Gambhari (Gmelina Arborea) – Uses, Properties, Benefits and Side Effects

Gambhari, also known as Gambhar / Kashmari is a medicinal plant that is found natively in the hilly areas of India, Pakistan and Bhutan but is also found in Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. In Ayurveda, all its fruit, leaves, flowers, roots and bark are considered very useful for the treatment of several ailments like hyperacidity, blood pressure, reproductive disorders and bleeding disorders. It is a vata pacifying herb.

In the Charaka Samhita, the great rishi Charaka, describes gambhari herb to be Shothahara which signifies a ‘herbs that relieve inflammation/oedema’, a Virecanopaga which means ‘herb useful as a purgative’ and Dahaprasahmana which means ‘herb that relieves burning sensation of the skin’. Gambhari bark is one of the 10 ingredients of a dashmoola group of herbs.

Gambhari is also one of the members of “brhat pancamulas” (बृहत्पञ्चमूल), classified as appetisers, which is a group of herbs astringent and bitter in taste with hot potency. Other herbs in the group being Bilva, Agnimantha, Ṭuṇṭukā, and Pāṭalā. In Ayurvedic scriptures, the fruit is described as a Rasayana (rejuvunative), Medhya (memory enhancer) and Vrishya (an aphrodasiac).

Gambhari - Gmelina Arborea
Gambhari – Gmelina Arborea

Physical Appearance

Gambhari is a fast-growing tree of teak family and it is medium sized and about 40 to 60 feet / 20 meters long. It has simple heart shaped large leaves with greyish white bark. The flowers are reddish yellow in colour and fruits are green and oval shaped. Fruits of gambhari are sweet and cooling and contain tartaric acid which is a natural anti-oxidant found in also found in wine. The roots are light coloured from outside and yellow from inside. The wood of the gambhari tree is also used for construction, handicrafts making and pulp making.


Medicinal Properties

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-parasitic
  • Anti-oxidant
  • Antidiarrheal
  • Anti-diabetic
  • Anti-ulcer
  • Anti-ageing
  • Anti-diuretic
  • Anti-bacterial
  • Anti-fungal
  • Cardioprotective
  • Insecticidal
  • Anti-cancer
  • Anti-hyperlipidemic
  • Gastroprotective
  • Antipyretic
  • Analgesic
  • Immunomodulatory
  • Laxative
  • Wound Healing
  • Stomachic


Common Names

Sanskrit: Gambhar, Sariparni, Kasmiri, Kashmari, Kashmarya, Krishnavrintaka, Madhuparnika, Hora, Bhadraparni, Pitharohini, Madhu Rasa, Katphalah

Hindi: Kambari, Kambar, Khambhari, Khammara, Gambhar, Gambari, Gamari, Sewan, Shewan, Shiwan

Scientific Name: Gmelina arborea

English: Verbenaceae


Gambhari Benefits and Uses


1. Gambhari For Hyperdipsia (Excessive Thirst)

Sometimes during long hikes and travel, the mouth becomes extremely dry even after repeatedly consuming water. This condition is called Hyperdipsia. Gambhari fruits are cold in potency. 1 or 2 gambhari fruits can be consumed in excessive thirst, lack of saliva and dryness of the mouth.


2. Gambhari For Fever

Gambhari leaves and roots are considered ‘jvarahara’ which means a herb that relieves fever. The paste of leaves can be applied on the forehead in case of headache during fever. Gambhari leaf oil or extract is applied on the body and massaged, relieves fever.

The fever with pitta origin can be relieved by consuming a cold infused tea prepared from the ripened gambhari fruit and honey.

The decoction of the fruit pulp can be given to relieve excessive thirst due to fever.


3. Gambhari For Gonorrhea and Male Sexual Disorders

Gambhari fruit is also extremely beneficial in “dhatu rog” which means male sexual disorders eg Gonorrhea. t is also a natural aphrodisiac.

In gambhari fruit powder, mix alma powder in equal quantity and mix a little bit of mishri. Taking this mixture two times a day with milk cures all sexual disorders in men. 20ml leaf juice can be also taken orally for gonorrhoea.


