Semecarpus anacardium (Anacardiaceae)[edit]

<a href=""><img src="" alt=" Semecarpus anacardium" width="300" height="350" align="right" title="Marking Nut, dhobi nut tree" >

Marking Nut Tree


Sanskrit Names: Bhallataka English Name: Marking nut Hindu Name: Bhilava Botanical Name: Semecarpus anacardium Linn Synonyms: Agnikara, Agni mukha, Sophakrut Family: Anacardiaceae


Bhallataka grows throughout India in hot weather and in Himalaya’s upto 1000 metres height. The plant is found in abundance in Bihar, Bengal and Orissa. It is a medium sixed tree growing upto 10-15 metres in height. The bark is grey in colour and exudes an irritant secretion on incising. The leaves are 30-60 cm long and 12-30 cm broad. They are glabrous above and pubescent beneath. The flowers are greenishwhite, in panicles. Fruits are 2-3 cm broad. The flowering occurs in june and then onwards the plant bears fruits.

== Principle Constituents == 

Classical Categories (Gana)[edit]

This herb belongs to the following classical groups:

Caraka Ganas: Deepaniya, Mutrasangrahaniya – anti diurectic, Kusthaghna, Mutrasangahana
Susruta Ganas: Nyagrodhadhi, Mustadi


<a href=""><img src="" alt=" Semecarpus anacardium" width="250" height="200" align="right" title="The fruit">

Semecarpus anacardium fruit


Rasa (taste): Katu (pungent), Tikta (bitter), Kashaya (astringent)
Guna (quality):Laghu (light), Snighdha (unctious), Tikshna (sharp)
Virya (energy): Ushna (heating)
Vipaka (post digestive effect): Madhura (sweet)
Prabhava (Special quality): none
Dosha Effect: KV- P+
Dhatus (tissues) all tissues
Srotas (channels): Annavaha, Raktavaha, Pranavaha, Majjavaha, Prajanan, Rasavaha

Chemical Constituents[edit]

Fruits contain anacardiac acid, cardol, catechol, anacardol, a fixed oil and bhilawanol. An oil which is blistering yield is 32% soluble in ether, turns black by air contact. Fruit kernel contains a little quantity of sweet oil.

Ayurveda Actions[edit]


Shothahara - anti-inflammatory
Vedana sthapana - pain killer
Rakta stambhana - stops bleeding


Anulomana - expels downward
Chardinigrahana - stops vomiting
Deepana - helps to increase digestive fire
Jwaraghna - anti-fever
Kaphaghna - pacifies kapha
Krumighna - destroys parasites
Rakta stambhaka - stops bleeding
Trishna - Thirst quenching
Madaka - for intoxication
Vajikarana - fertility for Male and female
Vedana sthapana - removes pain

Important Actions[edit]


External use[edit]

Induces blisters and is antidotal. In cases of snake bite, incisions are taken on the snake bite region and juice of bhallataka applied to it. Haemorrhoids become dry and fall off by an incense of bhallataka (Dry haemorrhoids are caused by vata and kapha). Applied over vagina it causes abortion. This nut is applied or cauterisation of the seed over pain caused by any injury. It relieves pain. (Used in cervical errosion – vaginal juice with triphala decoction and then one or two drops of bhallataka oil – 3 days disappears.)

Internal use[edit]

Circulatory system: Useful in cardiac debility because it is a cardiac stimlulant, white cell enhancer and alleviates swelling. A stimulating action on lymphadentis and other inflammations.
Digestive system: Used in gastrointestinal disorders by its actions like appetizer, digestant, purgative, liver stimulant and anthelmintix. Useful in loss or appetite, digestive disorders, constipation, abdominal distension, gulma, ascites, sprue, piles and various types of worms. Shevate is the best remedy for intestinal colic. 10-25 drops of this oil are mixed with sugar and given to the patient. Mainly used for hookworm. An effective medicine for piles because improves blood circulation in the liver, and reduces pressure on veins and reduces blood accumulation of rectal veins and thus dried piles. Prevents tongue coating.
Nervous System: Useful in weakness of brain and nerves, epilepsy, sciatic neuralgia, rheumatoid arthritis and hemiplegia.
Respiratory system: Expectorant. Useful in cough and asthma. Flowers in milk should be given for asthma. In cough caused by relaxation of the uvila and palate,shevate is given in milk
Reproductive system: Promotes virility, stimulates penile nerves, hence it is an aphrodisiac. It stimulates uterus by its hot and sharp properties. It is used in seminal weakness, impotency and dysmenorrhoea.
Skin: Excreted through the skin. A disphoretic, alleviates dermatoses.


Don't use singly due to side effects. Brown oil of nut raises a black blister within 12 hrs so should be used carefully, touch with care and protection. Fluid causes eczematous vesicles on any part of the body if in contact and will also produce irritation and allergic dermatitis. Can cause abortions. Fruit juice is a powerful counter-irritant and creates vesicles so be careful when applying on rheumatism, sprains and Kustha vikara. If you see these signs stop use immediately as it affects inner mucousal lining of the GI tract.


No drug-herb int ractions are known but it should only be used under the guidance of a qualified practitioner due to the allergenic nature of the anacardic acid.

Parts Used[edit]

Parts used: Fruit, oil
Dosage: Kalka (paste) 3-6gmds, Oil 10 drops

Important Combinations[edit]

Phalatrikadi kwatha, Lavangadi vati, Amrutabhallataka, Bhallatakadi lepa, Bhallataka ghrita, taila, kwatha, avaleha