Sambhaloo (Vitex negundo Linn)

Introduction/ plant Description

Sambhaloo (Vitex negundo Linn.) also known as the Chinese chaste tree, five- leaved chaste tree, or horseshoe vitex, is a aromatic deciduous shrub with quadrangular, densely whitish, tomentose branchlets. It is an erect large shrub or sometimes a small slender tree growing from 2 to 8 m in height. Its bark is thin, grey or reddish brown; branchlets quadrangular, whitish with a white tomentum.

Leaves are digitate 3-5 foliolate; leaflets lanceolate, acute, the terminal leaflet 5- 10 by 1.6- 3.2 cm. with a petiolule 1- 1.3 cm long, the lateral leaflets smaller with a very short petiolule, all nearly glabrous above, covered with a fine white tomentum beneath, base acute; common petioles 2.5-3.8 cm long. The leaf edges are toothed or serrated and the bottom surface is covered in hair.

The numerous flowers are borne in panicles 10 to 20 cm in length. Each flower is around 6 to 7 cm long and is white to blue in color. The petals are of different lengths, with the middle lower lobe being the longest. Both the corolla and calyx are covered in dense hairs.

Calyx 3 mm long, white-tomentose; teeth triangular, 0.8- 1 mm long. Corolla 1 cm long, bluish purple, tomentose outside, hairy inside at the insertion of the stamens. Filaments hairy at the very base. Ovary glabrous; stigma forked. Drupe less than 6 mm. diameter, black when ripe. The fruit is a succulent drupe, 4 mm (0.16 in) in diameter, rounded to egg-shaped. It is black or purple when ripe.

Habitat: Bengal, Southern India and Burma.

Parts Used: Leaves, Seeds, Roots and essential oil of fresh leaves, flowers and dried fruits

Mizaj (Temperament): Hot 2º and Dry 2º

Common Names

  • Arabic:                        Aslag, Fanjangasht, Zukhamsateasabea, Zukhamsatilourag
  • Bengali:                      Nirgundi, Nishinda, Nisinda, Samalu
  • Burmese:                    Kiyowbhanbin, Kiyubanbin
  • Chinese:                     Houang Kin, Mu Ching
  • Deccan:                      Shamalu, Shambali
  • Gujerati:                     Nagaol, Nagda, Nagoda, Nagodz, Nigod, Nirgiri
  • Malaya:                      Ching tzu, Huang ching, Kheng chee, Man ching
  • Malayalam:                Indrani, Nochi, Vellanochi
  • Marathi:                      Lingur, Nirguda, Nirgunda, Nirgundi, Nirgur
  • Persian:                      Banjangasht, Panjangusht
  • Sanskrit:                     Indrani, Nilapushpa, Nilanirgundi, Nirgundi, Shephali, Sinduvara
  • Tamil:                         Nirkkundi, Nochi, Sinduvaram, Vennochi
  • Telugu:                       Nallavavili, Sinduvaramu, Vavili, Vayila
  • Uriya:                         Begundia, Indrani

Scientific Classification

  • Kingdom:                   Plantae
  • Subkingdom:             Tracheobionta
  • Division:                     Magnoliophyta
  • Class:                          Magnoliopsida
  • Subclass:                    Asteridae
  • Order:                          Lamiales
  • Family:                        Verbenaceae
  • Genus:                         Vitex
  • Species:                      Vitex negundo Linn. 

Af’al (Actions)

It is detergent (Jali), alangesic (Musakkin-e- dard), anti-inflammatory (Muhallil-e- waram), Mujaffif, antiseptic (Daf’-e- ta’ffun), wound healing (Mundamil-e- qurooh), Deobstruent (Mufatteh sudad), Mulattif, Carminative (Kasir-e- riyah), Antipyretic (Daf’-e- humma), appetizer (Mushtahi), Mukhrij-e- deedan, Anthelmintic (Qatile deedan), Aphrodisiac (Muqawwi-e- baah).

Therapeutic Uses

  • Seeds soaked in vinegar are used as hot fomentation in case of flatulence.  It cures cough and boils. It is beneficial in leprosy, asthma and rectal prolapse.
  • Oral use of powdered seeds helpful in regularising the menstrual cycle.
  • Seeds are used orally along with sikanjabeen to resolve hard swellings of spleen.
  • Oral use of powdered seeds helpful in reducing pain during menses.
  • Powdered seeds are used orally in case of poor lactation.
  • Oral uses of powdered seeds act as emmenogogue.
  • Oral use of powdered fruit in the form of tablet reduces arthralgia.
  • Oral use of pounded leaves is helpful in relapsing fever.
  • Powdered dry fruit is used orally to reduce backache and headache.
  • Local application of pounded leaves is helpful in fissure in ano.  
  • Pounded leaves cooked in oil is applied locally to treat putrefied ulcers and also to resolve hard swellings.
  • Local application of warm leaves is beneficial in resolving warme barid (cold swelling) and flatulance.  
  • Juice of green leaves dropped into eyes to improve the vision.
  • Gargling with decoction of leaves is helpful to treat mouth ulcers and throat pain.
  • Sitz bath in its decoction is helpful in warme maqaad (proctitis).
  • Leaves soaked in cold water whole night and are used as gargle to treat toothache, gingivitis, bleeding gums, halitosis and excessive salivation.
  • Oral use of decoction of leaves helpful in cold, corrhyza and headache.
  • Pillow stuffed with its leaves is used to reduce headache.
  • Juice of leaves is used locally to treat skin diseases and swellings.
  • Tablet formed with pounded leaves in the dose of 3gm and cooked in ghee is used for one week in puerperium with benefit.
  • Dried leaves are used in hukka which is beneficial in cold and headache.
  • Its root and leaves act as a diaphoretic and diaphoresis.
  • Grind together its leaves along with garlic, rice and jaggery and used orally to get wormicidal effect. 
  • Fumigation with its leaves and fruit along with pudina sehrai act as emmenogogue.
  • Sitz bath with decoction of leaves of Vitex negundo Linn. or boiled leaves can be applied locally to reduce inflammation of uterus
  • Sitz bath with decoction of leaves of Vitex negundo.  Linn is beneficial in Infammatory condition of ovaries.
  • Application of pounded root over umbilical region or over the vulvae causes easy delivery of the baby.

Doses (Miqdare khurak):  seed-2 to 5g 

Murakkab (compound formulations): Safoofe Fanjkusht, Roghan-e- haft barg, Majoon Joagraj Gugal


  • PUBLISHED DATE : Jun 17, 2020
  • LAST UPDATED ON : Jun 17, 2020


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