Kutaja – Benefits, Usage, Dose, Side Effects – Ayurveda Details

Kutaja is a very famous herb used in treating diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome etc. It is used in preparing very common Ayurveda medicines like Kutajarishta, Kutaj Ghanavati etc.

Botanical Name – Holarrhena antidysenterica, Wrightia antidysenterica
Family – APOCYANACEAE (Kutaja Kula)

Medicinal qualities

Rasa (taste) –  Tikta (bitter), Kashaya (Astringent)
Guna (qualities) – Laghu (lightness),  Rooksha (dryness)
Veerya – Sheeta – cold potency
Vipaka – Katu – Undergoes pungent taste conversion after digestion.
Effect on Tridosha – It balances Kapha and Pitta.

According to Bhojana Kuthalam, Kalinga is sweet in taste, cold in potency, treats burning sensation, aggravation of pitta dosha and fatigue. It is aphrodisiac, nourishes and strengthens the dathus, promotes virility and nutrition.

Part used, dosage

Parts Used – Bark, leaves, seeds, flowers.
Kutaja seeds are called Indrayava. Wherever in Ayurveda textbooks, Indrayava is mentioned, there Kutaja seeds are taken as ingredient.

Dosage – Powder 3-6 grams in divided dose in a day is the maximum dose.
Its water decoction (Kashaya) is given in a dose of 50 – 100 ml per day.

Home remedies

Written by Dr MS Krishnamurthy MD (Ayu), PhD

Diarrhea

1. Kutaja remedy for diarrhoea, dyscentery and IBS:
The bark of the stem is taken and its decoction is made. This decoction is administered in thev dose of 20-30 ml three or four times a day. This effectively controls diarrhoea, dyscentery, IBS etc.

Ulcerative colitis, worms

2. Kutaj and bael remedy for ulcerative colitis and intestinal worms:
Equal amount of Kutaja bark and Bael leaves are taken and its decoction is made. This decoction if administered regularly pacifies intestinal worms and ulcerative colitis and simple colic abdomen too. During the medicatio, buttermilk is administered as Anupana.

Debility, dyspepsia

3. Kutaj dried flower soup as appetizer in post fever debility and dyspepsia:
The flowers are dried under sunshde. It is fried with little ghee or oil by sprinking little salt water. This can be used as it is. Or else to this, water and a pinch pepper is added and cooked for 5 minutes. This soup is useful for anorexia, tiredness caused due to fever and diarrhea.

Evening rise of temperature

4. Kutaj seed powder, cumin and fennel remedy for evening rise of temperature:
Kutaja seed, cumin seeds and fennel seeds are taken in equal amount and made into powder. To this 10 gram of powder 200 ml hot water is added and allowed for cooling. When it is lukewarm this is taken in the dose of 30-40 ml twice or thrice a day. This relieves evening rise of temperature.

Fever, food poisoning

5. Kutaj bark decoction for recurrent fever and food poisoning:
Dry bark of Kutaja plant is used to prepare the decoction. This decoction helps to relieve recurrent attack of fever, complications of food poisoning etc. In allergic skin manifestations (of children) also this is effective.

Ulcers

6. Kutaja stem or root powder dusting over the ulcers:
Root or stem powder of the plant is used to dust over the oozing ulcers. This relieves the secretion and helops to ease the processing of healing.

Kutaja is a very safe and effective medicine which takes care of fever, diarrhoea, indigestion, IBS, haemorroids, food poisoning etc. Preferably its decoctionn or hot infusion helps to manage the above said complaint to the best possible extent. Many a time it acts as an emergency medicine as well.

The practitioners appreciate its good benefits in the cases of loose motion which is not pacified by any of the anti diarrheals and anti-biotics/microbial are  benefitted by Kutaja derived formulations like Kutajarishtha, Kutajavaleha, Kutajamustakadi kashaya etc.
Click to consult Dr MS Krishnamurthy MD (Ayu), PhD

Research on Kutaja

It is bitter associated astringent in taste and cooling herb, possessing pungent bio transformation(vipaka) effect. It balances Pitta and Kapha Dosha.
Excess intake or over dosage of the formulations containing Kutaja may provoke Vata dosha.

