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Asthisamharaka (Vitis quadrangularis): A Medicinal Plant with Promising Health Benefits and Therapeutic Potential

Introduction: Asthisamharaka (Vitis quadrangularis), also known as the Devil's Backbone or Hadjod, is a medicinal plant that has been widely used in traditional medicine systems for centuries. With its origins in India, this plant belongs to the Vitaceae family and is characterized by its unique four-angled stem. Hadjod holds significant importance in various cultures due to its potential health benefits and therapeutic properties. Its traditional use can be traced back to ancient Ayurvedic texts, where it is highly regarded for its ability to promote bone health and treat musculoskeletal disorders. Historically, Hadjod has been used as a natural remedy for fractures, bone loss, and joint-related conditions. In Ayurveda, it is classified as a 'Asthisandhaneeya' herb, meaning it has the potential to strengthen bones, promote fracture healing, and improve overall bone health. The plant's name, "Hadjod," is derived from the Hindi word "hadjod,"

Cedrus deodara (Devdaru): A Majestic Tree with Cultural Significance, Ecological Importance, and Versatile Uses


Devdaru, scientifically known as Cedrus deodara, is an evergreen coniferous tree that holds great cultural and ecological importance. Also known as the Deodar cedar or Himalayan cedar, it is native to the Western Himalayas and is widely distributed across the region. The name "Devdaru" translates to "timber of the gods" in Sanskrit, reflecting its revered status in various cultures.


Culturally, Devdaru has been highly regarded for centuries. In many regions of the Himalayas, it is considered sacred and is associated with religious rituals and traditions. The timber derived from Devdaru has been traditionally used in the construction of temples, palaces, and other religious structures, symbolizing its spiritual significance.

Ecologically, Devdaru plays a vital role in maintaining the Himalayan ecosystem. It thrives in high-altitude environments, ranging from 1,500 to 3,200 meters, where it helps stabilize the soil and prevent erosion on steep slopes. The dense foliage of Devdaru provides shade and shelter for a wide variety of wildlife, including birds, mammals, and insects, contributing to biodiversity conservation.

Furthermore, Devdaru has been recognized for its medicinal properties. Its leaves, bark, and resin have been utilized in traditional medicine systems for their therapeutic benefits. Extracts from Devdaru have been used to treat various ailments, including respiratory disorders, skin conditions, and rheumatism.

In recent times, Devdaru has also gained significance in landscaping and horticulture due to its elegant appearance, with its gracefully drooping branches and blue-green needles adding beauty and charm to gardens and parks.

Overall, Devdaru (Cedrus deodara) stands as an emblem of cultural reverence, ecological importance, and natural beauty, making it a fascinating species with multifaceted significance.

Taxonomy and Classification:

Kingdom: Plantae (Plants)

Division: Pinophyta (Conifers)

Class: Pinopsida

Order: Pinales

Family: Pinaceae (Pine family)

Genus: Cedrus

Species: Cedrus deodara

Synonyms and Alternate Names:

Cedrus deodara is the widely accepted scientific name for this species. However, it is worth noting that there have been some synonyms and alternate names used in the past. Some of the synonyms include:

1. Cedrus libani var. deodara

2. Pinus deodara

3. Abies deodara

4. Abies cedrus

5. Cedrus pendula

These alternate names or synonyms may have been used due to differences in taxonomical understanding and classifications over time. However, the currently accepted scientific name is Cedrus deodara.


Cedrus deodara, commonly known as Devdaru or Deodar cedar, is a majestic evergreen tree with distinctive physical characteristics. Here are the key features of Cedrus deodara:

Size and Shape:

Cedrus deodara is a large tree that can reach impressive heights of up to 40-50 meters (131-164 feet) and has a trunk diameter of 2-3 meters (6.5-10 feet). The tree exhibits a conical or pyramidal shape, with its branches spreading horizontally as it matures.

Growth Habit:

Cedrus deodara has a vigorous and upright growth habit. In its early years, it has a dense and compact form, with branches ascending at an acute angle. As it grows older, the branches become more horizontal, forming a broad crown.


