Acacia catechu (Linn. f.) Willd.


Family : Mimosaceae.




Habitat Drier regions of India, particularly Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and Rajasthan.

English Cutch tree, Catechu.

Ayurvedic Khadira, Kadara, Somavalka, Gaayatri, Dantdhaavan, Kantaki, Raktasaara (heartwood extract).

Unani Khair, Kaat, Katthaa (heartwood extract).

Siddha/Tamil Karunkaali

(bark), Kalippakku, Kadiram.

Katthakkaambu, Kaasukkatti

(heartwood extract).



Assamese খৈৰ Kher
Bengali খয়ের Khayer
English Name : Black cutch tree, Cutch tree, White kutch, Black catechu, Catechu
Gujarati ખેર Kher
Hin Khair
Hindi Name : खैर Khair, पयोर Payor, खयर Khayar, पथिद्रुम Pathi-drum, गायत्रिन् Gayatrin, प्रियसख Priya-sakh, दन्त धावन Dant-dhavan, मदन Madan
Kannada ಕಾದು Kadu, ಕಗ್ಗಲಿ Kaggali, Kaggli, ಕದಿರ Kadira, ಕಾಚು Kaachu
Konkani खैर Khair
Malayalam Kadiram, കരിണ്ടാലി Karintaali, Karingali, Cutch tree
Marathi यज्ञवृक्ष Yajnavrksa, खयर Khayar, खैर Khair
Nepali खयर Khayar
Others Wadalee Gum, Black Catechu, Black Cutch, Catechu, Cutch Tree, Cashoo
Sanskrit Name : गायत्रिन् Gayatrin, खदिरः Or खादिरः Khadira, पथिद्रुम Pathi-drum, पयोर Payor, प्रियसख Priya-sakh
Tamil Name : காசுக்கட்டி Kacu-k-katti, செங்கருங்காலி Cenkarungali, கறை Karai
Telugu Name : నల్లచండ్ర Nallacandra, ఖదిరము Khadiramu. కవిరిచండ్ర Kaviricandra
Urdu کهير Khai




Deciduous, gregarious trees, to 15 m high; bark dark greyish-brown to dark brown, rough, about 1.3 cm thick, exfoliating in long, narrow rectangular strips; blaze brownish-red; branchlets brown, glabrous.

Leaves bipinnate, alternate, stipulate; stipular spines slightly infra axillary, paired, 3-10 mm long, straight or hooked, occasionally lacking on flowering branchlets; rachis 8-19.5 cm, slender, pulvinate, downy, grooved above, with a gland near the base of the rachis on the upper side; pinnae 10-20 pairs, 3.6-8 cm long, opposite, downy, slender, with a gland in between the terminal 6 pairs on the lower side, leaflets 30-50, opposite, paripinnate, sessile, stipels absent; lamina 2.5-8 x 0.5-1.5 mm, linear-oblong, base unequally truncate, apex round, obtuse, or mucronate, margin entire, pubescent, chartaceous; midrib subcentral at base, lateral nerves obscure.

Flowers pale yellow, sessile, in long solitary or in groups of 2-4 axillary spikes; bracts cauducous; calyx cupular-campanulate, 1-1.5 x 1.3-1.5 mm, teeth triangular or deltoid; corolla 2.5-3 mm long, lobes oblong, ovate to linear-lanceolate; stamens many, 4.5-5 mm long; ovary stipitate, 0.8-1.2 mm long, oblong-ellipsoid; style 4-5 mm long; stigma terminal.

Fruit a pod 5-10 x 1-1.6 cm, flat, straight, unlobed or sinuate along margins, thin walled, beaked at apex, brown, narrowed at base into a stipe, dehiscent; seeds 3-10, orbicular or ovate, flattened.




Medicinal Uses : 

wood— powerful astringent (in urinary and vaginal discharge), antidiarrhoeal, haemostatic; used for treating excessive mucous discharges, haemorrhages, relaxed conditions of gums, throat and mouth, stomatitis, irritable bowel; also used as an antileprotic drug.

Along with other therapeutic applications, The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India indicates the use of dried pieces of heartwood in inflammations, skin diseases and urinary disorders, recommends its use as a blood purifier, in diseases caused by lipid disorders.



Cutch (the concentrated extract) contains tannins 2—20%, catechin 25— 33%, phiobatannins including catechutannic acid 20—50%; flavonoids including quercetin, quercitrin, fisetin; gums, resins, pigments. The gum from A. catechu is a good substitute for Gum arabic. diabetic rats. Seed oil—antifungal. Flowers, pods and gum resin—used in diarrhoea and dysentery.

Along with other therapeutic applications, The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India indicates the use of stembark in acute diarrhoea and helminthiasis.

Tannin contents of the bark varies considerably (12—20%). Several polyphenolic compounds have been reported in the bark, also in the pods. The whole pod contains 12—19% tannins and 18—27% after the removal of seeds.



The seeds of A. benthamii, A. nilotica ssp. subulata, probably same as ssp. indica, are considered hypoglycaemic. Some seed components stimulate insulin secretion by beta cells.

The gum contains galactose; l-arabinose, l-rhamnose and aldobiouronic acids, also arabinobioses.

The flowers contain flavonoids— kaempferol-3-glucoside, iso- quercitrin and leucocyanidin.

Dosage Stembark—20—30 g for decoction.





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