Make an online Consultation »  
vikankata - Flacourtia ramoutchi Fam., Flacourtia indica Merr.

vikankata :

Ripening fruit Photograph by: Dinesh Valke Governors plum is a slow-growing, ornamental, spiny evergreen shrub or tree. It can reach a height of 10 metres, but is usually smaller.
The tree is cultivated in some areas of the tropics, particularly in Asia, for its edible fruit. Nearly everywhere cultivated in the tropics of the Old World and less often in the New World. The plant is also sometimes grown as an ornamental


According to Kueffer et al. (2004), F. indica was introduced to the small islands of the Western Indian Ocean in 1722 and it is likely that early settlers introduced it as a fruit tree.

F. indica has been cultivated in southern Florida for a century or more and has become naturalized there (Flora of North America Editorial Committee, 2014). Records indicate that in 1923 seedlings were introduced into central and southern Florida from India for a trial (USDA, 1923). 

Taxonomical Classification

Kingdom: Plantae - Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta - Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta - Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida - Dicotyledons
Family: Flacourtiaceae
Genus: Flacourtia
Species: Flacourtia indica

Allied species:

The family Salicaceae includes well-known species such as kei apple (Dovyalis caffra) louvi (Flacourtia inermis), paniala (F. jangomas), and rukam (F. rukam).


Sanskrit: श्रृववृक्ष shruvavrikksha, Vikankata, Gopakanta.
English: Mauritus plum, Madagascar plum, governors plum , Batoka Plum, flacourtia, Rhodesia plum
Hindi: बिलाङ्गड़ा bilangada
Telugu: నక్కనేరేడు nakka-neredu
Bengali: Bincha, Binja, Bainchi, Benchi, Bewich, Boichi, Katai, Tambat.
Marathi: अठरुन athruna, तांबूट tambut
Konkani: बाभुळी तांबट babhuli tambat
Oriya: Kantheikoli, Vaincha, Uincha
Gujarathi: Kankod
Tamil: சொத்தைக்களா cottai-k-kala
Malayalam: കരിമുള്ളി karimulliKattukara, Mullikkachedi, Karimulli, Oushadakkara, Vayankkaitha, Cherumullikkachedi, Karkkadappazham, Aghori Marathi
Kannada: Miradi, Mulluvinda, Hennusampige, Mullu Thaare, Gajale, Gekara, Kuduvale, Kaakade, Hettari Mullu
Punjabi: Kakoa
Spanish: ciruela de gobernador; ciruela de Madagascar
Japanese: indo rukamu; ramonchii
Chinese: ci li mu; nuo nuo guo
French: grosse prune-café; jujube Malgache; marromse; prune pays; prunier de Madagascar; prunier dInde
German: Batokopflaume; Echte Flacourtie; Madagaskar-Pflaumenbaum; Ramontchi
Burma: nayuwai
Sinhalese: uguressa


Classical Categorisation 
1. Raja Nighantu  - Prabhadradi Varga 
2. Bhavaprakasha  - Amradi Phalavarga


The genus name Flacourtia honours E. de Flacourt (1607-60), a governor of Madagascar.


Synonyms in Ayurveda: vikankata, srivavriksha, granthil, svadukantak, yagnyavriksha, kantaki, vyaghrapad, vrikshakantakari

Bahuphala - having many Fruits 
Mruduphala - having soft fruit 

Rasa: Amla Madhura Tikta
Guna: Laghu
Veerya: Sheetha
Vipaka: Maduram
Karma: Depana Kaphahara Pachana Pittahara

An important herb in Ayurveda, where infusions of the bark, leaves and root are used medicinally to treat conditions such as fever, diarrhoea and inflammations


A very adaptable plant, it grows in the drier to moist tropics from sea level to an elevation of 2,400 metres. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 22 - 40°c, but can tolerate 10 - 48°c. Mature plants can be killed by temperatures of -2°c or lower, but young growth will be severely damaged at -1°c. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 750 - 1,400mm, but tolerates 500 - 2,000mm.
Prefers a position in full sun in a fertile, well-drained soil. Tolerant of a variety of soils. Prefers a pH in the range .5 - 6.5, tolerating 5 - 8. Plants are fairly drought resistant once established


Seed -


A dioecious plant. Whilst female trees will often fruit in the absence of a male plant, for better crops both male and female plants should be grown.
It coppices very well
Flowering and fruiting: November-March


