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Plant Name: Embelia tsjeriam-cottam (Roem. & Schult.) A.DC.

Common name

Marathi:                 Fatangadi/ Phangota/ Phatangdi/ Ambat tingra

Hindi:                    Aganaki, Agumaki, Bilari

English:                 Malabar embelia

Jawhar:                 Fatangadi/ Phangota/ Phatangdi/ Ambat tingra


Interesting facts and history

Special characters: Leaves, when seen against the light, show numerous minute gland-dots; often with pinkish red tinge at basal side; sour in taste. Basal portion of the stem occasionally seen with spine­like projections, which are actually axillary branches devoid of leaves during summer.


Identification guide


Deciduous shrubs; young stem densely brown pubescent. Bark with thin cracks, brown, exuding resin. Wood red, exhibiting prominent wheel-like medullary rays when cut.


Leaves alternate, elliptic, 5-12 x 2-6 em, papery, base acute, apex acuminate, margin entire or slightly toothed with triangular teeth, hairless, dark green above, often purplish green below; lateral nerves and reticulations prominent; leaf stalks up to 1 cm long.


Flowers bisexual, greenish white or yellow, about 5 mm across, arranged in 4-7 cm long axillary racemes.


Fruits globose, about 6 _m across, smooth, red when ripe. Seeds 1, round.


Habit / Habitat

A shrub mostly found in dry Deciduous to Moist Deciduous Forests



1) Availability of the plant species in India: Western Ghats & Eastern Ghats,

2) Global distribution: E. Asia - India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia.


Edible parts

Used by tribal community in Jawhar       Leaves and Seeds


Method of consumption

Jawhar tribal

Leaves boiled and cooked as vegetable using local masalas.


Medicinal use:

Jawhar                    Seeds are consumed during stomach pain

Medicinal use other

It is a widely used plant in Ayurveda, seed is used as a vermifuge, the bark of the root in toothache and decoction of leaves as a gargle in sore-throat and in making a soothing ointment .


Nutritional and medicinal information


Pharmaceutical significance

  1. A phenolic compound Embelin (2,5-dihydroxy-3-undecyl-2,5-cyclohexadiene-1,4-benzoquinone) is responsible for the medicinal properties of the plant is found in the fruits of Embelia tsjeriam-cottam. The chemical constituents of medicinal plants are directly associated with the harvesting time and hence the harvesting time was standardize in different forest areas of Chhattisgarh, India during 2005-08. The embelin content was determined by RP-HPLC and varied from 1.09 to 5.21% (w/w). The immature fruits collected in October contain an average of 1.67% embelin whereas mature fruits collected in December on an average contain 4.64% embelin. Hence, it can be concluded that fruits should be harvested after attaining maturity to get better quality produce and also to maintain the sustainability of plant .


Harvesting and preserving

Leaves can be collected from wild.


Propagation and Storage

Season of collection:

Leaf fall: December to January;

Flowering: February to March;

Fruiting: April to July

How to grow it?

By sowing of seeds

Method of storage:

Seeds for cultivation.


Other uses

  1. The fruits are small, globose, succulent, and red in colour. The fruits are used as adulterant of black pepper.
  2. Paste prepared by grinding its root along with that of Cyclea peltata, Aristolochia indica, Rauvolfia serpentina and Thottea siliquosa in lime juice is applied externally for herpes and snake bite.



Kingdom:            Plantae

Division:              Spermatophyta

Sub-division:       Angiospermae

Class:                    Monocotyledonae

Sub-Class:           Gamopetalae

Series:                  Heteromerae

Order:                   Primulales

Family:                 Primulaceae

Genus:                 Embelia

Species:               tsjeriam-cottam              











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