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Holarrhena pubescens (Buch.-Ham.) Wall.ex G. Don

Chonemorpha antidysenterica G. Don
Echites antidysentericus Roth
Echites pubescens Buch.-Ham.
Holarrhena antidysenterica (G. Don) Wall.ex A. DC.
Holarrhena febrifuga Klotzsch

Group: Dicot
Family: Apocynaceae - Dogbane family
Duration: Perennial
Growth Habit: Shrub

Bangla/Vernacular Name: Kurchi, Kuruj, Karach (Chittagong), Karas (Sylhet), Kutiswar (Dhaka), Indrajaw, Indrajab (Dinajpur), Kuruchi, Grimallika, Kutuz.

Tribal Name: Kuruk gach (Chakma), Bol-dukhak-ki-bipang (Garo), La to pang; Lata baong; Luk Tuk, Shinhapran (Marma), Puron-ma, Punarcha(Murang), Kuruk (Tanchangya).

English Name: Kurchi.

Description of the Plant:

A small, deciduous tree. Leaves broadly ovate to elliptic, obtuse or obtusely acuminate. Flowers white, in terminal corymbose cymes. Corolla tube 4-13 cm long, slightly inflated near the base; lobes about equalling the tube, oblong, rounded at the apex. Follicles cylindric, often dotted with white spots.

Chemical Constituents:

Bark is rich in steroidal alkaloids, which include conessine (principal), nor-conessine, conessinine, conimine, conessidine, kurchine, holarrhenine, holarrhine, holafrine, holarrhetine, conkurchine, kurchicine, etc. Bark also contains gum, resin, tannin, a triterpene alcohol, lupeol, ß-sitosterol and a glycoalkaloid. Seeds also contain most of these alkaloids. L-quebrachiol, alkaloids, dihydroisoconessmine and 3 a-aminoconan-5-ene, base, kurcholessine, 7 a-hydroxyconessine and holonamine have also been found in the bark.

Leaves contain alkaloids like kurchiphylline, kurchiphyllamine, kurchaline, holadysine, holatosines, holarosines etc. and aminoglycosteroids, holantosines A, B, C & D and holarosine A; aminodeoxyglycosteroids, holarosine B, E & F and flavonoids. A new steroidal alkaloid holacetine have been isolated from root bark Concuressine (irehline), 3-epihetero-conessine and kurcholessine, kurchimine; a new digitenol glycoside- holadysone have also been isolated from the plant (Ghani, 2003; Rastogi & Mehrotra, 1990 & 93).

Holarrhena pubescens (Buch.-Ham.)Wall.ex G. Don

Holarrhena pubescens (Buch.-Ham.)Wall.ex G. Don

Mode of Uses:

  • An infusion of crushed bark is taken for the treatment of jaundice by the Chakma.
  • Tie a piece of stem with a thread round the for the treatment of uterine prolapsed. Leaves are used in chronic bronchitis and ulcers. Decoction of the bark is used to expell threadworms (Marma).
  • Root extract is taken in diarrhoea. Leaf paste is applied in toothache. Bark and root extract is taken in dysentery (Murang).
  • Pills prepared from the paste of roots are taken 3-4 times daily against diarrhoea by the Tanchangya.
  • The decoction or raw juice of the leaves and bark is used against dysentery, liver troubles and as an anthelmintic by the Garo of Madhupur (Yusuf et al. 2009).


Forests of Dhaka, Tamgail, Chittagong, Chittagong Hill Tracts and Cox's Bazar, Sylhet and Dinajpur.

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