- Phytochemical screening of ethanoic extract of leaves yielded alkaloids, saponins, tannins, flavonoids, glycosides, phenolic compounds, terpenoids and steroids. 
- Study of methanol extract of roots yielded flavonoids, saponins, alkaloids, tannins, terpenoids, glycosides, and phenolic compounds.
- Study yielded a new phenolic glucoside, (rel)-2-(4,6 -dibenzoyl-beta-glucopyranosyloxy)-7-(1alpha-hydroxy-2alpha-ethoxy-6alpha-acetyloxy-3-oxocyclohex-4-enoyl)-benzyl alcohol (Flacourticin) (1) and the known, 2-(4,6-dibenzoyl-beta-glucopyranosyl)-5-hydroxy benzyl alcohol (4-benzoylpoliothrysoside) (2) together with the new, (2E)-heptyl-3-(3,4-dihydroxyphenyl) acrylate (3), (+)-catechin (4) and sitosterol-beta-D-glucoside were isolated from Flacourtia indica. 
- Fruits are rich in copper and manganese. Mineral analysis showed: (macroelement mg/100g) N 0.64 ± 0.025, P 0.13 ±0.017, K 1184.3 ±4.5, Ca 434.8 ±0.1, Mg 130 ±1/3, Na 146.3 ±1.5; (microelement mg/100g) Fe 1523 ±0.19, Zn 2.13 ±0.32, Cu 7.6 ±0.06, Mn 10.37 ±0.49. 
- Study isolated six compounds viz., (1) 2-(2-benzoyl-b-D- glucopyranosyloxy)-7-(1a,2a,6a-trihydroxy-3-oxocyclohex-4- enoyl)-5-hydrox -ybenzylalcohol, (2) poliothrysoside, (3) catechin-[5,6-e]-4b-(3,4- dihydro xyphenyl) dihydro-2(3H)- pyranone, (4) 2-(6-benzoyl-b-D-glucopyranosyloxy)-7- (1a,2a,6a-trihydroxy-3-oxocyclo hex-4-enoyl)-5- hydroxybenzyl alcohol (5), chrysoeriol-7-O-b-D- glucopyranoside and (6) mururin A


Important formulations 
1. Nirgundyadi gulika
2. Aragvadhadi Kvatha Curna

Parts used for medicinal purpose

Bark, Fruit, Leaves, Root, ,


50-100 gm for decoction.


The leaves are used as an antidote to snake bites


Maytenus emarginata (Willd) D.Hou of Celastraceae is also used as vikantaka


F. jangomas 


F. indica and F. ramontchi are sometimes treated as separate species.
The most used common name in English is governer’s plum. However, several of these common names, including governer’s plum have also been used to refer to another species of the Flacourtiagenus (e.g. F. jangomas).
F. indica is similar in to the closely related F. jangomas. They can be distinguished from each other by examination of the leaves. F. jangomas has hairless leaves with long pointed tips whereas F. indica has hairly leaves with a rounded/ short-pointed tip (PIER, 2014)

Commercial value:

F. indica is a highly valued multipurpose species, particularly in east Africa, south and south east Asia with positive economic and social value. The edible fruits have been reported to be sold in local markets in Kenya and Tanzania (PROTA, 2014) and it has been reported as a source of income in Benin (Tchibozo et al., 2012). In a farmer preference survey in Southern Africa, farmers in Malawi ranked it as the fourth most important species (Franzel et al., 2008). It is highly regarded for its medicinal value, especially in India. 


Deciduous shrubs or small trees, about 3-7 m tall, usually armed with simple and branched spines, branches with sympodial growth. Leaves simple, alternate, variable, obovate-ovate, suborbicular-oblong, about 1.5-6 x 1-3 cm across, base cuneate to obtuse, sometimes 3-5 pliveined, margin lobed to coarsely serrate-crenate, apex acute, obtuse to sometimes slightly emarginate, leaves often clustered towards apices, lateral veins 5-8 on either side of the midrib, impressed above and slightly prominent beneath, glabrous above, glabrous beneath or pubescent to softly tomentose on the veins beneath, thicker near the midrib and diminishing towards the margins, lamina thick to thin, membranous, chartaceous to subcoriaceous, shiny, petiole reddish, minutely hairy, about 5-10 mm long, stipules minute early caducous or absent. Inflorescence in shortly pedunculate axillary and terminal raceme fascicles or panicles, bracteate, few flowered. Flowers unisexual (dioecious), hypogynous, greenish yellow, about 4 mm across, pedicels articulate, glabrous or hairy, about 3-5 mm long, sepals 4-5, imbricate, connate near base, ovate, margin ciliate, apex obtuse, hairy inside, subglabrous outside, petals absent, extrastaminal disc, with distinct glands inserted before sepals. Male flowers: Stamens numerous, filaments filiform, base minutely hairy, about 2.5 mm long, anthers 2 loculed, versatile, globular, dorsifixed, pollen fleshy, tricolporate, reticulate, pistillode absent. Female flowers: Ovary superior, globose, surrounded by disc, carpels 3-6, incompletely loculed, connate, with intruding placentae, ovules often 2 per locule, style 5-6, little or not connate, stigma slightly recurved, shortly bilobed. Fruit indehiscent berry, ellipsoid-globose, about 5-10 mm across, when ripe first red and turning to dark purple, with 2 superposed pyrenes in per locule. Seeds 5-6, ovoid-obovoid, thinly coriaceous, non arillate, pale yellow to brown