The leaves of Cedrus deodara are needle-like and arranged spirally on the branches. They are elongated and measure around 2.5-5 centimeters (1-2 inches) in length. The needles are generally a lustrous blue-green color, which gives the tree its distinct appearance.


Cedrus deodara produces cones that are cylindrical in shape. The cones are initially green in color but mature to a brown shade. They can grow to a length of 7-12 centimeters (2.7-4.7 inches) and consist of scales that bear seeds. The cones disintegrate upon maturity to release the seeds, which are dispersed by wind.


The bark of Cedrus deodara is smooth and grayish-brown when young, but as the tree ages, it becomes rough, fissured, and dark brown in color. The bark has a distinctive odor, emitting a pleasant fragrance, which is particularly noticeable when the bark is scratched or damaged.

Other Distinctive Features:

Cedrus deodara is known for its graceful appearance, with drooping branches that create an elegant silhouette. Its wood is highly durable and resistant to decay, making it valuable for various purposes, including construction and furniture.

Variations and Subspecies:

While Cedrus deodara is primarily recognized as a single species, there may be variations and subspecies within the broader Cedrus genus. For example, some sources mention variations in growth habit, needle color, and cone characteristics among different populations of Cedrus deodara. However, further research and taxonomic study are required to determine if these variations constitute distinct subspecies.

Overall, Cedrus deodara is a magnificent tree with its towering height, cone-shaped crown, blue-green needles, and fragrant bark, making it an iconic and visually striking species.

Distribution and Habitat:

Cedrus deodara, commonly known as Devdaru or Deodar cedar, is native to the Western Himalayas, specifically the regions of Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, and Nepal. It is naturally found in the high-altitude mountainous areas of these countries.

Preferred Environmental Conditions:

Cedrus deodara thrives in specific environmental conditions, which contribute to its successful growth and survival. Here are the preferred environmental conditions for Cedrus deodara:


It is well adapted to temperate climates with cool winters and moderate to heavy rainfall. It can tolerate a wide range of temperatures, from extremely cold winters to hot summers. However, it prefers cooler temperatures and does not fare well in excessively hot and arid regions.


Cedrus deodara prefers well-drained soils that are rich in organic matter. It can tolerate a variety of soil types, including loamy, sandy, and rocky soils. However, it grows best in soils that are slightly acidic to neutral in pH.


Cedrus deodara is known for its ability to thrive in high-altitude environments. It is commonly found at elevations ranging from 1,500 to 3,200 meters (4,900 to 10,500 feet) above sea level. This species is adapted to the harsh conditions of the Himalayan mountains, including snowfall and cold temperatures at higher elevations.

Specific Regions and Countries:

Cedrus deodara is a prominent tree species in the Western Himalayas and is commonly found in several countries and regions. Some of the specific regions and countries where Cedrus deodara is commonly found include:

India: Cedrus deodara has a wide distribution across different states in India, including Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and parts of Arunachal Pradesh.

Nepal: It occurs in the mountainous regions of Nepal, particularly in the central and western parts of the country.

Afghanistan: It occurs in the eastern and central parts of Afghanistan, particularly in the mountainous regions.

Pakistan: It is found in various parts of Pakistan, including the provinces of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, and Gilgit-Baltistan.


In these regions and countries, Cedrus deodara often forms extensive forests, contributing to the unique biodiversity and ecological significance of the Himalayan region.


Overall, Cedrus deodara is primarily found in the Western Himalayas, thriving in the specific climatic, soil, and altitude conditions of the region.

Uses and Importance:

Cedrus deodara, also known as Devdaru or Deodar cedar, has been valued for various purposes throughout history and continues to hold importance in modern times. Here are its uses and significance:

Timber and Wood Products:

The wood of Cedrus deodara is highly valued for its durability, strength, and resistance to decay. It has been traditionally used in construction for making beams, pillars, doors, and furniture. The timber is also used for crafting items such as chests, cabinets, and carvings.

Aromatic and Essential Oils:

The bark and wood of Cedrus deodara possess a distinct and pleasant fragrance. The essential oil extracted from the wood is used in perfumes, incense, and aromatic products. The oil is known for its calming and soothing properties.

