Lodhra – Symplocos racemosa – Benefits, Usage, Dose, Side Effects

Lodhra is a very important Ayurveda herb. It is mainly used in bleeding disorders, diarrhea and eye disorders. Its reference in Ayurveda are found since the time of Sushruta.
Botanical Name – Symplocos racemosa Roxb
Family – STYRACEAE –SYMPLOCACEAE – Lodhra Kula

Sanskrit Synonyms

Nayanousadha, Akshibhaisajya – useful in eye disorders involving Pitta and excessive secretion,
Sthula valkala- The bark of the tree is thick
Tilvaka, Tirita, Kansahina, Bhilli, Rodhra,
Sthula Valkala – Its bark is thick and is the used part of Lodhra. ,
Savaraka, Sambara ,Kakakila, Hasti Lodhraka.

Vernacular Name

Hindi & Bengali name – Lodhra, Lodha, Lodh
English Name- Symplocos tree or Lodh tree, Symplocos bark
Telugu Name- Lodhuga
Tamil Name- Belli lotai, Velli leti, Vellilathi, Vellilothram
Gujarati Name- Lodhara, Lodhar
Malayalam Name- Pachotti
Kannada Name- Pachettu
Oriya- Lodho
Assamese name – Mugam
Bengali name – Lodha, Lodhra
Kannada name – Lodhra
Marathi name – Lodha, Lodhra
Punjabi name – Lodhar
Urdu name – Lodh, lodh pattani

Classification

According to Engler and Prantl’s classification
Kingdom : Plantae
Division : Spermatophyta
Sub-division : Angiospermae
Class : Dicotyledonae
Sub-class : Metachlamydae
Order : Ebenales
Family : Symplocaceae
Genus : Symplocos
Spices : racemosa Roxb.

Classical categorization

Caraka
Sonitasthapana – group of herbs used in stopping bleeding,
Sandhaneeya – group of herbs used in healing of bone fracture and wounds,
Pureesha sangrahaniya – group of herbs useful in stopping diarrhea,
Kashaya skandha – astringent tasting group of herbs.

Susruta– Lodhradi, Nayarodhadi group of herbs.

Vagbhata -Rodhradi, Nyagrodhadi
Sausruti Nighantu : Rodhradi, Nyagrodhadi
Ashtanga Nighantu : Rodhradi, Nyagrodhadi
Dhanwantari Nighantu : Chandanadi Varga
Raja Nighantu : Pippalyadi Varga
Kaiyadeva Nighantu : Aushadhi Varga
Bhava Prakasha : Haritakyadi Varga
Nighantu Adarsha : Rodhradi Varga
Hridayadeepika Nighantu : Tripada Varga
Priya Nighantu : Haritakyadi Varga
Madhava Dravyaguna : Vividhoushadhi Varga

Distribution

Found in north- East India, Assam and Pegu regions of Burma.

Major chemical constituents

Symposide, (-) epifzelechin; loturine, loturidine, colloturine etc.
(Reference: Illustrated Dravyaguna VIjnana, Vol. II, by Dr JLN Shastry)
The bark of the tee yields colloturine, Harman and loturidine. The stem bark contains proanthocyanidin-3-monogluco- furanosides of 7-O- methyl and 4-O- methyl- leucopelargonidin. The whole plant of Lodhra contains glycosides.

Morphology

Lodhra is a medium sized tree found all over India. The leaves are 3-5 inch in length. The flowers grow in clusters, pale yellow in color. The fruits are purple in color with 2-3 seeds inside. The bark of the tree is thick and brown in color.

Medicinal Properties

Rasa(taste) – Kashaya (astringent), Tikta (bitter)
Guna (qualities)- Laghu (lightness), Rooksha (dry)
Veerya – Sheeta – cold potency
Vipaka- Katu – Undergoes pungent taste conversion after digestion.

Effect on Tridosha

Due to its astringent and bitter tastes, it balances Kapha and Pitta.

Part used, Dosage

Part used– Stem bark, flower
Dosage– Stem bark power 1-3 grams in divided dose per day;
water decoction (kashayam) 50-100 ml in divided dose per day.
Powder of seed: 1 to 5 g

Symplocos racemosa uses

  • The paste of the bark of Symplocos racemosa is applied over the area affected with localized swelling and wound as treatment.
  • The paste of the bark of the plant is applied over the eyelids to treat conjunctivitis.
  • The decoction prepared from the bark is given in divided dose of 50-60 ml to treat diarrhea and bleeding piles. The decoction constricts the smaller blood vessels and controls bleeding.
  • The cold infusion or decoction is given in a dose of 50-60 ml to treat uterine bleeding disorders.
  • Cold infusion from the flowers is given in a dose of 30-40 ml to treat cough and fever.
  • The paste of the bark is applied to treat itching, rashes and insect bite cases.
  • In cases of discharge from ears, the powder of the bark is sprinkled or blown inside the ear to control the condition.

