Nirgundi, Five Leaved Chaste

It is a multi-branched bushy plant that grows to be around 6-12 feet tall and coated in very fine hair. The stem's bark is thin, and the leaf stalk is lengthy, with 3-5 leaves growing at its apex. The leaf edges are either plain or serrated. The flowers are blue or white with a purple tint and grow in a 2-3 inch long inflorescence. The fruits are small, spherical, and white and black in hue. The root's bark is green on the outside and yellow on the interior.

Flowering occurs throughout the summer and rainy season (June-August), while fruiting occurs during the cold season (December).

General Description

Nirgundi is a Sanskrit term that literally means "that which protects the body from ailments." It is a powerful plant that is used to treat a variety of diseases. It is derived from the aromatic shrub Vitex negundo, which has a bitter, pungent, astringent taste, rose-colored blooms, and little brown fruits used for medicinal purposes.

It is a multipurpose and adaptable plant that can be used externally in the form of oil or ointment, as well as internally in the form of powder, leaf juice extract, or water decoction. It is analgesic, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory. It can be used to treat fever, arthritis, headaches, edema, digestive issues, and oral difficulties.

This plant comes in two variants based on blossom color: blue and white flowered. The blue-flowered plant is known as nirgundi (Vitex negundo), whilst the white-flowered species is known as siduwar (Vitex trifolia).

The primary chemical ingredients of nirgundi include phenol, dulcitol, alkaloid- vitricine, B-sitosterol, camphene, orientin, arteemetin, onoterpens, anguside eurostoside, and aucubin. It also has flavonoids, casticin, chryso-splenol, and vitexin, which has chysoplenol D. It has anti-histamine and muscle relaxant effects. It functions as a mild topical analgesic and aids in the induction of natural sound sleep.


  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Order: Lamiales
  • Family: Lamiaceae
  • Genus: Vitex
  • Species: Negundo


It is indigenous to tropical Eastern and Southern Africa, as well as Asia. Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, and Vietnam are among the countries where it is indigenous.


  • Botanical Name - Vitex Negundo
  • Hindi Name - Sambhalu, Sambhalu, mewri, Nisinda
  • Sanskrit Name - Shephalika, Suvaha, Sinduka, Sinduvara, Nilamanjari, Vanaja, Hutakeshi, Surasa, Shvetapushpa (white coloured flower)
  • Telugu Name - Indhuvara, Nalla-vavili, Tella-vavili, Lekkali, Vavili, 
  • Tamil Name - Chinduvaram, Nochchi, Notchi, Vellai-nochchi, Nirnochchi
  • Bengali Name - Nishinda, Samalu, Nirgundi 
  • EnglishName - Five Leaved Chaste
  • Filipino Name - Lagundi
  • Assamese Name - Pochotia
  • Chinese Name - Huang jing
  • Kannada Name - Lakki gida, Lekki gida, Bile-nekki, Lakki soppu
  • Punjabi Name - Banna, Mawa, Swanjan Torbanna, Marwan, Maura

Ayurvedic Properties


Hindi / Sanskrit


Rasa (Taste)

Tikta, Katu

Bitter, Pungent

Guna (Physical Property)

Laghu, Rooksha

Light, Dry

Virya (Potency)



Vipaka (Post-Digestive Taste)



Effects on Doshas

It balance vata and kapha doshas.

Classical categorization

Charak Samhita

Sushruta Samhita / Vagbhata

  • Vishaghna - Herbs with anti-poison properties
  • Krimighna - Herbs with anti-helminthic properties
  • Surasadi

Practical Uses 

  • Mental Disorders - It acts as a brain tonic and relieves vata, making it effective for headaches, sciatica, and memory enhancement. It treats nose passage and mental channel problems.
  • Ear Problems - It is used to treat ear disorders. In the ear, place 1-2 drops of nirgundi oil mixed with honey.
  • Asthma and Tuberculosis - It enhances ventilation and is thus utilized in Kapha's dominant cough, asthma, pneumonia, and pleurisy. It heals multinodular tuberculosis.
  • Teething in Children - Its root helps in the early stages of a child's teething..
  • Fever - It is used as an anupan or as the principal medication in the treatment of typhoid and malaria fever. It is used to treat fever, chronic rhinitis, and deafness.
  • Chronic Arthritis - It has anti-inflammatory properties. Its leaves are cooked or heated before being wrapped over the diseased area. It helps with headaches, scrotal swelling, and arthritis discomfort. It is effective in treating chronic rhinitis and arthritis.
  • Digestive Power enhancer and Antihelmintic action - It stimulates the appetite and digestion. It helps with appetite loss, anorexia, ama-dosha, and is an anthelmintic. It improves digestion and reduces stomach pain. It helps in the release of gas and treats stomach bloating caused by indigestion or wind accumulation.
  • Menstrual Cycle - It promotes menstrual flow and is hence used to treat dysmenorrhea and obstetric problems. Give 2 gm powder of its seeds every morning and evening if your menstrual cycle is irregular or incomplete. It brings the menstrual cycle back into balance.
  • It helps in the process of blood circulation.
  • It is helpful with dysuria and anuria. It helps in the easy passage of urine in cases of gonorrhea.
  • It stimulates every area of the body and thus functions as a rasayan in the body.
  • It's also used as a hair conditioner.
  • It treats all mouth and throat illnesses such as pharyngitis and tonsillitis.
  • It has a cleaning effect that helps in wound healing.
  • Its leaf powder is used to treat endometritis, colitis, and orchitis. It reduces blood obstruction caused by ama and kapha, enhances perspiration, reduces edema, and relieves pain.

Parts Used

  • Leaf
  • root
  • seeds


  • Root bark powder - 3-6 g
  • Seed powder - 3-6 g
  • Leaf juice - 10-20 ml

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