Kankushta: Garcinia morella Uses, Dose, Research, Rasashastra

kankushta – Garcinia morella is used in the treatment of dysentery, gastritis, fatigue, boils, burning sensation, dizziness etc. It is an excellent anti-inflammatory herb, also used in Homeopathy. It is also identified with another Sanskrit name – Tamala. Botanical name- Garcinia morella Desr
Family- Guttiferae, Clusiaceae (Nagakesara kula)

Vernacular names

Names in different languages: 
Hindi name – Tamal
English name- Indian Gambose, Gamboge, Gambogia, Gummi gutti
Tamil name- Pumakki, iravasinni (இரேவற்சின்னி),
Telugu name- Chikata Chetu
Malayalam name- Chigiri, iravi,
Assamese name – Kujee Thekera (কুজী ঠেকেৰা)
Kannada name – ardala, devana huli, jirigehuli, murina huli, ponpuli
Sinhalese name – gokatiya, kokatiya
Visayan languages (Philippines): batuan

Sanskrit Synonyms

Tapiccha, Kankustha, Phala skandha, Niladhvaja, Lokasandha, Amitadruma, Neeldhwaja, Neelatala, Tamalaka, Kankustha
Kakakushta, Kakagola, Rangadayaka, Rochana, Rechana, Varanga, Viranga, kakapalaka, Viranga, Ranganayaka, Rechaka.

Classical categorization

Bhavaprakasha – Vatadi Varga
Kaiyadeva Nighantu – Aushadhi Varga
Rajanighantu – Prabhadradi Varga

Bhavaprakasha- Dhatu upadhatvadi varga
Dhanvantari Nighantu- Chandanadi varga
Kaiyyadeva Nighantu- Oushadhi varga
Raja Nighantu- Suvarnadi varga
Shodala Nighantu- Chandanadi varga

Scientific classification

Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Malpighiales
Family: Clusiaceae
Subfamily: Clusioideae
Tribe: Garcinieae
Genus: Garcinia
Species: G. morella

Habitat, morphology

It is a tree found in India, Sri Lanka and the Philippines.

Morphology of Garcinia morella:
Kankushta is a medium size tree growing to a height of 30-50 feet and is found in Eastern India and Western ghats of India. The bark of the tree is thick and brown. The leaves are thick, oval or round, 2-3 inch wide. The flowers are unisexual. The fruits are round, having four edges and 4 seeds inside. The fruit is slightly sour in taste and can be eaten raw. The seeds are flat, oval to renal shape and brown colored. The resin of the tree is reddish to yellowish orange colored, odourless and slightly sour taste.

Chemical constituents

Garcinia morella chemical composition: 
Seed coat- Morellinol, morellin
Heartwood- Morellaflavone
The xanthonoids gaudichaudione A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, gaudichaudiic acid A, B, C, D, E, morellic acid and forbesione from G. gaudichaudi (reference)

Medicinal properties

Garcinia morella medicinal properties
Rasa (taste) – Katu (pungent), Tikta (bitter)
Guna (qualities) – Laghu (lightness), Rooksha (dryness)
Vipaka- Katu – Undergoes pungent taste conversion after digestion
Veerya – Ushna – hot potency
Prabhava (Special action)- Cause purgation
Effect on Tridosha – Balances Kapha and Pitta

Part used, dosage

Part used- Gum-resin
Dosage- 50-125 mg

Sanskrit verse

Garcinia morella uses

Balya – improves strength and immunity
Vrushya – aphrodisiac, improves vigor
Indicated in –
Daha –  burning sensation, as in gastritis, neuropathy, burning sensation in eyes etc
Visphota – boils
Shopha  – swelling, inflammation
Trushna – excessive thirst
Shrama – tiredness, fatigue
Bhranti – dizziness, insanity

Ripe fruits are edible, but are quite sour. Fruits are sliced and dried under sunlight to preserve it for a long time, it is used in treating dysentery. It can be made into pickles.
The fruit is hailed as an excellent remedy to lose weight.

In homeopathy, it is used in the treatment of drowsiness, itching and burning in eyes, gastritis, flatulence, dysentery, diarrhoea.

