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Khadir (Acacia catechu): A Comprehensive Guide to Its Traditional Uses, Phytochemistry and Ayurvedic Medicines


Khadira (Acacia catechu) is a plant species that belongs to the Fabaceae family. It is commonly found in the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia, particularly in India, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Myanmar. The plant has been used for centuries in traditional medicine for its various health benefits.

Khadir has a long history of use in Ayurveda, the traditional medicine system of India. Its various parts, including the bark, leaves, and seeds, have been used to treat a range of ailments, including diarrhea, dysentery, skin diseases, and respiratory infections. The plant's medicinal properties are attributed to its various active compounds, including flavonoids, tannins, and phenolic acids.

The objective of this article is to provide an overview of Khadir's traditional and modern uses, as well as its phytochemistry, pharmacological activities, and potential therapeutic benefits. Additionally, we will discuss the safety and side effects of Khadir and highlight the gaps in our current knowledge about this plant. Overall, this article aims to increase awareness of Khadir's potential as a therapeutic agent and encourage further research in this area.

Other Names:

Khadir (Acacia catechu) is known by various other names in different languages and regions. Some of these names include:

·        Cutch tree

·        Black catechu

·        Khair

·        Katha

·        Khadira

·        Khayer

·        Kachu

·        Khairi

·        Khoira

·        Karangali

·        Kher

·        Morseng

·        Kasia

·        Mimosa catechu

These are just a few examples of the many names used to refer to Khadir in different parts of the world.

Botanical Description:

Description of the plant's morphology

Khadir (Acacia catechu) is a deciduous tree that can grow up to 15 meters tall. The tree has a thick, rough bark that is dark brown to black in color. The leaves are bipinnate, meaning they are divided into smaller leaflets arranged in pairs along the central axis. The leaflets are oval-shaped and about 1-2 cm long.

The flowers of Khadir are small and white, and they are arranged in clusters along the branches. The tree produces small, flat, and brown-colored pods that contain seeds.

Habitat and Distribution:

Khadir is native to the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia, and it is commonly found in India, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Myanmar. The tree grows in a variety of habitats, including dry forests, scrublands, and grasslands. It is a hardy species that can tolerate drought and poor soil conditions.

Cultivation and Harvesting:

Khadir is cultivated for its medicinal properties and is often grown in agroforestry systems. The tree is propagated through seeds or by vegetative means such as stem cuttings or air layering. It can be grown in a range of soils, including sandy, loamy, and clay soils.

The bark of the Khadir tree is the most commonly used part in traditional medicine. It is harvested from the tree trunk and dried before being used for medicinal purposes. The leaves and seeds of the tree are also used in some traditional remedies. The harvesting of Khadir bark is typically done in the dry season to minimize the risk of damage to the tree.

Traditional Uses:

Historical use of Khadir (Acacia catechu):

Khadir has been used for centuries in traditional medicine systems such as Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine. The plant has a long history of use in treating various ailments, including gastrointestinal disorders, skin diseases, respiratory infections, and oral health problems. In Ayurveda, Khadir is considered a "rasayana" herb, meaning it is believed to promote longevity and rejuvenation.

Traditional medicinal uses:

Khadir has been used in traditional medicine to treat a variety of health conditions. Some of the traditional medicinal uses of Khadir include:

Oral health:

Khadir bark is commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat oral health problems such as gum disease, toothache, and bad breath.

Skin disorders:

The bark and leaves of Khadir have been used to treat various skin conditions, including eczema, psoriasis, and acne.

Gastrointestinal disorders:

Khadir has traditionally been used to treat gastrointestinal disorders such as diarrhea, dysentery, and stomach ulcers.

Respiratory infections:

The plant has been used to treat respiratory infections such as bronchitis and asthma.

Wound healing:

Khadir has been used as a topical treatment for wounds and burns.

