Chilla – Casearia tomentosa: Uses, Actions, Side Effects, Research

By Dr Renita D’Souza Chilhaka (Casearia tomentosa) is commonly known as chilla. Its fruits are used as fish poison. It possess anti diabetic, anti microbial and diuretic property. It is used in diabetes, ringworm, ascites, ulcers, wound, snake bite, fever etc.

Botanical Name – Casearia tomentosa Family – Salicaceae

Vernacular names, home remedies

Names in Different Languages
Sanskrit Name – Chilhaka
Hindi Name – Chilla, chillar, chilhak, Churcha
English Name – Toothed Leaf Chilla
Kannada Name – Konje
Marati Name – Massi, Modgi, Bogara
Malyalam Name – Anavananni
Tamil Name – Kodichai, katiccai
Telugu Name – Chilaka Duddi, chilaka dudduga, chilakaya
Nepali Name – Sonne Bethe

Home remedies:

  • Fruit juice or fruit powder put to water is used as fish poison and it kills the fish.
  • Decoction of root bark is used in to treat diabetes.
  • Its stem bark juice application helps heal ringworm.
  • In snake bite bark juice is applied.
  • Bark juice is applied externally in oedema.

Sanskrit verse, uses

Effect on Tridoshas Balances Vata dosha and Kapha dosha

Karma (actions) of Chilhaka Dhatu pushtikrith – Nourishes the Dhatus (tissues) Aagneyo – increases heat (hot) quality in body.

Part used, morphology

Part Used Bark, Fruit pulp, Root, Leaves

Morphology of Casearia tomentosa Casearia tomentosa is a small tree growing up to 7-8 meter tall. Leaves are simple, alternate, toothed, ovate-elliptic in shape. Flowers are greenish yellow. Fruits oval in shape, yellow when ripe. Pulp of the fruit is red in colour, embedded with seeds.

Distribution, category, chemistry

Distribution of Casearia tomentosa It is found in India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka

Classical categorisation Bhavaprakasha Nighantu – Guduchyadivarga

Chemical constituents of Casearia tomentosa Steroids, phytosterol, terpenoids, fats, oils etc.

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.

Side effects, research

Side Effects
Due to its agneya (heat) producing property it can cause gastric irritation, and burning sensation in high dose.

1 . Antioxidant activity – Study done to evaluate the antioxidant activity of leaves of Casearia tomentosa plant have proved its significant antioxidant property.
2. – A study done on phytochemical screening and pharmacological evaluation of different extracts of leaves of plant Casearia tomentosa have proved its leaves as a potential natural source of antioxidant, antibacterial and anti diabetic agent.

3. Anti-microbial activity -The research conducted to discover potential anti-microbial and antioxidant activity of bark and leaf extracts of Casearia tomentosa has proved significant anti bacterial, anti-fungal and antioxidant activity.
4. In a review from traditional use to pharmacological evidence of medicinal plants used in the treatment of local tissue damage induced by snake venom, Casearia tomentosa is also included under the medicinal plants used as source of Antidotes for snakebites. Read more

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