood Tree, and Indian Rose Chestnut

Sanskrit name: Nagakesara, Nagapushpa, Keshara

Indian name: Nagkesar, Nagesar

Medicinal parts used: Flowers, Oil

Mesua ferrea is a species in the family Clusiaceae. The plant is named after the heaviness of its timber and cultivated in tropical climates for its form, foliage, and fragrant flowers. It is native to tropical Sri Lanka but also cultivated in Assam, southern Nepal, Indochina, and the Malay Peninsula.

It is a tall tree reaching up to 100ft tall, often buttressed at the base with a trunk up to 2 meters in diameter. It is common in wet zone at Sri Lanka up to 1500 meters. It has simple, narrow, oblong, dark green leaves 7-15 cm long, with a whitish underside; the emerging young leaves are red to yellowish pink and drooping. The flowers are 4-7.5 cm diameter, with four white petals and a center of numerous yellow stamens.

Its resin is slightly poisonous, but many parts have medicinal properties.

Therapeutic use:

  • The flowers are acrid, anodyne, digestive, constipating, and stomachic.
  • They are useful in conditions like asthma, leprosy, cough, fever, vomiting and impotency.
  • The seed oil is considered to be very useful in conditions like vata and skin diseases.
  • It enhances the complexion.
  • Dried flowers are used for bleeding, hemorrhoids and dysentery with mucus.
  • Fresh flowers are useful remedy for itching, nausea, erysipelas, bleeding piles, metrorrhagea, menorrhagea, excessive thirst, and sweating.
  • Oil from the seeds is used for sores, scabies, wounds, and rheumatism.


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