Medicinal use of Devil’s tree or Saptaparna

Saptaparna, Ditta bark tree or Chhatim is a glabrous medicinal tree native to India. This tall, evergreen tree is distributed in tropical and deciduous forests of India. For medicinal purpose its bark and roots are used. Its bark has febrifuge, antiperiodic, spasmolytic, anti-dysenteric, uterine stimulant and hypotensive properties. It has blood purifying properties and used to treat skin disorders. The bark is used in form of decoction/kadha to cure malarial fever, diarrhoea, indigestion etc.


Latin name: Alstonia scholaris
Family: Apocynaceae
Common name: Blackboard tree, Indian devil tree, Dita bark, Milkwood pine, White cheesewood
Ayurvedic: Saptaparna, Saptachhada, Saptaparni, Saptaahvaa, Vishaaltvak, Shaarada, Vishamchhada.
Unani: Chhaatim, Kaasim
Siddha/Tamil: Ezhilamippalai, Mukkampalai.
Common name: Chhitavan, Sataunaa

Medicinal uses

  • Ulcers
    Apply milky latex on ulcers.
  • Diarrhoea
    Take powdered bark (3 teaspoon) of Devil’s tree and soak in one glass boiling water for one hour. Filter and drink 2-3 times a day.
  • Indigestion, Gastritis, Slimy/Mucus stools
    Take powdered bark (1/2 teaspoon) of Devil’s tree and soak in boiling water for one hour. Filter and drink once a day.
  • Fever, rheumatism, scrotal hernia
    Take root powder (1/4 teaspoon) in a cup of lukewarm water and drink.
  • Joint pain, Rheumatism, ulcers
    Prepare paste of its bark and apply at affected areas.

Caution: The extract of A.scholaris showed Central Nervous System (CNS) depressant activity and sedative behavior in lab test on mice.

In higher concentration it creates a marked toxicity to the brain of mice. So it should never be taken in excess.

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