MUNDI, Sphaeranthus indicus


Latin name:  Sphaeranthus indicus

English name: Blackboard tree, Devil’s tree, Dita bark, Milkwood pine, White cheesewood

Sanskrit name: Mahamundi, Mundi, Hapus

Indian name: Saitan-ka-jhad, chhatim

Medicinal parts used: Bark, Leaves

Alstonia scholaris is an evergreen, tropical tree native to the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia. It is a small tree that grows up to 40 m tall and is glabrous. The bark is greyish; branchlets are copiously lenticellate. The bark is almost odourless and very bitter, with abundant bitter and milky sap.

The bark contains the alkaloids ditamine, echitenine and echitamine and used to serve as an alternative to quinine.

Therapeutic use:

  • It is an excellent substitute for cinchona and quinine for the treatment of intermittent and remittent fevers.
  • An infusion of the bark is very useful in malaria. It brings down fever steadily to normal in a short time without causing perspiration and over exhaustion which usually follows other medicines for malaria.
  • Devil’s tree is an effective remedy in bowel complaints.
  • For skin diseases such as eczema, acne and ringworm, an infusion of the bark is given in 30 to 60 ml doses, twice or thrice a day.
  • The powdered bark is beneficial in the treatment of catarrhal dyspepsia – that is indigestion accompanied by discharge of mucus from the inflamed mucus membrane of the intestines.
  • The drug is a useful remedy in chronic diarrhea and in advanced stage of dysentery.
  • The bark decoction is also used to treat asthma, hypertension, lung cancer and pneumonia while the leaf infusion is used to treat fever.

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