(Last Updated on : 16/12/2013)
Chalmogra has been used in the Ayurvedic system of medicine for leprosy since millions of centuries. Ancient Buddhist literature mentions the efficiency of raw chalmogra seeds for remedying leprosy. Records demonstrate that the oil distilled from its seeds has been utilised in the treatment of leprosy and other skin diseases since 1595. In 'Makhzanel-Adtviya', one of the oldest books on Mohammedan materia medica, reference is made about the use of the seeds under the name of 'chalmogri'.
By 1868, the remedial effects of chalmogra were so well-known that it was made official in the Pharmacopoeia of India. It was, however, not till 1904, when Fredrick B. Power and his confederates published in detail the chemistry of chalmogra oil, that the scientific arena concentrated their attention on this indispensable drug. Experiments have confirmed its germicidal properties. The seeds of chalmogra produce a fatty oil. The oil contains hydnocarpic acid, oleic acid and palmitic acid.
Methods of usage
Chalmogra calls for various uses, like revitaliser, fevers, leprosy, skin eruptions, wounds, rheumatism, also rejuvenating the natural system of nutrition.
Healing Power and Medicinal Properties of chalmogra
The oil from the seeds possesses curative properties. It is a revitaliser, valuable in disciplining perturbed processes of nutrition and in reinstating the customary function of the system. It is also a local stimulant.
Fevers cured by chalmogra
The bark of the tree is rich in tannins, which are favourable in the treatment of fevers.
Leprosy healed by chalmogra
The oil distilled from the seeds is exceedingly utilitarian in leprosy. It should be administered locally on the affected parts. Lately chalmogra has been acknowledged in the allopathic medicine as an indispensable cure for leprosy.
Skin Disorders healed by chalmogra
Chalmogra oil is a precise medicine for healing skin disorders. It is locally used in rheumatism and phthisis or tuberculosis. It is an efficacious dressing for scurfy eruptions and acute skin diseases, even pertaining to syphilitic origin. An ointment made of equal proportions of the oil and lime water is applied to blistered heads, leprous ulcerations, rheumatic pains and scrufs, or a scaly condition on the head.
A paste of the seeds is a household remedy for injuries and particular skin diseases like eczema, ringworm and scabies. The concoction is used as a disinfectant for vaginal infection in gonorrhoea and stinking discharges, especially after childbirth.
Chalmogra is a big, evergreen tree with off-white wood. It has sharply serrated, polished and shiny leaves, globular fruits, almost the size of an apple, with a coarse thick brown crust. Inside the fruit there are 10 to 20 angular seeds, implanted in a sparse white flesh. The trade name 'chalmogra' is based on the local name of the tree.