The stem bark, root bark and seeds are the usable parts of this plant.
are unique Ayurvedic medicines of this herb.

The bark is rich resource of tannin contents followed by the alkaloids such as conessine, conimine, conkurchine group alkaloids including conessidine and holarrhenine, holafrine, holarrhetine etc. The leaves too contain significant amount of alkaloids kurchiphyllamine and kurchiphylline.
Read related: Anti-fungal activity

The flowers are used in the preparation of the side dishes like soup and chutney. It is a well known appetizers, carminative and digestive.

Kutaja bark and the seeds are known for their anti diarrhoeal, anti helmethic, anti pyretic, anti tussive and anti inflammatory properties.
Read: Anti-malarial activity

Sanskrit verse

Kutaja benefits

Therapeutic uses

Therapeutic uses of Holarrhena antidysenterica –

Kutaja bark

Shleshapittahara – balances Kapha and Pitta
Raktahara – helps to detoxify blood
Samgraahika – absorbs moisture, useful in diarrhea
Upashoshana – dries up, solidifies feces
Raktapittahara – useful in bleeding disorders like bleeding hemorrhoids,
Hrudrogahara – useful in heart diseases,
Jvara – effective in fever,
Vatasruk – useful in gout,
Visarpa – useful in treating herpes,
Deepana – improves digestion strength,
Trut hara – quenches thirst,
Pachana – relieves ama, indigestion,
Kushtahara – useful in skin disease,
Jantujit – useful in relieving intestinal worm infestation,
Arsha – useful in bleeding disorders,
Atisaraha – useful in diarrhoea.

Kutaja flower

Sheetala – coolant,
Tikta, Kashaya – bitter and astringent in taste,
Laghu – light,
Deepana – improves digestion strength,
Vatala – increases Vata,
Kaphapittahara – balances Kapha and Pitta,
Asrahara – detoxifies blood,
Kushta, Atisara Jantujit – useful in skin diseases, diarrhea and intestinal worm infestation.

Kutaja fruit

Tiktarasa – bitter taste
Grahi – absorbs moisture
Katu – undergoes bitter taste conversion after digestion
Anushna – not very hot in potency
Tridoshanut – balances all the three Doshas
Deepana, Pachana – improves digestion strength, relieves Ama
Kushtanut – relieves skin diseases
Jvaranut – useful in fever
Visarpanut – useful in herpes treatment
Shulanut – useful in abdominal colic pain
Gudakeelaka – cures piles
Vatasra – treats gout
Shramahara – relieves tiredness
Lohitanashana – detoxifies blood

Indrayava – Kutaja seeds

Tridoshaghna – balances all the three Doshas
Samgrahi – absorbs moisture
Katu – pungent taste
Sheetala – coolant
Jvara – useful in fever
Atisara – useful in diarrhea
Vatarsha – useful in Vata type of Arshas – associated with pain
Vamihara – useful in vomiting
Visarpakushtanut – useful in skin diseases including herpes.

Milk Remedy Kutaja Ksheerapaka

Article by Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay) & Dr Manasa, B.A.M.S

Introduction

Ksheerapaka is a special preparation wherein milk is processed with medicinal herbs until the milk is saturated with medicinal properties. Only a few herbs are compatible with milk and can be processed with milk.  

Few examples of such herbs are –
Arjuna (Terminalia arjuna) – Arjuna milk for cardiac disorders
Ashoka (Saraca asoca) milk for for menstrual disorders
Garlic milk remedy for bloating, abscess and fever.

Kutaja – Bark of Holarrhena antidysenterica can also be made into a milk remedy. It is useful in colon related disorders such as
chronic diarrhea,
bloody diarrhea,
dysentery and
colitis (inflammation of colon).

Kutaja Ksheerapaka
Ksheera = Milk
Paka = Cooking, processing
Kutaja  bark (Holarrhena Antidysenterica) – Conessi bark

Shloka, Sanskrit Verse

Ingredients

Ingredients of Kutaj Ksheerapak
Kutaja Twak Churna – Coarse powder of Kutaja Bark  – 2 pala – 96 grams
Aja Ksheera (milk of goat) – 2 pala quantity – 96 grams
Jala (water) – 4 sharava quantity (8 pala or 384 ml), i.e. 4 times that of milk
Honey – 8 Masha – 8 grams.

