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shringtaka - Streblus asper Linn.

shringtaka :

Streblus asper Trunk and canopy Photograph by: AlleinStein
Streblus asper is a tree known by several common names, including Siamese rough bush, khoi, serut, and toothbrush tree. It is a medium-sized tree native to dry regions in Indonesia, Cambodia, Thailand, India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, and Vietnam.


 On comprehensive review of Ayurvedic classics it was found that Shakhotaka is described in Sushruta Samhita, Sharangadhara Samhita, Nighantus and Chikitsagranthas. In Sushruta Samhita, it is described as oil cooked with shakhotaka juice is useful as snuff and purgative. Moreover,madhuka-shara and seeds of shigru or apamarga are used as pressed snuff
Shakhotaka is mentioned in Nighantus also. 
In Bhavaprakash Nighantu, it is described as the properties and synonyms of shakhotaka
In Raj Nighantu, it is described as the properties of shakhotaka
. It is also mentioned in Chikitsa Granthas like Chakra-datta, it is described as paste of kiratatiktamixed with two drops of the juice of shakho-taka bark and ghee in double quantity checks upward haemorrhage, cough and ashthma 
(CD.9.24). Shakhotakabimbadya tail is used in gandamala.
 Bhavamishra, in his section Bha-vaprakash, madhyamakhanda mentions indica-tion of shakhotaka kwatha in shlipada
. Paste of shakhotaka bark pounded with sour gruel alleviates oedema caused by vata (VM.44.4). 
Oil cooked with shakhotaka bark and used as snuff alleviates gandamala and so does that processed with bimbi, karavira and nirgundi (VM.41.51). 
Decoction of shakhotaka bark mixed with cow’s urine should be taken in order to alleviate filarial and obesity (SG.2.2.127; GN.4.2.24; BS.Shlipada.21).
 A few drops of shakhotaka latex mixed in fresh cow-milk should be taken. It alleviates even chronic prameha (SB.4.572). 
The latex of shakhotaka destroys kushtha (VD.16.116).

Taxonomical Classification

Kingdom: Plantae - Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta - Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta - Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida - Dicotyledons
Family: Moraceae
Genus: Streblus
Species: Streblus asper

Allied species:

Acalypha siamensis


Sanskrit: Shakhotaka, Sihor,akshadhara, bhutavasa, bhutavriksha, dhukavasa, gavakshi, karkashachhada
English: Siamese rough-bush , Toothbrush tree
Hindi: Daheya, Dahia(दहिया), Karchanna, Rusa, Sahora, Sihora(सिहोरा)
Urdu: سيہورا sihora;
Telugu: baranika, baranki, barinika
Bengali: (শ্যেওড়া) sehora, sahra, shewra, shaora
Marathi: poi, karera, kharoli, kharota, sahor
Konkani: बेकर Bekar
Oriya: sahada,(ସାହାଡ଼ା) hirtonimranu
Gujarathi: Sahoda
Tamil: kurripila, kuttippirai, parayan, pasuna
Malayalam: parakam, paruva, sakhotavrksam, tinda-parua
Kannada: akhor moranu, mitala
Punjabi: Shebda, Jindi, Dahya
Assamese: khorua, saura gach
Chinese: Quo shen shu
Burma: U.nhè: ping}
Nepal: खाक्सी Khaksi
Sinhalese: Geta nitul


Streblus : From the Greek streblos
Asper in Latin means rough

Saroli (shampoo) and Bolsaroli (white shampoo) arose as the leaves of this plant are used as shampoo and white coloured bark.


Synonyms in Ayurveda: Siora, Sihoda, Choriya, Sahora, Rusa, Pirai, Sihor and Sakhotaka

In the Philippines, it is commonly known as "bogta-e","bogtalay", and "Kalyos". In Cambodia, it is known as Snay. Several rural communes in Cambodia were named after the tree such as Snay Pol village (Poisonous Snay) of Prey Veng and Krang Snay (Hill of Snay) of Kampot Province. In Malaysia, it is known as "kesinai".

Rasa: Kashaya Tikta
Guna: Laghu Ruksha
Veerya: Ushna
Vipaka: Katu
Karma: Kaphahara Vatahara

The tree has a range of uses - its fibre makes an excellent paper, the leaves are used like sandpaper, whilst the plant has various medicinal and edible uses. It is sometimes cultivated, or semi-cultivated, around villages


A dioecious species, both male and female forms need to be grown if fruit and seed are required.
Red loamy lateritic soils and clayey - loam soils are suitable for plantation.
It grows wild in dry areas up to 600 m msl.


Hard wood rooted cuttings of one year old are used for planting in the field.


