Alstonia Scholaris


Alstonia ScholarisAlstonia scholaris is also known by the name of Saitan ka Jhad, Chhatim and Devils tree. The Alstonia scholaris belongs to the family of Apocynaceae.

This large green evergreen tree is almost 25 meters high. It has a bitter tasting milk juice and has a dark grey bark with whorled branches. The bark of this tree contains alkaloids like ditamine and ditain. The main parts of the tree that are used in medicines include the milky exudates, leaves as well as the bark.

The Alstonia scholaris is useful to purify blood and relieve respiratory disorders. It is known to rejuvenate the digestive system. It is a cytotoxic herb which is used to stop the cancerous growths.


Alstonia scholaris is also known as the blackboard tree, Ditabark, Milkwood pine, Pulai, White Cheesewood and Pala. This evergreen tree is native to the Indian subcontinent and parts of Indonesia, Malaysia as well as Australia.

This tree is glabrous and it leaves occur in whorls of petioles which are 1 to 3 cm. The leaves are leathery to touch and have a narrow spathulate. The flowers bloom in the month of October and smell similar to that of Cestrum Nocturnum. The seeds of the Alstonia scholaris are oblong and have margins.

This tree is native to China, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Vietnam, New Guinea and Philippines.


This tree has an indigenous system of medicine and used as a tonic. The plant is used as a drug which helps in restoring the digestive system. The Alstonia scholaris is also useful in relieving fevers and skin ailments.

The devil tree has been used as an astringent in ayurvedic medical science for centuries. It is known for its astringent like properties. The tonic made of this tree is used as a febrifuge, anti choleric, vulneray and emmenagogue. In countries like Borneo the wood near the root of the tee is used for net floats, utensils, corks and trenchers. The ethanol extract of the tree is being research upon widely. This tree has the potential of becoming an effective anti irritation agent.


This herb is best known for relieving ailments such as:

  • Fevers: The herb is a substitute for quinine and cinchona. It is used widely for relieving the problem of intermittent and remittent fevers. The powder of the plant is taken in the dosage of 2-6 grams. An infusion created from the extracts from the bark of the tree is known to relieve malarial fever.
  • Bowel complaints: Chhatim is an effective compound that relieves bowel dysfunctions.
  • Catarrhal Dyspepsia: The powdered bark is beneficial to relieve this ailment. It helps in relieving indigestion and balances the mucous content in the body.
  • Diarrhea and dysentery: The plant is effect in cases of chronic dysentery and diarrhea.
  • Skin disorders: the extract from the tree of Alstonia scholaris is helpful in relieving acne, ringworm and eczema.
  • The paste made from the bark of the tree if applied on wounds can be benefiting
  • The bark powder is used to relieve pain in the abdomen and lumps
  • The twigs of the tree are used as a toothbrush because of its bactericidal properties
  • The Alstonia scholaris is used to improve appetite of new mothers.
  • The plant increases lactation in new mothers
  • Bark of the tree mixed with Vacha and Ginger can help in avoiding fever post delivery of a child.
  • The paste of the bark of the evergreen tree is applied to relieve chronic arthritis.
  • Helpful in relieving dyspnoea
  • The powder of the flower of the Alstonia scholaris is used in case of headaches
  • The roasted leaves of the tree is made into a poultice and used as a stimulant on ulcers.
  • This herb is also prescribed for relieving leprosy
  • Chronic Paludism and enlarged spleen can be relieved by using Alstonia scholaris
  • The juice of the bark is used to relieve sores, tooth pains, ulcers and rheumatism.
  • The fruits of the tree relieve insanity as well as epilepsy.

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