Method of preparation

Method of preparation of Kutaja Ksheerapaka
The dry bark of Kutaja is pounded to obtain coarse powder.
It is taken in a wide mouthed vessel. It is added with said amount of water and boiled till 1/4th reduction (384 ml to 96 ml.)
This 96 ml of decoction is filtered. It is further added with 96 ml of goat milk and heated further till only goat milk remains.
This processed milk is called Kutaja Ksheerapaka.
It is served lukewarm.
The recipe should be added with 8 masha (8 grams approximately) quantity of madhu (honey) and stirred well before administration.

Dose

The final preparation of 96 ml shall be divided into 2 doses of equal volume and administered to the patient. The second dose is given within 2 – 3 hours of the first dose.
In severe cases of diarrhea (chronic) or colitis or dysentery, the whole dose (96 grams) shall be given at one shot.

Every time the ksheerapaka should be prepared fresh. Large quantity i.e. 96 grams is prepared at once because if more doses is required it has to be prepared again, and it is a difficult and time consuming preparation.

The medicine should not be re-processed or refrigerated. It would lose its properties by doing so.
Generally 1 or 2 doses would suffice for a day. In chronic and stubborn cases, more doses shall be planned.

Benefits

Benefits of Kutaja Ksheerapaka
Kutaja Ksheerapaka is used in effective treatment of –

  • Atisara – Diarrhea
  • Grahani – Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Sprue, diseases of small intestine caused by metabolic errors
  • Pravahika – Dysentery
  • Raktatisara – Bloody diarrhea, Ulcerative Colitis, Colitis

Kutaja is the best remedy for diarrhea and dysentery. It checks loss of fluids and blood. It restores health and energy. Since the medicine is prepared with milk, it also nourishes and replenishes the system apart from curing the colon diseases. Kutaja Ksheerapaka is thus a multi-dimensional medicine. It is also anti-inflammatory in nature.

Just before Finishing –
It is one of the best remedies for chronic colon ailments including diarrhea and dysentery. Kutaja is administered in many forms i.e. in the form of kashaya (decoction), as a part of formulations like churna (powder), arishta (fermented preparations) etc. The milk recipe or ksheerapaka is preferred when dual benefit i.e. disease modifying and energizing effect is desired in the patients simultaneously. This is preferred in conditions wherein the diarrhea, dysentery or colitis is chronic and stubborn in nature and when the patients have lost energy subsequent to continuous and prolonged fluid and or blood loss.

Kutaja Ksheerapaka preparation exhibits and stands as a proof of the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda in tackling different stages of a disease with the same medicine used in different forms and formulations.
Click to Consult Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ayu)

Interaction with medicines, supplements

Can this be used while taking Homeopathic medicine?
Yes. This product does not react with homeopathic medicine.

Can this medicine be continued while taking supplements like multivitamin tablets, Omega 3 fatty acids etc?
Yes. Generally, this product goes well with most of the dietary supplements. However, if you are taking more than one product per day, please consult your doctor for an opinion.

With western medicines
Seek your doctor’s advice if you are taking this product along with other western (allopathic / modern) medicines. Some Ayurvedic herbs can interact with modern medicine.
If both Ayurvedic and allopathic medicines are advised together, then it is best to take Allopathic medicine first, wait for 30 minutes and then take the Ayurvedic medicine.

