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madhukarkai - Citrus maxima

madhukarkai - Citrus maxima - Rutaceae

madhukarkai :

Fruiting tree in Florida Photograph by: North Carolina State University Herbarium A genus of Citrus (Linn) of Rutaceae an evergreen aromatic shrub and small trees occupies an important place in the medicine and also in the fruit economy of India. Scientifically it is also known as Aurantium maximum Burm. Ex Rumph, Citrus aurantium L. Var grandis L., Citrus Decumana L, Citrus grandis Osbeck & Citrus pamplemos. Citrus grandis (Linn) Osbeck is a crop plant of India, China, Indonesia, America, Thailand etc. The pummelo tree is normally about16 to 50 ft tall. Pomelo is native plant of Malayu island and East of India. It is wide spread in China, Japan, Philipines, Indonesia, USA and Thailand   


At the end of the 17th century an English sea captain named Shaddock stopped at Barbados, the westernmost island of the West Indies, on his way home from the Pacific. He had brought seeds of the pomelo and left them on the island where they soon grew well and produced fruit. The new fruit was named after him and in some areas pomelo is still called shaddock. Hybrids of this fruit and a local variety of sweet orange were found around 1720 on the island and later became known as grapefruit.

Taxonomical Classification

Kingdom: Plantae - Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta - Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta - Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida - Dicotyledons
Family: Rutaceae
Genus: Citrus
Species: Citrus maxima

Allied species:

Aurantium decumanum (L.) Miller
Aurantium maximum Burm
 Citrus aurantium f. grandis (L.) Hiroe
Citrus aurantium subsp. decumana (L


Sanskrit: Madhukarkati
English: Pamelo,pomelo,Pommelo,Jabong,Shaddock,Chinese fruit
Hindi: Sadaphal,batawi nimbu,cakotaraa
Urdu: chakutrah
Telugu: Pampara, Nimmapandu, Pampalamasam
Bengali: Chakotra, Jāmburā lēbu, Mahanibu, Sadaphal, Pumēlō , Bātābī lēbu
Marathi: .Papnasa
Konkani: Toranji
Oriya: ବାତାପି batapi
Gujarathi: Obakotru
Tamil: Pambalimasu, Elumicham
Malayalam: Pamparamasam, Pamparamasan
Kannada: Chakota, Chakota hannu, Chakotre, Sakkota, Tōran̄ji.
Punjabi: ਚਕੋਤ੍ਰਾ chakotra
Arabic: Laimun hindi
Spanish: Cimboa, Pampelmusa
Assamese: ৰবাব টেঙা robab tenga
Japanese: Zabon, Buntan, Pomero, Bontan
Chinese: Dou you, Pu tao you
French: Pamplemmousse doux des Antilles, Chadec, Shadek
German: Pomelo
Burma: Shouk ton oh, Kywegaw
Nepal: bhogate” भोगटे.
Sinhalese: Jambola
Greek: φράπα - frapa


There are two varieties: a sweet kind with white flesh and a sour kind with pinkish flesh, the latter more likely to be used as an altar decoration than eaten.

1. Non-hybrid pomelos
2. Possible non-hybrid pomelos


After a Captain Shaddock of an East India Company ship introduced it to Barbados, the fruit was called


Synonyms in Ayurveda: madhukarkati, madhukarkatika, svadulungi, ghantalika, ghata

Madhu karkati means sweet lime
Rasa: Amla Madhura
Guna: Laghu Snigdha
Veerya: Ushna
Vipaka: Amla
Karma: Kaphahara Vatahara

 of the leaves, flowers, and rind are given for their sedative effect in cases of epilepsy, chorea and convulsive coughing. The hot leaf decoction is applied on swellings and ulcers. The fruit juice is taken as a febrifuge. The seeds are employed against coughs, dyspepsia and lumbago. 


Three main climates are suitable for commercial citrus production - tropical climates, subtropical with winter rain such as in the Mediterranean and semitropical with summer rainfall as found in Florida and southern Brazil The optimal temperatures for citrus cultivation range between 25 - 30°c, with the coldest month having an average minimum of at least 15°c
 Growth generally ceases below 13°c and above 38°c
 If there are dry periods of more than three months, then irrigation will be necessary In the production centres of Thailand mean monthly temperatures are about 25 - 30°c with a few cooler (and dry) months; the dry season lasts for 3 - 4(-5) months and annual rainfall is about 1,500 - 1,800mm
 The crop is not grown commercially above elevations of 400 metres
Prefers a deep, well-drained but moisture-retentive loamy soil in full sun
 Prefers a pH in the range 5 - 6
In the tropics the trees flower 2 - 4 times per year, mainly in conjunction with shoot growth flushes
The main flowering period follows the onset of the monsoon rains, unless it is brought forward by irrigation
 A load of growing fruit limits fruit set from subsequent blossom periods
 Some fruit is usually available throughout the year
Yields greatly depend on cultivar and environment, but there appears to be no reason why the potential yield of pomelo should be lower than for other citrus species 
Thai sources put yield at 70 - 100 fruit per tree per year, equivalent to the 20 t/ha per year reported as a good yield in Malaysia


