Home Herbs A to Z KUPILU (Strychnos nux vomica)

KUPILU (Strychnos nux vomica)

KUPILU-Strychnos nux vomica

It is an important plant used in the Ayurvedic treatments. In Ayurveda, it is included in Upavisha category since it exhibits some poisonous properties. The word Strychnos denotes that poisonous and the word Nux Vomica denotes that which having vomiting effects. In Sanskrit it is known as Kupilu as the fruits are like that of Pilu plant but inferior to that plant as kupilu is poisonous. Since its seeds are poisonous, it is used after peoper purification. The seeds are kept in cow’s urine for 7 days. The seed’s coat is removed and boiled in cow’s milk. It is fried in ghee and powdered. Then it is used.


Dr.Gupta’s IAFA has been continuously working on the plant Kupilu for discovering more medicinal properties the plant. Our experts found out that the plant can act as appetizer, antipyretic, rejuvinative and aphrodisiac. It is used in the treatment of various diseases like jaundice, blood disorders, ulcer, piles, loss of appetite, itching, worm infestation etc. 

Action of in Kupilu- Strychnos nux vomica Allergies

IAFA has been conducting various studies on Kupilu found out the antiallergic and anti-inflammatory actions of the plant. The various chemical constituents present in this plant shows anti-inflammatory activity. Kupilu is very useful in skin diseases by its anti-inflammatory and anti-histamine activity.

Vernacular Names and Botanical Classification

Botanical Name Strychnos nux vomica 
Family Loganiaceae 
Native Names
Sanskrit Name Kupilu, Rasyaphala
Hindi Name Kuchala 
English Name Poison nut tree, Nux – Vomica tree
Malayalam Name Kanjiram 
Kannada Name Hemmushti 
Telungu Name Mushti 

Ayurveda reference of Kupilu- Strychnos nux vomica

Morphology of Kupilu- Strychnos nux vomica

  • Medium sized, deciduous tree
  • Dark grey colored wood
  • Bark – thin, grey, smooth or rough with lenticels.
  • Leaves – 3- 6 “ long, broadly elliptic, obtuse or acute, entire 3-5 nerved, glabrous and  shining 
  • Flowers- many, greenish white in short peduncled pubescent compoundd cymes.
  • Calyx-  1/ 10 long, hairy, outside, lobes 5, acute
  • Corolla – less than ½ inch long,glabrous
  • Stamens – 5
  • Fruit – berry glabose, orange red when ripe
  • Seed – many, flat, grey 

Geographical distribution of Kupilu- Strychnos nux vomica

It is distributed all over India upto 4000 feet. It is common in South Indian forests especially in Kerala, Coastal Karnataka, Goa.

Phytoconstituents of Kupilu- Strychnos nux vomica

The phytoconstituents found in the plant Kupilu are strychnine, vomicine, brucine, cuchiliside, novacine, isostrychnine, loganic acid, loganin, caffeo tannic acid etc.

Parts used of Kupilu- Strychnos nux vomica

  • Kernel of the seeds

Dosage of Kupilu- Strychnos nux vomica

  • Powder – 60 -250 mg

Medicinal Properties of Kupilu- Strychnos nux vomica

  • Vatajanaka – Increases Vata dosha
  • Grahi – Absorbent
  • Madakaraka – Causes intoxication
  • Kaphaghna – Pacifies Kapha dosha
  • Pittaghna – Pacifies Pitta dosha 
  • Rakthavikarahara- Alleviates blood disorders
  • Balya –Gives strength 
  • Vajikara – aphrodisiac
  • Dipana –Increases digestive fire.

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Home remedies ofKupilu- Strychnos nux vomica

In Ayurveda the treatment of different kinds of diseases are done by naturally availing non toxic drugs. We are continuously working on these plants to find out its pharmacological actions. IAFA have done so many studies on the plant Kupilu and found out that it has wide range of actions. Some of the home remedies are given below.

  • Chronic ulcer –Paulticeof leaves of Kupilu is applied over affected part.
  • Intermittent fever – 40 gm of root is taken and mixed with 400 ml of water, boiled and reduced to 100 ml and taken internally for 3 days along with 1 pinch of Vacha powder.
  • Poisonous bite- Rootpaste is applied over the affected part.
  • Anorexia – 100 mg of seed powder is taken along with honey for 3 days.
  • Worm infestation – 10 gm of root powder is taken along with jiggery for 7 days.
  • Erectile dysfunction – Seed paste is applied externally for 20 minutes.
  • Facial paralysis – External application of Kupilu seeds over the face for 7 days.
  • Diabetes – 5ml of juice of leaves is taken along with honey for 7 days.

Article Written By: Dr. Sahil Gupta, Ayurvedic Allergist

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