Kewda Flower, Fruit (Screw Pine) Uses, Research, Medicines, Side Effects

Ketaki – Pandanus odoratissimus is an Ayurvedic herb used for the treatment of diabetes, threatened abortion, fever, joint pain, earache, psychiatric conditions. 

Latin name – Pandanus odorotissimus Linn., Pandanus tectorius, Pandanus odorifer
Family – Pandanaceae (Ketaka Kula)

Vernacular names

Names in different languages:
Hindi name – Kevada, Kewda, Kewra, Kevra,
English name – Screw pine, Palau Fruit, Screw Pine, Pandanus Tectorius or Pandanus Odoratissimus. The Native Fruit in Palau.
Bengali name – Keya
Gujarati name – Kevado
Kannada name – Kedage
Marathi name – Kevada
Tamil name – Javnana chedi
Telugu name – Mogali chettu

Sanskrit synonyms

Sanskrit Synonyms of Kewra Flower:
Soochi pushpa, Suchika Pushpa – The flowers are pointed like needle
Trakachada – The leaves are pointed like spear
Sugandha – flowers have fragrance
Trinashunya, Ketaki, Kambuka, Lalinaka
Karatruna, Krakacha Tvacha, Jambuka, Suvarna Ketaki


Morphology of Pandanus odoratissimus:
It is a small branched, palm – like tree growing to a height of 3 – 4 m, with a flexuous trunk supported by brace roots. The trunk of the tree is twisted, having a shoot-like appearance touching the ground. The leaves grow in clusters at the branch tips, 40 – 70 cm in length with rosettes of sword – shaped, stiff (leather – like) and spiny bluish – green, fragrant leaves. The tree bears very fragrant white colored flowers in clusters, used as perfume. The fruits are oval to round in shape 4 – 6 inches in diameter. The tree is found all over India in the temperate climate.

Properties, part used, dosage

Medicinal properties of Pandanus odorifer:
Rasa (Taste) – Tikta (Bitter) Madhura (Sweet), Katu ( Pungent)
Guna (Qualities) – Laghu (Light for digestion), Snigdha (Slimy in nature)
Vipaka – Katu (Undergoes Pungent taste after digestion)
Veerya (Potency) – Ushna (Hot)
Karma (Actions) – Kaphapitta shamaka (reduces vitiated kapha and pitta dosha)

Kewra Part used – Root, Flower
Dosage –
Cold infusion – 40 to 50 ml
Distillate – 30 to 40 ml
Powder – 3 to 5 g

Chemical composition

Chemical composition of Pandanus odoratissimus:
The chief constituent of the oil (of flowers) is methyl ether of beta – phenylethyl alcohol. The oil also contains diterpene, d – linalool, phenylethyl acetate, citral, phenylethyl alcohol, ester of phthalic acid, fatty acids and stearoptene. The leaves contain the piperidine alkaloids.


Uses of Ketaki – Kewda Flower: 

  • The root of ketaki is processed in sesame oil and the oil is used for external application to treat joint pain and headache.
  • The stigma of the flowers of Pandanus odorotissimus is processed in oil and used as nasal drops to treat convulsions due to epilepsy.
  • The root of ketaki is processed in coconut oil and the oil is used for application to the scalp to treat alopecia and to improve the luster of hair.
  • To treat earache, the oil of Ketaki is slightly warmed and put to the ears.
  • Cold infusion of the root of Pandanus odorotissimus is given in a dose of 30 – 40 ml to treat fever and in cases of measles.
  • Root of ketaki is boiled in milk and it is given in a dose of 25 – 30 ml to treat conditions of threatened abortion, to improve the strength of uterine muscles and to improve sexual vigor and physical strength.
  • The paste prepared from the root of ketaki is applied over the skin to improve complexion and to treat black heads.
  • Root powder in a dose of 2 – 3 g with hot water is taken to treat indigestion and diabetes.

Sanskrit verse

Traditional description of Kewra flower benefits:
Madhura – sweet
Tikta – bitter
Kaphahara – balances Kapha, useful in productive cough, asthma, bronchitis, chest congestion
Katu – pungent
Laghu – light to digest
Chakshushya – improves vision, good for eyes, useful in eye disorders

Ketaki fruit:
Katu –pungent, spicy
Tikta – bitter
Laghu – light to digest
Ushna – hot
Balances Kapha and vata Dosha
Golden yellow coloured flowers are considered to be of superior quality.
Meals is served in its leaf to treat Granthi – tumour, fibroid

Adverse effects

Adverse effects of Screw Pine: No adverse effect is known or reported after the use of Ketaki.

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

Medicines containing Ketaki:
Nirgundyadi taila: It is a medicated oil, used mainly in the treatment of diseases of ear, nose and throat. It is also used for external application in joint pain and other vata related disorders.
Triphaladi taila: It is used in the treatment of headache, hair fall, gray hairs, etc. It is used for external applications.