Midrib – Epidermis, single layered, covered externally with thin cuticle; followed by 1 or 2 layers of collenchyma and 3 to 5 layers parenchyma; lower epidermis with 2 or 3 layers of adjacent collenchyma and 2 or 3 layers of parenchyma; vascular bundle single, situated in the centre, covered by fibre sheath on both sides; a few unicellular, hooked, trichomes present on lower surface; a few rosette and prismatic crystals of calcium oxalate scattered in parenchyma cells.

Lamina – Epidermis single layered on both surfaces, covered with thin cuticle; a few simple, unicellular hairs with blunt tips present on lower surface; 2 layers of palisade cells and 2 or 3 layers of spongy parenchyma cells present; rosette and a few prismatic crystals of calcium oxalate present in epidermis, palisade and spongy parenchyma cells; a few veinlets present in between palisade and spongy parenchyma; stomata anisocytic, present on lower surface; palisade ratio 2 or 3; vein islet number 8 to 10 per sq. mm; veinlet termination number 10 to 12 per sq. mm; stomatal index 24 to 26.

Geographical distribution:

Global Distribution
Asia: India, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal; Oceanic Islands; Africa: Madagascar; Australasia.

Local Distribution
Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal.


Common in tropical dry deciduous and thorn forests. It also occurs in seasonally dry forest, woodland, bushland, thickets, wooded grassland, and often in riparian vegetation

Plant conservation:

Not evaluated (IUCN).

General Use:

The leaves can be used as sedatives and are also useful for asthma and some gynaecological problems. The leaf-sap is used for diarrhoea and infantile fevers. The bark is used as a painkiller and in combination with leaves for naso-pharyngeal affections and pulmonary troubles. A root decoction in combination with the leaf-sap is taken for schistosomiasis, malaria and to relieve body pains. The bark is used for rheumatic pain and as a gargle for hoarseness (Burkhill, 1985; PROTA, 2014).

Therapeutic Uses:

Indian plum or Governors Plum is helpful to increase HB level in blood, The bark of the tree is useful in vitiated conditions of pitta, odontalgia, diarrhea, hemorrhoids, stomachic and debility of the extremities. The fruits useful in vitiated conditions of pitta and Kapha, rheumatism, nausea, dyspepsia, flatulence, colic, inflammations, skin diseases, diabetes, jaundice, and tumors, urinary disorder, poisonous bites, skin diseases, erysipelas, nephropathy, psychopathy, scabies, strangury, jaundice, gastropathy and splenomegaly

The fruits are sweet, sour, astringent, acrid, refrigerant, digestive, stomachic, alexipharmic, anti-inflammatory, depurative, urinary astringent and liver tonic. The bark and fruits are astringent, acrid, sour, refrigerant, stomachic and diaphoretic.

Systemic Use:

The leaf is carminative, astringent and used as a tonic, an expectorant and for asthma, pain relief, gynaecological complaints and as an anthelmintic, and treatment for hydrocele, pneumonia and intestinal worms. The leaves are used as an antidote to snake bites


Ripe fruits are edible and can use to make jam and jelly, and also can make beverages with fruits


Studies of various plant parts have demonstrated anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant, hepatoprotective, antimalarial, anti-diabetic, anti-asthmatic and antibacterial activity

Clinical trials:

1. A mechanism-based pharmacological evaluation of efficacy of Flacourtia indica in management of dyslipidemia and oxidative stress in hyperlipidemic rats. / Singh SV, Shrivastava A, Jyotshna, Chaturvedi U, Singh SC, Shanker K, Saxena JK, Bhatia G, Pal A. / J Basic Clin Physiol Pharmacol. 2016 Mar;27(2):121-9 / doi: 10.1515/jbcpp-2015-0017.

