Make an online Consultation »  
Sarja - Vateria indica Linn.


saptacakra  : Vateria indica Linn. Vateria  indica  Linn. is  a evergreen  medicinal  tree  that  grows  up  to  30m  height indigenous  to  evergreen  forests  of  western  ghats  from North Karnataka to Kerala. The resin exuded by the tree is known as Piney resin, white Dammar or Dhupa1. Resin is  obtained  by  tapping  the tree  by  making  semicircular incisions on the stem through the cork cambium up to the surface of the sapwood. The resin starts oozing from the incisions  in  3-4 days  and continues till  60-90 days. The resin commercially finds its use in the timber industry in manufacture  of  varnishes.  The  use  of  plants  and  their exudates  in  therapy  has  been  among  the  oldest  and widely  studied  topics.  There  are  ample  proofs  of  the applications of plant exudates in the treatment of various diseases in classical text books of Ayurveda and Siddha.

The resin  is known as  Sarja rasa  (SR)  in Ayurveda  and Vellai  Kungiliyam  (VK)  in  Siddha.  It  is  obtained  by incising and tapping the tree V. indica Linn. The  resin  finds  its  use  in  traditional  Indian  systems  of medicine  like  Ayurveda  and  Siddha  for  health  and healing  diseases4.  It  is  credited  with  tonic,  carminative and expectorant  properties and  is used  for  the treatment of  respiratory  disorders  like  chronic  bronchitis,  throat troubles,  tubercular  gland,  boils,  piles,  diarrhea  and rheumatism and so  on. Recent studies on  the medicinal tree have also shown anti-cancerous properties.

Some authors like Bhava Prakasha have considered Resin of Shala – Sal tree (Shorea robusta) as Sarja.
But commonly,
Sarja is the gum extracted from Vateria indica
Rala is the gum extracted from Shorea robusta.

Taxonomical Classification

Family: Dipterocarpaceae


English: white dammer tree, Indian copal tree
Hindi: Kahruba, Dammar

Mentions / Gana

Amradi Varga (Dhanvantari Nighantu)
Aushadhi Varga (Kaiyadeva Nighantu)
Priyangvadi Gana (Sushruta Samhitha)


Trade name: Vellapine, White Dhup, White Damar, Piney resion


Synonyms in Ayurveda: Ajakarna, Bastakarna, Lata Vruksha, Sarjaka, Sala, Maricapatraka, Kashaya, Chirapatraka, Kalakuta, Rajodbhava, Vallivruksha, Gandhavruksha, shal, ral, sarjarasa, kanakalodbhav, shalsar, rava, maharup, dhupan, sarja, dhunak, sarvarasa

Rasa: Kashaya Tikta
Guna: Snigdha
Veerya: Sheetha
Karma: Vatahara


Nursery Technique
Raising Propagules:
Seeds are collected from fully ripened fruits. The normal practice is to collect the fallen fruits. Seeds are sown in raised nursery bed of 10m x 1.0m. Seeds germinate in about 30-45 days after sowing. The nursery bed is prepared by mixing sand, soil and Farm Yard Manure in 1:1:1 ratio.

Transplanting the Seedlings to Poly Bags:
Seedlings of 45 days old are transplanted into poly bags having 10 kg of soil mixture containing sand, soil and FYM. Seedlings are maintained for about six months for proper root establishment in the poly bags.

Transplanting the Seedlings to Main Field and Optimum Spacing:
Trees are huge and can survive in the field about 80-100 years. The well established seedlings are planted in the field in rainy season. Spacing of 15m x 15m from plant to plant and row to row is recommended and accommodating 45 trees per hectare only. 


Propagation material is seed.


Trees are cultivated for resinous gum. It is collected by incision in the bark. The plants are expected to yield gum after 15 years of planting. Yield of gum ranges from 0.5 kg in the initial harvesting to about 2.5 kg/tree at 40-50 years of age. Sustainable harvesting is obtained by removing 1/3rd of the bark of the plant to exude resin.

The tree becomes ready to yield resin after 20 years of age. 


Bark contains Dl-epicatechin, fischinidol and afzetechin. Tree yields a resin which is a complex mixture of triterpenes. Seeds yield semi solid fat known as Piney tallow or Malabar tallow. Fruit shell yields tannins. Gum yields lipids.

Oleoresin contains essen. Oil,(+) amphena, a-b- Pinene, Limonene, Chamazulene etc.
(Reference: Illustrated Dravyaguna VIjnana, Vol. II, by Dr JLN Shastry)

Parts used for medicinal purpose

Bark, Gum, ,


Plant is a large magnificent evergreen resinous tree, reaching up to 25 meter tall. Trunk is about 3 m in girth. Bark is smooth, about 1 cm thick, whitish grey blotched with green, bitter and acrid in taste, peeling off into round flakes. Blaze is dull brown. Wood is white and hard. Young branchlets are drooping, with minute stellate trichomes. Leaves are alternate, elliptic, oblong, 10-25cm X 5-10cm in size, heartshaped or rounded, apex acuminate, margin entire, leathery. Lateral veins are 12-14 pairs, stout and parallel. Stipules are prominent.

Floral Characteristics
Flowers are bisexual, about 2 cm across, white, slightly fragrant, arranged in panicles. Panicle is robust, multi-branched, up to 15 cm long and drooping. Fruit is capsules, 4-6 cm X 2-4 cm in size, pale-brown, fleshy, hard when dry, splitting by 3 valves when ripe

Geographical distribution:

It is also endemic to Western Ghats in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu


It is a large resinous tree. Normally used as an avenue tree. It is found in moist deciduous to evergreen forests, especially along watercourse. It is found at an altitude up to 1200 m msl.

General Use:

Resin known as Dammar resin is considered tonic, carminative, expectorant and used in chronic bronchitis and throat troubles, piles, diarrhoea, rheumatism, tubercular glands and boils. It enters into an ointment used for carbuncles and is a good emollient for plasters and ointment bases. Bark is alexipharmic.

Mada – intoxication
Krumi – worm infestation
Vardhma – enlargement of the scrotum
Vidradhi – Abscess
Badhirya – deafness
Yoniruja – Vaginal pain
Karnaruja – ear ache
Atisara – diarrhoea, dysentery


Preliminary physicochemical evaluation
Antitumor effect of stilbenoids from Vateria indica


Seek medical advice for its use during pregnancy and lactation.
It can be used in children in small doses.

Ayurvedic Formulations:

Common Ayurvedic Formulations of Sarja with their Indications
Sarja Taila - Oil prepared with the gum resin indicated in boils, blisters, keloids, worm infestation
Lavangadi Churna - used in treatment of diarrhoea, bloating, abdominal pain etc.
Chinchadi Kuzhambu - used in neurological conditions. For almost all types of Vata Disorders (external). Only for the body.
Sarvamayanthaka Ghritam - used in Ayurvedic treatment of gout, Parkinson’s disease, neck stiffness, locked jaw, paralysis, thigh cramps etc

Share on Facebook   Share on Twitter  

Kotakkal Ayurveda - Mother land of modern ayurveda