Ziziphus xylopyrus is known as Ghoti and Ghotika in Ayurveda, Ghonta and Katber in Hindi, Kottai, Mulkottai in Tamil, and Gotti, Got, Gotiki in Telugu.
Ghonta is a medicinal tree and its fruits are used in treatment of diseases of skin, urinary disorders, diseases occurring due to vitiation of blood, obesity, diabetes, snake bite, fever, diarrhea, insomnia and digestive disorders. This tree is found mainly in moist deciduous forests of North-West India, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and South India.
Ziziphus xylopyrus is a thorny ever-green shrub reaching up to 4 meters. The prickles are present in pairs. Its branches are rusty tomentose.
Leaves are slight aromatic and green in color with pungent taste. They are alternate, entire in arrangement, glabrous surface with oblique, rounded symmetrical base and obtuse at apex. They have pinnate venation, serrulate margin and about 2-7 cm long.
Flowers are small, yellowish or yellowish white in color, 4-6 cm across. Buds are ovoids, densely pubescent. Pedicels 3-4 mm long. Calyx lobes 2.0-2.5 mm long, keeled up to themiddle, glabrous inside pubescent outside. Five petals, 1.5-2.0 mm long, obovate while sepals are five. Stamens five, disc 10-60 lobed, rarely 5-lobed and glabrous.
Fruit is a drupaceous berry, globular or round in shape with 1.2 to 1.8 cm in diameter with astringent taste. Fruit is 3-celled with leathery and hard pericarp while endocarp is stony. Point of detachment of stalk is marked by a rounded concave depression up to 2 mm in diameter. It has about 5-8 mm long seed.
Fruiting and flowering takes place in May to July.
The botanical name of Ghonta, Ghoti or Gotika is Ziziphus xylopyrus. It belongs to plant family Rhamnaceae or buckthorn family.
Family Rhamnaceae are distributed in whole world and consists of 45 genera. Rhamnaceae are cosmopolitan family and found in drier regions and may be classified as mesothermal. They mainly consist of flowering shrubs with berries, nuts or drupes. Ber, Ziziphus zizyphus belongs to this family.
Below is given taxonomical classification of plant.
- Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
- Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
- Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
- Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
- Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
- Subclass: Rosidae
- Order: Rhamnales
- Family: Rhamnaceae – Buckthorn family
- Genus: Ziziphus Mill. – Jujube
- Species: Ziziphus xylopyrus
Part(s) used for medicinal purpose: Leaves, bark, seeds, and roots
Plant type: Shrub
Distribution: North-West India, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and South India
Habitat: Moist deciduous forests
Vernacular names / Synonyms
- Scientific name: Ziziphus xylopyrus
- Sanskrit: Ghoti, Gotika
- Bengali: Kulphal
- English: Jujab
- Gujrati: Gatbadar, Gatabordi
- Hindi: Ghunta, Kakora, Kaathabera
- Kannada: Yeranu
- Marathi: Ghoti, Bhorghoti
- Tamil: Kottai, Mulkottai
- Telugu: Gotti, Got, Gotiki
Constituents of Ziziphus xylopyrus
- The pulp of the fruit contains reducing sugars, sucrose, citric acid, carotene, vitamin C and tannins.
- Leaves contain quercetin and quercitrin.
- Seed contain unsaponifiable matter (sterol), insoluble mixed fatty acids (myristic, linoleic and oleic acid).
- Stem bark contains Tannins, d-7, 3′, 4′-trihydroxyfavan-3,4-diol, oleanolic acid, Cyclopeptide alkaloids( Amphibine H, Nummularine- K).
Important Medicinal Properties
Ziziphus xylopyrus is rich in medicinal properties. The understanding of these properties will help us to better utilize this herb. These also indicate the conditions in which we should avoid it.
Below is given medicinal properties along with the meaning.
- Aphrodisiac: Stimulates sexual desire.
- Antimicrobial: Active against microbes.
