Karanj / Indian Beech (Pongamia Pinnata)

For many years, medicinal plants have been used to treat a variety of medical ailments all throughout the world. Plants are the primary source of the active ingredients in many chemicals that are used to make medicines and other substances that promote well health. Numerous herbs are highly prized for their therapeutic qualities. The Fabaceae family includes the fast-growing medium-sized tree known as Karanj.  All parts of the tree, including the roots, flowers, leaves, and bark, are used as medicines, and the herb karanj is particularly well-known for its use in the production of oil. Samhitas and Nighantus are just a couple of the traditional medical texts that frequently refer to karanj. This herb possesses anti-hyperglycemic, anti-diarrheal, antiplasmodial, and analgesic effects. It is a medium-sized deciduous tree that grows 35-40 feet tall and has purple, pink, and white flowers. The most prevalent chemical composition derived from this plant is flavonoids.

Special Note About Karanj 

  • The botanical name for Karanj is Pongamia pinnata, and it is a member of the Fabaceae family.
  • This herb is used to treat skin conditions, and in the past, its twigs were used for making toothbrushes.
  • Flavonoids are this herb's main chemical component. The flavones, flavans, and chalcones are derivatives of flavonoids.
  • This herb, which is indigenous to eastern and tropical Asia, is exceedingly adaptable and has a wide range of therapeutic benefits.
  • The herb Karanj is frequently used to treat a variety of illnesses, including gastrointestinal problems, constipation, dandruff, skin conditions, and others.

Systemic Classification

Botanical Name - Pongamia pinnata

Family - Fabaceae

Genus - Pongamia

Species - P. pinnata


Karanj - water coloring agent

Naktmal - looks stunning at night

Guchpushpak - Its flowers grow in clusters.

Ghritpoor - It contains ghrit in its seeds.

Snigadhpatra - Its leaves are juicy and sweet.

Other Vernacular Names

Hindi Name - Dithouri

Bengal Name i - Dahar Karanj

Malayalam Name  - Ponnam

Gujarati Name  - Karanj, Kannjhi

Telugu Name  - Pungu

English Name  - Indian Beech


  • The plant can reach a height of 12 meters.
  • The bark on the slightly twisted trunk has a grayish-brown color.
  • Pink, purple, and white flowers are in bloom.
  • The brittle coating on the seeds makes them tasteless.
  • This herb is found all over India, up to a height of 1200 feet above sea level.

Classical Categorization

  • This herb is listed in the Kandughana group of the Charak Samhita and is also included in Katu skandha.
  • This herb is classified as Aragwadhadi, Varunadi, and Arkadi Gana in Sushrut Samhita. These gannas are all utilized to balance the Kapha Dosha.
  • In Amradivarga, Dhanwantri Nighantu mentions this herb.
  • This herb was mentioned by Bhavprakash Nighantu in Guduchyadi Varga.

Ayurvedic Properties


Hindi / Sanskrit


Rasa (Taste)

Tikta, Katu, Kashaya 

Bitter, Pungent, Astringent

Guna (Physical Property)

Teekshna, Laghu 

Sharp, Light

Virya (Potency)



Vipaka (Post-Digestive Taste)



Effects On Doshas

It Balances the Vata and Kapha dosha

Practical Uses

  • This herb is quite beneficial in kapha-vata janya disorders because of its vata-kapha shamak qualities.
  • Its seeds, bark, and leaves are all effective at healing wounds, controlling pain, and getting rid of worm infestations.
  • This has an anti-inflammatory tendency and is beneficial for bleeding issues.
  • This herb is specifically used as seed powder to treat whooping cough (Kukkur Khansi).
  • This plant aids in appetite reduction, functions as a deepener, and has features of an appetiser, promoting the secretion of digestive juices.
  • helpful in the treatment of piles and hemorrhoids as well as in reducing discomfort and swelling brought on by open wounds and burns.
  • Its fruits are also used to cure psoriasis and other skin problems, and it possesses characteristics that can detoxify the vagina and treat uterine disorders.
  • Karanja oil is also beneficial in the treatment of arthritis due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Karanja stem has been used for centuries to clean teeth and improve gums.
  • To relieve the pain and edema associated with piles, blend karanj oil with coconut oil.

Part used

Bark, leaves, and seeds


  • Bark and leaf decoction can be ingested in 10–20 ml.
  • 1-3 grams of its seed powder are consumed.

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published