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Aralu (Ailanthus Excelsa) - Properties, Benefits & Dosage

A large deciduous tree grows up to 30 meters in height, with straight trunk. Leaves alternate, pinnately compound, large, 30-60 cm or more in length; leaflets 8-14 or more pairs, long stalked, ovate or broadly lance shaped from very unequal base, 6-10 cm long, 3-5 cm wide, often curved, long pointed, hairy gland, coarsely toothed and often lobed. Flower clusters droop at leaf bases, shorter than leaves, much branched; flowers many, mostly male and female on different trees, short stalked, greenish-yellow; Fruit a 1-seeded samara, lance shaped, flat, pointed at ends, 5 cm long, 1 cm wide, copper, strongly veined and twisted at the base.

Cultivation Details

A plant of the semi-arid to wet tropics, where it is found at elevations up to 900 metres. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 20 - 40°c, but can tolerate 4 - 47°c. Mature plants can be killed by temperatures of -5°c or lower, but new growth can be killed at -1°c. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 600 - 1,900mm, but tolerates 400 - 2,500mm.

Grows best in a very sunny position. Prefers a light to medium soil, growing well in sandy soils of medium to low fertility so long as there is adequate moisture. Plants are relatively tolerant of salt in the soil. The branches are rather brittle, so a position sheltered from strong winds is preferred. Prefers a pH in the range 5 - 6, tolerating 4.5 - 7. Mature plants are drought tolerant.

A fast-growing tree.

The tree coppices well and produces root suckers that should be thinned to reduce competition.

Survivability of newly planted trees is poor if the trees are not sufficiently watered during their first and second years of growth. A dioecious species, both male and female forms need to be grown if seed is required.

Occurrence and Chemical Constituents

  •   Garlic acid
  •   Chebulic acid
  •   Mirobalanin
  •   Tannin

Common Synonyms Of Ailanthus Excelsa

  •   English Name : Indian Tree of Heaven, Coramandel ailanto
  •   Sanskrit Name : Aralu, Araluka, Araluvrksa
  •   Hindi Name : Mahanimb, Maharukh
  •   Kannada Name : Bende, Dodabevu, Dodda
  •   Tamil Name : Perumaram, Perumaruntu
  •   Telugu Name : Pedda, Peddamandu, Peddamanu
  •   Malayalam Name : Mattipongilyam, Peru, Perumaram


  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •   Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •   Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •   Class: Dicotyledonae

Habitat of Aralu

All over India and Srilanka.

Special Activity And Common Properties Of The Herb

  •   Diarrhea.
  •   Menstrual pain.
  •   Asthma.
  •   Cramps.
  •   Epilepsy.
  •   Fast heart rate.
  •   Gonorrhea.
  •   Malaria.
  •   Tapeworms.
  •   Use as a tonic.
  •   Other conditions.

Parts Used

  •   Leaves
  •   Bark
  •   Roots

Effect on Doshas

Thridosha hara

Ayurvedic Properties of Aralu

Hindi Sanskrit English
Rasa Kashaya Taste katu/amla/kashaya
Veerya Sheet Potency ushna
Vipaka Katu Post-digestive effect madura
Guna Laghu Characteristics lagu/ ruksha

Side Effect & Safety

It is not known if tree of heaven is safe. But when taken in large amounts, tree of heaven bark can cause queasiness, dizziness, headache, limb tingling, and diarrhea.

In research, some animals died after being given tree of heaven.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of tree of heaven during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.