The seed is best sown in containers as soon as it is ripe, after thoroughly rinsing it
Sow stored seed in containers as soon as possible]. Germination usually takes place within 2 - 3 weeks at 13°c. Seedlings are liable to damp off so they must be watered with care and kept well ventilated. The seed is usually polyembryonic, two or more seedlings arise from each seed and they are genetically identical to the parent but they do not usually carry any virus that might be present in the parent plant
When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on until they are 10cm or more tall before planting out into their permanent positions.
Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. This species grows easily from cuttings
Air layering.


The dull skin of unripe fruit brightens upon ripening as the oil glands in the skin become more prominent and shiny. This change starts near the tip of the fruit; as it progresses towards the stalk, the fruit attains its full taste and is ready to be picked


Standardization of leaf was done with the help of extractive values [Water soluble extractives (18.8 %  w/w), Alcohol soluble extractives (6.8 % w/w)], total ash value (4.66 % w/w), acid soluble ash value (0.316 % w/w), acid insoluble ash value (4.63 % w/w) and loss on drying (5.96 % w/w)  


Alkaloids: 5-hydroxyacronycine, acriginine A, Atalafoline, Baiyumine A &B, Buntanine, Buntanmine, Grandisine I & II, Pumiline, honyumine, natsucrin, Prenyl citpressine, Citropone A & B, Glycocitrine I are present in the roots and the bark of the plant. Whereas the caffeine are present in the flowers of the Citrus maxima 
 Amino Acids: Alanine, Asparigine, Aspartic acid, Coline, Glutamic acid, Glycine And proline are present in the leaves 
 Carbohydrates: Phytol, Synephrine, Methyl antralinate, Fructose, Glucose and Pectin are present in the Leaf, peel and flowers 
 Carotenoids: Carotene and Roseoside present in the peels. Coumarins: 5-Geranoxy-7-methoxy-Coumarin, Aurapte, Auraptene, bergamottin  are present in the peels and 5-methoxy seselin, 5-methyltodannol, 6-hydroxy methylherniarin are present in the roots and stem bark. Flavonoids: acacetin, rutin, tangeretin, cosmosiin, diosmetin, diosmin, eriocitrin, hespeidin, naringin 

Monoterpenes: alpha-pinene, alpha-terpineol, anethole, beta-pinene, Camphene, camphor, citral, citronellal, citroonellol, farnesol, geraniol, myrcene, neral, terpinene 
 Sesquiterpenes: alpha-Bisabolol, alpha-cadinene, alpha-copaene, elemol 
 Steroids: beta-Sitosterol, Campesterol, daucosterol, stigmasterol

 Miscellaneous: alpha- tocopherol, ascorbic acid, chlorophylls, decyl acetate, Malonic acid, Fumaric acid, succinic acid and Citric acid 


Important Formulations 
1. Chukradi Taila
2. Chukrapatra Yoga

Parts used for medicinal purpose

Flower, Fruit, Leaves, Root, Seed, ,


10 - 20 g


 Is a major substitute for oranges

Because the Citrus maxima is unique in Southeast Asia and its flower oil could generally substitute neroli that import from western countries.


Pomelo (Citrus maxima) and grapefruit (Citrus ) are both citrus fruits, but separate species. Grapefruit is a hybrid from the crossing of pomelo (C. maxima) and sweet orange (Citrus sinensis), the fruits differing in shape, color, size, and taste.
- The occasional vernacular reference to is as "Chinese grapefruit" adds to the confusion.
- Pomelo is the biggest of all the citrus fruits.
- Grapefruits are smaller and round, and hung in bunches like grapes; ergo, the grapefruit reference.

Commercial value:

The reason that pomelos are popular is due to their very strong nutritional value, including their vitamins, minerals, and organic compounds like vitamin C, potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin B6, and magnesium. It does not have a strong variety of nutrients, but the ones that it does have are in impressive proportions, particularly vitamin C.


