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Bakula / Spanish Cherry / Mimusops elengi - Classification, Ayurvedic Properties & Dosage


Mimusops elengi is commonly known as Bakula. Bakula is a potential therapeutic herbal plant and their medicinal uses are mentioned in Ayurvedic scriptures. In Ayurveda, Bakul is a natural astringent used for strengthening the teeth, reduces toothache, in pyorrhoea, and in diarrhoea. It is useful in heart diseases, and also has good hemostatic activity. In modern science, researchers perceive the importance of herbal plants. They develop various kinds of formulations by using identified properties of the Bakula plant. They discover numerous pharmacological activities such as Analgesic, Antibiotic, Anti hyperlipidemic, Anti inflammatory, Anti microbial, Antioxidant, Antipyretic, Cognitive enhancing.

Bakula, Spanish Cherry, Mimusops elengi, Classification, Ayurvedic Properties, Dosage, Vernacular Names, Taxonomical Classification, Habitat, Chemical Composition, Ancient Verse


  • Sidhugandha
  • Madhupushpa
  • Karak
  • Goodhapushpa
  • Madyamoda
  • Shardik
  • Madhugandha

Special Note About This Plant

Makhana is easily accessible and is greatly used as a snack option, this is very much low in saturated fats, sodium, and cholesterol, a great choice for maintaining a healthy weight, and is very easy to carry anywhere because this is not leaky type, and acts as a great snack to scrub out the cravings used after the gym to regain the energy, even this can be filled in yummy dishes that will surprisingly give an enhanced taste with just adding some makhanas in that. A vegan diet is also called a plant-based diet in which animal products are totally excluded from the diet so they can add up these makhanas and can fill up the need gap. If you travel worldwide, the variation of their uses and how to consume methods will be seen as different , like in the form of popcorn. People cook the leaves and stalks of the makhana and take it in as a vegetable curry. These are named Lawa, Murra, and thurri as in their different grades.

Other Vernacular Names

  • In Hindi - Bakul, Bolsari, Maulsarau, Maulsari
  • In English - Spanish cherry, Bullet wood
  • In Kannada - Jaali, Gobbli
  • In Marathi - Bakhor, Ovalli, Wovali
  • In Malayalam - Bakulam, Ilanni, Makuram
  • In Gujarati - Babhuli, vovoli, varsoli
  • In Nepalese - Bakulapuspa
  • In German - Affengesict
  • In French - Karanicum

Taxonomical Classification

  • Kingdom - Plantae
  • Order - Ericales
  • Family - Sapotaceae
  • Genus - Mimusops
  • Species - M. eleni


Bakul is a tropical evergreen tree native to Africa and Asia. The tree can grow upto 20 ft and provides a thick shade, but requires fairly warm temperatures with well drained soil. It grows all over India, especially in western ghats regions. It is also found in Deccan regions of plateau, and frequently cultivated as ornamental trees in gardens.


Bakul is a large glabrous, evergreen tree, 12-15 m tall, with dense foliage. The trunk is short, hard, brownish externally and red from inside. Leaves are 9 cm long and 6 cm broad, glabrous, base, pointed or rounded. Flowers are white, give out sweet fragrance even on dying. Fruits are oblong, green when raw, astringent, and sticky. Ripe fruits are yellow, sweet and easily breakable. Seeds are ovoid, greyish brown and shining.

Chemical Composition

Bakul has many medicinal properties due to various phytochemicals present in the plant. There are following phytochemicals are there:

Part of the Plant Phytochemical Properties
Leaves Sterols, reducing sugars, hentriacontane, 𝛃-carotene, tannins. Used in treatment of fever, postural eruptions of skin, ulcers, Antidote for snake bite.
Bark Alkaloids, tannins, amyrin, bassic acid, taraxerol, sodium urolate, betulinic acid, wax, and volatile oils such as linalool, copaene, isosafrole, caryophyllene etc. Strengthens the gums,anti inflammatory, effective in ulemorrhagia, increases fertility in women, anti microbial
Root Steroidal, saponins, lupeol acetate, taraxerol, 𝝰-spinasterol, 𝛃- glucoside Strengthens the teeth
Flowers Mannitol, 𝛃-sitosterol, quercitol, ursolic acid and terpene. Anti ulcer, expectorant, cure biliousness, liver problems, Antidiuretic, calm anxiety, panic attacks and brain tonic.
Seeds Pentacyclic triterpene, mimusopic acid, capric, palmitic, stearic and oleic acids. Used for culinary purposes, for burning, for nasal congestion and headache.

