Bhallataka, Marking Nut (Semecarpus anacardium)

It is a medium to large-sized, deciduous tree that is linked to cashews and has grey bark that breaks off in little, uneven chunks. Simple alternating leaves are oblong, rounded at the tip, glabrous above, and hairy below. In May and June, panicles of flowers with a greenish-white tint start to form. This plant produces a 2.5 cm long, smooth, ovoid, shiny black nut. From December to March, fruits ripen. Godambi seeds, which are found inside the black fruit, are edible when properly prepared. This tree's fruits are often used to make dye.

General information

Common names for Semecarpus anacardium include bhallataka, geeru beeja, and marking nut. This herb was used to label garments before washing by washermen. The Ayurveda method uses this adaptable herb to treat a variety of illnesses by balancing the Kapha dosha in the body, emphasizing Ayurveda for Kapha balance. The reddish-orange portion of the Bhallataka fruit is harvested, sun-dried, and used medicinally. The reproductive systems of both men and women are thought to benefit from this herb. Numerous active substances, including bioflavonoids, phenolic acid, bhilawanols, minerals, vitamins, and amino acids, are found in the nut of this plant. This herb has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-microbial, anti-reproductive, CNS stimulant, hypoglycemic, and anti-cancer properties, in addition to promoting hair growth.

Special note about Bhallataka

Bhallataka shodhana - Direct contact with this highly toxic herb might result in skin blisters. It takes bhallataka purification (shodhana) to lessen this herb's toxicity and heat potency. Ripe seeds are used for this procedure, and they are dipped in water. While other seeds are thrown away, those that sink to the water's surface are collected for purification. The seeds are then split in half and dipped in brick powder. The seeds are made useable for medical purposes by this dry brick, which absorbs all of the seeds' poisonous oils.


A medium-sized native Indian deciduous tree, Semecarpus anacardium, can be easily found from the outer Himalayas to the Coromandel Coast. It can be found in India's drier regions up to a height of 3500 feet. In Assam, Bihar, Orissa, Chittagong, and Bengal, this plant is readily accessible. It can also be found in Northern Australia and the western peninsula of the East Archipelago.


  • Kingdom - Plantae
  • Order - Sapindales
  • Family - Anacardiaceae
  • Names

  • Latin name - Semecarpus anacardium
  • Common name - Marking nut, Indian nut tree, Geeru veej, Dhobi nut tree
  • Sanskrit name - Angika, Anala, Bhallataka, Arushkara, Agnimukh
  • Hindi name - Belatak, Bela, Bhilava
  • Marathi name - Bhillava, Bhallataka, Bibba, Bibbu
  • Tamil name - Kalakam, Kavaka , Senkotai
  • Malayalam name - Alakcueer, Thennukota
  • Telugu name - Bhallatamu
  • Kannada name - Geru, Ger-kayi
  • Oriya name - Bhollataki
  • Urdu name - Baladur, Bhilavan
  • Gujarati name - Bhilama
  • Arabian name - Habvul kab
  • French name - Anacardier D'orient
  • Nepali name - Bhilai
  • Spanish name - Anacardo

  • Ayurvedic Properties


    Hindi / Sanskrit


    Rasa (Taste)

    Katu, Tikta, Kashaya

    Pungent, Bitter, Astringent

    Guna (Physical Property)

    Laghu, Snigdha, Tikshna

    Light, Unctuousness, Sharp

    Virya (Potency)



    Vipaka (Post-Digestive Taste)



    Effects on Doshas

    There is no kind of kapha imbalance that this herb cannot treat.

    Charak Samhita

    Sushrut Samhita and vagbhata

    • Deepaniya - herbs that energize the digestive fire.
    • Bhedniya - herbs that cause a mild purge.
    • Shirovirechan - herbs that are beneficial for clearing the sinuses and the head.
    • Kusthghna - herbs used to treat skin conditions
    • Mutra Sanghrehniya - Herbs that are used to improve urine volume.

    Nyagrodhadi gana, Mustadi gana

    Practical uses 

    • There is no kapha dosha disorder that this adaptable herb cannot treat, according to a well-known proverb regarding it.
    • This herb is used as a digestive stimulant and as an appetizer. It is beneficial for enhancing digestion.
    • Bhallatak is a purgative substance that is used to cause purging. Constipation, digestive issues, abdominal distention, ascites, piles, and various worm infestations can all be effectively treated with it.
    • The herb works well for treating rashes, swelling, itching, and other skin-related conditions.
    • Additionally, it functions as a brain tonic, helping those with weak brains and enhancing intelligence.
    • A good expectorant, bhallatak is used to treat asthma and cough. This plant's flowers are excellent for treating asthma.
    • It is utilized to treat a variety of vata-dosha-related nerve problems, including sciatica, epilepsy, facial paralysis, etc.
    • Semecarpus anacardium is used to treat cardiac debility and as a white blood cell stimulator.
    • Both male and female reproductive systems benefit from bhallataka; in fact, bhallataka's heated potency stimulates the uterus in females. It is used to increase sperm count and sexual strength in men.

    Products from Semecarpus anacardium

    • Sanjeevani vati
    • Bhallataka oil
    • Bhallataka kasheer


    • Oil - 1-2 drops
    • Awleha - ¼ - ½ tola
    • Kasheer pak - 1-2 tola


    • In ayurvedic medicine, bhallataka is applied following cleansing. This plant should not be used as a home cure and should only be consumed under medical supervision.
    • It shouldn't be used in excessively hot temperatures because of its heated potency.
    • Children, expectant moms, and breastfeeding mothers should all avoid it.
    • A fatal dose could result in death in 12 to 24 hours.
    • Bhallataka usage too much can cause a pregnant woman to terminate.

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