Vernacular names

Herb plant names in different languages: 
English Name – Kurchi, Conessi tree, conessi bark
Hindi Name – Kuda, Kudaiya
Telugu Name – Kodisepala, Kodaga
Bengali Name – Karachi, Kurachi
Marathi Name – Kuda
Gujarati Name – kudo
Tamil Name – Veppalai
Kannada Name – Korachi
Malayalam Name – Kodagapala
Urdu name – Kherva
Punjabi name – Kenara

Sanskrit synonyms

Kutaja – Kuta means mountains. The tree is usually found in mountain regions.
Girimallika – the flowers resemble jasmine.
Vatsaka – Found in Vatsaka place (Vindhya mountain region)
Vrukshaka – it is a small tree
Kalinga – it is found in Kalinga place – Orissa region of India.
Indravruksha

Classical categorization

Charaka –
Arshoghna – group of herbs used in the treatment of Arsha – piles.
Kandughna – group of herbs used in relieving itching
Stanyasodhana – group of herbs used in cleansing and detoxifying breast milk.
Asthapanopaga – group of herbs used in Asthapana type of Basti treatment (enema).
Susruta Aragvadhadhi, Pippalyadi, Haridradi, Lakshadi
Vagbhata Aragvadhadi, Pippalyadi

Distribution

Common in tropical parts of India and in sub-Himalayan tract.

Ayurveda medicines

Ayurveda medicine with Kutaja as ingredient –
Kutajavaleha –  
used in ulcerative colitis, diarrhea, IBS etc.
Brihat Gangadhara Churna – useful in diarrhea, gastro intestinal diseases
Mahamanjishtadi Kashayam – useful in skin diseases
Stanyashodhana Kashaya – useful in cleansing and detoxifying breast milk
Patoladi Choornam – useful in heart and liver diseases.
Kutajarishtha, Kutajavaleha, Kutajashthaka choorna, Vatsakadi kashaya, Kutajamustakadi kashaya, Kutaja ghanavati

Miscellaneous uses

Miscellaneous uses of Kutaj:
In case of skin diseases where the skin lesions are numb and absolutely anesthetic, if there is absence of sweating and itching, then they are rubbed with the brush made of stem of Kutaj so as to initiate bleeding. This is described as a method of blood letting therapy to treat skin diseases. Reference: Charaka Chikitsasthana 7/56.

Major chemical constituents

The traditional Ayurvedic textbooks explain two types of Kutaja.
Pum Kutaja – Male variety – Holarrhena antidysenterica
Stri Kutaja -Female variety – Wrightia tinctoria

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

W. tinctoria – isoricinoleic acid, B-sitosterol, B-amyrin, lupeol, rutin, cycloartenine, cycloeucalenol, wrightiadione etc.
(Reference: Illustrated Dravyaguna Vijnana, Vol. II, by Dr JLN Shastry)

23 thoughts on “Kutaja – Benefits, Usage, Dose, Side Effects – Ayurveda Details”

  1. Very useful and balanced information. For IBS, which is the best medicine? What is the difference between powder form or liquid form ?

    Reply
  2. Let me put this way – What is the difference between powder form or liquid form in term of effective treatment or recovery ?

    Reply
    • herbs in powder form take slightly longer time to get absorbed into the body.
      Herbs in liquid form, if water is the medium, then they take very less time for absorption.
      But this general rule has many exceptions.

      Reply
  3. Someone told me to take kutki for treatment of piles.
    Put 2 to 3 small pieces of bark in water in night and drink water in morning and it takes care of piles in 3 to 4 days only.
    Is it true ?

    Reply
    • No specific benefit during pregnancy.
      I have explained the benefits in the article above
      Sheetala – coolant
      Tikta, Kashaya – bitter and astringent in taste
      Laghu – light
      Deepana – improves digestion strength
      Vatala – increases Vata
      Kaphapittahara – balances Kapha and Pitta.
      Asrahara – detoxifies blood
      Kushta, Atisara Jantujit – useful in skin diseases, diarrhoea and intestinal worm infestation.

      Reply
  4. Doctor Sir,
    There are several medicines containing KUTAJA like Kutajaghan Vati, Kutavaleha, Kutaj Compound. Which one of these medicines is best of IBS (D). I cannot take Kutajarishta being diabetic.

    Reply
  5. I used kutaj for moderate ulcerative colitis for 2 years. Now I am totally out of adverse effect of ulcerative colitis. No bleeding, no mucas, and no dysentery. It really works but requires time. It works slowly but effectively.

    Reply
  6. Sir, which of the two(stree or pum) kutaja is used as arshoghna?and why(mechanism of action over arshas)?

    Reply

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