Useful parts such as leaves, fruit and bark can be harvested after 5 year old trees onwards.


Plant contains tri-terpenoids, friedelin, epifriedelinol, taraxasteryl acetate. Root bark contains cardiac glycoside, cardenolide, kamaloside, asperoside, indroside, lucknoside, and strophalloside, glucogito dimethoside, strophanolloside, glucokamaloside, sarmethoside and glucostraboside, stem bark contains cardiac glycoside strebloside mansonin.


1.  Brhanmanjisthadi Kvatha Curna

Parts used for medicinal purpose

Fruit, Leaves, Root, ,


Stem bark powder can be taken in a dose of 1-2 grams.
The decoction is made by boiling 10-20 grams in 400ml water till water is reduced to 100 ml. This is filtered and taken.


the leaves of Ficus asperrima Roxb. (Kharapatra) may be often mistaken for Streblus asper Lour, for its rough leaves. 


leaves of Ficus asperrima

Commercial value:

Yield : Five year old tree is estimated to yield 1 kg fresh bark.


It is a small, rigid, evergreen tree with latex and grows upto 15 meter  in height.
Twigs are hairy and interwoven.
Bark is rough grey to greenish in colour. Leaves are simple, alternate, rhomboid, elliptic, acute or acuminate more or less crenate-scabrid on both surfaces.
Floral Characteristics
It flowers from January to March. Flowers are dioecious. Males heads are globose, minute and yellowish-green in colour.
Female flowers are very small, solitary or 2-4 together. Dioecious plants are to be planted in 3:1 female and male ratio for higher fruit yield.
Tree produces succulent large drupes during April to May, Drupes have fleshy base.
The fruits are yellow when ripe and single seeded.
Seeds are smooth, round, greenish-white in colour and light in weight.


Shows a cork consisting of 4-10 layers of thin-walled, rectangular and tangentially arranged cells; cork cambium single layered; secondary cortex Consists of 3-4 layers of thin-walled, somewhat rectangular or circular to polygonal cells; a number of stone cells present either in singles or in groups in tangential bands; stone cells of two types, one having thick-walled and narrow lumen while the other having comparatively thinner wall and wider lumen; they vary in shape, being rectangular, oval, circular to conical, each with simple pits on their walls and radiating canals; secondary phloem consists of sieve elements, parenchyma, phloem fibres and stone cells, traversed by phloem rays; phloem parenchyma thin-walled, circular to oval in shape, phloem fibres moderately thick-walled and lignified with wide lumen, occurring in singles or in groups and radially arranged; stone cells similar to those present in cortical region, occur throughout the phloem; phloem rays thin-walled, rectangular and radially elongated in transverse section, a few ray cells also converted into stone cells; prismatic crystals of calcium oxalate occur throughout the tissues of bark.

Geographical distribution:

It is distributed throughout drier parts of India usually along the river banks.
In Karnataka, it is found in rain forests of North Canara and Banavasi region.


Streblus asper "is found in the surroundings of villages, open areas, borders of rice fields and secondary forest" from the coastal plains up to 1000 m high in the hills.

Plant conservation:

IUCN threat status : Not evaluated 

General Use:

The root is prescribed as a cure for elephantiasis.
Roots are astringent, bitter, acrid, anti-inflammatory, healing, haemostatic, febrifuge and anteseptic.
They are useful against vitiated conditions of kapha, ulcers, sinusitis, elephantiasis, boils, haemorrhage, bronchitis, diarrhoea, dysentery, syphilis and hemorrhoids.
The bark is  used for constipation and ulcers.

Therapeutic Uses:

Raktapitta (Bleeding disorder)
Arsha (Piles)
Shlipada (filaria)
Apachi (scrofula glandular swellings)
Prameha (Urinary problems)
Kushtha (Skin disease)
Gandamala (Cervical lymphadenitis)

Systemic Use:

The twigs of Streblus asper are used as an insect repellent and as toothbrushes in pyorrhea.

The milky juice is antiseptic, sedative, astringent and the latex is massaged over the aching parts of the body. It is also applied to chapped hands, sore heels and to cure redness of eyes and to promote clarity of vision.
The latex from the plant is rubbed on the temples and it is considered effective in treating neuralgia.

The root juice is an antidote to snakebite, antiseptic, astringent, used for fever, ulcers, and in the treatment of excessive menstrual bleeding.
The root bark powder is applied for toothache.
The dry roots powder is applied on ulcers and snakebite.
The bark extract is used in urinary diseases and gingivitis.

The leaves are depurative, laxative and galactagogue.
The leaves are useful in agalactia, swellings, bubose and hyperhidrosis.




