Chirabilva- Holoptelea integrifolia, Uses, Research, Remedies, Side Effects

Indian Elm – Holoptelea integrifolia is a herb mentioned in Ayurveda for the treatment of localized swelling, skin diseases, nausea, diabetes, indigestion, piles and acts as blood purifier. It is commonly called Chirabilva in Ayurveda. 

Latin name- Holoptelea integrifolia Planch
Family- Ulmaceae (Chiribilwa kula)

Vernacular names

Chirabiwa – Names in different languages:
English name – Indian Elm, entire-leaved elm tree, jungle cork tree, south Indian elm tree
Hindi name- Chilbil
Kannada name- Neelavahi
Malayalam name- Aaval
Marathi name- Bavali
Tamil name- Aapa, Ayil pattai
Telugu name- Nemalinara chettu
Urdu name- Dharanji

Sanskrit synonyms

Sanskrit synonyms of Chiruvilwa –
Udakirya – Tree grows near water resources}
Shadgranthika – Have six bends
Karanji – Tree looks like Karanja tree
Markati – Colour of bark is similar to skin colour of Monkey


Morphology of Holoptelea integrifolia:
It is a medium size tree growing to a height of 10-15 m. The bark is pale white colored. Leaves are 3-5 inch long, 2-3 inch wide, oval to renal shaped.  The flowers are small, greenish yellow and found in clusters. The fruits are round and the seeds are flat. Flowers are seen in the spring season and the fruits are seen in summer. Both flowers and fruits release a pungent odor when crushed. The tree is found in the temperate climate of India.

Properties, part used, dosage

Medicinal properties of Indian Elm:
Rasa (Taste) – Tikta (Bitter), Kashaya (Astringent)
Guna (Qualities) – Laghu (Light for digestion), Ruksha (Dry in nature)
Vipaka – Katu (Undergoes Pungent taste after digestion)
Veerya (Potency) – Ushna (Hot)
Karma (Actions) – Kapha pitta shamaka (reduces vitiated kapha and pitta dosha)
Pharmacological Actions – Anti – inflammatory, Carminative, Laxative, Anthelmintic

Part used- Bark
Bark powder- 3 to 5g
Decoction- 50 to 100 ml
Juice – 10 – 20 ml

The shoots of chirabilva stimulates the digestive fire, alleviates kapha and vata dosha and is laxative in nature according to Bhojana Kutuhalam.

Chemical composition

Chemical composition of Holoptelea integrifolia:
Stem bark of the plant contains triterpenoid fatty acid esters, Holoptelin A and B, B- sitosterol, friedelin and epi- friedelinol. The leaves contain Hexacosanol and B- amyrin. The seeds contain yellow colored oil in it.


 Uses of Chirabilva;

  • The powder of the bark of Chirabilwa is made into powder and sprinkled over fresh wounds to control bleeding and help in quicker healing.
  • Decoction of the bark of Holoptelia integrifolia is given in a dose of 50-60 ml to control diabetes.
  • The paste of the bark of the tree is applied over the area affected with scabies, wounds and other skin diseases.
  • Cold infusion or decoction of the bark of Chirabilwa is given in a dose of 30-40 ml to improve the appetite and to expel the intestinal worms.
  • Paste prepared from the bark of the tree is applied over external pile mass as part of treatment.
  • The regular consumption of decoction of the bark of Holoptelia integrifolia in a dose of 30-40 ml acts as blood purifier.

Sanskrit verse

Adverse effect

No adverse effect is known or reported after the normal use of Chirabilva.

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.

Ayurvedic medicines

Ayurvedic medicines containing Chirabilva:
Poothikasavam: It is a liquid medicine used mainly in the treatment of hemorrhoids, stomach and spleen disorders.
Chiruvilwadi kashaya:It is an ayurvedic decoction used mainly in the treatment of piles and fistula. It also relieves bloating, burning sensation and improves the digestive capacity.

