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*Dr. Sachin D. Dore and Dr. Sanjay B. Nandedkar


Kuchala (strychnous nuxvomica Linn) is one of the poisonous plant described in Ayurveda text under Upavisha. It is classified as Sthavara Vanaspatik visha (Upavisha), and phala visha (beeja visha). Strychinine is a popular, traditional and ancient drug. It is the main content of kuchala and was first medically used in 1540 then continued to be used in many stimulants, Tonics and cathartics. According to Modern science and Ayurveda, Kuchala is a known vegetable poison and used in many pharmaceutical preparations of Ayurveda and other medicine systems. Acharya Charaka explained that, an acute poison can be used as a drug if it is administered with properly and a drug can act as poison, if it is not administered properly. The medicinal preparations of Kuchala in Ayurveda includes Vishatinduka, Agnitundirasa, Suptivaatarirasa, Laxmivilasarasa, Shulnirmulanarasa, etc. This review article includes the overall information about the poisonous plant Kuchala, its, toxicological aspect, medicolegal aspect and therapeutic uses mentioned in Ayurveda and in other systems of medicine.

Keywords: Kuchala, strychnous nuxvomica, Sthavara Vanaspatik visha, phala visha, Upavisha, Therapeutic uses, spinal poison.

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