Ayurvedic Medicines

Khadir is a key ingredient in many Ayurvedic formulations that are widely available in the market. These formulations include liver tonics, blood purifiers, and anti-allergic tablets. If you are interested in using Khadir-containing products, some popular options include liver tonics like Heptoliv Plus, which comes in 100 ml, 200 ml, and 450 ml sizes, and Elz-pure, a blood purifier available in a 200 ml bottle. For anti-allergic and skin infection-fighting properties, you can try Neem Plus, which is available in 30 and 60 tablet sizes. Before using any of these products, it is recommended to consult with a healthcare provider first to determine if they are suitable for your individual needs and health status. You can purchase these products at your local health store or online.

Check out Ayurvedic Company having these products

Ethnopharmacological studies:

Several ethnopharmacological studies have investigated the medicinal properties of Khadir. These studies have confirmed the plant's traditional uses and identified several active compounds responsible for its pharmacological activities.

Research has shown that Khadir contains various bioactive compounds, including flavonoids, tannins, phenolic acids, and alkaloids. These compounds have been found to possess antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and anti-tumor properties. Additionally, Khadir has been shown to have antidiabetic and cardioprotective effects.

Several clinical studies have also been conducted to evaluate the therapeutic potential of Khadir. These studies have shown that the plant has potential as a treatment for a range of health conditions, including oral health problems, skin disorders, and diabetes. However, further research is needed to fully understand the plant's therapeutic potential and safety.


Chemical composition of Khadir (Acacia catechu)

Khadir (Acacia catechu) contains a variety of chemical constituents, including alkaloids, flavonoids, tannins, phenolic acids, and lignins. The main bioactive compounds found in Khadir are catechins, proanthocyanidins, and flavonoids such as quercetin, kaempferol, and luteolin. The bark of Khadir is particularly rich in these compounds.

Active compounds:

Catechins, which are a type of flavonoid, are the main active compounds found in Khadir. These compounds are responsible for the plant's pharmacological activities, which include antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and anticancer properties. Other active compounds found in Khadir include quercetin, kaempferol, luteolin, and various tannins.

Pharmacological activities:

Khadir has a range of pharmacological activities that have been attributed to its bioactive compounds. Some of the pharmacological activities of Khadir include:


Khadir has potent antioxidant properties due to the presence of catechins and other flavonoids. These compounds help to neutralize free radicals and protect cells from oxidative damage.


Khadir has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects in both in vitro and in vivo studies. These effects are thought to be due to the plant's ability to inhibit the production of inflammatory cytokines and enzymes.


The tannins and other compounds found in Khadir have antimicrobial properties. Studies have shown that Khadir extracts have activity against a range of bacteria and fungi, including those that are resistant to conventional antibiotics.


Khadir has been shown to have anticancer properties in several in vitro and in vivo studies. The plant's bioactive compounds have been found to induce apoptosis (cell death) in cancer cells and inhibit tumor growth.

Oral health:

Khadir has been used for centuries in traditional medicine to treat oral health problems. Studies have shown that the plant's bioactive compounds have antibacterial properties and can help to reduce inflammation and gum bleeding.

Khadir's pharmacological activities are attributed to its bioactive compounds, which have the potential to treat various health conditions. However, further research is needed to fully understand the plant's therapeutic potential and safety.

Safety and Side Effects

Possible side effects and contraindications:

While Khadir is considered safe, there may be some side effects and contraindications that should be considered before using the plant for medicinal purposes like Allergic reactions, Gastrointestinal issues, Interactions with medications etc.

Khadir should also be used with caution in pregnant or breastfeeding women, as there is limited information on its safety in these populations.

Toxicity studies:

Toxicity studies on Khadir have shown that the plant is relatively safe when used in recommended doses. However, high doses of Khadir can be toxic and may cause serious side effects.

Overall, Khadir appears to be relatively safe when used in recommended doses. However, as with any medication or herbal supplement, it is important to talk to a healthcare provider before using Khadir to determine if it is safe and appropriate for your individual needs and health status.