Classical Categorisation

  • Bhavaprakash nighantu / Pushpa varga
  • Raja nighantu / karviradiarga varga
  • Sodala nighantu / amardi varga

Ancient Verse

Shloka - 1

बकुलो मधुगन्धश्च सिंहकेसरकस्तथा |
बकुलस्तुवरोऽनुष्णः कटुपाकरसो गुरुः |

Reference - Bhavaprakash nighantu/ Pushpa varga / Shloka 33

Interpretation of Shloka - In this shloka Bakul is also known as Madhugandh(sweet scent), and Singhakesara. It has properties like astringent (kashya), heavy to digest (Guru), balances water and fire elements in the body(Kapha pitta hara), wormicide (krimida), strengthens teeth (dantya)..

Shloka - 2

बकुलः शीतलो हृद्यो विषदोषविनाशनः |
मधुरश्च कषायश्च मदाढ्यो हर्षदायकः ||
बकुलकुसुमञ्च रुच्यं क्षीराढ्यं सुरभि शीतलं मधुरम् |
स्निग्धकषायं कथितं मलसङ्ग्रहकारकं चैव ||

Reference - Raja nighantu / karviradiarga varga

Interpretation of Shloka - In this shloka properties of bakul are explained such as it has cool potency(sheetla), hearty (Hrudya) and destroys poison (vish nashak). Bakul flowers are delicious, cool, and sweet in fragrance. It is said to be a greasy and a dirt-collecting agent.

Ayurvedic Properties

  • Rasa (Taste) - Katu (Pungent), Kasaya (astringent)
  • Guna (Quality) - Guru (heavy to digest)
  • Veerya (Potency) - Anushna (Neither hot nor cold)
  • Vipaka (Post digestive effect) - Katu (Pungent)
  • Dosha (Action) - Kapha-Pitta shamak

Practical Uses

Bakul is an ethnomedicinal plant, each and every part of the plant is used to treat various diseases. Let's discuss the uses of the plant:

  • Chewing root bark strengthens the teeth and improves oral health.
  • Twig of bakul plant used as Danta pavana.
  • Fruit (ripe or unripe) used to prepare a lotion for the sores and wounds.
  • Decoction of root bark along with milk strengthens the teeth of even old people.
  • Water distilled from the flowers is in use amongst the natives of southern India, both as stimulant medicine & as a perfume.
  • The bruised seeds are applied locally within the anus of the child in case of constipation.
  • Leaf is used as anti venom remedies in sushruta.
  • Bark is used as colouring dyes in some regions.
  • Flowers act as a nervous tonic and generate freshness of mind.
  • Powder of the flowers is used for nasal administration in headaches.
  • Decoction of the bark is astringent and is therefore used in diarrhoea, dysentery and intestinal worms.
  • Both flower and bark have hemostatic activity and are used in menorrhagia, leucorrhoea, spermatorrhoea.
  • Bark Extract reduces the cholesterol level in the body.
  • Bark extract also decreases the level of oxalate of calcium and potassium in the kidney and urine.

Part Used

Stem, Bark, Root, Flowers, Fruit and Seeds


  • Bark decoction : 50-100ml
  • Poder of flowers : 1-2 gm

Ayurvedic Products

  • Baladhatryadi taila
  • Vari Shoshana rasa
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Author Bio:

Best Ayurvedic Doctor - Dr. Meenakshi Chauhan

Dr. Meenakshi Chauhan


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Reviewed By:

Best Ayurvedic Doctor in Mohali - Dr. Vikram Chauhan

Dr. Vikram Chauhan


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