Acacia Catechu
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Botanical Classification

















Botanical name- Mimosaceae

Ayurvedic name- shimbi kul

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Other Names

  • English : Cutch tree
  • Hindi : Khair, Khaira
  • Kannada : Kalu
  • Malayalam : Karinnali
  • Sanskrit : Khadirah
  • Tamil : Karunkali
  • Telugu : Podalimanu

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Common in Indian forests, unto an elevation of 500m.

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A moderate sized deciduous tree, 9-12 m in height with dark grayish or brown rough bark and hooked short spines, leaves bi-pinately compound, leaflets: 30 - 50 pairs, main rachis pubescent with a large conspicuous gland near the middle of the rachis; flowers pale yellow, sessile in peduncled axillary spikes; fruits flat brown pods, shiny and with a triangular beak at the apex and narrowed at the base; seeds 3-10 per pod.

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Chemical Constituents


The chief constituents of the heartwood are catechin and catechutannic acid. The wood contains epicatechin, Atzelchin, catechin tetramer, dicatechin, gallochin, gossypetin, isorhamn.etin, kaempferol.

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It is pitta and kapha suppressant. It is widely used in skin related disorders. It helps in clotting of blood in case of any injuries. It is a good anti-inflammatory herb. It also helps in relieving from itching. Also helps in relieving from raised body temperature. It relieves from swelling in spleen and liver.

According to ayurveda it contains

  • Gunna (properties) – ruksh (dry) and laghu (light)
  • Rasa (taste) – tickt (bitter) and kashaya (astringent)
  • Virya (potency) – sheet (cold)
  • Prabhav (action) – skin disorders

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It has no toxic effect on human body if taken in limited amount.

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Plant part used


Bark and heartwood

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  1. Thinning of blood
  2. Tooth related troubles
  3. Throat problems
  4. Skin disorders
  5. Tastelessness
  6. Worm infestation
  7. Hemorrhages
  8. Blood disorders
  9. Infections
  10. Chronic fever
  11. Obesity
  12. Hepatomegaly and spleenomegaly
  13. Urine related disorders

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  • Powder- An ayurvedic herb used for leprosy and other skin ailments. Various plant parts used in sore mouth, pain in chest, cancer, colic pain, gravel, dysentery, phthisis, bronchitis, asthma, constipation and strangulation of intestine. Bark useful in skin diseases (Bark juice along with asafoetida used in haemoptysis. Mixture of flower tops, Cumin Etc. given in gonorrhea.
  1. Katha- pale catechu (different from cutch, the dark catechu) obtained from heart wood of 20-30 yr. Old trees. It is astringent, cooling and easily digestible. Used in relaxed conditions of throat, mouth, gums, cough and diarrhea.
  2. Kheersal -a product meat with in some older trees in the form of white crystalline deposit of catechin, used for treatment of cough and sore throat.
  3. Gum -a good substitute for true gum Arabic. Gum-resin used in masticaories.

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