External application

1) Bleeding disorders 
External application of lodhra powder acts as haemostatic (Su. Su 14/36)

2) Acne, blemishes, white and black heads:
In acne, paste of lodhra and sphatika should be applied (A. Sam U 37/5)
In pimples, paste of lodhra, dhanyaka and vaca is useful (VM 57/34)
Yes, being an astringent, it can clear the face of blemishes, black and white heads. It can also dry up the acne quickly.

3) Ulcers
Powder of dhataki and lodhra promotes wound healing (CS Chi 25/67-68)
Lodhra, nyagrodha bud, khadira, triphala and ghrta made into a paste provides looseness and softens the wounds (C Chi 25/110)
Application of fine powder of lodhra twak promotes wound healing (C Chi 13/111)

4) Oral disorders
In dantavesta, after removal of blood, paste of lodhra, pattanga, madhuka and laksa mixed with honey should be applied (C.D.).
In dental caries (Saushira), after blood letting, paste of lodhra, musta and rasanjana mixed with honey should be applied (C.D)

5) For eye disorders:
1. Varthmaroga – After anointing with butter, paste of white lodhra should be applied (AH U 9/11)
2. Sudhasukra – Seka using lodhra potali dipped in tepid water (AH U 11/39)
3. Abhisyanda – White lodhra and Madhuka fried in ghee, powdered finely and softened with breast milk and applied, alleviates conjunctivitis caused by pitta and rakta (AHU 16/16)
4. Sushkakshipaka – White lodhra fried in ghee and powdered finely is kept in a cloth pouch and mixed with hot water. Seka with this water removes pain (AHU 16/32)
5. In daha, Kandu and Sula – Aschyotana with lodhra fried in ghee and mixed with rock salt, pounded with sour gruel and kept in cloth piece – removes itching, burning and pain (VM 61/26)
6. Sarvakshiroga – Sabara lodhra fried in ghee should be applied on lid as paste (CS Ci 26/233)
7. Aschyotana with putapakwa lodhra wrapped in nimba leaves and mixed with woman’s milk alleviates netrarogas due to pitta, rakta and vata (CD 59/11)

6) Vaginal infection, injury, post partum vaginal infection – Powder of tumbi leaves and lodhratwak made into a paste and applied in the vagina (B.N)
7) Skin disorders– Powder of paste of lodhra, dhataki, indrayava, Karanja and jati is useful as a scrub in Kustha (CS Ci 7/95)
8) Lodhra Kwatha should be used as a face wash to remove nilika, mukhasosha, pidaka, vyanga and raktapitta (Su.S).

Internal usage

Classical uses – Abhyantara prayoga
1) Raktapitta
– Lodhra is one of the drugs efficacious for checking haemorrhage (CS Ci 4/73-77)
2) Pravahika – Lodhra with curd is useful in dysentery (BP Ci 2/120)
3) Svetapradara – Lodhra kalka taken along with nyagrodha Kwatha is effective (CS Ci 30/115)
4) Chalita Garbha – Lodhra curna, honey and pippali curna along with milk given in 7th – 8th month of pregnancy alleviates abortive tendency. (H.S)
5) JwaraThe decoction of lodhra, utpala, guduchi, Kamala and sariva or parpata alone mixed with sugar alleviates paittika jwara.

Sanskrit verse

lodhra - symplocos racemosa

Trushnahara – relieves thirst
Arochakahara – useful in anorexia
Asrajit – useful in bleeding disorders such as bleeding hemorrhoids, menorrhagia etc.
Chakshushya – useful in eye disorders
Jvarahara – useful in fever
Atisarahara – useful in diarrhea
Shothahara – useful in pain and swelling, inflammatory conditions.
It is extensively used in female gynecological disorders like heavy periods, white discharge (leucorrhoea) etc.
It is used in many skin diseases involving bleeding, oozing and secretions.
In conjunctivitis, its paste is applied externally over closed eyes.

Interaction with medicines, supplements

Can this be used while taking Homeopathic medicine?
Yes. This product does not react with homeopathic medicine.

Can this medicine be continued while taking supplements like multivitamin tablets, Omega 3 fatty acids etc?
Yes. Generally, this product goes well with most of the dietary supplements. However, if you are taking more than one product per day, please consult your doctor for an opinion.

With western medicines
Seek your doctor’s advice if you are taking this product along with other western (allopathic / modern) medicines. Some Ayurvedic herbs can interact with modern medicine.
If both Ayurvedic and allopathic medicines are advised together, then it is best to take Allopathic medicine first, wait for 30 minutes and then take the Ayurvedic medicine.

