Home >> Ethnobotany Plants - Part: M >> Melia azedarach L.

Melia azedarach L.

Melia azedarach var. japonica (G. Don) Makino
Melia azedarach var. sempervirens L.
Melia candollei A. Juss.
Melia floribunda Carriere
Melia toosendan Siebold & Zucc.
Melia azedarach L. var. umbraculifera Knox

Group: Dicot
Family: Meliaceae - Mahogany family
Duration: Perennial
Growth Habit: Tree

Bangla/Vernacular Name: Ghoranim, Mahanim, Bokain, Kuanim, Poma, Poa, Kawa nim (Sylhet).

Tribal Name: Sadi raissya (Chakma).

English Name: Barbados Lilac, Bead Tree, Persian Lilac, Pride of China, Pride of India.

Description of the Plant:

A medium sized tree. Leaflets ovate-lacceolate, oblanceolate, lanceolate. Flowers purple. Drupe fleshy, yellow when ripe.

Chemical Constituents:

Fruits contain a poisonous constituent, toxin, the alkaloid azaridine, a resin, tannin, meliotannic acid, benzoic acid, bakayamin, sterol, bakalactone, a bitter principle, margosine and a fixed oil. They also contain lupeol, ß-sitosterol and its glucoside, vanillin, cinnamic acid, a tetranortriterpenoid, catechin, melionone and melianol. Seeds contain a new limonoid glycoside. Anthelmintic constituents of the cortex include dl-catechin and vanillic acid. Roots contain four new limonoids, azecins 1, 2, 3 and 4 (Ghani, 2003). Kaempferol-3-L-rhamno-D-glucoside and rutin have been isolated from leaves. Kuline; tetracyclic triterpenoids- kulactone, kuloactone and kulinone have been isolated from bark (Rastogi & Mehrotra, 1993).

Mode of Uses:

A root extract, heated by a burnt iron rod is taken for dyspepsia by the Chakma. A root extract is taken to control diarrhoea by the Tanchangya.

Fruits, flowers, leaves and root-bark are considered to have deobstruent, resolvent and alexipharmac properties. The flowers and leaves are applied as a poultice to relive nervous headaches. The leaves and seeds are expectorant, emetic and styptic; used in enlarged spleen and heart complaints. They also strengthen teeth, allay inflammation, cure scabies and dry skin eruptions. Leaves are given for malaria in Rema-Kalenga. Leaf juice is anthelmintic, diuretic and emmenagogue.

Seeds are prescribed in rheumatism, typhoid fever, retantion of urine and pelvic pain. The seed oil is said to possess similar properties to that of Neem oil. It is brain tonic, laxative and maturant; good for earache, piles, spleen and liver disorders and inflammations. Flowers are used in skin diseases and for killing head lice. The leaves and barks are used internally and externally in leprosy and scrofula. The fresh root extract is prescribed by Tanchangyas in diarrhoea.


Planted as avenue tree throughout the country.

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