Kutaj, or Kutaja, belongs to the family of Apocynaceae. In Hinduism, the small tree or shrub is associated with Indra. Therefore the plant is also known as Indra Vriksha and its fruits are known as Indrayava, or Indrajaun or Indrajavanu (Indra’s Barley). It is a highly valuable medicinal plant and its reference is found in Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Samhita.
Kutaja is a small sized tree with pale white flowers and barley like fruits. It is mostly found in the drier or deciduous forest regions of India.
As per Hindu scriptures, Kutaj was dear to Indra, the King of Devas. It is believed to usher in happiness and good fortune. It has rich medicinal properties. The plant is traditionally considered to be effective for all diseases in Kali Yuga. Rishis planted it in their hermitages.
The flower of the plant which symbolize purity and righteousness is used in various Hindu rituals.
The bark of the plant along with other herbs is used to cure snake bites, piles and fever. Roots and seeds are used to cure dysentery. Powdered seeds have carminative and astringent effect. Bark is rubbed on body in dropsy. Paste of leaves is applied on boils, bleeding gums and ulcers.
Name of the Tree in Various Languages
Hindi: Kurchi, Kuraiya
English: Ester Tree,
Marathi: Kudayache Beej
Kannada: Kodasige Beeja
Telugu: Kodisapala Vittulu