Leaves: large evergreen oblong to elliptic leaves, 10.5 to 20 cm (4 to 8 in) long. Frequently emarginated, Pubescent beneath. Acute apex, Asymmetric base, entire margin, characteristic odour. Petioles: broadly winged     
Flowers: Large, White Stamens: 16-24 Fruit: large, pale yellow, globose or pyriform, rind thick, pulp varying in colour from crimson to pale pink or yellow 


Microscopy of the leaf shows abundant anisocytic stomata both surfaces of leaf, presence of vascular bundle in xylem vessels. Thick, ovoid, rectangular epidermal cells were present. Uniserate, multicellular, thin walled, unlignified, covering trichomes were present. Spongy parenchyma cells were present. Calcium oxalate crystals were present in the parenchymatous cells. Starch grains were present except vascular bundle. Oil globules were present in leaf. 

Geographical distribution:

- Found throughout the Philippines, in settled areas, usually planted.
- Probably not a native of the Archipelago.
- Found throughout all warm countries.
- Native of the Old World.


       - Light: Best production occurs in full sun, but most citrus varieties can tolerate partial shade, especially the thin shade from tall trees.
            - Moisture: Like other citrus species, pomelo needs at least 100 - 112 cm (40-45 in) of water per year. Additional irrigation during the period of flowering and fruit development will improve production.
             + Plant Propagation
             Like most citrus species and cultivars, the seeds of pomelo will come true (i.e., produce plants exactly like the mother tree). Pomelo can be propagated sexually by seed or asexually by air layering (marcotting), budding, grafting and stem cuttings. However, also like most citrus, pomelos are usually grafted onto rootstocks chosen for specific features, such as disease resistance, cold tolerance, or soil type.
          In Southeast Asia, the most common propagation method is air layering. However, when there are certified disease-free mother plants, grafting and budding are recommended.
             In the Philippines, shield budding is the standard budding method using calamandarin rootstocks. Calamandarin is believed to be a hybrid of the calamondin (x Citrofortunella microcarpa) and mandarin (Citrus reticulata).
         In Florida, pummelos are often grafted onto trifoliate orange (Poncirus trifoliata) seedlings which provide increased cold hardiness and improved growth in sandy soils.
             The rootstocks used are usually 2-3 year old seedlings and the scion (the top part that is grafted onto the rootstock) usually produces fruit within just 2 or 3 years after grafting. Plants grown from seed on their on roots may take 5-7 years to fruit.
             Young pomelo trees awaiting sale at the nursery. In just a couple of years small nursery trees like the above will begin bearing.

Plant conservation:

 Not Evaluated (NE)

General Use:

   The high content of vitamin C helps boost the immune system. It increases the body’s resistance to everyday illnesses such as coughs, colds and so on. Improves resistance to infection of the urinary tract. Studies have shown that swept helps in absorption of iron in the body and thus helps in anemia. Therefore, instead of using iron supplements is recommended consumption of pomelos.
          Prevents colds and flu and regulates blood pressure because it contains high concentrations of potassium. Potassium is important for regulation of the blood pressure. Pomelo is recommended for people with high blood pressure because it prevents hypertension.
            Helps with constipation because it contains a lot of fibers that help the intestine and prevent the formation of hemorrhoids and colon cancer.
             This fruit is great for those who want to lose weight because it contains substances that melt away fat. In addition, long fibers are retained in the stomach with it the feeling of satiety.
              This fruit is excellent in the treatment of osteoporosis. Increases bone health and greatly reduces the risk of brittle bones.

Therapeutic Uses:

Leaves: Epilepsy, chorea, Convulsive cough and also in the treatment of hemorrhage disease. Oil from fresh leaves posses anti dermatophytic activity, Fungicidal activity. Flower: Used as sedative in nervous affection Fruits: Leprosy, Asthma, Cough, hiccough, mental aberration, Epilepsy, cardiotonic. Rind: Antiasthmatic, sedative in nervous affection, Brain tonic, Useful in vomiting, griping of abdomen, diarrhea, Headache and eye troubles. Root and Bark: Antimicrobial activity   

Systemic Use:

decoctions of the leaves, flowers, and rind are given for their sedative effect in cases of epilepsy, chorea and convulsive coughing. The hot leaf decoction is applied on swellings and ulcers. The fruit juice is taken as a febrifuge. The seeds are employed against coughs, dyspepsia and lumbago. 


