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Common Name : Nux-vomica, Poison nut

Hindi Name : कुचिला | Scientific Name : Strychnos
Family : Loganiaceae
Uses : As medicine, seeds are considered by Unani physicians as nervine and cardiac tonic, stomachic, expectorant, aphrodisiac, blood purifier, anti-inflammatory, urinary bladder tonic and laxative. They are mainly used for phlegmatic nervous diseases, such as paralysis, facial palsy, arthritis, dyspnea, pleurisy and tuberculosis. The bark is also used as tonic and antipyretic. In small doses, it stimulates stomach and intestines, increases gastric, pancreatic, intestinal and biliary secretions. Therapeutic uses include paralytic and neuralgic afflictions, atonic diarrhea, chronic dysentery, prolapse of rectum, incontinence of urine, nocturnal emissions, debility or inactivity of spinal nerve system. Other uses include intermittent fevers, epilepsy, diabetes, anemia, and chlorosis. In Ayurveda, seeds are extensively advocated for nervous debility, paralysis, and weakness of limbs, sexual weakness, dyspepsia, and dysentery and in rheumatism. Dried seeds extract has been used as a circulatory and respiratory stimulant but effective doses are nearly equivalent to toxic doses. In Chinese traditional medicine, it is known as Maqianzi, which are seeds of three Strychnos species (Strychnos nux-vomica , S. pierrana, S. wallichiana), with bitter taste and cold property and is highly toxic. It is considered as channel-deobstruent, antirheumatic, detumescent, analgesic, and fortifies muscles, tendons and bones, and is indicated in rheumatism, paralysis or flaccidity of limbs or body, sequelae of poliomyelitis, rheumatoid arthritis, injuries due to falls, fractures, contusions, strains, and in schizophrenia. Seeds contain alkaloids (major poisonous alkaloids being strychnine and brucine); other constituents include minor alkaloids, glycoside, chlorogenic acid mannosan, and galactan, strynuxlines A and B, and iridoid glucosides. S. nux vomica seeds must be purified before their use in Unani and Ayurvedic medicines.
Native: India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, and southern Vietnam.
General Description:

It is a tall deciduous tree, up to 12 m high. Leaves are leathery, smooth, opposite, entire, shiny, broadly elliptic or ovate, 7.5–15 cm long and 6–8 cm wide. Flowers are greenish-white, numerous, small, and borne on small, terminal, hairy cymes, 2.5–5 cm in diameter. Fruit is a globular berry 4 cm in diameter containing about 15 seeds embedded in a white pulp; seeds are flat, disc-shaped, 10–30 mm in diameter, lenticular to oblong, smooth, shiny, gray to yellowish-gray or green in color, odorless, having a strong bitter taste, and are used medicinally.