Botanical name: Strychnos nux-vomica Family: Loganiaceae (Logania family)
Nux Vomica is a medium-sized tree with a short, crooked, thick trunk. The wood is white hard, close grained, durable. Branches are irregular, covered with a smooth ash-coloured bark. Young shoots are deep green, shiny. Oppostely arranged short stalked leaves are elliptic, shiny, smooth on both sides, about 4 inches long and 3 broad. Flowers are small, greenish-white, funnel shaped, borne in small clusters at the end of branches They have a disagreeable smell. Fruit is about the size of a large apple with a smooth hard shell which when ripe is orange colored, filled with a soft white jelly-like pulp containing five seeds. The seeds are like flattened disks densely covered with closely appressed satiny hairs, radiating from the centre of the flattened sides and giving to the seeds a characteristic sheen.
Medicinal uses: Nux Vomica is recommended for upset stomach, vomiting, abdominal pain, constipation, intestinal irritation, hangovers, heartburn, insomnia, certain heart diseases, circulatory problems, eye diseases, depression, migraine headaches, nervous conditions, problems related to menopause, and respiratory diseases in the elderly. In folk medicine, it is used as a healing tonic and appetite stimulant. Nux vomica is a common homeopathic medicine prescribed for digestive problems, sensitivity to cold, and irritability.
Identification credit: N. S. Dungriyal, Pravin Kawale
The flower labeled Nux Vomica is ...