Tejohva (Zanthoxylum alatum)

Native to North America, Tejohva is a therapeutic herb. The plant is often referred to as a "Timur" or "Toothache tree" in common parlance, and its scientific name is Winged Prickly Ash. Relatively little, up to 6 m tall, horny tree. Its branches span over 1.2 centimeters. The look of the leaves is trifoliate, with wings attached to the leaf stalks. The leaflets are serrated, pointed, and ellipticto, resembling ovate lace. The little yellow flowers emerge from the axils of the leaves. Six to eight sepals are present. There are no petals on its blossoms. Male flowers seem yellow because they have six to eight stamens with big anthers. When ripe, female flowers have one to three cells, are pale crimson in color, and divide into two ends. Their fruits are stunning, subglobose, reddish-brown, and each follicle holds one single seed. Moreover, seeds are globose. They are glossy black in color.

General Description

The herb Zanthoxylum alatum is rich in therapeutic qualities. It is referred to as tejohva and tumur in Ayurveda. It is recognized to regulate the vata and kapha doshas. It is well known that vata regulates respiration, heart rate, blinking, and blood circulation. Kapha is known to regulate the immune system, skin conditions, and water delivery to every region of the body. Tejohva thus has the ability to treat a wide range of illnesses and conditions pertaining to the skin, digestion, circulation, and immunity. Every portion of the plant is known to possess carminative, anthelmintic, and stomachic qualities. Fruit extracts' antibacterial, deodorizing, and disinfecting qualities have made them effective against fever, teeth issues, worms, and dyspepsia. Helpful in keeping flies away due to their deodorizing and disinfecting properties. The tree's bark is used to treat snake bites, diabetes, asthma, and gum disease.

It has a variety of significant, functional, and active biochemicals. Its stem bark contains monoterpene-containing essential oils, including as limonene and linalool, as well as the amide armatamide. The stem bark's alcoholic extract contains a novel flavonoidal glycoside.

The plant's seeds include volatile substances such as alkanoids, flavonoids, glycosides, sterols, fatty acids, lignins, amino acids, and aromatic compounds, as well as active ingredients like enolic acid. Its leaves include linalool, linolyl acetate, ketone chemicals, and several types of terpenes.

Each of these substances exhibits their activity when required. Tejohva tends to do all of its functions because it contains so many compounds.


  • Kingdom - Plantae
  • Phylum - Tracheophyta
  • Class - Magnoliopsida
  • Order - Sapindales
  • Family - Rutaceae
  • Genus - Zanthoxylum


It comes from North America natively. This plant grows in India at altitudes of 1000–2100 m in the Himalayan valleys, 600–1800 m in the Khasi hills and in the ghats of India, including Orissa and Andhra Pradesh, and at least 1,200 m in the Himalayan regions in northeastern India, including Naga Hills, Meghalaya, Mizoram, and Manipur.


  • Latin name - Zanthoxylum alatum
  • English name – Toothache Tree
  • Hindi name – Tumbura, Napali Dhaniya, Tejbal 
  • Kannada name– Tejaphal, Tumburu
  • Tamil name – Tejaphalam, Tejasvini
  • Telugu name – Tejasvini
  • Malayalam name – Tejaphalam, Tejasvini
  • U.P Hills name – Timur
  • Bengali name – Nepali Dhane
  • Gujarati name – Tejbal
  • Punjabi name – Tirmira
  • Unani name – Faaghir
  • Philippines name – Chi-it
  • Thailand name – Mak kak
  • Arabic name – Phagir karava khandan
  • Persian name – Kavava dahana kushada

Ayurvedic Properties


Hindi / Sanskrit


Rasa (Taste)

Katu, Tikta

Bitter, Pungent

Guna (Physical Property)

Ruksha, Tikshana, Laghu

Dry, Sharp, Light

Virya (Potency)



Vipaka (Post-Digestive Taste)



Effects on Doshas

It is applied to treat vata and kapha disorders.

Charak Samhita

Sushrut Samhita


  • Sirovirecana - Using herbs to clear the mind of excess kapha.
  • Katu Skandha - a group of herbs with a strong flavor



Practical Uses

External uses of Tejohva

It has antiparasitic, stimulant, and necrosis-prevention properties. Its powder is applied on wounds as dust. It's also applied to headaches. This plant's juice is used to treat throat issues and to gargle with dental and oral issues.

Internal uses of Tejohva

  • Anti-inflammatory activity - This plant is well-known for its anti-inflammatory properties and shows a strong suppression of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as interleukin-6 and tumor necrosis factor.

  • Anti-bacterial activity - Gram-negative bacteria like Salmonella typhi and E. Coli are known to be inhibited by it, as well as gram-positive bacteria like B. subtilis and Staphylococcus aureus.

  • Insecticidal, mosquito repellent, and larvicidal activity - It has the power to strengthen the effects of repellent against Aedes female mosquitoes. The larvicidal action of its seed oil is demonstrated against Culex, Aedes, and Anopheles mosquitoes.

  • Cure skin ailments - Fruit extracts are rich in several types of lipids that can help prevent sensitive skin irritation caused by sun exposure, bug bites, shaving, chemical treatments, and other issues.

  • Antioxidative activity - This fruit's ethanolic and methanolic extract exhibits radical scavenging properties.

  • Nervine tonic - It is helpful in Vata disorders such as paralysis and rheumatoid arthritis since it is utilized as a nervous system stimulant.

  • Tonic - It is a powerful anthelmintic, liver stimulant, and appetizer. Its mechanism of calcium antagonist is responsible for this activity.

  • Refreshment - The fruit can be consumed and stored in the mouth to be brushed when dental conditions arise.

  • Cardiac diseases - Due to its cardiac stimulating qualities, it is highly beneficial for heart conditions. Since its mechanism of calcium antagonist offers a foundation for treating heart disorders.

  • Especially helpful for cough and asthma.
  • It also has diuretic properties.
  • It is very useful for fever.

Parts used

Leaves, Flowers

Side Effects

Because of the fiery intensity of the plant, Tejohva might produce mild burning sensations

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