Traditional uses

Traditional uses as per Ayurveda:

Varna Vishodhana – Improves complexion
Indicated in –
Shopha  – inflammation
Udara – ascites, enlargement of the abdomen
Anaha – bloating, fullness
Gulma – Tumours of the abdomen
Adhmana – bloating, gaseous distension of abdomen
Krumi – worm infestation
Udavarta – bloating
Vibandha – constipation
Shoola – abdominal colic pain

As per Bhavaprakasha, yellow variety is the best one. It is
Guru – heavy to digest
Snigdha – unctuous, oily

Ayurvedic medicines

Ayurvedic medicine with Garcinia morella as ingredient:
Hingvadi Churna –  used in Ayurvedic treatment of indigestion, bloating and abdominal pain.
Vayu Gulika – It is an Ayurvedic tablet used in treating cough, cold, fever etc

Side effects

Seek medical advice for its use during pregnancy and lactation.
It can be used in children in small doses.

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 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.


Research on Garcinia Morella:
Anti- cancer activity: The present study was aimed to evaluate the antioxidant and anticancer activity of methanol extracts of the leaf, bark and fruit of G. morella (GM) in different in vitro and in vivo experimental conditions. The results of this study showed that GM methanol extracts possessed in vitro antioxidant and anticancer properties, where the fruit extract (GF) showed maximum activity.

Anti- oxidant and anti- inflammatory study: The fungal extracts revealed their potential as a source of antioxidant, ant-inflammatory and antimicrobial inhibitors which could have a role in the development of drugs for treatment of a wide spectrum of diseases. The endophytes isolated from four species of Garcinia were subjected to fermentation in still culture and extracted using ethyl acetate.

Kankushta as per Rasashastra

It is a controversial drug. Differences of opinion exist, since a very long period of time.  Here are a few opinions –

  1. Newborn elephant dung is considered as Kankushta
  2. New born horse’s umbilical cord is considered as Kankushta
  3. Dalhana has described Swarnaksheeri niryasa (exudates) as Kankushta
  4. Yadavji has described a herb called as Usare revand as Kankushta
  5. Pandit Saligram believes that Mruddhara shrunga as Kankushta.

Deciding a particular thing as Kankushta has been a difficult job and a subject of research. In Rasashastra text books, the availability of Kankushta is explained in Himalayan mountains. Hence, it is logical to consider Usare revand as kankushta.


Rechaka, Shodhana, Viranga, Paraaga, Rangadayaka, Kolavaluka, Swarnaksheeri niryasa, Hemapatri, Teekshnadugdhika, Kakakankushta, Talakushta.


Himalayas, Cambodia, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Burma, Thailand.


  1. Nailka (cylindrical) – reddish yellow in colour – greatest.
  2. Renuka (Granular) – blackish yellow – least.

Suitable characters

The one which is reddish-yellow in colour, heavy, unctuous, and cylindrical is considered as great. The one with blackish yellow colour, and granular is considered as least suitable for therapeutic use.


Bhavana with Shunti kwatha for three times.


Madhura – sweet,
Tikta – bitter,
Katu – pungent,
Katu vipaka – pungent taste conversion,
Ushna verya – hot potency,
Atirechaka – excessive purging.
Useful in:
Vrana – wounds,
Udavarta – upward movement of Vata,
Shula – abdominal colicky pain,
 Pleeha – spleen disorders and
Arsha – hemorrhoids.

Systemic Action (Sthanika Karma)

External – Anti microbial and promote wound healing.

Digestive System – It has strong purgative action, indicated in Gulma, Udavarta abdominal cramps for purgative purpose. Anti helminthic. Overdose can cause nausea, vomiting and abdominal discomfort.
Circulatory System –Indicated in edema, and hypertension.

One comment on “Kankushta: Garcinia morella Uses, Dose, Research, Rasashastra

  • Kashiraj sharma suvedi

    03/02/2019 - 6:03 pm

    tamala in Rajanighantu and Kaiyadevanighantu appears different. As in Rajanighantu it is madhura, balya , shishira and in Kaiyadeva it is mentioned as tikta,,katu, Ushna.

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