Azima Tetracantha Lam

Botanical Name: Azima Tetracantha Lam

Sanskrit Name: Kandaki

Family Name: Salvadoraceaea


Vernacular names :

Common name – needle bush

Kannada –bileevuppi

Malayalam –changan

Tamil –ichanka

Oriya – adibhango

Telugu -thella – upi


Kunthali, Kundali, Kandaki


A glabrous, rigid, rambling shrub, found in peninsular India, Orissa and West Bengal. Leaves elliptic, rigid, pale; flowers small, greenish white or yellow, unisexual, in axillary fascicles; berries globose, white, usually one seeded.

The berries are eaten: The leaves are considered stimulant; they are given to women immediately after confinement.

Botanical details

The stem of Needle-bush is bark green on younger branches, turning brown, young twigs sometimes square in cross-section, hairy; characteristic whorls of four long straight spines occur along the length of branches at each of the leaf axils. Leaf is oval to circular, opposite or nearly so, each pair at right angles to the previous and following one; light green, leathery and usually hairy; apex has a sharp tip, margin entire, tapering at both ends, short petiole. Flower is dioecious; light green or yellow, small flower clusters in axils; floral parts in fours; petals recurving, calyx bell-shaped. Leaf is round berry of 1 cm in diameter with a sharp apical tip; fleshy, light-coloured, containing one or two seeds; ripe from summer into the next winter.


India , Orissa , west Bengal

Azima Tetracantha Lam comprises about 4 species in mainland Africa, Madagascar and Asia and is characterized by long axillary spines. Over the range of its distribution Azimatetracantha varies considerably, yet it is an easily recognizable and distinct species. In southern Africa the male plants lack spines, or have poorly developed ones, while female specimens have long spines.


Ashthma, bronchitis, prameha, kasa

Part used

Whole plant

Therapeutic uses

  1. In the pounded roots are applied directly to snakebites and an infusion is taken orally as a treatment for them
  2. a root decoction can be to treat stomach disorders.
  3. an infusion of the leaves is used to treat venereal diseases.
  4. the juice of the berries is applied directly into the ear to treat earache and the dried root is ground, put in cold water and given to cows to facilitate difficult parturition.
  5. apply the sap of the plant directly to treat toothache and bleeding

Research and studies

The leaves are reported to be used for treating ulcers,   especially after   smallpox.   The   decoction ofstembark is considered astringent, expectorant and antiperiodic. A decoction of stembark, leaves and roots along with other ingredients is given in chronic diarrhoea. The leaves and stems yield alkaloids (crude, 0.014% dry wt basis), including three dimericpiperidine alkaloids, viz. a71mine (C24H42N204, m p 112-13′; yield, 0.0116% dry wt basis), a small amount of azcarpine (C26H46N204, m p 78-80°)   and   minute quantities   of   carpaine (C28H5aN204, m p 117.5-18.5°). When eaten by domestic stock, the plant imparts a very pronounced flavour to milk and butter (Sundararaj&Balasubramanyam, 34; Rama Rao, 250; Kirtikar&Basu, II, 1541; Chopra et al, 1956, 32; Watt &Breyer-Brandwijk, 926; Smalberger et al, Tetrahedron, 1968, 24, 6417; Rail et al, Tetrahedron Liii, 1967, 3465).