Herbs & Plants

Tamala (Garcinia xanthochymus )

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Botanical Name:Garcinia xanthochymus
Genus: Garcinia
Family: Clusiaceae (alt. Guttiferae).
Syn : Xanthochymus tinctorius DC., Garcinia tinctoria Dunn.

English name: Egg tree.

Sanskrit names: Tamala, Tapinjha.

Vernacular names: Ben: Tamal,; Hin : Dampel, Tamal, Tumul; Guj : Kasamala, Ota;Kan:Deva-garige; Mal: Anavaya; Man: Heilbung; Mar: Jharambi, Dampel, Ota; Nep : Chunyel; Ori : Cheoro, Sitambu; Tam: Kulavi, Malaippachai, Mukki, Tamalam; Tel: Sitakamraku, Evarumidi, Tamalamu.

Trade name: Tamala.

Trade name: Tamala.

Habitat:Native to India and Myanmar; distributed widely in the lower hill forests of eastern Himalaya, Meghalaya, Sikkim, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, the Andamans; Bangladesh, Myanmar.

Description: Evergreen tree, trunk straight; branches arising in tiers, drooping, angular; leaves opposite, coriaceous, bright green, shining, 22.5-45.0 cm by 5-10 cm; flowers polygamous, male flowers from axils of fallen leaves, fascicled with 4-8 flowers, white, thick, rough, hermaphrodites like male flowers, ovary ovoid, usually 5:chambered; fruits subglobose, pointed, dark yellow; seeds 1-4, oblong, yields a large quantity of gamboge.

click to see the pictures

Flowering: Spring; Fruiting: Summer.

Ecology and cultivation: Tropical forest; wild.

Chemical contents: Fruit: xanthochymol, isoxanthochymol, maclurin, euxanthone, 1,5-dihydroxy- and 1,3,5-trihydroxy-xanthones, methoxyxanthones, cambogin, volkensiflavone, morello-flavone, biflavones.

Medicinal Uses:

Traditional use: Fruit: antiscorbutic, cooling, digestive, emollient, demulcent and cholagogue. Sherbet made from dried fruit is used in billiousness.

Young branch: paste as ointment on boils; Bark: astringent; Leaf: decoction useful in diarrhoea; Young leaves (roasted in a special method) : used in dysentery; Seed: butter made from seeds useful in pulmonary affections, dysentery, goitre.

Modern use: Xanthochymol : antibacterial against Streptococcus faecallis and Klebsiella pneumoniae.

Remark: In South India, fruits of this species are used in lieu of tamarind.


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One reply on “Tamala (Garcinia xanthochymus )”

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