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Tumbru (Zanthoxylum armatum) - Uses & Health Benefits

Tumbru, Zanthoxylum armatum

(Ref: Bhavaprakasa Nighantu)


Zanthoxylum is very beneficial herb of Ayurveda used to treat various disorders due to its versatile medicinal properties. Fruits, bark and seeds of this efficient herb is used to prepare various herbal formulations in Ayurveda. Traditionally tender and smooth twigs of this herb is used as natural herbal remedy for treating bleeding gums and dental carries.

Due to its essential oil present in fruits of this herb, make it useful for the preparation of various cosmetics, deodorants and dental products.

Plant Description

Zanthoxylum is evergreen thorny shrub or small tree that grows up to a height of 6m. Leaves are glabrous, peri-pinnate and 10-30 foliate. The plant contains very minute and small reddish or white coloured flowers. The flowering period of this plant is from August to September. Beautiful fruits are subglobose and reddish brown in colour and each fruit contains a single seed in the foliage. Seeds are also round in shape and shiny black in colour.


Zanthoxylum is mainly native to North America, but it is widely distributed in north east India from Kashmir to Bhutan. Also found in other countries like Nepal, China, Philippines, Malaysia, Pakistan, Taiwan and Japan.


  • Latin Name - Zanthoxylum armatum
  • English Name - Nepal Tree, Toothache Tree
  • Hindi Name - Tumbru, Tejbal, Nepalidhania
  • Sanskrit Name - Tumbru, Tejovali, Tejovaha
  • Bengali Name - Tejovati, Nepalidhania
  • Assamese Name - Tejovati
  • Gujarati Name - Tejbal
  • Kannada Name - Tejpatri
  • Garhwali Name - Tejbal
  • Marathi Name - Tejobali
  • Malayalam Name - Thumbooni
  • Oriya Name - Tejbal
  • Punjabi Name - Tirmira
  • Tamil Name - Thejovathi
  • Urdu Name - Meswak (Kaba-E-Khanda)
  • Arabic Name - Fragrie
  • Thailand Name - Makkak
  • Nepali Name - Prumo, Prumu
  • Siddha Name - Tejyovathi

According to bhavprakash nighantu

Ancient verse about Zanthoxylum armatum

According to the above mentioned verse of bhavprakash nighantu tumbru, sourabh, saur, vanaj, sanuj and andhak are the various synonyms of this herb. This herb is astringent and pungent in taste and after digestion it gives a pungent taste. Tumbru is dry in nature, hot in potency, helps to stimulate digestive fire, improve low appetite, easy to digest and causes a burning sensation. It is used to pecify vata and kapha dosha and also very beneficial herb for treating ear disorders, eye problems, lip and head related problems and also beneficial to cure feelings of heaviness in the body. It is also best herb to aid with intestinal worms, stomach ache, anorexia, asthma, spleen problems and urine incontinence.


The bhavprakash nighantu with elaborated Hindi commentary of padamshri prof. Krishna chandra chunekar and edited by Dr. Ganga Sahay Pandey: edition 2010; page number - 54; verse number - 113,114 and 115.

Uses of Tumbru (Zanthoxylum armatum)

  • Decoction prepared by using tumbru bark and fruits is used as a stimulant for the digestive system and also beneficial for treating fever, indigestion and cholera. It is also used to overcome general weakness in the body.
  • Smoke of herb tumbru is very beneficial for treating chronic asthma.
  • Lukewarm poultice of fresh leaves of tumbru with rice flour is used to reduce excessive inflammation and pain in neck and throat.
  • Cold decoction prepared by tumbru bark is used to clean wounds and ulcers. It is very effective antiseptic (pratidushak). This herb is used both externally and internally for quick healing of wounds and ulcers.
  • Fruits of this amazing herb are very effective herbal remedy for dental caries. It helps to relieve severe toothache and bark of this plant is used in the preparation of toothpastes and tooth powders.
  • Oil prepared from this herb is very effective antiseptic (pratidushak), anti-microbial (kitanunashak) and used to kill bad odours (durgandhahara).
  • Beneficial oil of this herb works like gandhbiroza and eucalyptus oil.

