Family: Apocynaceae

Synonyms: Holarrhena antidysenterica (L.) Wall.

Bengali/Vernacular Name: Kurchi; Kuruj, Karach (Chittagong); Karas (Sylhet); Kutiswar (Dhaka); Indrajaw, Indrajab (Dinajpur).

Tribal Name: La to pang, Lata baong, Luk Tuk (Marma); Kuruk gach (Chakma); Kuruk (Tanchangya); Bol-dukhak-ki-bipang (Garo).

English Name: Kurchi.

Description of the Plant:
A small, deciduous tree. Leaves 10-20 cm long, from broadly ovate to elliptic, obtuse or obtusely acuminate. Flowers white, in terminal corymbose cymes, 7.5-15 cm diam.; corolla tube 4-13 cm long, slightly inflated near the base; lobes about equalling the tube, oblong, rounded at the apex. Follicles 20-38 cm long, cylindric, often dotted with white spots.

Using Information:
The bark is stomachic, astringent, febrifuge, anthelmintic, powerful antidysenteric and antidiarrhoeal; cures dysentery, diarrhoea, fevers, piles, leprosy and skin diseases. Leaves are used in chronic bronchitis, lumbago, urinary discharges, boils and ulcers. The flowers are cooling, appetizer, anthelmintic; cure biliousness, diarrhoea and leucoderma. The seeds are carminative, astringent, tonic and febrifuge; given in affections of the chest, asthma, colic and diuresis. Marma use decoction of the bark to expell threadworms. Chakma use infusion of the bark to cure jaundice. Tanchangya use root for the treatment of diarrhoea in the form of pills. The decoction or raw juice of the leaves and bark is used against dysentery, liver troubles and as an anthelmintic by the Garo of Madhupur (Yusuf et al. 2009).

EtOH(50%) extract of bark is hypotensive, those of fruit is antiprotozoal, anticancer and hypoglycaemic (Asolkar et al., 1992).

Chemical Constituents:
Bark is rich in steroidal alkaloids, which include conessine (principal), nor-conessine, conessinine, conimine, conessidine, kurchine, holarrhenine, holarrhine, holafrine, holarrhetine, conkurchine, kurchicine, etc. Bark also contains gum, resin, tannin, a triterpene alcohol, lupeol, β-sitosterol and a glycoalkaloid. Seeds also contain most of these alkaloids. L-quebrachiol, alkaloids, dihydroisoconessmine and 3 α-aminoconan-5-ene, base, kurcholessine, 7 α-hydroxyconessine and holonamine have also been found in the bark. Leaves contain alkaloids like kurchiphylline, kurchiphyllamine, kurchaline, holadysine, holatosines, holarosines etc. and aminoglycosteroids, holantosines A, B, C & D and holarosine A; aminodeoxyglycosteroids, holarosine B, E & F and flavonoids. A new steroidal alkaloid holacetine have been isolated from root bark Concuressine (irehline), 3-epihetero-conessine and kurcholessine, kurchimine; a new digitenol glycoside- holadysone have also been isolated from the plant (Ghani, 2003; Rastogi & Mehrotra, 1990 & 93).


Forests of Dhaka, Tamgail, Chittagong, Chittagong Hill Tracts and Cox’s Bazar, Sylhet and Dinajpur.

Share Your Thoughts

Retutn from HOLARRHENA PUBESCENCE to Medicinal Plants: Part H