- Anti-inflammatory: Reducing inflammation by acting on body mechanisms.
- Antinociceptive: Reducing sensitivity to painful stimuli.
- Anticonvulsant: Prevent or reduce the severity of epileptic fits or other convulsions.
- Antisteroidogenic: inhibits the production of steroid hormones.
- Anti-diarrheal: Relieving or preventing diarrhea.
- Contraceptive: Birth Control.
- Wound healing: Heals wounds.
Ayurvedic Properties and Action
Ghoti, Gotika is astringent, sweet and pungent in taste (Rasa), pungent after digestion (Vipaka), and is hot in effect (Virya).
It is an Ushna Virya herb. Ushna Virya or hot potency herb, subdues Vata (Wind) and Kapha (Mucus) and increases Pitta (Bile). It has property of digestion, vomiting and purging, and gives feeling of lightness. It is considered bad for sperms and fetus.
- Rasa (taste on tongue): Kashaya (Astringent), Madhura (Sweet), Katu (Pungent)
- Guna (Pharmacological Action): Laghu (Light)
- Virya (Action): Ushna (Heating)
- Vipaka (transformed state after digestion): Katu (Pungent)
It is a Katu Vipak herb. Vipak refers to post-digestive (effect after digestion / cooking of Rasa) effect of tastes after its mixing with digestive juices. It is the long term effect of herb.
Katu Vipak means pungent after digestion. It increases dryness in body. Such foods reduce fertility and Kapha. Katu Vipaka has catabolic effects on body.
Action / Karma
- Vishaghna: Poison-destroying
- Kaphahara: Pacifies Kapha Dosha
- Vatahara: Pacifies Vata Dosha
Important Indications in Ayurveda
Prameha (chronic urinary disorders; ‘Pra’ means excess and ‘Meha’ means to pass urine so ‘Prameha’ means disease in which excess urine is passed). In Ayurveda, twenty different types of Prameha are described and they are put under Vataj, Pittaj and Kaphaj category according to Dosha involved.
- Non-healing ulcers, skin diseases, wounds
- Vomiting (Vaman)
- Fever (Jwar)
- Diseases due to vitiation of blood
- Pilonidal sinus (Nadi vrana)
Medicinal Uses of Ziziphus xylopyrus (Ghoti)
Ziziphus xylopyrus is most commonly known as Challe, Chotti, Cotte, Dodda chotti, Gotti, Gotika, Ghonta, Ghontaphal, Kotte mullu, Kotti,Kottai, Sotemullu, Sothakkota in India. It is used in Ayurveda and Siddha for treatment of many diseases.
- The paste of leaves is applied on forehead for headaches.
- The paste of leaves is applied on pimples and acne.
- The leaves are chewed in Prameha or urinary disorders.
- The Paste of leaves and flowers of Datura inoxia are applied on leukoderma patches.
- The decoction of stem bark with Dry ginger powder and long Pippali is given for hysteria.
- Bark is boiled with water and this water is used to bath in skin rashes.
- Bark is used for tanning.
- Fresh fruits crushed with water and taken twice a day for sudden gush of urine.
- The fruits are given in stomach ailments. Fruit powder (3-4 g) + pinch of ginger powder, taken orally thrice in a day for stomach ache.
- The fruit powder is taken in diabetes.
- The fruits are used as birth control in women. The crushed fruit powder is soaked in water and kept overnight. Next day decoction is prepared and taken orally by women early in the morning for one week.
- Fruit and Root bark are used to treat Bronchial asthma, Thirst, Diarrhea and as Aphrodisiac.
- The powder of seeds is given to treat diarrhea. For diarrhea, seed powder (One table spoon) is mixed in a cup of (50 mL) water or boiled milk and taken orally, thrice a day, for 2 days.
- The roasted seed powder paste is applied over the chest for pain due to cough and colds.
Dosage of Ziziphus xylopyrus
The therapeutic dose of plant is 3-6 grams.