Kuppilu (Strychnos nuxvomica)

Treasures of Nature (Prakriti Ka Khazana) – Kuppilu

Kuppilu (Latin name - Strychnos nuxvomica), is a medium-sized tree featuring a crooked, thick and short trunk. The wood of this tree is hard white, durable and close grained. It is quite bitter too. It features irregular branches covered with smooth bark in ash colour. The flowers of this tree appear in the shape of a funnel and they generally bloom during the cold season. The flowers have a kind of disagreeable smell. Kuppilu fruits are of the size of an apple with a smooth shell or rind which changes into orange colour once ripe. The seeds of the fruits can be easily removed when they are ripe and then they can be sorted, dried and cleansed to be used for a number of purposes. The seeds are in the shape of a flattened disk densely covered with satiny hairs. The seeds or the fruits have no smell but they taste bitter.

Medicinal Properties of Kuppilu

Strychnos nuxvomica or Kuppilu is quite rich in its content of strychnine and other chemicals affecting the brain and causing muscle contraction. However, the dried bark and seeds of this tree are quite beneficial and useful in treating a number of diseases. They are used as one of the most important ingredients for all the major medicine systems. Ripened fruits can be collected and the seeds can be dried to be transformed into powder for various medicinal purposes. The medicinal uses of Kuppilu include:

  • Used for treating body paralysis.

  • It is useful in treating different skin diseases like itching, scabies, irritations and infections.

  • Kuppilu is also used for treating fever.

  • It is useful in healing wounds.

  • Kuppilu extract helps in cleansing blood and clearing the respiratory system.

  • Kuppilu is quite effective in reducing acne and pimples.

  • It can even be used for treating the digestive tract.

  • It heals body pain and wounds.

  • It cures cardiac problems.