• Name : Tumbru
  • English Name :Toothache Tree
  • Scientific Name :Zanthoxylum alatum



Tumburu consists of dried stem bark and fruit of Zanthoxylum armatum DC. Syn. Z. alatum Roxb. (Fam. Rutaceae); an evergreen or sub-deciduous shrub or occasionally a small tree upto 6 m high, stem and branches, armed with long, sharp prickles, found in the hot valleys of the Himalayas from Jammu to Khasia hills at 600-1800 m and eastern ghats in Orissa and Andhra Pradesh at 1200 m, also sometimes planted for hedges in Assam.1


Morphology Description (Habit):

Bark - Corky, channelled and single quilled with large marks of tubercular prickles;0.1-0.2 cm thick, external surface pale brown, rough with numerous scattered patches of lenticels, rather deeply furrowed; internal surface smooth, light yellow to pale brown; fracture, short; odour, aromatic; taste, aromatic pungent.1

Fruit - Reddish-brown, sub-globose, mostly dehisced, follicles, containing a single seed in each follicle; seeds, globose, glabrous, shiny black; upto 0.5 cm long, and about 0.3 cm wide; taste, pungent; odour, aromatic.1


Parts Used:

Stem Bark, Fruit



It contains volatile oil with active constituents linalool, limonene and lignan.2


As per Ayurveda:

           Rasa (Taste)                 : Pungent, bitter

           Guna (Property)           : Light, rough and sharp

           Veerya (Potency)         : Hot

           Vipaka (End Result)      : Pungent


Pharmacological Actions:

The herb is used as a carminative, stomachic and antihelminthics, and in the treatment of toothache.2

As per Ayurveda, Tumburu is Vatakaphahara. Its primary pharmacological actions are summarized as under:


Digestive System:

i. The stem bark possesses significant protective effect against hepatotoxicity induced by CCl(4) which may be attributed to the individual or combined action of phytoconstituents present in it.3



i. The herb possesses anti-inflammatory and analgesic activities.4

ii. Owing to deodorant, disinfectant and antiseptic properties, the fruits are used in dental preparations.







1. The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India, Part-1, Vol- 2&4.

2. Singh TP, Singh OM. Phytochemical and Pharmacological profile of Zanthoxylum armatum DC ? An overview. IJNPR. 2011; 2(3): 275-285.

3. Ranawat L1, Bhatt J, Patel J. Hepatoprotective activity of ethanolic extracts of bark of Zanthoxylum armatum DC in CCl4 induced hepatic damage in rats. J Ethnopharmacol. 2010 Feb 17;127(3):777-80.

4. Guo T, Deng YX, Xie H, Yao CY, et al. Antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory activities of ethyl acetate fraction from Zanthoxylum armatum in mice. Fitoterapia. 2011 Apr;82(3):347-51.


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