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)

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.

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


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

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)

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.

Research on Kutaja

Anti-fungal activity
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.

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.

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.

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.

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 ?

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

    • 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.

  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 ?

    • 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.

  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.

  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.

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


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