(Last Updated on : 02/12/2013)
Karanji is a large deciduous tree which is found mainly in the deciduous forests in India. The botanical name of Karanji is Holoptelea integrifolia (Roxb) Planch. The other name by which this medicinal plant is known in various other languages in India are kanjho and waola in Gujarati, kaladri, rasbija, nilavahi, tapasi and thavasai in Kannada, papara, vavli and vavala in Marathi, chirabil-vah and putikaranjah in Sanskrit language, chirhol, chilbil and kanju in Hindi, aval and nettaval in Malayalam, nauli, pedanevili, nemali and thapasi in Telugu, arjan, papri, khulen and rajain in Punjabi, aya, kanci, ayil, tambachi and vellaya in Tamil language, etc. Karanji is native to tropical Asia from northern and peninsular India to Myanmar (Burma), Sri Lanka and Indochina. This medicinal plant is most commonly found in deciduous forests at an altitude of about 600 meters in the sub-Himalayan hills, Assam
and also in the southern and western regions of peninsular India.
Karanji is a large and spreading deciduous tree which is up to 18 meters in height, with grey, pustular bark that is smooth when young, exfoliating in corky scales on older trees. The leaves of this tree are alternate, elliptic-ovate, 8 to 13 centimeters long and 3.2 to 6.3 centimeters wide, glabrous, margins entire, apex acute or acuminate, base rounded or cordate, main nerves 5 to 7 pairs; petioles of this tree are 0.6 to 2.5 centimeters long; stipules lanceolate. The flowers of this Indian medicinal plant are generally male and hermaphrodite mixed, small, greenish-yellow to brownish, pubescent, borne in short racemes or fascicles at the scars of fallen leaves; sepals are often 4, pubescent, 1.5 to 2.5 millimeters long. Fruits of Karanji are orbicular samara, 2.5 centimeters in diameter, with membranous, reticulately veined wings and with flat seed. The crushed bark and leave of this tree emit an unpleasant odour. The fruit and flowering season of this tree are between the months of February and May in central India's deciduous forest regions.
the leaves and bark of this medicinal plant are used for various medicinal purposes. These are used for treating oedema, Leprosy or Kushta Roga
and a number of skin diseases, intestinal disorders, dyspepsia or agnimandya
and sprue. The mucilaginous juice secreted from the boiled bark is reported to be used as an external application in order to provide relief from rheumatic swellings; the bark is dried and powdered and applied for the same purpose. The stem bark paste and seeds are used externally in order to treat scabies and the latter for ringworm. Among the tribal inhabitants in the southern parts of Bihar
, the stem bark paste is also applied around boils to promote suppuration. The inhabitants of tribal community in western Maharashtra
use the leaves of Karanji, boiled in coconut oil, as an external application for various wounds. Among tribal women in the Surguja District
or eastern parts of Madhya Pradesh
, the fruit pulp, pounded with black salt, is used for the treatment of menstrual disorders