Madhuca longifolia

Mahua longifolia is an Indian tropical tree found largely in the central and north Indian plains and forests. It is commonly known as mahuwa, mahua, mahwa, mohulo, or Iluppai or vippa chettu. It is a fast-growing tree that grows to approximately 20 meters in height, possesses evergreen or semi-evergreen foliage, and belongs to the family Sapotaceae.[1] It is adaptable to arid environments, being a prominent tree in tropical mixed deciduous forests in India in the states of Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Gujarat, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu.[2]

Madhuca longifolia
Mahuwa trees in Chhattisgarh
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Ericales
Family: Sapotaceae
Genus: Madhuca
M. longifolia
Binomial name
Madhuca longifolia
(J.Konig) J.F.Macbr.


It is cultivated in warm and humid regions for its oleaginous seeds (producing between 20 and 200 kg of seeds annually per tree, depending on maturity), flowers and wood. The fat (solid at ambient temperature) is used for the care of the skin, to manufacture soap or detergents, and as a vegetable butter. It can also be used as a fuel oil. The seed cakes obtained after extraction of oil constitute very good fertilizer. The flowers are used to produce an alcoholic drink in tropical India. This drink is also known to affect the animals.[3] Several parts of the tree, including the bark, are used for their medicinal properties. It is considered holy by many tribal communities because of its usefulness.

Madhuca indica (Mahua) in Hyderabad, AP W IMG 0068
M. longifolia in Hyderabad, India

The tree is considered a boon by the native tribes who are forest dwellers and keenly conserve this tree. However, conservation of this tree has been marginalised, as it is not favoured by non-native tribes.[4]

The leaves of Madhuca indica (= M. longifolia) are fed on by the moth Antheraea paphia, which produces tassar silk, a form of wild silk of commercial importance in India.[5] Leaves, flowers and fruits are also lopped to feed goats and sheep.[6]

The Tamils have several uses for M. longifolia (iluppai in Tamil). The saying "aalai illaa oorukku iluppaip poo charkkarai" indicates when there is no cane sugar available, the flower of M. longifolia can be used, as it is very sweet. However, Tamil tradition cautions that excessive use of this flower will result in imbalance of thinking and may even lead to lunacy.[7]

The alkaloids in the press cake of mahua seeds is reportedly used in killing fishes in aquaculture ponds in some parts of India. The cake serves to fertilise the pond, which can be drained, sun dried, refilled with water and restocked with fish fingerlings.[8][9]

Mahua flowers

Mahua Flowers 1
Mahua flowers

The mahua flower is edible and is a food item for tribals. They use it to make syrup for medicinal purposes.[2]

They are also fermented to produce the alcoholic drink mahua, a country liquor. Tribals of Bastar in Chhattisgarh and peoples of Western Orissa, Santhals of Santhal Paraganas (Jharkhand), Koya tribals of North-East Andhra Pradesh (vippa saara: విప్ప సారా) , Bhil tribal in western Madhya Pradesh and tribals of North Maharashtra consider the tree and the mahua drink as part of their cultural heritage. Mahua is an essential drink for tribal men and women during celebrations.[10] The main ingredients used for making it are chhowa gud (granular molasses) and dried mahua flowers.

Mahula fruit is a essential food of Western Odisha people.The tree has a great cultural significance. There are so many variety of food prepared with the help of fruit and flower. Also Western Odisha people use to Pray this tree during festivals. The liquor produced from the flowers is largely colourless, opaque and not very strong. The taste is reminiscent of sake with a distinctive smell of mahua flowers. It is inexpensive and the production is largely done in home stills.

Mahua flowers are also used to manufacture jam, which is made by tribal co-operatives in the Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra.[11]


In many parts of Bihar, such as villages in the district of Siwan, the flowers of mahua tree are sun-dried; these sun-dried flowers are ground to flour and used to make various kinds of breads.

Mahua for sale
The locals also use mahua flowers to make wine.

