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Bhallataka (Semecarpus anacardium)

Bhallataka (Semecarpus anacardium) - Uses, and Benefits

Bhallataka, commonly known as Marking nut is one of the most widely used herb in Ayurvedic treatments. The name Bhallataka means that the plant is very sharp like that of spear. The word semecarpus meant for the black juice of the nut which is used for making or tracing designs upon clothes. Anacardium indicates the heart like shape of seed. 


Bhallataka is one of the major herbs used by our Acharyas for anti-inflammatory purposes. Dr. Gupta’s IAFA has been consistently working on the plant for knowing more medicinal properties of Bhallataka. Our experts found out that the plant can act as an antiallergic, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, analgesic, and anti-cancerous agent. Bhallataka can also be used for diseases like Piles, Scrofula, Worm infestations, etc. The milk extract of Bhallataka has anti-cancerous effects. The nut milk extract also possesses hypolipidemic action and anti-diabetic action. The stem bark of Bhallataka contains methanol and the methanol extract can act as wound healing promoters.

Action of Bhallataka - Semecarpus anacardium in Allergies

IAFA experts have successfully proven the antiallergic and anti-inflammatory properties of the plant Bhallataka. The plant contains phytoconstituents like bhilawanol, biflavinoids A, B, C, Anacardiac acid, anacordoside, cardol, catechol, semecarpol etc and these aid in the antiallergic property of the plant Bhallataka. The seed of the plant can be used for the treatment of skin allergic diseases.

Vernacular Names and Botanical Classification

Botanical Name Semecarpus anacardium
Family Anacardiaceae
Native Names
Sanskrit Name Bhallataka
Hindi Name Bhilawa
English Name Marking nut
Malayalam Name Tenparaka
Kannada Name Geru
Marathi Name Bibha

Ayurveda Reference of Bhallataka – Semecarpus anacardium

Morphology of Bhallataka - Semecarpus anacardium

  • Large to medium-sized tree
  • The bark is grey in color 
  • Leaves are simple and oblong 
  • The inflorescence is compound panicle 
  • Flowers are small greenish-yellow 
  • Fruits are drupaceous nut

Geographical Distribution of Bhallataka - Semecarpus anacardium

Bhallataka is found throughout India, especially in forest and hilly areas. 

Phytoconstituents of Bhallataka - Semecarpus anacardium

The plant contains phytoconstituents like bhilawanol, biflavinoids A, B, C, Anacardiac acid, anacordoside, cardol, catechol, semecarpol, etc

Parts Used of Bhallataka - Semecarpus anacardium

  • Fruit

Dosage of Bhallataka - Semecarpus anacardium

  • Oil extract (Taila)  – 10 drops
  • Powder (Churna) – 5 g

Medicinal Properties of Bhallataka - Semecarpus anacardium

Dr. Sahil Gupta Allergy Specialist

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– Dr. Sahil Gupta (B.A.M.S., M.H.A.)

Ayurvedic Allergy Specialist
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Home Remedies of Bhallataka - Semecarpus anacardium

Ayurveda is purely based on naturally available herbs which are toxic-free and have no side effects at all. Bhallataka is one of the most widely used herbs. Due to its high medicinal value, it is used in treating many diseases like:-

  • In Piles (Arsas) – Bhallataka is taken and processed with buttermilk. It is then taken orally.
  • In Worm infestations (Krimi)  – Freshly collected Bhallataka seeds are squeezed to obtain oils. Then this Bhallataka taila is internally taken or applied as enema.
  • In skin diseases (Kushta) – Ghee processed with Bhallataka, Gooseberry, Neem and Terminalia belerica is taken internally.
  • In Diabetes (Prameha)  –  Powder of Bhallatakais taken along with Gooseberry and honey at a dose of 5g.
  • As a carminative (Deepana) – Bhallataka is powdered and taken before food. It can act as a carminative.
  • In Scrofula (Apachi) paste prepared from burning Sarsapa and Bhallataka is mixed with goat’s urine and applied over the Scrofula.
  • In Fever (Jwara) Decoction made with leaves of Bhallataka and Neem taken internally at a dose of 60 ml.
  • In Inflammation (Sopha) – Paste prepared from Bhallataka seed and ghee is applied over the skin part. 

Article Written By: Dr. Sahil Gupta (B.A.M.S., M.H.A.)

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