Citrullus colocynthis Linn – Ayurvedic Herb





It is botanically identified as Citrullus colocynthis linn. Which belongs to Cucurbitaceae family. The drug is perennial climber and is documented to possess beneficial effects as purgative,vermifuge,blood purifier,eradicates tumor in stomach,ascites,menstrual disorders etc.




  • Indravaruni
  • Indravallari – creeper which is likede by Indra
  • Iindri – creeper which is likede by Indra
  • Gavakshi – which spreads well on the ground
  • Peetapushpi – yellow flowers
  • Marusambhava – can survive on deserts
  • Vaaruni – eliminates Ap mahabhuta in recana form
  • Vishaghni – eliminates poisonous substance in body.But it poisonous when excess
  • Vishaala – cures Kaamala
  • Chitra
  • Gavadani
  • Mrugadani
  • Hemapushpi




In Dhanvantari Nighantu, 3 varieties are mentioned;

  • Indravaruni – Citrullus colocynthis Linn.
  • Vishala – Trichosanthes palmata Roxb.
  • Svetapushpi – Cucumis trigonus Roxb.

However the former 2 are described as ‘Indravarunidwayam’


Bhavamishra quoted 2 varieties of Indravaruni;

  • Indravaruni – Citrullus colocynthis Linn.
  • Mahendravaruni – Trichosanthes bracteata Lam.


Bapalal Vaidya described the following 4 species as the source for Indravaruni;

  • Citrullus colocynthis Linn.
  • Cucumis prophetorum Linn.
  • Cucumis trigonus Roxb.
  • Trichosanthes palmata Roxb.





  • Hindi – Indrayana
  • English – Colocynth or Bitter apple
  • Malayalam – Pikkumutti, Kattuvellari
  • Tamil – Pikkumutti
  • Kannada – Tumtikayi
  • Telugu – Paparbudam
  • Marathi – Kadu Indravana
  • Gujarathi – Indravana





  • Fruit
  • Root





  • Rasa – Tikta
  • Guna – Laghu, Ruksha, Tikshna
  • Veerya – Ushna
  • Vipaka – Katu




  • Garbha pataka – Vaidya jeevana 3/36
  • Rechaka – Dhanwatari Nighantu, Raja Nighantu
  • Kasahara – Kaiyyadeva Nighantu
  • Rakta sodhaka, sothahara
  • Tivragarbhasaya sankoca – Vaidya Manorama
  • Kushtagna – Dhanwatari Nighantu
  • Shukrastambaka
  • Kushtagna – Bhavaprakasha nighantu
  • Keshakrishneekarana – Sarangadar samhita uttara khanda
  • Shvasahara – Kaiyyadeva Nighantu
  • Pramehaghna – Bhavaprakasha nighantu
  • Jvaraghna – Raja Nighantu
  • Krimighna – Rajamarthanda
  • Kaphapaittikaroga – Bhavaprakasha Nighantu, Dhanwatari Nighantu
  • Vishaghna – Shodala Nighantu, Kaiyyadeva Nighantu




  • Unmada – Cakradutta unmada cikitsa
  • Kamala – Susruta samhita uttaratantra
  • Sandi vata – Bhavaprakasha nigantu cikitsa,Susruta
  • Indralupta – Gadanigraha
  • Sadyaprasavanartha –Vaidya manorama
  • Charmakeela – Rajamarthanda
  • Kamala – Susruta samhita uttaratantra
  • Mooda garbha – Vaidya Manorama
  • Stanavedana – Sarangadara samhita streeroga
  • Kushta – Rajamarthanda
  • Khalitya – Sarangadara
  • Gulma – Rajanigantu
  • Kasa – Kaiyyadeva nigantu, Bhavaprakasha nigantu
  • Svasa – Kaiyyadeva nigantu, Bhavaprakasha nigantu
  • Udara
  • Krimi – Rajamarthanda
  • Gandamaya –Kaiyyadeva nigantu
  • Prameha – Bhavaprakasha nigantu



It should not be used in pregnant ladies,children and weak people.





  • Indralupta – Indravaruni root is soaked in cow’s urine for 3 days and then applied on the scalpafter mixing with cowdung and ghee
  • Unmada – Juice from ripened fruits of Indravaruni and cow’s urine are given as Nasya
  • Kamala – Juice of Indravaruni may be taken with jaggery
  • Vermifuge
  • Pulp is used for variscose vein and piles
  • Root is given in ascites and piles
  • A paste of the root is applied to the enlarged abdomen of children





  • Fruit powder – 125-500 mg
  • Root powder – 1-3 gm
  • Fruit juice – 10-20 ml

It should be used with cautioin for pregnant ladies,children and sensitive individuals.


  • Narayana choorna – Ashtanga Hrudaya Cikitsa stana 15/14-29
  • Indravaruni moola choorna – Chakradutta 40/18




Its pulp contains certain chemical agents like colocynthin, certain fixed or stable oils, resins that are not soluble in ether, sticky substances that is, gums,pectin, crtain minerals like Ca and Mg. Traces of magnesium phosphate have also be seen. Lignin is also present. Their active ingredients are phytosterol glycoside, elaterin, albuminoids. It also contains bitter substance colocynthin and colocynthenin. Seeds contain phytosterolin. Two phytosterols and hydrocarbons, polysaccharides and glycosides. It also contains anti tumeruos agents like cucurbitacin B and cucurbitacin E.




It is used as purgative and allows relieving the intestine from constipation. It also has a vermifugal action. It is very much used as a blood purifier and is a good remedy in case of poisoning like snake bittes and scorpion bites. It is also used to eradicate the tumors present in the stomach or in the region of the gastrointestinal tract. It also stimulates liver and regularises bile secretion. It is also used in scrapping out the corns and warts on the skin. It is more pronouncedly used in anticancerous drugs, hence it is effective in luekemia. It is also a good remedy against ascites,menstrual disorders,joint pain and arthritis. Kidney are also stimulated by it. Hence it also keeps urinary tract fine.





Chloride A, a glycoside isolated from the pulp of the plant showed antihistamine and antiacetylcholine like activity on isolated rabbit and guinea pig ileum. It exibited negative chronotropic and ionotropic activity on rabbit heart. It diminished the force of contraction of the ventricle and reduced the heart perfusion and strub heart preparations. (Bengerjee & Dandiya, 1967)


  1. I am looking to source some indravaruni for purchase. If you know where I might find this it would be greatly appreciated if you could let me know.


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