Mahua Oil

  • Refractive index: 1.452
  • Fatty acid composition (acid, %) : palmitic (c16:0) : 24.5, stearic (c18:0) : 22.7, oleic (c18:1) : 37.0, linoleic (c18:2) : 14.3

Trifed, a website of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India reports: "Mahua oil has emollient properties and is used in skin disease, rheumatism and headache. It is also a laxative and considered useful in habitual constipation, piles and haemorrhoids and as an emetic. Native tribes also used it as an illuminant and hair fixer."[2]

It has also been used as biodiesel.[12]

Other names

  • Other botanical names: Bassia longifolia L., B. latifolia Roxb., Madhuca indica J. F. Gmel., M. latifolia (Roxb.) J.F.Macbr., Illipe latifolia (Roxb.) F.Muell., Illipe malabrorum (Engl.) Note: the authentic genus Bassia is in the Chenopodiaceae. The names B. longifolia and B. latifolia are illegitimate.
  • Varieties:
    • M. longifolia var. latifolia (Roxb.) A.Chev. (=B. latifolia (Roxb))
    • M. longifolia var. longifolia
  • Vernacular names:
    • Bengali:mohua
    • Oriya:"Mahula" "ମହୂଲ"
    • English: honey tree, butter tree
    • French: illipe, arbre à beurre, bassie, madhuca
    • India: moha, mohua, madhuca, kuligam, madurgam, mavagam, nattiluppai, tittinam, mahwa, mahua, mowa, moa, mowrah, mahuda(Gujarati-મહુડા)
    • Rajasthan: "dolma" in mevadi and marwari
    • Sri Lanka: මී mee in Sinhala
    • Tamil: iluppai(இலுப்பை),
    • Telugu: vippa (విప్ప),
    • Myanmar: ကမ်းဇော်
  • Synonymous names for this tree in some of the Indian states are mahua and mohwa in Hindi-speaking belt, mahwa, mahula, Mahula in Oriya and maul in Bengal, mahwa and mohwro in Maharashtra, mahuda in Gujarat, ippa puvvu (Telugu: ఇప్ప) in Andhra Pradesh, ippe or hippe in Karnataka (Kannada), illupei or இலுப்பை in Tamil, poonam and ilupa in Kerala (Malayalam) and mahula, moha and modgi in Orissa (Oriya).[2]

Different views and aspects of M. longifolia var. latifolia

Madhuca longifolia var latifolia (Mahua) leaves W IMG 0247

Fruit with leaves in Narsapur, Medak district, India

Terminalia belerica Bhopal
Bassia latifolia 11

Mahua Tree in Thrissur, Kerala, India


Mahua Drying by Pankaj Oudhia
Sun drying of Mahua (Madhuca) using Traditional Supa prepared from Bamboo in Chhattisgarh Village, India


  1. ^ Pankaj Oudhia, Robert E. Paull. Butter tree Madhuca latifolia Roxb. Sapotaceae p827-828. Encyclopedia of Fruit and Nuts - 2008, J. Janick and R. E. Paull -editors, CABI, Wallingford, United Kingdom
  2. ^ a b c d "Product profile, Mahuwa, Trifed, Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India". Archived from the original on 2009-06-19. Retrieved 2013-11-21.
  3. ^ Mark Duell (2012-11-07). "Trunk and disorderly! Herd of 50 drunken elephants ransack village after gulping down 500 LITRES of alcohol in shop". London: Retrieved 2013-11-21.
  4. ^ "Mahuwa tree and the aborigines of North Maharashtra, D.A.Patil, et al". Retrieved 2013-11-21.
  5. ^ "Non-Wood Forest Products in 15 Countries Of Tropical Asia : An Overview". Archived from the original on 2014-04-18. Retrieved 2013-11-21.
  6. ^ Heuzé V., Tran G., Archimède H., Bastianelli D., Lebas F., 2017. Mahua (Madhuca longifolia). Feedipedia, a programme by INRA, CIRAD, AFZ and FAO.
  7. ^ Dr. J.Raamachandran, HERBS OF SIDDHA MEDICINES-The First 3D Book on Herbs, pp38
  8. ^ Keenan, G.I., 1920. The microscopical identification of mohraw meal in insecticides. J. American Pharmaceutical Assoc., Vol. IX, No. 2, pp.144-147
  9. ^ T.V.R.Pillay and M.N.Kutty, 2005. Aquaculture: Principles and Practices. 2nd Edition. Blackwell Publishing Ltd., p.623
  10. ^ "Mahuwah". 2005-06-07. Retrieved 2013-11-21.
  11. ^ "Forest department, LIT develop new products from mahua - The Times of India". The Times Of India. 2012-12-04.
  12. ^ "Farm Query - Mahua oil". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 2014-01-22.
  13. ^ "File:Madhuca longifolia var latifolia (Mahua) fruits Melghat Tiger Reserve Maharashtra 56 249.jpg - Wikimedia Commons". Retrieved 2013-11-21.