Summary of the article:

Khadir (Acacia catechu) is a plant that has been used in traditional medicine for centuries. It is native to Asia and has a long history of use in Ayurvedic medicine. The plant has a variety of traditional medicinal uses, including as an astringent, anti-inflammatory, and anti-diabetic agent. Khadir has been the subject of a significant amount of research in recent years, with studies exploring its phytochemistry, pharmacological activities, and potential therapeutic applications. Some of the active compounds found in Khadir include catechins, flavonoids, and tannins, which have been shown to have anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and anti-diabetic properties.

Future research perspectives:

There is still much to be learned about the potential therapeutic applications of Khadir. Further research is needed to explore the plant's pharmacological activities and mechanisms of action, as well as its potential use in the treatment of a variety of health conditions. In addition, more clinical studies are needed to determine the safety and efficacy of Khadir in humans.

Final remarks:

Khadir is a plant with a long history of use in traditional medicine, and recent research has shown that it has significant potential as a therapeutic agent. While the plant appears to be relatively safe when used in recommended doses, there may be some side effects and contraindications that should be considered. As with any medication or herbal supplement, it is important to talk to a healthcare provider before using Khadir to determine if it is safe and appropriate for your individual needs and health status.

Herbs Alphabetical List

Adraka (Zingiber Officinale), Agar Agar (Gelidium Amansii), Ajamoda (Carum Roxburghianum), Ajwain (Trachyspermum Ammi), Aloevera (Aloe Barbadensis), Alsi (Linum Usitatissimum), Amaltaas (Cassia Fistula), Amla (Emblica Officinalis), Amrapandhi haridra (Curcuma Amada) , Ananthamoola (Hemidesmus Indicus), Apamarg (Achyranthes Aspera), Arand Beej (Ricinus Communis), Arjun (Terminalia Arjuna), Ashoka (Saraca Indica), Ashwagandha (Withania Somnifera), Atibala         (Abutilon Indicum), Babool Gond (Acaia Arabica), Bael / Belpatre (Aegle Marmelos), Bahera (Terminalia Bellirica), Bansa (Adhatoda Vasica), Bavding (Embelia Ribes), Bharangi (Clerodendrum Serratum), Bhringaraj (Eclipta Alba), Bhuiamla (Phyllanthus Niruri), Bhutrina (Cymbopogon Citrastus), Bola (Commiphora Myrrha), Brahmi (Herpestis Monniera), Chandrashoor (Lepidium Sativum), Chameli (Jasminum Officinale), Chirayta (Swertia Chirata), Chirongi Oil (Buchanania Latifolia), Chitra (Plumbago Zeylanica), Dadima Beej (Punica Granatum), Dalchini  (Cinnamomum Zeylanicum), Daruhaldi (Berberis Aristate), Devdaru (Cedrus Deodara), Dhataki (Woodfordia Fruticosa), Draksha (Vitis Vinifera), Gairik (Ochre), Gajar (Daucus Carota), Gali Pan / Paan (Betel Pepper), Gandhpura Oil (Gaultheria Fragrantissima), Garlic Shuddha (Allium Sativum), Goat Milk, Wheat Grass Oil (Triticum Sativum), Gokharu (Tribulus Terrestris), Gorakhganja (Aerva Lanata), Gudmar (Gymnema Sylvestre), Guduchi (Tinosora Cordifolia), Gulab (Rosa Centifolia), Gular (Ficus Glomerata Roxb.), Hadjod (Cissus Quadranglaris), Haldi (Curcuma Longa), Hansraj  (Adiantum Lunulatum), Harad (Terminalia Chebula), Harshingar (Nyctanthes Arbor-Tristis), Hingu (Ferula Ashafoetida), Honey, Indrajaw (Holarrhena Antidysenterica), Ispaghul Husk (Plantago Ovata), Jaiphal (Myristica Fragrans), Jamun (Eugenia Jambolana), Jarul (Lagerstroemia Flos-Reginae Retz), Jatamansi (Nardostachys Jatamansi), Java Kushum (Hibiscus Rosasinensis), Jeera (Cuminum Cyminum), Jyotishmati (Celastrus Paniculatus), Kakarsingi (Pistacia Integerrima), Kali Mirach (Piper Nigrum), Kallaungi (Nigella Sativa), Kalmegh (Andrographis Peniculata), Kantkari (Solanum Xanthocarpum), Kapoor (Cinnamomum Camphora), Kapoor Tulsi (Ocimum Americanum), Karanja (Pongamia Glabra), Karela (Momordica Charantia), Kasni (Cichorium Intybus), Kaunch Beej (Mucuna Pruriens), Khadir (Acacia Catechu), Khatmi (Althaea Officinalis), Kiwi (Actinidia Deliciosa), Kulattha (Dolichos Biflorus), Kumkum/Kesar (Crocus Sativas), Kuth (Saussurea Costus), Kutki (Picrorhiza Kurroa), Lajjalu Mool (Mimosa Pudica), Laksha (Laccifer Lacca), Lal Chandan (Pterocarpus Santalinus), Lata Karanj (Caesalpinia Bonducella Fleming), Lavang (Caryophyllus Aromaticus), Lodhra (Symplocos Racemosa), Makoy (Solanum Nigrum), Manjishtha (Rubia Cordifolia), Mehandi Pan (Lawsonia Alba), Methi (Trigonella Foenum-Graecum), Mooli (Raphanus Sativus), Mulethi (Glycyrrhiza Glabra), Mundi (Sphaeranthus Indicus), Mustaka (Cyperus Rotundus), Nagar Moth (Cyperus Scariosus), Nagbala (Sida Veronicaefolia), Nagkesar (Mesua Ferrea), Naryan/Coconut Oil (Cocos Nucifera) , Neem (Azadirachta Indica), Nilgiri Oil (Eucalyptus Glabulus), Nimbu (Citrus Limon), Nirgundi (Vitex Negundo), Nisoth (Ipomoea Turpethum), Oyester Shell, Padmaka (Prunus Puddum), Palash (Butea Frondosa), Papaya (Carica Papaya), Pashanh Bedh (Coleus Aromaticus), Pipal (Ficus Religiosa), Pipli (Piper Longum), Pitpara (Fumaria Officinalis), Pudina (Mentha Piperata), Punarnava (Boerhaavia Diffusa), Pushkar Mool (Inula Racemosa), Rama Tulsi (Ocimum Gratissimum), Rasana (Pluchea Lanceolata), Revand Chini (Rheum Emodi), Roheda (Tecomella Undulata), Rosary Tulsi (Ocimum Canum), Saindhav Lavan (Chloride of Sodium), Salaki (Boswellia Serrata), Sanay (Cassia Angustifolia), Saunf (Foeniculum Vulgare), Sevam (Pyrus Malus), Shankpushpi (Convolvulus Pluricaulis), Sharpunkha (Tephrosia Purpurea), Shatavari (Asparagus Racemosus), Shetal Chini (Piper Cubeba), Shigru (Moringa Pterygosperma), Shudh Kuchla (Strychnos Nux Vomica Linn), Shyama Tulsi (Ocimum Tenuiflorum), Shyonak (Oroxylum Indicum), Siras (Albizzia Lebbeck Benth), Somlata (Ephedra Vulgaris), Soya Been Oil (Glycine Max), St John's Wort Ext. (Hypericum Perforatum), Sudh Guggul (Balsamodendron Mukul), Sudh Shilajeet (Asphaltum Punjabinum),  Sukshmela (Elettaria Cardamomum), Suranjan Siri (Colchicum Luteum), Svet Chandan (Santalum Album), Svet Moosali (Asparagus Adscenden), Tagar (Valeriana Wallichii), Tejpatra (Cinnamomum Tamala), Terpentine Oil (Pinus Palustris), Til Oil (Sesamum Indicum), Tulsi (Ocimum Sanctum), Ulathkamal (Ambroma Augusta), Vach (Acorus Calamus), Vidari (Pueraria Tuberosa), Van Tulsi (Ocimum Basilicum), Varuna (Crataeva Nurvala), Vijaysaar (Pterocarpus Marsupium), Zoofa (Hyssopus Officinalis)



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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