Ayurvedic medicines

Ayurvedic medicine with Lodhra ingredient –
Lodhrasavam –
used in anemia, bleeding disorders etc.
Arimedadi tailam – used in oil pulling to improve strength and to relieve gum bleeding
Dasamoolarishtam – used in inflammatory condition and in post-delivery care of woman.

Ashotone: Ashotone Tablet is a proprietary Ayurveda medicine useful in menorrhagia – shortened menstrual cycle and heavy periods. It is also a uterine tonic.

Lodhra sevyadi kashaya choorna: Lodhrasevyadi Kashaya Choornam is a micro-fined powder of respective kashayam. It is used in the treatment of insect bites and other allergic conditions.

Brahamdine tablet: Brahamdine tablet is a proprietary Ayurvedic medicine and acts as an astringent tonic in dysmenorrhea, menorrhagia, leucorrhoea. It also normalizes irregular periods.

Lucap capsule: It is a proprietary Ayurvedic medicine and treats dysmenorrhea and menorrhagia and corrects post-partum disorders.

Mensocare tablet: Mensocare Tablet is a proprietary Ayurveda medicine that prevents complications associated with menstruation like change in behavior, anxiety, depression, laziness, tiredness, sleeplessness, pain in lower abdomen, lower back, thighs, infrequent and very little menstruation etc.

MedicinesINDICATIONREFERENCES
AbhayarishtaArsasCSCi 14/139 – 143
KanakarishtaArsasCSCi 14/160 – 165
HriberadighrtaArsasCSCi 14/230 – 233
GoudarishtaPanduCSCi 16/105
Daryadyavachurn anamVisarpaCSCi 21/97
MadhvasavaPramehaCSCi 6/41-44
Mahaneela tailaPalityaCSChi 26/263 – 275
Pushyanuga ChurnaYonirogaCSCi 30/90 – 95
Mahapadma TailamVataraktaCSCi 29/110 – 113
KhadiradigutikaDantarogasCSCi 26/206 – 214
KalakachurnamMukharogaCSCi 26/195
Mrutasanjeevana AgadaVishaCSCi 23/57
Amrta GhrtamVishaCSCi 23/246
Samangadi TailamVidradhiSu Chi 2/82-84
BhagnaprasadanaghrtamBhagnachikitsaSu Ci 3/60
DhanwantaraghrtamPramehaSu Ci 12/5
Gouryadi GhrtaDushtavranaSu Ci 17/10-13
SyamadighrtaNadivranaSu Ci 17/
LodhrasavaPramehaAH Ci 12/25
Drakshadi phantaJwaraAH Ci 1/55-58
KutajavalehaArsasAH Ci 8/109
Mustadi churnamKushtaAH Ci 19/67
Priyangvadi TailamKarnapooranaAH U 18/21
TuthadilepaUpadamsaAH U 34/4
Samangadi GhrtamDantodbhavajanya VyadhiAH U 2/41
Jeevanthyadi ghrtamThimiramAH U 13/2-3
Gandha TailamBhagnapratishedhamAH U 27/40
Dhatakyadi TailamYonivyapatAH U 34/51
Dooshivishari AgadamVishachikitsaAH U 35/39
Mandaragada or GandhamadanaagadaKeetalootadivishaAH U 37/74
TrikantakadyasnehaPramehaCS Ci 6/38-39
Usheeradi ChurnamRaktapittachikitsaCSCi 4/73
Naladadi LepamVisarpaCS Ci 21/77
Kampillakadi TailamDuivraneeyaCS Ci 25/91
Tejohwadi ChurnaDantamoolarogaCSCi 26/190 – 191
Dhatakyadi TailaYonivyapatCSCi 30/78 – 81
Kutajaphaladi ghrtaArsasCSCi 14/197
Yashtyadi KwathaKushtaCSCi 7/131
Kushtadi lepaKushtaCSCi 7/93

Research

Research articles about Symplocos racemosa:

Analgesic effect: The formalin induced paw licking and tail flick methods were used to study the anti- inflammatory and analgesic effect of Lodhra. The ethanolic extract of the bark significantly reduced the paw edema in carrageen induced paw of the rat.

Hepato- protective action: The present study aims to evaluate the hepatoprotective activity of ethanol extract of Symplocos racemosa(EESR) bark on carbon tetrachloride (CCl4)-induced hepatic damage in rats. The degree of hepato-protection was measured using serum transaminases (AST and ALT), alkaline phosphatase, bilirubin, albumin, and total protein levels. EESR treatment showed significant dose-dependent restoration of serum enzymes, bilirubin, albumin, total proteins, and antioxidant levels. Improvements in hepato-protection and morphological and histo-pathological changes were also observed in the EESR treated rats.

