Scientific name: Strychnosnux-vomica L

English name: Nux-vomica Tree

Local name:Kuchila

Family: Loganiaceae

Botanical Description

Habit:A small to medium-sized tree, twigs without lenticels, glabrous, spines sometimes present.

Leaves:Leaves simple, opposite,petiolate, petioles 0.5-1.0 cm long, glabrous, lamina elliptic to sub-orbicular, base rounded to subtruncate, 4.0-10.5 x 3.0-8.6 cm, apex subacuminate, often mucronate, glabrous, 3-5 nerved.

Inflorescence:Inflorescence terminal on axillary branches, many-flowered, tomentose.

Flowers:Flowers pedicellate, bisexual, regular. Sepals 5, ovate, tomentose outside. Petals 5, connate below to form a corolla tube, greenish-white, corolla tube c 3 times as long as the lobes, lobes densely papillose.

Androecium:Stamens 5, sessile, anthers 1.5-1.8 mm long, oblong, glabrous.

Gynoecium:Carpels 2, united, ovary superior, styles short, stigmas capitate, papillose.

Fruits:Fruit a berry, 2.5-4.0 cm in diameter, green, turning orange to red when ripe, globose, glabrous, thick-walled, 1-4 seeded.

Seeds:Seeds discoid, thick, very hard, surface sericeous.

Economic Importance: Seeds poisonous, contain a large number of indole alkaloids, mainly strychnine and brucine, others include vomocine, novicine. Seeds are stomachic, tonic, aphrodisiac, nervine, spinal and cardiac stimulant in small doses, but poisonous in large doses. Seeds are also used as emetic and purgative. A very important homoeopathic medicine Nux-vomica is prepared from its seeds.


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