Health Benefits of Tumbru (Zanthoxylum armatum)

  • Deepan - Tumbru works wonderfully on pachkaagni. It helps to stimulate the low digestive fire and also helps to aid with various intestinal and stomach related problems.
  • Pachan - As a stimulant, it helps to improve digestive fire and promotes the process of digestion. It also helps to improve low appetite and indigestion and constipation.
  • Vatanuloman - This herb helps to pacify vitiated vata dosha in the body. It helps to fight against various vata dosha related disorders like flatus, bloating, abdominal distention, severe abdominal pain, headache and joint pain.
  • Shwashara - Bark of tumbru helps to pacify vitiated kapha dosha. It helps to excrete out extra phlegm and give relief in respiratory tract problems. It helps to fight against congestion and serious inflammation and very beneficial for treating asthma and cough.
  • Utejak - This herb is used as a stimulant for the digestive system and also for our immune system. It helps to improve our strength and immunity to fight against various serious disorders.
  • Atisaar - Tumbru is also very beneficial herb for treating diarrhoea and underlying symptoms of this disorder. 
  • Visuchika - According to Ayurveda, decoction prepared by bark of this herb is very effective remedy for treating cholera.
  • Karanshool - Oil prepared by tumbru with another herb is used to treat severe ear ache.

Medicinal Uses of Tumbru (Zanthoxylum armatum)

  1. Tumbru is a very effective anti-bacterial and antiseptic in nature. It helps to prevent our skin and internal body cell from the serious infections of micro-organisms.
  2. Hypoglycaemic actions of this herb make it potent to fight against diabetes. It helps to reduce the high glucose level in our blood and prevent our body from the risk of diabetes.
  3. Tumbru is a very efficient stomachic, it helps to improve our digestion and maintain normal health of our digestive system. It fights against various serious disorders of the digestive tract.
  4. It helps to kill and expel out intestinal worms. Decoction of bark of this herb helps to relieve colic pain, flatus, abdominal distention and indigestion in small children. 
  5. Diaphoretic actions of this herb help to open the block sweat pores and promotes the process of sweating. It helps to reduce excessive fat and very effective herb to cure obesity.
  6. It helps to boost and improve our immune system. It maintains a normal molecular level of body cells and gives strength to our immune system to fight against free radicals and micro-organisms.
  7. The carminative nature of this herb helps to fight against flatus, bloating, abdominal distention and chronic constipation.
  8. This herb is a very amazing herb for treating dental problems. It makes our gums healthy and beneficial herb that cures tooth ache.
  9. Bark and seeds of tumbru help to pacify kapha dosha and relieve congestion. It helps to cure excessive inflammation of respiratory tract and good for sufferers of asthma, cough and common colds.
  10. Root paste of the bark of tumbru is applied over wounds and ulcers externally for quick healing.
  11. Decoction prepared by leaves, fruits and bark of this herb help to relieve excessive inflammation and pain in joint problems. It pacifies vata dosha and good for the treatment of gout, rheumatoid and arthritis.
  12. It is also used as a mouth freshener. It is used to treat bad odour of the mouth and mouth sores. It is also good to stop gum bleeding.
  13. Poultice prepared by using bark of this herb is applied externally to relieve swelling over various parts of the body.


  • Fruit powder - 100-400mg
  • Bark decoction - 10-20ml


Due to its hot potency and burning effects, this herb act as irritant for skin and body organs. It is not recommended for lactating mothers and pregnant women. It causes excessive sweating. The high dose of this herb causes excessive burning sensation in stomach and induce vomiting and diarrhoea.

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Author Bio:

Best Ayurvedic Doctor - Dr. Meenakshi Chauhan

Dr. Meenakshi Chauhan


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Best Ayurvedic Doctor in Mohali - Dr. Vikram Chauhan

Dr. Vikram Chauhan


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