Lodhra as dusting powder:
Charaka explained Lodhra as one among Avachurnana dravya, along with herbs like Kushta, Musta, Vidanga, Sarjarasa etc. The body of the patient is smeared with sesame oil. Then the body is dusted with the above powder mix. Dusting process is called Avachurnana.
It relieves Kitibha –  ringworm, Kandu – pruritus, Pama – keloids, Vicharchika – Eczema. Reference: (Charaka Sutrasthana 5th chapter)

Explanation in Samhitas

Explanation of Lodhra in Samhitas:
Charaka Samhita:
Charaka Samhita mentions Lodhra as an ingredient of Sonitasthapana, Purishasangrahaniya, Sandhaneeya mahakashayas and Kashayaskandha. Also, it is mentioned as an ingredient of many formulations in the treatment of raktapitta, kustha, vrana, kasa, amatisara, svetapradara and netraroga.

Sushruta Samhita:
Susruta has highlighted the effectiveness of lodhra in raktapitta, prameha, and atisara. Lodhra is an ingredient of the combination mentioned for the treatment of sannipatasvayathu.

Ashtanga Hridaya:
Vagbhata also has enlisted Lodhra among drugs effective for prameha, raktapitta, netravikaras and atisara. It is also included in the formulation to treat ekangasopha.

Susruta and vagbhata have quoted 2 varieties of Rodhra (Rodhrayugma/Rodhradwaya) viz Rodhra (red variety) and Rodhraka/Svetarodhra (white variety). Vagbhata specifically indicates the white variety in the treatment of eye diseases.

References in Nighantu

Reference of Lodhra in Nighantu:
1) Sausruta Nighantu and Ashtanga Nighantu:- Described 2 varieties of lodhra with synonyms.

2) Madanadi Nighantu:- The two varieties of lodhra with its synonyms are described. It is said to have chakshushya, atisaraghna properties and considered good in eye and uterine disorders.

3) Dhanwantari Nighantu:- Two varieties namely Shabaraka and Pattikalodhra are mentioned with different synonyms assigned to it in the Chandanadivarga. It is described as having chaksusya, vishaghna, grahi properties.

4) Sodhala Nighantu:- Shodhala describes the various synonyms of both varieties of Lodhra along with their properties.

5) Madhava Dravyaguna:- In Vividhoushadhi varga, shothaghna, chaksusya properties are attributed to Lodhra along with mridurechana property for Sabara Lodhra.

6) Sidhamantra Nighantu:- Lodhra twak and pushpa have been mentioned under kaphapittaghna varga.

7) Hridayadeepika Nighantu:- The mention of two varieties along with their synonyms in Tripada varga.

8) Madanapala Nighantu:- Unlike in other nighantus, where it is considered grahi, lodhra bark is attributed virecaka property while the flower is said to be grahi. Chaksusya, atisaranashana, sophahara properties also have been mentioned.

9) Raja Nighantu:- The two varieties of lodhra along with their synonyms are explained. It is described to be chaksusya, vishahara with vatakapha samaka properties as mentioned among pippalyadi varga dravyas.

10) Kaiyadeva Nighantu:- Here also, Lodhra bark is said to have sara guna while its flower is grahi. Two varieties with synonyms are also explained in the oshadhi varga.

11) Bhavaprakasha Nighantu:- Sothahara, chaksusya, grahi properties with synonyms of two varieties are mentioned in haritakyadi varga.

12) Brihat Nighantu Ratnakara or Saligrama Nighantu:- Description of synonyms of the two varieties of Lodhra, with its properties are mentioned. It is described as having chaksusya, grahi, vishahara and sothahara properties.

13) Nighantu Adarsha:- Mentioned in rodhradi varga with its synonyms and properties. It is mentioned to have sara property and is mrudurechaka apart from being chaksusya and sothahara.

14) Priya Nighantu:- Mentions the use of lodhra puspha to enhance complexion along with the use of the bark as grahi, chaksusya, raktapittahara.

11 thoughts on “Lodhra – Symplocos racemosa – Benefits, Usage, Dose, Side Effects”

    • Have more of – Sunflower seed, almond, pine nuts, peanuts, spinach, taro root, flaxseed oil, soyabean, pistachio.
      Broccoli, carrots, chard, mustard and turnip greens, mangoes, nuts, papaya, pumpkin, red peppers

      Reply
  1. Hi Sir, I was told by an ayurvedic doctor that lodhra bark powder can be used as a face pack to get rid of blemishes. Is it true, sir! Will it work?

    Reply
  2. Does Lodhra churan help in containing protein urea (owing to kidney dysfunction) or weak filteration system of Kidney.

    Reply

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