Family: Sapotaceae)

Synonyms: M. latifolia (Roxb). Macb., Bassia latifolia (Roxb.) Cor.

Bengali/Vernacular Name: Mahua, Maul, Moa.

Tribal Name: Matkom (Santal).  

English Name: Butter Tree, Mahua Tree.

Description of the Plant:
A medium-sized to large, handsome, deciduous tree, young parts yellow tomentose. Leaves clustered at the end of branches, elliptic-oblong, 12-20 cm long, shortly acuminate. Flowers cream-coloured, fleshy, sweet, in dense clusters near the end of branches, drooping. Fruit a berry, ovate, acute, fleshy, 2.5 cm long.

Using Information:
Flowers are cooling, tonic, demulcent and carminative; used in coughs, colds and bronchitis. Dried flowers are used as a fomentation, in cases of orchitis for their sedative effect. The flowers fried in ghee are given to persons suffering from piles. Seeds are galactagogue. Seed oil is emollient, emetic and laxative; useful in skin diseases, rheumatism, headache, habitual constipation and piles. Decoction of bark is astringent and tonic; heals wounds and ulcers (Yusuf et al. 2009).

Chemical Constituents:
Leaves contain β-sitosterol-β-D-glucoside, stigmasterol, n-hexacosanol and 3β-caproxyolean-12-en-28-ol, β-carotene, n-octacosanol, sitosterol, its β-D-glucoside, stigmasterol, 3β-palmitoxyolean-12-en-28-ol, oleanolic acid, quercetin, erythrodiol, palmitic acid, myricetin and its 3-O-L-rhamnoside (Rastogi and Mehrotra, 1993). Leaves also contain a glycosidic saponin, protobassic acid and traces of an alkaloid. Flowers are a good source of sugars, calcium phophorus and protein. They contain a good quantity of sugar, enzymes, yeast and albuminoids. Seeds contain 43.3% fat, 16.9% protein, 51.5% oil and a saponin, a sapogenin and bassic acid. Bark contains tannins and saponins and sterols. β-amyrin, β-amyrin acetate, β-amyrin cinnamate, β-amyrin decanoate, β-amyrinone, betulinic acid, friedelin, hederagenin, isoarborinol, ursolic acid, α-spinasterol and α-spinasterol-β-D-glucoside have been isolated from the bark and timber (Ghani, 2003).


Dinajpur, usually planted by Santals and Barmans. Also planted elsewhere in the country.

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Retutn from MADHUCA INDICA to Medicinal Plants: Part M