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Dichrostachys cinerea - Virataru

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Virataru, Dichrostachys cinerea

Virataru is a deciduous or semi-deciduous shrub. It can grow upto 1 - 8 metres tall. The plant is covered with spines and is sometimes suckering and thicket-forming. A true multi-purpose tree, providing food, medicines, fuel and various commodities. This shrub is belongs to Memosaceae family. [1]


Diarrhea, Excessive thirst, Kidney stones, Gynecological disorders, Urinary retention.[2]

Parts Used

Bark, Root, Heartwood

Chemical Composition

It contain apigenin-7-O-apiosyl (1 → 2) glucoside (1) (Liet al., 1997), chrysoeriol-7-O-apiosyl (1 → 2) glucoside (2) (Lin etal, 2007) and the major compound clovamid. [3]

Common names

Language Common name
Kannada ಎಡತರಿ Edatari, ಶಮಿ Shami
Hindi Goya-khair, Kheri
Malayalam Viravrksam, Vitattal
Tamil Karukavi, Vadataram, Vidattalai, Vitattali
Telugu Nalla venuturu, Velthuru, Veluthuru chettu
Marathi NA
Gujarathi NA
Punjabi NA
Kashmiri NA
Sanskrit Bahuvaraka, Dirghamula
English Sicklebush



Reference: Dravya - Substance, Rasa - Taste, Guna - Qualities, Veerya - Potency, Vipaka - Post-digesion effect, Karma - Pharmacological activity, Prabhava - Therepeutics.



Tikta (Bitter), Katu (Pungent)


Laghu (Light)


Ushna (Hot)


Katu (Pungent)


Vata and Kapha






Kind Shape Feature
Bipinnate Alternate Stipulate; stipules 2, minute, lateral.



Type Size Color and composition Stamen More information
Polygamous Solitary or axillary spikes Pink and yellow 10 Upper flowers bisexual, yellow; lower ones neutar, pink or purple.


Type Size Mass Appearance Seeds More information
A Pod Linear, flat, coiled, continuous within, indehiscent or opening from apex Seeds 4-6, ovoid, compressed. {{{6}}}

Other features

List of Ayurvedic medicine in which the herb is used

Where to get the saplings

Mode of Propagation

Seeds, Cuttings.

How to plant/cultivate

Fruits should be collected from the shrub or tree as soon as they are mature, after which the seeds should be extracted[6]

Commonly seen growing in areas

Tropical area.

Photo Gallery


  1. Karnataka Aushadhiya Sasyagalu By Dr.Maagadi R Gurudeva, Page no:317
  2. Uses
  3. Chemical constituents
  4. Vernacular names
  5. Botonic description
  6. Cultivation details

External Links