Piyush valli rasa: It is an Ayurvedic medicine in tablet form, used in treatment of digestive disorders, liver disorders, indigestion, malabsorption syndrome, diarrhea, fever, dysentery, bleeding per rectum, bloating, puerperal disorders, menorrhagia, female infertility, urinary tract
Indukantha kashaya: It is a herbal decoction useful in the treatment of fever, abdominal bloating, distention of abdomen and improves digestion.

Gorochanadi gulika: It is a tablet used in the treatment of pneumonia, cough, cold, bronchitis, asthma, diseases of throat, tonsillitis, chronic fever.
Rasnadi choorna: It is an Ayurvedic medicine, used to apply over the scalp, to relieve headache and sinusitis.

Laxinol capsule:  This is a proprietary ayurvedic medicine in capsule form useful in the treatment of constipation.
Pilorid ointment: This is a proprietary ayurvedic medicine in ointment form, used externally in the treatment of piles and fistula.


Research articles related to Holoptelea integrifolia:
Anti- inflammatory action: The purpose of the present study was to investigate the anti-inflammatory properties of aqueous extract of the leaves of H. integrifolia, Planch. The hind paw edema was produced in rats by subplantar injection of carrageenan. The aqueous extract of H. integrifolia, Planch. (AHI) at dose (250 and 500 mg/kg p.o) was given to observe % inhibition of paw edema which were comparable with indomethacin (10 mg/kg p.o) used as a reference drug.
Results: The extract administered orally at doses of 250 and 500 mg kg p.o produced a significant (P < 0.05) dose dependent inhibition of edema formation.

Mosquito larvicidal action: During the present study, larval mortality of Culex vishuni group was observed after 24 h, 48 h and 72 h of exposure with five concentrations of crude extract (0.1%, 0.2%, 0.3%, 0.4% and 0.5%) and four concentrations (100 ppm, 200 ppm, 300 ppm and 400 ppm) of acetone extract of leaf of the plant. Effects of acetone extract of H. integrifolia leaves were tested against non-target predatory fishes and insect larvae. During the present study, the mortality rates of all larval instars at 0.5% concentration were significantly higher (p < 0.05) than at 0.1%, 0.2%, 0.3% and 0.4% concentrations of crude leaf extract.

Anti- convulsant effect:  The main objective of the work was to evaluate the anticonvulsant activity of Holoptelea Integrifolia (Roxb.) Planch.  Holoptelea Integrifolia leaves was evaluated using Pentylenetetrazole (PTZ) induced convulsions in mice and maximal electro shock (MES) induced Convulsions and lithium-pilocarpine induced status epilepticus in rats. The petroleum ether extract (100 and 300 mg/kg) and methanolic extract (300 mg/kg) delayed onset of PTZ- induced convulsions and also prolonged the onset of tonic convulsions in mice. Both the extracts failed to protect the rats from MES induced convulsions. The extracts also protected rats against seizures induced by lithium-pilocarpine.

Classical categorization

Charaka Samhita- Lekhaniya, Bhedaniya
Sushruta Samhita- Sleshma samhanana
Raja Nighantu- Prabadradi varga

Systemic classification

Domain – Eukaryotic
Kingdom – Plantae
Division – Tracheophyta
Class – Magnoliopsida
Order – Rosales
Family – ulmaceae
Genus – Holoptelea
Species – Holoptelea integrifolia

Author: Dr.B.K.Prashanth M.D (Ayu), Ph.D
E mail:
Click to consult Dr Prashanth BK

Sthanika karma (Action on different system)

External application – Bark has Anti-inflammatory action.
Digestive system – Carminative, purgative, Anti helminthic, helps for the release of bile juice from gallbladder. Indicated in low digestive strength, vomiting, Ascites, Abdominal colic, Phantom tumor, Hemorrhoid etc.
Circulatory System – Acts as a blood purifier.
Excretory system – Indicated in diabetes
Tvak – Indicated in skin disorders
Satmikarana – It has a scraping effect on tissues, indicated in obesity and related disorders

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