Updated date:

Charoli or Chironji: The Indian Medicinal Plant, its Health Benefits, Nutrients, Uses and Recipes

Rajan is a botany and chemistry major. He has worked as a poultry breeder for 23 years, breeding layer and broiler parents.

Charoli or Chilonji Seeds: the United States penny is for comparison of its size.

Charoli or Chilonji Seeds: the United States penny is for comparison of its size.

Latin Name: Buchanania lanzan

Indian Names: Charoli, Chironji, Chirauli, Chiraunji, Char, Priyala, Boruda etc.

Common English Names: Cheraunji nut tree, Cherauli nut, Cudappah Almond, Chironji nut etc.

Chironji Tree Bark

About The Chironji Tree

The Chironji tree is an evergreen tree native to India and grows all over the country especially in the Northwest area of India. It grows to a height of about 50 feet and has a straight trunk. The bark is rough and fissured, dark grey to black on the outside and reddish on the inside.

The leaves are thick, leathery, oblong and broad and are rounded at the base. The flowers are small and greenish-white and form a terminal panicle. The fruit is black in colour and is harvested from April to June.

The fruit has a hard seed coat while the inside kernel is soft like a pine nut. It has a slight acidic flavour akin to that of an almond. Normally the seeds are roasted or toasted before consumption or usage as heat make more flavours to emanate from the seed. The seeds are flat, oval and speckled with dark patches.

The tree commonly grows in dry and open deciduous forests preferring to grow on sandy and loamy soil and does not grow in waterlogged areas.

Each tree yields from 1 to 5 kgs of charoli seeds and chironji seeds are considered a delicacy. They are especially used in making sevaiyan during the Muslim Eid festival.

The seeds lose their flavour if kept in the open and also become bitter.

Nutrients In Chironji Per 100 grams

Principle

Nutrient Value

% RDA

 

 

 

Water

3 gms

3%

Energy

656 calories

 

Protein

19-21.6 gms

19-21.6%

Fat

59 gms

59%

Fiber

3.8 gms

3.8%

Carbohydrate

12.1 gms

12.1%

Minerals

 

 

Calcium

279 mg

27.9%

Iron

8.5 mg

95%

Phosphorus

528 mg

58.6%

Vitamins

 

 

Vitamin C

5 mg

6.6%

Vitamin B1

0.69 mg

83%

Vitamin B2

0.53 mg

40%

Niacin

1.5 mg

9.3%

 

 

 

Health Benefits Of Chironji

All the parts of the charoli tree are used in traditional Indian medicine. The fruit, roots, leaves, seeds, gum and oil are used in different ways to treat a variety of health issues.

Some of these health benefits are given below:

  • The oil is used to apply externally on glandular swellings of the neck. It is also useful in treating skin infections and to remove facial blemishes.
  • The extract of the roots is used as an expectorant, to treat blood infections and correct digestive disorders caused by liver or gall bladder dysfunctioning.
  • The gum is used to treat diarrhoea and also chest pain related to the parietal nerves.
  • The juice of the leaves is used in digestive issues, as an expectorant, a purgative and also as an aphrodisiac.
  • An ointment made from the seeds relieves itching, prickly heat, rashes, skin spots, facial blemishes and other skin related problems.
  • The gum is dissolved in cow's milk and used to treat rheumatic pains.
  • Chironji leaves act as a tonic, relieve fatigue and tiredness and have cardiotonic properties as well. The leaf powder is used to treat wounds.
  • A face pack made with the seeds and milk brings a glow to the face.
  • Charoli seeds are cooling and are used to remove burning sensation from the body.
  • The seeds also act as a tonic to the brain and are useful in many genito-urinary problems like gleet etc.

Uses Of Chironji

The seeds of chironji are a delicacy and are used in desserts, bakery and confectionery products. They are used to thicken sauces and gravies and also to flavour meats.

The seeds yield an oil that is comparable to olive and almond oil in their medicinal properties and is also substituted for these oils in the pharmaceutical products.

The leaves are used as fodder for cattle, sheep and goats.

The bark yields tannin which is used in the leather industry, in the clarification of wine and beer, in the pharmaceutical industry etc.

The wood is used as firewood.

Chironji has long been used in Indian Ayurvedic and Unani system of medicine.

In India, a traditional sweet dish called " Chironji Ki Barfi" is made from these seeds and is especially given to newlywed couples. Chironji is also used as one of the ingredients in sweet dishes or desserts like sevaiyan as in the video below. It is also used to prepare chironji ki dal, ladoos, etc.

