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Madhuca longifolia - Indian butter tree

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Indian butter tree

Butter tree is a deciduous tree with a large, spreading, rounded crown that can grow 16 metres or more tall.A multipurpose tree that is very important to the local economy, supplying a range of foods, medicines and other commodities.


Cough, Cold, Bronchitis, Leprosy, Diabetes, Bleeding gums, Skin diseases[1].


Madhuca longifolia can be used in Food. Fleshy corolla is eaten raw and used in sweet preparations. Dried flowers are floured and used for making Bhakari (bread). Flowers are fermented to make liquor. Oil is extracted from seeds.[2]

Parts Used

Flowers, Bark, Seeds oil, Seeds[1].

Chemical Composition

It consists of Glycosides, flavonoids, terpenes and saponins. The pharmacological studies proved that it possess wide range of biological activities such as antiulcer, antiinflammatory, antioxidant and antidiabetic activities.[3]

Common names

Language Common name
Kannada Ippe, Aaluppe
Hindi Mahua, Mohwa
Malayalam Illupa
Tamil Kaattu
Telugu Ippa
Marathi Kat-illipi
Gujarathi NA
Punjabi NA
Sanskrit Madhuca
English Honey tree, Butter tree



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



Tikta (Bitter), Kashaya (Astringent)






Nutritional components

Madhuca longifolia Contains the Following nutritional components like - Vitamin-C, Thiamine (B1), Riboflavin (B2), Niacin (B3), Folic acid, Betaine, , Palmitic acid, Stearic acid, Oleic, Linoleic acid, Tannins[2].


Deciduous tree



Kind Shape Feature
Paripinnate Oblong Leaf Arrangement is Alternate-spiral



Type Size Color and composition Stamen More information
Unisexual 2-4cm long Pink Flowering: February-April, May-June


Type Size Mass Appearance Seeds More information
Oblong pod Thinly septate, pilose, wrinkled Seeds upto 5 Fruiting: February-April, May-June

Other features

List of Ayurvedic medicine in which the herb is used

Abhayāriṣṭa, Arjunaarishta, Aravindaasava, Ojola, Kutajaarishta, Chandanaasava, Neela, Yoshaamrit, Sukumaara grita, Swarna Muktaadi Gutika, Surabhi, Suriya Gold, Surodhini[1].

Where to get the saplings

Mode of Propagation


How to plant/cultivate

A plant of the subtropics to the hot tropics, where it is found at elevations up to 1200metres. Able to resist some frost, it grows in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 2 - 46°c[5]. Madhuca longifolia is available through November to January[2].

Commonly seen growing in areas

Deciduous forests, Dry plain forests, Cultivated fields.

Photo Gallery


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 ”Karnataka Medicinal Plants Volume - 2” by Dr.M. R. Gurudeva, Page No.73, Published by Divyachandra Prakashana, #45, Paapannana Tota, 1st Main road, Basaveshwara Nagara, Bengaluru.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Forest food for Northern region of Western Ghats" by Dr. Mandar N. Datar and Dr. Anuradha S. Upadhye, Page No.106, Published by Maharashtra Association for the Cultivation of Science (MACS) Agharkar Research Institute, Gopal Ganesh Agarkar Road, Pune
  3. Chemical constituents
  4. Morphology
  5. Cultivation

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