Traditional Medicine:

Cedrus deodara has a long history of medicinal use. Various parts of the tree, including leaves, bark, and resin, have been used in traditional medicine systems. It is believed to have anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antiseptic properties. It has been used to treat respiratory ailments, skin conditions, rheumatism, and as a general tonic.

If you want to include the product "Orthozac Gold 30 Tablets," which contains Devdaru as an ingredient, you can include it in the article in a section dedicated to the medicinal uses of Cedrus deodara. Here's an example of how you can incorporate it:

Ayurvedic Product having Devdaru as an ingredient:

Cedrus deodara, or Devdaru, has long been recognized for its medicinal properties in traditional medicine systems. Its leaves, bark, and resin have been utilized for their therapeutic benefits. Today, the healing properties of Cedrus deodara are harnessed in various Ayurvedic preparation manufactuer’s in ayurvedic medicines, including pain relief tablets like Orthozac Gold.

Orthozac Gold 30 Tablets is an Ayurvedic formulation that contains Devdaru as one of its key ingredients. The tablet is specially designed to provide relief from pain and inflammation. Devdaru, with its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, contributes to the efficacy of the product. The natural compounds present in Devdaru work synergistically with other ingredients to alleviate pain and improve overall well-being.

Landscaping and Horticulture:

Due to its graceful appearance and attractive blue-green foliage, Cedrus deodara is widely used in landscaping and horticulture. It is often planted in gardens, parks, and public spaces as an ornamental tree, adding aesthetic value to the surroundings.

Cultural and Spiritual Significance:

Cedrus deodara holds cultural and spiritual significance in the regions where it is native. In the Himalayas, it is associated with religious rituals, and its timber has been traditionally used in the construction of temples, palaces, and religious structures. It symbolizes strength, longevity, and divinity.

Ecological Importance:

Cedrus deodara plays a crucial role in the ecosystem. Its extensive root system helps stabilize soil, preventing erosion on steep slopes. The dense foliage provides shade and habitat for various wildlife, including birds, mammals, and insects, contributing to biodiversity conservation.

Industries and Traditional Practices:

Industries associated with Cedrus deodara include timber production, furniture manufacturing, and the production of aromatic and essential oils. In certain regions, traditional practices such as the extraction of resin and utilization of its by-products are still practiced.


Cedrus deodara's historical significance, economic value, medicinal properties, cultural importance, and aesthetic appeal make it a highly versatile and cherished species. Its sustainable management and conservation are essential to ensure its continued benefits and ecological contributions.


In conclusion, Cedrus deodara, commonly known as Devdaru or Deodar cedar, is a remarkable tree with a rich history and significant importance. Throughout the article, we have explored various aspects of this species.

Cedrus deodara possesses distinctive physical characteristics, including its towering size, conical shape, blue-green needles, and fragrant bark. It is native to the Western Himalayas, thriving in high-altitude environments and adapting to temperate climates with cool winters and moderate rainfall.

The significance of Cedrus deodara extends beyond its aesthetic appeal. Culturally, it holds a revered status and has been used in the construction of religious structures. Its wood is highly valued for its durability, making it a sought-after material for construction and furniture. Additionally, its aromatic properties have made it popular in perfumes and incense.

Cedrus deodara also plays a vital ecological role. It stabilizes soil, prevents erosion, and provides habitat and shelter for a diverse range of wildlife. Its medicinal properties have been utilized in traditional medicine systems for treating various ailments.

Considering the importance of Cedrus deodara, it is crucial to implement conservation and management measures. Sustainable forestry practices should be employed to ensure the long-term availability of its timber while preserving its natural habitats. Protection of its habitat from deforestation and habitat degradation is necessary for the preservation of its ecological contributions.

Furthermore, raising awareness about the cultural and ecological significance of Cedrus deodara can promote its conservation and foster appreciation for this remarkable species.



The information provided here is for informational purposes only and should not replace professional medical advice. Always consult a qualified healthcare practitioner for personalized guidance.

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