Fruit juice


Lumbago, Anuria, Anorexia, Colic

Clinical trials:

1. Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and analgesic potential of the Citrus decumana L. peel extract / Sjailja Sood et al / Inflammopharmacology • Volume 17, Number 5 / October, 2009 / DOI 10.1007/s10787-009-0015-y
2. Anti-inflammatory Effect of Dangyuja (Citrus grandis Osbeck) Leaves in LPS-stimulated RAW 264.7 Cells / Eun-Jin Yang, Hye-Ja Lee, Gyeoung-Jin Kang, Sun-Soon Park et al / Food Sci. Biotechnol. Vol. 18, No. 5, pp. 1063 ~ 1070 (2009)
3. Chemical Composition and Antiproliferative Activity of Supercritical CO2 Extracts from Citrus Fruits / Rajendra Gyawali, Jeong Yong Moon, Deok Hyeon Jeon, Hyoen Ji Kim, Yeon Woo Song, Ho Bong Hyun, Tae Hwan Kang, Keun Sik Moon, Seungweon Jeong, Jong-Chan Kim, Kwang Seok Ahn and Somi Kim Cho / Food Sci. Technol. Res., 2012; 18(6): pp 813-823 



2.In vitro studies on phytochemical analysis and antioxidant activity of Citrus maxima / G.VADIVUKARASI and X. AGNES JENITHA / International Journal of Research in Pharmacology & Pharmacotherapeutics, April-June 2015; Vol 4, Issue 2: pp 245-251

3. ANTIHYPERGLYCEMIC EFFECT AND ANTIOXIDANT PROPERTY OF CITRUS MAXIMA LEAF IN STREPTOZOTOCIN- INDUCED DIABETIC RATS / Sriparna KunduSen, Malaya Gupta, Upal K. Mazumder, Pallab K. Haldar, Prerona Saha, Sanjib Bhattacharya, Biswakanth Kar, Asis Bala / Diabetologia Croatica, 2011; 40-4


Harvesters, workers in processing factories, and housewives may develop chronic conditions on the fingers and hands

Toxicity studies:

Like that of other citrus fruits, the peel of the pummelo contains skin irritants, mainly limonene and terpene, also citral, aldehydes, geraniol, cadinene and linalool, which may cause dermatitis in individuals having excessive contact with the oil of the outer peel. .

Use in other system of medicine:

Edibility / Nutritional
- Food: Fresh fruit and preserved rind.
- Fresh fruit is a good source of vitamin B, iron and calcium.
- Nausea and fainting: Squeeze rind near nostrils for patient to inhale.
- In the Philippines, leaves are used for aromatic baths.
- Infusion or decoction of flowers, leaves and pericarp used as sedative for nervous affections; also for coughs and ulcers.
- Peel or rind, dried or in decoction, used for dyspepsia.
- Boiled seeds in a gallon of water can be used for sitz-baths.
- In Malaya, lotion of boiled leaves used for painful swellings. 
In the Himalayas, fruit juice recommended for ulcers; used in diabetes; and mixed with black pepper and a little rock salt, used for malaria. Fruit juice with its pulp, with honey, is given to improve urinary flow.
- Wood: Potential source of firewood. Heavy, hard and tough wood suitable for making tool handles.   
- Essential oil: Fruits and leaves yield essential oil that serve as perfumery and toiletry ingredients. 
- Fodder: Pulp molasses and residues from juice extraction use as cattle feed. 
- Apiculture: Tree is a valued honey plant. 


C. maxima comes from the family of Rutaceae. It can grow up to 5-10(-15) m tall. It is a low-branching tree, branches spreading and spiny (seed propagation) or spineless (vegetative propagation), with its spines up to 5 cm long. The young parts are manifestly hairy. C. maxima thrives in the lowland tropics. In the production centres of Thailand, mean monthly temperatures are about 25-30°C with a few cooler (and dry) months; Used as fruit Its juice is also used as drink The fruit is used as medicine in the treatment of influenza and catarrh.Pomelo (Citrus maxima) contains high levels of potassium, a mineral required for proper functioning of the heart. Potassium regulates blood pressure level and reduces bad cholesterol in the body. Pummelo juice also helps to clear arterial deposits in the body, thereby reducing the risk of stroke and heart attack.
The high water content in Pummelo keeps the scalp hydrated and well moisturized. Vitamin C in Pomelo fights bacteria and soothes the skin of the scalp to ward off dandruff.

Photos of madhukarkai -

Citrus maxima

KEY WORDS: madhukarkai Citrus maxima

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