External links


  • Boutelje, J. B. 1980. Encyclopedia of world timbers, names and technical literature.
  • Duke, J. A. 1989. Handbook of Nuts. CRC Press.
  • Encke, F. et al. 1993. Zander: Handwörterbuch der Pflanzennamen, 14. Auflage.
  • Govaerts, R. & D. G. Frodin. 2001. World checklist and bibliography of Sapotaceae.
  • Hara, H. et al. 1978–1982. An enumeration of the flowering plants of Nepal.
  • Matthew, K. M. 1983. The flora of the Tamil Nadu Carnatic.
  • McGuffin, M. et al., eds. 2000. Herbs of commerce, ed. 2.
  • Nasir, E. & S. I. Ali, eds. 1970–. Flora of [West] Pakistan.
  • Pennington, T. D. 1991. The genera of the Sapotaceae.
  • Porcher, M. H. et al. Searchable World Wide Web Multilingual Multiscript Plant Name Database (MMPND) - on-line resource.
  • Saldanha, C. J. & D. H. Nicolson. 1976. Flora of Hassan district.
  • Saldanha, C. J. 1985–. Flora of Karnataka.
Coptotermes ceylonicus

Coptotermes ceylonicus, is a species of subterranean termite of the genus Coptotermes. It is native to India and Sri Lanka. It is a common wood destroying termites, which damage to logs, woodens structures of both natural and man-made. It is a pest of many economically valuable trees such as Hevea brasiliensis and Camellia sinensis, and also an inhabitant of Anacardium occidentale, Cocos nucifera, Ficus fergusonii, Gliricidia sepium, Grevillea robusta, Madhuca longifolia, Tamarindus indica and Theobroma cacao.

Cuisine of Jharkhand

Jharkhand cuisine encompasses the cuisine of the Indian state of Jharkhand. Staple food of Jharkhand are rice, dal, vegetable and tubers. Common meals often consist of vegetables that are cooked in various ways, such as curried, fried, roasted and boiled. Traditional dishes of Jharkhand may not be available at restaurants. However, on a visit to a local village, one can get a chance to taste such exotic foods. Some dish preparations may be mild with a low oil and spice content, although pickles and festive dishes may have such characteristics.


Elupanatham or Ilupanatham is a village Gram panchayat in Salem district, Thalaivasal block in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

Ellupanatham is about eight kilometres south of Thalaivasal towards Veeraganur.

Gautala Autramghat Sanctuary

Gautala Autramghat Sanctuary is a protected area of Maharashtra state, India. It lies in the Satmala and Ajantha hill ranges of the Western Ghats, and administratively is in Aurangabad District and Jalgaon District. The wildlife sanctuary was established in 1986 in an existing reserved forest area.It covers a total area of 26,061.19 hectares (64,399 acres) with Reserved Forest Areas of 19706 ha. in Aurangabad and 6355.19 ha. in Jalgaon. Its name comes the nearby village of Gautala, which was itself named after Gautam Rishi, a Hindu ascetic mentioned in the Ramcharitmanas.


Illipe butter is a vegetable fat from the nut (known as the "false illipe nut") of the Shorea stenoptera tree, sometimes used as a butter substitute. Borneo tallow nut oil is extracted from this species. The word Illipe is derived from the Tamil word for the tree Iluppai (இலுப்பை). The true illipe nut is from the species Madhuca latifolia; it is used for producing biodiesel, and Mowrah Butter is from Madhuca longifolia, Family Sapotaceae.


Kalpavriksha (Devanagari: कल्पवृक्ष), also known as kalpataru, karpaga viruksham,kalpadruma or kalpapādapa, is a wish-fulfilling divine tree in Hindu mythology, Jainism and Buddhism. It is mentioned in Sanskrit literature from the earliest sources. It is also a popular theme in Jain cosmology and Buddhism.

The Kalpavriksha originated during the Samudra manthan or "churning of the ocean" along with the Kamadhenu, the divine cow providing for all needs. The king of the gods, Indra, returned with this tree to his paradise.

Kalpavriksha is also identified with many trees such as Parijata (Erythrina variegata), Ficus benghalensis, coconut tree (Cocos nucifera), Acacia, Madhuca longifolia, Prosopis cineraria, Bassia butyracea, and mulberry tree (Morus nigra tree). The tree is also extolled in iconography and literature.

