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ative Photo: Dinesh Valke
Common name: Indrajao • Assamese: dhulkari, dudkhuri • Bengali: kurchi, কুটজ kutaja • Gujarati: કડવો ઇન્દ્રજવ kadavo indrajav • Hindi: कडवा इंद्रजव karva indrajau, कुटज kutaja • Kannada: ಕೊಡಸಿಗೆ Kodasige, Koodsaloo, Korchie • Kashmiri: अन्दुसुरुन् andusurun • Konkani: कुडॉ kudo • Malayalam: കുടകപ്പാല kutakappaala • Marathi: इंद्रजव indrajav, कुटज kutaja, पांढरा कुडा pandhra kuda • Punjabi: keor, kewar • Oriya: kherwa, korwa, kurwa, pitakorwa • Sanskrit: इंद्रयव indrayava, कुटज kutaja, sakraparyaaya, sakraasana, वत्सक vatsaka • Santali: ᱦᱚᱴ Hat • Tamil: கிரிமல்லிகை kirimllikai, குடசப்பாலை kutaca-p-palai, மலைமல்லிகை mlaimllikai • Telugu: గిరిమల్లిక girimallika, కొడిసెపాల kodisepala, కోలముక్కు kolamukku, కొండమల్లె kondamalle, కుటజము kutajamu • Nepali: बन खिर्रो Ban Khirro, मधिसे खिर्रो Madhire Khirro, इन्द्रजौ Indrajau, करिङ्गि Kiringgi, कुर्ची Kurchee • Mizo: Hlengpa
Botanical name: Holarrhena pubescens    Family: Apocynaceae (Oleander family)
Synonyms: Holarrhena antidysenterica

Indrajao is a deciduous shrub or a small tree, growing up to 3 ms high. Short stem has pale bark and several branches. Oppositely arranges, ovate, obtusely acuminate leaves are 10-20 cm long. Leaf stalks are very short. White flowers appear in corymb-like cymes, 5-15 cm across, at the end of branches. Flowers have five white petals 2-3 cm long which turn creamish yellow as they age. The flowers are beautiful with oblong petals which are rounded at the tip, and remind one of frangipani. Indrajao is native to Africa, Indian Subcontinent to Indo-China. It is also found in the Himalayas up to altitudes of 1500 m. Flowering: April-July.
Medicinal uses: It is a medicinal plant in Ayurveda. One of its botanical synonyms Holarrhena antidysenterica says it all. It is one of the best drug for Diarrhoea. In chronic diarrhoea & to check blood coming from stool,it should be given with Isobgol, caster oil or Indrayav. According to Ayurveda, the bark is useful in treatment of piles, skin diseases and biliousness. The bark is used externally in case of skin troubles. The bark is mostly mixed with cow urine and apply it in affected parts. In treatment of urinary troubles, the bark is given with cow milk. The fresh juice of bark is considered good to check the diarrhoea. In Bleeding piles Decoction of Kutaj bark with sunthi checks mucus & blood. Application of this herb is useful in Rh. Arthritis & Oestioarthritis.

Identification credit: Dinesh Valke Photographed in Maharashtra & Tripura.

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