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Hydnocarpus kurzii - (King) Warb.

Common Name Chaulmugra
Family Achariaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards The seeds contain cyanogenic glycosides and are toxic. It is advised not to eat pigs nor fish that have been feeding on the seeds, as their flesh induces nausea and vomiting[310 ].
Habitats Evergreen forests at elevations of 600 - 1,800 metres[310 ].
Range E. Asia - northeast India, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam.
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (4 of 5)
Tender Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Hydnocarpus kurzii Chaulmugra
Hydnocarpus kurzii Chaulmugra


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Chaulmugra or Hydnocarpus kurzii is a tree growing up to 20-30 m tall and 15 m wide that can be found in East Asia. The leaves are oblong. The fruits are used as a fish poison. Chaulmugra oil obtained from the seed is used in the treatment of leprosy. Bark decoction is drunk as a general tonic to improve health and in the treatment of skin conditions and internal disorders. The roots and seeds are used by Thai traditional doctors for skin diseases.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of cone
Hydnocarpus kurzii is an evergreen Tree growing to 15 m (49ft) by 15 m (49ft) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 10. The plant is not self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid and neutral soils and can grow in very acid soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Taraktogenos kurzii King


Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

The oil extracted from the seeds, known as 'chaulmugra oil', has a long history of use in the treatment of leprosy[310 , 317 ]. When applied externally, and by direct infiltration of the lesions, it has been shown to be effective in decreasing the size of nodules, numb patches, and skin lesions[555 ]. The active principles are unusual cyclopentenic fatty acids including chaulmoogric acid. The precise molecular mycobactericidal mode of action is still unknown[555 ].. The oil contains chaulmoogric and hydnocarpic fatty acids[310 , 317 ]. A decoction of the bark is drunk as a general tonic to improve health and in the treatment of internal disorders and skin diseases[310 , 555 ]. The roots, as well as the seeds, are used by Thai traditional doctors in the treatment of skin diseases[310 ]. An exciting development from this plant is the observation that the oil, when applied to the skin, increases the strength of scar tissue and strengthens the collagen tissue in wounds. Hence some cosmetic and or dermatological application may be possible[555 ]. In addition, the lignans hydnowightin, hydnocarpin, and neohydnocarpin have been isolated in the plant. These have been shown to have cytotoxic potential against various forms of cancer[555 ].

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Other Uses

None known

Cultivation details

A plant of the wet tropics, where it can be found at elevations up to 1,800 metres. The plant grows best in areas where annual daytime annual temperatures fall within the range 28 - 34°c, though it is tolerant of 7 - 42°c[418 ]. It is tolerant of temperatures to below 2.5°c[418 ]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 3,500 - 6,500mm, but can tolerate 2,000 - 8,000mm[418 ]. Succeeds in full sun and light shade[418 ]. Tolerant of a range of soils, preferring a pH in the range 4.5 - 5, but tolerating 4 - 5.5[418 ].

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Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Dalmugri, Chaulmugra, Niradi-muttu, Lamtem, Dieng-soh-lap, Balibu, Rowai-thing, chaulmoogra, chaulmoogra oil tree, chaulmoograträd, cholmugra, nirati, tuvaraka.

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

India; Myanmar, Asia, Burma, Hawaii, India, Indochina, Laos, Myanmar, Pacific, SE Asia, USA,

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : Status: Data Deficient

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Expert comment


(King) Warb.

Botanical References


Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here
A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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