Alstonia scholaris R. Br.
Habitat Throughout moist regions of India, especially in West Bengal and west-coast forests of southern India.
English Devil’s tree, Dita Bark tree. Ayurvedic Saptaparna, Saptachhada, Saptaparni, Saptaahvaa, Vishaaltvak, Shaarada, Vishamchhada.
Unani Chhaatim, Kaasim (Kaasim Roomi, Anjudaan Roomi is equated with Myrrhis odorata Scope.)
Siddha/Tamil Ezhilamippalai, Mukkampalai.
Folk Chhitavan, Sataunaa.
Action Bark—febrifuge, antiperiodic, spasmolytic, antidysenteric, uterine stimulant, hypotensive; used for internal fevers.
Along with other therapeutic applications, The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India indicates the use of stembark in phosphaturia and recommends it as a blood purifier. Alstonia sp. is known as Fever Bark. A. constricta is native to Australia; A. scholaris to Australia and Southeast Asia. The bark of both the species contains indole alkaloids. A. constricta contains reserpine (a hyptotensive agent). A. scholaris contains echitamine, which has also demonstrated hypotensive effects. Though A. scholaris produces fall in the temperature of human patients with fever, there are conflicting reports about the activity of echitamine against Plasmodium berghei.
Dosage Stembark—20—30 g for decoction.