4. Gambhari For Acidity

In cases of extreme acidity, the fruit of Gmelina Arborea is great medicine. If you consume 1-2 fruits and have a glass of normal water on top, it will give immediate relief even from extremely stubborn acidity and gas.

In case of ulcers due to acidity, ulcerative colitis (especially caused due to diabetes) or stomach and any kind of intestine infection, having the powder of gambhari twice a day (morning and evening) with water is a great remedy. This remedy is also said to permanently cure acidity related problems. The same remedy is also helpful for eliminating general weakness in the body.


5. Gambhari For Bleeding Disorders and Women

The fruits of gambhari are useful raktapitta which means bleeding disorders in Sanskrit. It is found useful in nasal bleeding, heavy menstruation bleeding, and prevents haemorrhages. Stem decoction is also given in case of bleeding disorders. The roots of gambhari can be used as a remedy for irregular menstruation and to increase lactation in new mothers. The bark is helpful in urinary discharge. The decoction of gambhari bark and mulethi bark can help women conceive by improving fertility.


6. Gambhari Root For Digestion and Constipation

Roots of the gambhari plant have a mild laxative effect. They are bitter, stomachic and a tonic for the digestive system. They relieve piles and constipation. They increase digestion and appetite and promotes good absorption of nutrients in the body. The leaves and roots both are recommended in ascites, dyspepsia (indigestion with nausea, bloating, discomfort, burping and pain in the upper abdomen), inflammatory conditions of the urinary bladder and dysuria. It is also helpful in relieving intestinal parasites.


7. Gambhari For Tuberculosis

In the early stages of tuberculosis of lungs, sometimes a cavity or scar appears on the lungs. Even after the infection is eliminated, the cavity can also be seen in the X-Ray, depicting that the person had previously been infected by tuberculosis bacteria. Gambhari fruits powder have a healing anabolic effect and can help in the healing of the cavitation in the lungs.


8. Gambhari For Arthritis and Gout Joint Pain

The fruit powder and bark powder are useful in the treatment of initial stages of arthritis (amavata) and joint pain due to gout (vataraktra). It is anti-inflammatory in nature. For the treatment, you can make a mixture of fruit and bark powder with mulethi (liquorice) in equal amounts. Take 5 to 6 grams of this mixture and boil it in 500gms of water on low to medium heat. When only 150gm of water is left, filter it and drink in the morning and evening. Taking this regularly helps relieve arthritis and joint pain to a great extent.

The roots of gambhari are also useful in Anasarca (massive oedema) which is a general swelling the whole body due to excess fluid retention. Anasarca is a symptom of liver or renal failure.


9. Gambhari Leaves For Migraine and Headache

The leaves are very useful in suppressing the headaches in migraine. You can take a few leaves and grind them and apply on the forehead. It diminishes all sorts of headaches including aches due to cold or fever. The leaf paste is also helpful in wound healing.


10. Gmelina Arborea For Brain

Gambhari fruit has nourishing qualities for the brain. It is considered a natural brain tonic. The roots decoction is also prescribed in case of hallucinations.


11. Gambhari For Urticaria and Skin Allergies

The fruit powder mixed with mishri if consumed is extremely helpful in urticaria (sheetapitta) and all sorts of skin allergies. The fruits can also be consumed whole with milk to get the same effect. It purifies the blood and has anti-oxidant properties which make it helpful for the removing dullness of skin and wrinkles.


Garmbhari (Gmelina Arborea) Chemical Constituents

B-sitosterol, tartaric acid, butyric acid, ceryl alcohol, gmelinol, premnazole, apigenin, ardorel, cutytyl ferulate, arborone, gemelenore, isoarborel, gmelauran, epiedudesmin, gummadiol, non-saponifiable fraction, saponifiable fraction, apiosylskimmin, octacosanol.


Side Effects

There are no major known side effects of using this herb also the bark of gambhari consumed in access dosage is not considered to be good for the stomach.



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