Nagkesar, Ceylon Ironwood (Mesua ferrea)

Nagakesar is a beautiful evergreen tree that grows up to 30 mt in height and is buttressed at the base around 90cm in diameter. Pendulous leaves range in length from 8 to 15cm and are simple, narrow, lanceolate, opposite, and dark grey to dark green in color. The bark is a dark ash-grey color, and the branches are glabrous and slender. The tree's flowers are bisexual and around 4-7cm in diameter, with four white petals and a golden stamen. The fruit capsule is globose to ovoid in shape and contains 1-2 dark brown seeds. The seeds' cotyledon is meaty and greasy. The flowering season lasts from March to July, and the fruiting season lasts from October to November. Mesua's hardwood is a very deep crimson tint.

General Information

The plant known as nagakesar is well-known for its medicinal and financial benefits. It is a popular herb among the Chaturjata community. The wood of the Nagkesar tree, which grows slowly, is prized for its toughness and weight. It is grown as an ornamental tree due to its beautiful shape. This herb has a well-known therapeutic reputation in the Ayurvedic medical system for treating fever, migraines, vomiting, and urinary tract infections. Astringent in nature, flowers are rich in oleo resins and a variety of oils. Flower stamens are referred to as kesar, and flower oil has a reddish or dark brown hue. Meusol is the primary chemical component found in this herb. This herb also contains mesuaferron, euxanthon, mesuaferrol, mesuagin, mammegin, mesuol, mammeuisin, and bioflavin, among other chemical compounds.

This herb's heartwood, which is exceptionally powerful, is used to make furniture, flooring, and beams. Rail tracks are built from hard wood. Seeds are a great source of protein and energy. In addition to being used as pillow filling, flowers are also utilized in cosmetics and dyes.


  • English name -Ceylon iron wood, Cobra's saffron,  Iron wood of Assam
  • Latin name - Mesua ferrea
  • Hindi name - Naghas, Nagkesar
  • Assam name - Naboor, Nahor
  • Bihar name - Nagkeshur
  • Bengali name - Nagesar
  • Kannada name - Kanchana
  • Malayalam name - Nagachempakam
  • Marathi name - Nagachampa, Nagakeshra
  • Punjabi name - Naga kesar
  • Tamil name - Irul, Karunangu
  • Telugu name - Naga Kesaralu, Kesaramu
  • Gujarati name - Nagkesara, Nagchampa
  • Oriya name - Nageshvar
  • Farsi name - Naremushk
  • Thai name - Bunnak, Bhra na kaw
  • Philippine name - Kaliuas
  • Urdu name - Narmiksha
  • Malaysian name - Penaga
  • Italian name - Croco di cobra
  • German name - Nagassamen
  • Arabic name - Narae-Kaisar
  • Russian name - Mezua zheleznaia
  • Chinese name - Tie li mu
  • Malay name - Nagasari, Penaga
  • Japanese name - Tagayasan
  • Burmese name - Gungen, Kenga
  • Vietnam name - Vap


Mesua is indigenous to Sri Lanka's tropical regions. The humid tropical regions of India and Sri Lanka are home to Mesua. In India's Eastern and Western Ghats, it reaches a maximum elevation of 1500 meters. It is also known as Assamese iron wood and is widely accessible throughout the state. Additionally, Nepal, Burma, Thailand, the Philippines, and Malaysia are home to it. Additionally, it grows in several regions of the Andaman Islands, Travancore, and Tamil Nadu.

Ayurvedic Properties


Hindi / Sanskrit


Rasa (Taste)

Kashaya, Tikta

Astringent, Bitter

Guna (Physical Property)

Laghu, Ruksha, Tikshna

Light, Dry, Sharp

Virya (Potency)



Vipaka (Post-Digestive Taste)



Effects on Doshas

It balances vata and kapha dosha.

Shushrut Samhita / Ashtang sangrah /
Ashtang hriday


  • Anjanadi gana
  • Eladi gana
  • Vachadi gana
  • Priyangvadi gana
  • Karpuradi varga

Practical uses of Mesua ferrea

  • A multipurpose plant having anti-inflammatory qualities, Nagakesar is used to treat a wide range of conditions. Additionally, the therapeutic oil found in its blossoms is helpful for treating a variety of illnesses.
  • This plant helps lessen the negative effects of ama (toxins) and enhances digestive fire. Treatment of digestive system diseases and worm infestation are other benefits.
  • The stem of flowers possesses antibacterial and antifungal qualities. Diarrhea and dysentery are treated with flower buds.
  • Because of its hemostatic properties, this herb acts as a bleeding blocker. This plant is highly helpful in treating menstrual flow and bleeding piles.
  • To treat a cold or cough, apply a poultice made of leaves to your head and chest.
  • Rheumatism is treated with seed oil, which also lowers inflammation.
  • Additionally, it is used to treat skin conditions like leprosy, scabies, burning sensations, and itching.
  • It works wonders in cardiac debility as a cardiac tonic.
  • This herb is used to treat menorrhagia and is aphrodisiac.
  • Flower paste is applied externally to treat excessive perspiration and to mask unpleasant odors.
  • For cases of cough, excessive thirst, sweating, and dyspepsia, fresh flowers are highly helpful.
  • This herb's root is the most effective remedy for poisoning caused by snake bites.
  • The finest fruits to utilize for stomach issues are ripe and unripe fruits.
  • Impotency and asthma are treated with flowers.
  • It is applied to balance the pitta and kapha doshas.

Part used

  • Punkesar (stamens), Fruits, Seeds, Flowers, Leaves, Buds, Bark


Powder:- 1-3 gram

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published