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kutaja - Holarrhena antidysenterica (white) Wall.

kutaja :

kutaja  : Holarrhena antidysenterica (white) Wall.  Kutaj is a deciduous laticiferous shrub or can be considered as a small tree. The tree grows up to three meters high. The tree has short stem that has pale bark and several branches It consists certain biochemical constituents namely alkaloids, glycosides, phenolic compounds and tannins. Alkaloids have been reported in the bark, leaf and seeds of the plant. Kutaja or Conessine has been used to treat various health ailments such as piles, colic, dyspepsia, chest affections and as a remedy in diseases of the skin and spleen.

Taxonomical Classification

Family: Apocynaceae


English: conessi bark, tellicherry bark, kurchi


Synonyms in Ayurveda: kutaja, shakra, vatsaka, girimallika, pravishya, shakrapadaka, varatika, yavaphala, mahagandha, koti, shambhuruha, aindrayava, aindra phala, kalinga, kautaja, shakrahva, puruhuta, bhadrayava, indrayava, indravriksha

According to one study, Kutaj seed and bark is capable to kill free living amoebae and it also kills entamoeba histolytica in the dysenteric stools of experimentally infected kittens and the herb is markedly lethal to the flagellate protozoon. The strong antibacterial activity of the Holarrhena antidysenterica extract inhibits growth of enteropathogenic Escherichia coli(EPEC) bacteria strains. The EPEC strains are notorious for resisting the activities of multiple antibiotic drugs. The effectiveness of Holarrhena antidysenterica in treating diarrhea induced by EPEC strains makes it an effective alternative to conventional antibiotic drugs used for treating dysentery. The medicinal plant could also inhibit formation of bloody stools, a symptom of entero haemorrhagic Escherichia coli(EHEC) infection. Studies suggest that Holarrhena antidysenterica prevents and treats EPEC infections by prevented bacterial adhesion. The anti-adherence effect of the alkaloids of the herb provides a rational basis for treating diarrhea induced by EPEC infection.

KEY WORDS: Kutaja, Kutaj, Kutajam

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