Acacia Catechu, Black Catechu, Khadira

Khadira (Black Catechu) is a deciduous tree it reaches height up to 9 to 12 meters. This plant has short hooked spines and green leaves are bipinnately compounds with 50 pairs of leaflets which look like beautiful feathers. Color of the bark is greyish brown that exfoliate into long and narrow strips. Flowers of this plant are pale yellow in color with cylindrical spikes. Fruits are flat and glabrous with oblong pods. The sapwood of this plant is whitish yellow in color.

General Information

It is a medium height tree belonging to the Fabaceae family. The average height reached by the plant is approximately 15 metres. It is a very popular plant commonly known by the following names black catechu, black cutch, catechu, cutch, cutch tree, dark catechu, gum catechu. Being exported in large numbers to various parts of the world since many centuries, Acacia has been immensely significant as herb of great medicinal value.

The bark of this tree is dark brown to greyish in color which splits in longitudinal sections sometimes leaving rectangular plates. It is a very famous herb used for skin problems and management of blood related disorders. It is a great blood purifier and skin rejuvenating herb.

Special Note about this Plant

Acacia catechu is a plant which is used in a variety of medicinal preparations to combat skin disorders of all kinds. Be it any kind of temporary or permanent skin problem Khadira/ Acacia catechu is used in variety of tablets, capsule and syrup formulations.

As per Ayurveda, Khadira is the best for the treatment of Leprosy and similar types of skin problems.


It is a fairly sturdy plant growing in variable climatic conditions. It is widely distributed throughout India and China except humid and cold regions. It is easily available in sub - Himayalan tract and outer Himalaya from Jammu to Assam. It is also found in Eastern slopes of Western Ghats.


  • Kingdom - Plantae
  • Order - Fabales
  • Genus – Senegalia


  • Sanskrit: Khadira, Rakta sara, Kantaki, Dantadhavan, Yajniya, Balapatra etc.
  • English : Cutch tree, Heart wood tree
  • Hindi : Khair
  • Telugu : Chandra, Sandra
  • Tamil name : Karanagalli
  • Kannnada : Kaggalli
  • Kashmiri name : Kath
  • Malayalam : Karingali
  • Marathi : Khaira
  • Punjabi name : Khair
  • Urdu name : Chanbe kaath
  • Oriya name : Khaira
  • Unani name : Safed katha

Ayurvedic Properties

Hindi / Sanskrit English
Rasa Kashaya, Tikta Taste Astringent, Bitter
Guna Laghu, Ruksha Physical Property Light, Dry
Virya Sheet Potency Cold
Vipaka Katu Metabolic Property
(After Digestion)

Effects On Doshas

It balances pitta and Kapha doshas.

Charak Samhita Sushrut Samhita Chakradutta Bhavprakash
  • Udardaprashaman - Herbs Used in Urticaria.
  • Tikatsaknda – Herbs with Bitter Taste
Medorog, Asrigdra. Vednasthapan Rakta Prashman, Pachana

Ancient Verse of Acacia Catechu

Ancient Verse of Acacia catechu

According to above shalok khadir, raktsaar, gayatri, dantdhawan, kantaki, baalpatar, bahushalya and yagayi are the various synonyms of acacia. It has bitter and astringent taste, cool potency and best used herb for teeth disorders. Also it is useful in itching of skin (kandu), cough (kaas), anorexia (aruchi), obesity (medorog), worm infestation (krimi), diabetes (prameha), fever (jwara), ulcers (vrana), leucoderma (shwitr), indigestion (aajeerna), bleeding disorders (rakta pitta), anemia (pandu), Leprosy (kushtha) and useful in pacifying kapha dosha.

Practical Uses of Acacia Catechu

  • Soft stems of Khadira plant are great for massaging the gums and gentle scrubbing of the teeth on a regular basis. It helps to balance the kapha induced diseases of the oral cavity, gums and teeth.
  • As a general therapeutic effect Acacia catechu helps fight all kinds of skin irritations and itching. It also helps in fighting obesity which is also a result of imbalanced kapha in the body.
  • Be it Diabetes, Cough, Cold, leucoderma or several other inflammatory conditions in the body, khadira is one of the best herbal choices.
  • "Ama" or the body toxins, which accumulate in the body over a period of time as a result of our faulty lifestyle and dietary habits is considered as the root cause of many diseases in Ayurveda.
  • Khadira preparations like "Khadirarishtha" is very helpful in detoxifying the body off the accumulated toxins.
  • Having astringent properties, khadira helps to manage the pitta disorders in the body. Several Liver problems and blood disorders can be curbed easily with regulated use of Khadira along with other Liver protective and hematinic herbs. It is also good for anemic patients.
  • For external as well as internal use Acacia catechu is the best herb for the management of internal as well as external health problems.

Recent Scientific Works about Acacia Catechu

Acacia catechu has been studied for its great antioxidant properties. The herb also shows anti–bacterial properties against a selected group of bacteria.

Ayurvedic Products from Acacia catechu


  • Powder - 1-3gm
  • Decoction - 50-100ml
  • Khadira extract - 0.5-1 gm.

Parts used

  • Bark and Extracts
  • Heartwood and its extracts
  • Flowers
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