Seviyan Kheer (Sweet Vermicelli)

References

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buchanania_lanzan
  • The Encyclopedia of Fruits and Nuts edited by Jules Janick, R.E Paull
  • http://www.indianetzone.com/38/chironji_plant.htm
  • http://www.onlyfoods.net/charoli.html
  • http://nopr.niscair.res.in/bitstream/123456789/13445/1/IJTK%2011(1)%20202-204.pdf

Disclaimer

The information provided in this hub is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your physician, or health care provider before taking any home remedies, supplements or starting a new health regime.

Some Recipes With Chironji

  • Recipe Chironji Ki Kheer
    Preparation Time : 10min Cooking Time : 30-35 min Serves / Makes : 6 Ingredients 1 litre whole milk, 1/4 litre heavy cream, 1/2 (89439)Recipe Chironji Ki Kheer Indian Recipes
  • Chironji ki Dal Recipe - NDTVCooks.com
    Chironji ki Dal Recipe, Learn how to make Chironji ki Dal (absolutely delicious recipe of Chironji ki Dal ingredients and cooking method) Dal made with chironji or charoli seeds. Something different for you to slurp on during fasting days.. Explore m

Chironji ki Burfi

Pepper Chironji Lamb

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2013 Rajan Singh Jolly

Comments

William Pereira on June 27, 2017:

Very useful information

varun sharma on February 21, 2014:

this is really wondeful information for me and i hope for others

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on June 03, 2013:

Thanks and glad you like it. Appreciate the vote and sharing, moonlake.

moonlake from America on June 02, 2013:

Great information never heard of this before but now I know all about it. Thanks for sharing and I will share this and vote up.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on May 30, 2013:

Indian Chef, this is a very common item sold as a dry fruit. Thanks for reading.

Indian Chef from New Delhi India on May 28, 2013:

THis is not only very interesting hub and also very informative. Again may be it is called something else here as I have not heard these names. Very good hub.voting up and today i do not see share with followers button so sharing in twitter.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on May 26, 2013:

@Aufait- most of these foods are sold on Amazon. Luckily for those who do not find these in their local stores this is a great option. Appreciate your interest and sharing of the hub.

@MsDora-good to know these not so well known food hubs are appreciated. Thanks.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on May 26, 2013:

These names are all unfamiliar to me, but I still want to learn about the plant. Never know when or how the information might come in handy. Thanks a lot, Rajan.

C E Clark from North Texas on May 26, 2013:

You have so many interesting foods in India. I really enjoy reading about them. I have not yet found a store in my area reasonably close by that sells some of these items, but I hope that will change because many of them sound like they would be very healthful. Excellent information. Voted up, interesting, useful, and will share!

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on May 25, 2013:

Thanks Rasma!

Gypsy Rose Lee from Daytona Beach, Florida on May 25, 2013:

Thanks for sharing this very interesting and informative hub. Never knew about this so it's good to get to know all the health benefits. Passing this on.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on May 24, 2013:

@Bill-there is so much to learn and so little time in a day. I'm blessed to be able to learn and also spread what I learn all over the world, thanks to internet. Always good to hear from you.

@Lisa-let food be thy medicine, Hippocrates said it. Those people were much wiser then; than, we are today!

@Peggy-They grow only in hot climes and more so in this part of the world. However the charoli seeds are available far and wide. Thanks for the shares and votes.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on May 24, 2013:

This is certainly something that I have never previously known. Thanks for introducing me to the Charoli tree. I don't think that I have ever seen those seeds for sale over here. Interesting how all parts of the tree are utilized for different things. Up, useful and interesting and will pin and share.

lisa42 from Sacramento on May 24, 2013:

It's amazing how many plants have health benefits. Very interesting!

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on May 24, 2013:

I am completely clueless about this plant. Never heard of it. That is why I enjoy your hubs so much. Through you I learn so much about the different ways of the world. Thank you for always teaching and doing it in a manner that is easy to understand.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on May 24, 2013:

@Devika- thanks!

@Jo- we need to stop all this devastation of nature because it is rebounding on our health. Appreciate the visit.

Jo Alexis-Hagues from Lincolnshire, U.K on May 24, 2013:

Rajan, this one is new to me....nature never ceases to amaze; there are so many wonderful nutritious and medicinal plants out there, just imagine how many we are probably destroying as we cut and burn our rain forests. another great job, voting up and useful.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on May 24, 2013:

Medicinal plants are becoming more useful and so helpful informative and unique from you