Common Names: Chaulmugra. Chaulmogra.
Bengali/Vernacular Name: Chaulmugra, Chalmoogra; Dulmugri (Sylhet).
A medium-sized evergreen tree, 12-15 m high. This tree bears brown, velvety, spherical fruits and asymmetrical seeds having a gray hue. Chaulmoogra seeds are angled, but have rounded ends. It may be mentioned here that chaulmoogra oil can be obtained from an associated species called Tarak-togenos kurzii.
Leaves thinly coriaceous, entire, 18-25 cm long, lanceolate or oblong-lanceolate. Flowers in axillary cymes; petals 8, in 2-rows, broadly ovate, ciliate. Fruit, size of an orange, towny-velvety.
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Part Used: The oil from the seeds
Seeds yield a fixed oil, called chaulmoogra oil, which contains glycerides of cyclopentenyl fatty acids like hydnocarpic acid (48%), chaulmoogric acid (27%), gorlic acid (23%), oleic acid (12%) and palmitic acid (6%). Bark contains a large amount of tannins (Ghani, 2003).
Employed internally and externally in the treatment of skin diseases, scrofula, rheumatism, eczema, also in leprosy, as a counterirritant for bruises, sprains, etc., and sometimes applied to open wounds and sores. Also used in veterinary practice. Dose of oil, 5 or 10 to 60 minims. Gynocardia Ointment, I.C.A.
The oil, and the crushed seed, have long been used in southeast Asia to treat various skin diseases like scabies, eczema, psoriasis, scrofula, ringworm, and intestinal worms. And it has been shown that the active principles of the oil (hydnocarpic and chaulmoogric acids) are strongly antibacterial. For this reason Caulmoogra is employed in Hindu medicine to treat leprosy. The bark contains principles capable of reducing fevers. Oil is given as an emulsion or by injection. Seed used externally and internally. It is usually applied externally as a dressing for skin diseases: combined with walnut oil and pork lard for ringworm; with calomel and sesame oil for leprosy; and with sulfur and camphor for scabies. In India the seeds are considered to be an alternative tonic. The seeds may be taken powdered in the form of pills. Was first mentioned in Chinese medical literature in 1347, and its use spread worldwide as a treatment for serious skin diseases.
People using chaulmoogra or its preparations ought to be aware of the side effects this herb may cause. For instance, one may experience stomach irritation following the administration of chaulmoogra oil in the form of an injection into the skin. In fact, taking subcutaneous injections may also result in accumulation of calcium. Here is a word of caution – women should not take this herb during pregnancy or while they are breast feeding. In addition, people enduring leprosy should never self inject chaulmoogra oil, but always take the help of a professional and expert practitioner.
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.