2. Methanol extract of Flacourtia indica aerial parts induces apoptosis via generation of ROS and activation of caspases in human colon cancer HCT116 cells. / Park KW, Kundu J, Chae IG, Bachar SC, Bae JW, Chun KS. / Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2014;15(17):7291-6.


4. Antibacterial potential and phytochemical analysis of Flacourtia indica (Burm.f.) Merr. root extract against human pathogens / Eramma N and Devaraja Gayathri * / IAJPR. 2013; 3(5): 3832-3846


1. Antimalarial compounds from the aerial parts of Flacourtia indica (Flacourtiaceae). / Kaou AM, Mahiou-Leddet V, Canlet C, Debrauwer L, Hutter S, Laget M, Faure R, Azas N, Ollivier E. / J Ethnopharmacol. 2010 Jul 20;130(2):272-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2010.04.045. Epub 2010 May 8.

2. In vitro Antioxidant Activity of Methanolic and Aqueous Extract of Flacourtia indica Merr / S.N. Tyagi, Rakshit, Ajeet singh, Raghvendra, Anamika Saxena and B.D. Patel / American-Eurasian Journal of Scientific Research 5 (3): 201-206, 2010

3. STUDY OF ANTI-ANXIETY ACTIVITY OF FLACOURTIA INDICA LINN BY ELEVATED PLUS MAZE AND HOLE BOARD (HEAD DIPPING) METHODS / Gnanasekar. N., Dr. C. Uma Maheswara Reddy, Dr. N. Narayanan / Indo American Journal of Pharmaceutical Research


The people who are allergic to Governor’s plum should avoid it.
It might cause some allergic reactions to sensitive people.

Toxicity studies:

It should be consumed in limited quantity.

Use in other system of medicine:

- Fruits are edible, eaten raw or stewed. Also dried or made into jams and jellies.
- Fruit used for making wine.
- Infusion of the bark used for hoarseness and as a gargle.
- In Madagascar, the bark is titurated in oil and used as a rheumatic liniment.
- The ashes of the roots are used for kidney ailments.
- Dried leaves are used in asthma, bronchitis, phthisis and catarrh of the bladder.
- Juice of fresh leaves and tender stalks used for fevers.
- As an antiperiodic for infants, 5 to 10 drops are placed in water or in mothers milk.
- Also used in phthisical coughs, dysentery, diarrhea and indigestion during dentition.
- In Bengal, used as a tonic during parturition.
- The fruit is used for bilious disorders and to relieve nausea and vomiting.
- In India, used as an antiviral.
- In Sabah, roots used for headaches, leaves for colic.
- In Tanzania, fruit used for jaundice and enlarged spleens; leaves and roots for schistosomiasis, malaria and diarrhea. Also, the roots are used for hoarseness, pneumonia, intestinal worms; and as astringent, diuretic and analgesic.
- In Africa, stem barks, fruits, and leaves used for epilepsy, headache, fever, stomach-ache, diarrhea, and sleep disorders. 
- In Sri Lanka, young fruit taken for internal hemorrhages; ripe fruit as liver tonic. Root power with kithul juggary taken as expectorant. Decoction of roots taken for treatment of urinary calculi. Gum used in treatment of cholera. 
• Fodder: Grazed on by game. In India, branches and leaves lopped for cattle. 
• Tannin or dyestuff: Bark is used as tannin material. 
• Fuel: Wood used as firewood and charcoal. 


Flacourtia indica (syn. Flacourtia ramontchi), known commonly as ramontchi, governor’s plum, batoko plum, Madagascar plum and Indian plum, is a species of flowering plant native to much of Africa and tropical and temperate parts of Asia. F. indica and F. ramontchi are sometimes treated as separate species.The leaves and roots are used in herbal medicine for treatment of snakebite. The bark is believed to be effective for arthritis. Most parts of the plant are used for cough, pneumonia, and bacterial throat infection. It has also been used for diarrhea.

Photos of vikankata - ,

KEY WORDS: Flacourtia ramoutchi Fam., Flacourtia indica Merr. vikankata

Share on Facebook   Share on Twitter  

Kotakkal Ayurveda - Mother land of modern ayurveda