It is used in filariasis, leprosy, toothache, diarrhea, dysentery, wounds, scabies, psoriasis, and dental care. The tender twigs of tree are used as tooth brush as they show selective bactericidal activity towards bacteria responsible for tooth cavities. Brushing with twigs also helps in pyorrhea

Clinical trials:

1.Streblus asper Lour. (Shakhotaka): A Review of its Chemical, Pharmacological and Ethnomedicinal Properties / Subha Rastogi et al / Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2006 June; 3(2): 217–222 / doi: 10.1093/ecam/nel018.

2.The components and anticancer activity of the volatile oil from Streblus asper / Phutdhawong Weerachai et al / Flavour and fragrance journal • 2004, vol. 19, no5, pp. 445-447

3.Antimicrobial activity of Streblus asper leaf extract / Dr Sopit Wongkham et al / Phytotherapy Research
Volume 15 Issue 2, Pages 119 - 121 / DOI 10.1002/ptr.705

4.Macrofilaricidal activity of the stembark of Streblus asper and its major active constituents / Dr Ranjit Kumar Chatterjee et al / Drug Development Research, Vol 26 Issue 1, Pages 67 - 78 / DOI 10.1002/ddr.430260106

5.Insecticidal action of the polyphenolic rich fractions from the stem bark of Streblus asper on Dysdercus cingulatus / M S Hashim and K S Devi / Fitoterapia, Volume 74, Issues 7-8, December 2003, Pages 670-676 / doi:10.1016/S0367-326X(03)00186-2


1. Evaluation of antihyperglycemic and antioxidant properties of Streblus asper Lour against streptozotocin-induced diabetes in rats / RB Suresh Kumar, Biswakanth Kar, Narayan Dolai, Asis Bala, Pallab Kanti Haldar / Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Disease (2012)139-143

2. Antioxidant Activity and Phenolic Content of Streblus asper Leaves from Various Drying Methods / Nor Mawarti Ibrahim, Ishak Mat, Vuanghao Lim and Ruzita Ahmad * / Antioxidants 2013, 2, 156-166 / doi:10.3390/antiox2030156

3. Anticariogenic Activity and Haemolytic Study of Some Medicinal Plants Leaf Protein Extract against Six Oral pathogens in In vitro condition / Hiral Soni, Kalpesh Ishnava, Khushal Patel / Int J Appl Sci Biotechnol, Vol. 2(3): 253-259 / DOI:

4. Antidiabetic effect of Streblus asper in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats / Sanjay Kumar Karan, Arijit Mondal, Sagar Kumar Mishra, Dilipkumar Pal, and Kedar Kumar Rout / Pharmaceutical Biology, March 2013, Vol. 51, No. 3 , Pages 369-375 / doi:10.3109/13880209.2012.730531

5. Antitumor activity and antioxidant role of Streblus asper bark against Ehrlich ascites carcinoma in Swiss albino mice / Kumar, R. B. Suresh; Kar, Biswakanth; Dolai, Narayan; Karmakar, Indrajit; Haldar, Sagnik; Bhattacharya, Sanjib; Haldar, Pallab K. / Journal of Experimental Therapeutics & Oncology;2013, Vol. 10 Issue 3, p197


Do not take any herbal product without consulting doctor in pregnancy. It is a hot potency herb and Ayurveda contraindicate use of such herbs in pregnancy.
It may cause nausea and vomiting.
It is hot in nature, so should be used with caution in summer and by hot temperament individuals and menstruating women.

Toxicity studies:

It should not be taken in excess.
Take only in recommended doses. It contains cardic glycocides. Study show higher dose increases heart rate and cause slight oedema of heart muscles in dose dependent manner.

Use in other system of medicine:

The tree is used as a host of lac insect.
The leaves are rough and used as natural sand paper in wood work. Due to this use the tree is also known as Sand Paper Mulberry and Siamese rough-bush.
It has been important in papermaking in Thailand for seven hundred years. Ancient Thai documents are written on the bark of tree.


  Shakhotaka / Sihoda is medicinal tree used in Ayurveda to treat variety of ailments. It is very effective in filariasis, leprosy, toothache, scabies, psoriasis dental etc. The tree is especially found to effective in the treatment of filarial elephantiasis (Shlipada). It has significant anti-inflammatory properties. The Central Drug Research Institute of Lucknow, has developed an anti-filarial drug from the stem bark. The fruits of the tree are edible. The milky juice of the plant contains a milk-clotting enzyme and condenses milk. It is commonly used like rennet to coagulate milk, but thus obtained condensed milk is bitter in taste. The leaves are used as tea and for scrubbing the utensils. The latex is applied topically on warts.

Photos of shringtaka -

Streblus asper

KEY WORDS: shringtaka Streblus asper Lour.

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