Plant description

Kachnar, Bauhinia Variegata

Kachnar is deciduous tree of small to medium sized height up to 15mt with spreading crown and a short bole. Twigs of the tree are slender, light green, angled, hairy and brownish grey in color. Outer bark is scaly, smooth to slightly fissured and brownish grey in color and inner bark is pinkish in color, fibrous and bitter. Leaves are bi-lobed with minute stipules, ovate to circular, 10-13 nerved and upper surface of leaves are glabrous. Leaves of the plant are just like camel's hoof print. Flowers are reminiscent of showy orchids and have five slightly overlapped and irregular petals of yellow and pinkish purple color. Cluster of flowers are unbranched at the end of twigs. Scented flowers show its first appearance in late winters when the tree is bare of leaves. Fruit is dehiscent pod; strap shaped contains various flat seeds and about 15-30cm long.

General information

Kachnar is closely related to peacock flower and Kachnar tree is considered as beautiful tree in world when it blooms. Orchid tree, camel's foot tree, mountain ebony, butterfly ash, poor man's orchid, ebony tree all are common names of Kachnar. It is ornamental tree with beautiful and scented flowers. This tree is used to attract humming birds in parks and gardens. Leaves, flowers and flower buds are eaten as vegetable.

Buds of this tree are very beautiful as well as very delicious as food. Flowers of this plant are richest source of vitamin c. In ayurvedic medicine system it is best herb for krimi roga (worm infestation), apchi (lymphadenitis) gandmala (scrofula) and varna (wounds). This herb is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, cytotoxic, anti-inflammatory, pain and fever alleviating and thyroid regulating herb.

Chemical compounds found in this herb are beflavone, flavonolglycoside, triterpine, saponin, phenanthraquninone and flavonoids.


Kachnar is native to India and china. It is distributed throughout India at ascending altitude of 1300mt in Himalayan tract extending eastward to Assam, eastern, central and south India. It is also found in Burma, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.


  • Kingdom - Plantae
  • Order - Fabales
  • Family - Fabaceae


  • Latin name - Bauhinia variegata
  • English name - Butterfly ash, Camel's foot tree
  • Hindi name - Kachnar
  • Bengali name - Rakta Kachnar
  • Kannada name - Basavanpada
  • Malayalam name - Kovidar, Mandaram
  • Manipuri name - Chingtharo
  • Marathi name - Kovidara, Kanchana
  • Oriya name - Borodu
  • Tamil name - Mantharai
  • Telugu name - Mandrai
  • French name - Arbe de saint Thomas
  • Burmese name - Bwechin
  • Urdu name - Kachnal

Ayurvedic Properties

Hindi / Sanskrit English
Rasa Kashay Taste Astringent
Guna Laghu, Ruksha Physical Property Light, Dry
Virya Sheeta Potency Cold
Vipaka Katu Metabolic Property (After Digestion) Pungent

Effects on Doshas

It balances kapha and pitta doshas.

Charak Samhita Sushrut Samhita
  • Vamnopaga - Herbs used to induce vomiting.
  • Kashay varga - Herbs with astringent taste.
  • Urdhavbhaghara - herbs used in vamana.

Ancient verse about Bauhinia variegata

Ancient verse about Bauhinia variegata
Ancient verse about Bauhinia variegata
  • Kachnar, kanchnak, gandari and shonpushpak are various synonyms of Kachnar. Kovidar, marik, kuddal, yugpatrak, kundali, tamrpushp, ashmantak and swalpkeshri are synonyms of kanchanar.
  • This herb has cold potency, astringent taste, pacifies pitta and kapha dosha and very effective in worm infestation, hemorrhoids, rectal prolapse, cervical lymphadenitis and wounds. Both varieties have equal action and properties.
  • Flowers of both species are light, rough, used in bleeding disorders, cough and in tuberculosis.

Practical Uses of Bauhinia variegata

  • Kachnar corrects the imbalance of hormones and helps in relieving menstrual disorders like anovulation and amenorrhea. Kachnar is also very beneficial for overall female reproductive system and it is very beneficial in various diseases like PCOD, hypothyroidism, endometriosis and fibroids in females.
  • Kachnar is anti-microbial in action and it is very effective in reducing the size of enlarged lymph nodes at neck and groin region.
  • This herb is also beneficial in nasal polyps as it reduces the size of polyp and helps in easy breathing.
  • Decoction of bark is very effective in tonsillitis and thyroid related problems.
  • Extract of leaves improves liver functioning and gives wonderful results in jaundice. It is used to maintain proper metabolism and functioning of liver.
  • Bark decoction acts as appetizer and used as gargle for mouth ulcers and bad breath and this herb is also best used in skin disorders.
  • It is also used as scrapping herb to reduce extra fat in obese people.
  • It is used to relieve painful urination and other infections related to urinary tract.
  • Kachnar is also very effective for the sufferers of hemorrhoids.
  • Bitter taste flowers of this miraculous tree are natural blood purifier and help to expel out extra toxins and waste from blood.
  • Bark juice of this herb is used to cure amoebic dysentery, diarrhoea and other infections of digestive system.
  • Kachnar is anti-diabetic herb for the sufferers of diabetes with good hypoglycemic activities.
  • It helps in pacifying kapha and pitta dosha.

Part Used

  • Stem bark
  • Flowers
  • Leaves
  • Seeds


  • Bark powder - 1-3gm
  • Decoction - 40-80ml
  • Flower extract - 10-20ml

Planet Ayurveda Products that Use this Herb

1. Kanchnaar Guggul

Kanchnaar guggul is a classical ayurvedic preparation that is very commonly used in reducing swellings of all kinds like thyroiditis, varicose veins, pedal edema, lymph node swellings, poly cystic ovaries, fibroids in the uterus, tumors, cancers etc.

It has a vast scope of application in all kinds of patients that are suffering from any kind of soft tissue enlargements.

The tablets are however combined with other medicines also depending upon the type of disease and the organ affected.

The herbal extracts used in the preparation of kachnaar guggul tablets are purely herbal and natural. They have no side effects and can be used by people of all ages.

Kanchnaar is combined with Guggul (Commiphora mukul) in this formulation, which is a very effective anti-inflammatory agent that can be used in any kind of mild to severe inflammatory conditions.

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