Maharajaprasarini taila: This medicated oil is used for external application in vata related disorders like Skeleto muscular complaints like arthritis, muscular dystrophy, myalgia, tendinitis etc.
Akik Pishti: It is an Ayurvedic medicine in tablet or powder form, used in the treatment of heart diseases, cough, heartburn, etc.

Neelikadi taila: It is used in the treatment of alopecia, itching, dandruff, gray hairs, and baldness. It is used for external applications.


Research articles related to Pandanus odoratissimus:
Anti – inflammatory action: This study examined the anti – inflammatory activity of Pandanus odoratissimus. The anti – inflammatory activity was estimated by carrageenan – induced acute and formalin – induced chronic paw edema models in rats. The methanolic extract of Pandanus odoratissimus was given in the doses of 25, 50 and100 mg kg – 1. The plant extract at the dose of 100 mg kg – 1 showed significant anti – inflammatory activity peaked at 3 h where, it caused inhibition for the increase in carrageenan – induced acute (68%) and for the increase in formalin – induced chronic (64.2%) paw edema models in rats. The standard drug was used as diclofenac sodium. As a result methanolic extract of Pandanus odoratissimus was shown to have an anti – inflammatory activity.

In this study, several neuropharmacological effects of methanolic leaf extract of Pandanus odoratissimus (PO) (family; Pandanaceae) were studied in albino mice using various experimental models. The methanolic leaf extract (50,100 and 200 mg/kg i. p.) produced a reduction in spontaneous motor activity, motor coordination and prolonged Pentobarbital sodium sleeping time. Preliminary qualitative chemical studies indicated the presence of steroids, saponins, terpenoids, glycosides, tannins, flavonoids and phenolics in the extract. These observations suggest that the leaf of Pandanus odoratissimus contains some active principles which possess potential CNS – depressant action.

Anti – cancer study: The objective of the present study was to explore the dose – dependent in vitro anticancer effects of the extracts of Pandanus odoratissimus. The dried parts of roots and leaves were extracted with methanol (MEPO) and water (AEPO). The extracts were then subjected to in vitro cytotoxic and antimitotic screening by brine shrimp lethality assay and onion root tip method, respectively. AEPO showed significant cytotoxic and antimitotic activities. It showed 100% lethality of brine shrimps at 80 ?g/ml and an LC50 of 33.33 ?g/ml, which was eightfold higher than that of synthetic standard podophyllotoxin (4.16 ?g/ml). The plant has the potential to be used in anticancer therapy, and this study scientifically validated the folklore use of this plant.

Hepato – protective action: The purpose of the study was to investigate the hepato – protective activity of methanol extracts of peduncles, flowers and spathes of Pandanus odoratissimus inflorescence in acetaminophen – induced hepatotoxicity in guinea pigs. The methanol extract of the peduncle alleviated the liver damage induced by APAP as evident by the improved histopathology picture similar to that of silymarin which presented with only mild hydropic and fatty changes. The extract also reduced the liver enzymes – AST, ALT and ALP – by 42, 50 and 59 %, respectively (p < 0.05), but the reduction (32 %) in total bilirubin was not significant 32 %. On the other hand, the flower extract only lowered AST and ALP by 31 and 48 % (p < 0.05), respectively, while the reduction in ALT and total bilirubin by 33 and 18 % respectively, was not significant.

Classical categorization

Bhavaprakasha – Pushpavarga
Kaiyyadeva Nighantu – Vihara varga
Raja Nighantu – Karaveeradi varga

Scientific classification

Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Pandanales
Family: Pandanaceae
Genus: Pandanus
Species: P. odorifer

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

Sthanika karma (Systemic Acton)

Externally – Improve complexion, hair growth. It has  wound healing, Analgesic properties., Its oil is indicated in joint pain, Amavata, Headache etc. Nasya with its powder is indicated in Epilepsy.
Smelling its powder is also beneficial in body weakness, tiredness and gives calmness to the mind.

Nervous system –Indicated in diminished brain functions. Promote strength to the brain and sense organs.

Digestive system – It is spicy in taste so it acts as carminative, digestive, and helps for the proper movement of vata dosha. Indicated in loss of appetite, indigestion and constipation.

Circulatory System – Purify blood, indicated in various types of blood borne disorders. Helps to reduce palpitation.

Excretory system – Its roots have anti diuretic and sthambhana action.

Reproductive System – Root has Prajasthapana action (Helps to retain pregnancy), and flower has Aphrodisiac in nature. so Indicated in impotency. Root prepared in milk (Kshira paka) can be given in threatened abortion and female infertility.

Skin – Promote sweat production. Improves complexion, and is indicated in skin disorders.

Tapakrama – Indicated in fever associated with blisters.

Satmikarana – Indicated in general debility.

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