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    Kutaja (Holarrhena Antidysenterica)

    Kutaja – Holarrhena Antidysenterica

    Kutaja, commonly known as ‘Kurchi’ is a small deciduous tree with rough brown bark, found through out India. The name ‘Kutaja’ indicates thay the tree grows in forest and in rainy season. The word ‘Holos’ means whole and ‘Arrhen’ means male. So ‘Holarrhena’ means whole male or entire anther and ‘antidysenterica’ means that Kutaja is useful in dysentery. Kutaja is a commonly used antidysenteric and antidiarrheal medicine in Ayurveda. The seed powder and decoction of bark of this plant can be used to pacify Vata, Pitta and Kapha doshas. 


    Dr. Gupta’s IAFA conducted various studies in Kurchi to find out the therapeutic actions of the herb. Our experts have successfully proven the Stomachic, Astringent, Antidysenteric, Antidiarrheal, Febrifuge, Antiallergic, Antibacterial, Anthelmintic, Emetic and  Antimalarial actions of Kutaja. The experienced scholars of IAFA found out that the herbal formulations of Kutaja have antimalarial activity. Ethanolic extract of Kutaja shows antibacterial activity, especially towards Escherichia coli. Alkaloids found in its seeds also have antibacterial and antidiarrheal actions. Steroidal alkaloids from Holarrhena Antidysenterica inhibits acetylcholinesterace. It is found useful in gut motility disorders like constipation, colic and diarrhoea. 

    Action of Kutaja – Holarrhena Antidysenterica in Allergies

    IAFA experts are putting continuous efforts to prove the antiallergic property of Kutaja. The plant contains alkaloids like conessine, norconessine, isoconessine, dioxyconessine, conessimine, holarrhimine, holarrhidine etc. These phytoconstituents contribute to its antiallergic and antibacterial actions. It also relieves diseases due to Vata, Pitta and Kapha doshas. Kutaja being an important antidysenteric and antidiarrheal drug, it can also be effectively used in allergic reactions due Vata, Pitta and Kapha doshas.

    Vernacular Names and Botanical Classification

    Botanical NameHolarrhena Antidysenterica
    Native Names
    Sanskrit NameKutaja, Indravriksha
    Hindi NameKarchi
    English NameKurchi
    Malayalam NameKutakappala
    Kannada NameKodasige
    Marathi nameKuda

    Ayurvedic Properties of Kutaja – Holarrhena Antidysenterica

    Morphology of Kutaja – Holarrhena Antidysenterica

    • A small deciduous tree with rough brown bark, exfoliating in irregular flakes.
    • Wood white, soft and even grained.
    • Leaves opposite, elliptic-oblong.
    • Flowers white or cream-colour, slightly scented.
    • Fruit of 2 distinct divaricate follicles. 
    • Seeds numerous.

    Geographical Distribution of Kutaja – Holarrhena Antidysenterica

    It occurs almost throughout India. Plant is very common in the Terrain and valleys in Uttar Pradesh hills, ascending up to 4,000 ft. elevation

    Phytoconstituents of Kutaja – Holarrhena Antidysenterica

    The traditional Ayurvedic textbooks explain two types of Kutaja.

    1. Pum Kutaja – Male variety – Holarrhena antidysenterica:

    Concessidine, connessimine, conkurchine, holadiene, holarrhenine, holarrhimine, kurchine, holarrhine, kurchicine, holadysine,m holadysaine, holantosines A & B; kurchaline, kurchiphyllamine, holacetine etc.


    1. Stri Kutaja – Female variety – Wrightia tinctoria (wringhtia tinctoria):

    Isoricinoleic acid, B-sitosterol, B-amyrin, lupeol, rutin, cycloartenine, cycloeucalenol, wrightiadione etc.

    (Reference: Illustrated Dravyaguna Vijnana, Vol. II, by Dr JLN Shastry)

    Parts Used of Kutaja – Holarrhena Antidysenterica

    • Stem bark
    • Seeds

    Dosage of Kutaja – Holarrhena Antidysenterica

    • Decoction of Bark (Twak Kwatham) – 30- 50 ml
    • Seed Powder(Bija churna) – 500 mg – 1.5 g

    Medicinal Properties of Kutaja – Holarrhena Antidysenterica

    • Atisaraghna – cures diarrhea
    • Sula hara – relieves pain
    • Dipana – as carminative 
    • Pacana – as digestant 
    • Kushtaghna – useful in skin diseases
    • Krimighna – useful in worm disease
    • Jwaraghna – cures fever 
    • Arsoghna – cures piles
    • Trisnaghna – cures excessive thirst

    Home Remedies of Kutaja – Holarrhena Antidysenterica

    Kutaja, a small tree or shrub is seen all over India. It is widely used as a medicine in different diseases in Ayurveda, an ancient Indian system of medicine. It contribute to different home remedies. Some of them are, 

    • In Diarrhoea (Atisara) – Seeds of Kutaja and Barley are cooked in ghee and  taken. 
    • In Bleeding piles (Raktarsas) – Bark of Kutaja are collected and crushed. It is then made into a decoction with dried ginger and taken.
    • In Wound (Vrana) – A decoction is made from Neriumindicum (Karavira), Calotropisprocera (Arka) and Kutaja. It is used to wash wounds. 
    • In Dysentery (Pravahika) – Kutaja seeds are collected. It is then processed with ghee. It is taken in dysentery. 
    • In Thirst (Trishna) – Bark of Kutaja is crushed and processed with water. It is taken in thirst. 
    • In Skin diseases (Kushta) – Decoction is made of bark of Kutaja and taken in skin diseases. 
    • In Fever (Jwara) – Decoction made of seeds of Kutaja is useful in treating fever.
    • In Worm infestations (Krimi) – Kutaja seed powder is taken with honey.

    Article Written By: Dr. Sahil Gupta, Ayurvedic Allergist


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