Kinnerasani Wildlife Sanctuary

Kinnerasani Wildlife Sanctuary is a forest located in Bhadradri Kothagudem district, Telangana state of India. The wildlife sanctuary is spread over an area of 635.40 km2 (157,010 acres) with the picturesque Kinnerasani Lake with densely forested islands in the middle of the sanctuary. It is 15 km (9.3 mi) from the district Headquarter Kothagudem and 25 km (16 mi) from Temple Town Bhadrachalam.

M. indica

M. indica may refer to:

Macrochlamys indica, an air-breathing land snail species

Makaira indica, the black marlin, a fish species found in tropical and subtropical Indo-Pacific oceans

Mangifera indica, the mango, a tree species

Melicope indica, a plant species endemic to India

Mirocaris indica, a crustacean species

Moschiola indica, the Indian spotted chevrotain, an even-toed ungulate species found in India


Madhuca is a genus of plants in the family Sapotaceae first described as a genus in 1791.Madhuca is native to south, east, and southeast Asia and Papuasia (from India to China to New Guinea).There are about 100 species.



Mahua may refer to:

Madhuca longifolia, a tree in the family Sapotaceae

Mahua (snack), a traditional fried Chinese snack

Mahuaa TV, Bhojpuri language Indian General Entertainment television Channel

Mahuaa (film), a 2018 film

Mahua (liquor), indigenously made Indian moonshine alcoholic beverage

Mahua (Vidhan Sabha constituency), assembly constituency in Vaishali district in the Indian state of Bihar

Mahuva, Bhavnagar, Gujarat (India) popular for its annual Sadbhavna parv talks.

Metanastria hyrtaca

Metanastria hyrtaca, called the hairy caterpillar as a larva, is a moth of the family Lasiocampidae first described by Pieter Cramer in 1782. It is found in Sri Lanka.


Moha may refer to:


Moha, Belgium, a village in the municipality of Wanze, province of Liège, Belgium

County of Moha, medieval fief based on the village in Belgium

Moha, British Columbia, a rural locality located in British Columbia, Canada

Moha, Hungary, a village in Hungary

Moha, Osmanabad, a panchayat village in Kalamb Tahsil, Osmanabad District, Maharashtra, IndiaPeople:

Bob Moha (1890–1959), American middleweight boxer

Mohammed El Yaagoubi (AKA Moha, born 1977), Moroccan footballer

Khadfi Mohammed Rharsalla (AKA Moha, born 1993), Moroccan–Spanish football playerIn other uses:

Moha (Buddhism), a state in which the mind is not clear, one of the three poisons of Buddhism

Moha (tree), Madhuca longifolia

Wat Moha Montrey, a monastery temple in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Moha By Geetanjali, a silver jewellery brand in India

Moha culture, an internet meme spoofing Jiang Zemin, former General Secretary of the Communist Party of China and paramount leader of China


Nakshatravana, also referred to as Nakshatravanam or Nakshatravan, is a sacred grove consisting of 27 trees that are related to 27 Nakshatras of Indian Astrology. The Nakshatras and the trees are as below:

Considering the diversity of plants involved, their medicinal value, and association with Nakshatras, many organisations are popularizing the creation of Nakshatravanam.

Neeliyar Kottam

Neeliyar Kottam is a sacred grove in Kannur district, Kerala, India, situated at Mangattuparamba near Dharmasala. At present, this 20.18 Acre sacred grove is controlled by members of Cheriya Veedu family belonging to the Kulala community.

Painted spurfowl

The painted spurfowl (Galloperdix lunulata) is a bird of the pheasant family found in rocky hill and scrub forests mainly in peninsular India. Males are more brightly coloured and spotted boldly in white. Males have two to four spurs while females can have one or two of the spurs on their tarsus. The species is found mainly in rocky and scrub forest habitats unlike the red spurfowl. They are found in the undergrowth in pairs or small groups, escaping by running and rarely taking to the wing when flushed.

Rai Bahadur Thakur Jaiswal

Late Rai Bahadur Thakur Jaiswal, the prominent businessperson from the royal family of Ranchi was a strong nationalist, who contributed in the freedom movement with his available resources. He finished his education from Allahabad University with Gold medal. He was given various names out of respect and one such was the shellac king of Bihar,Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. It’s know that he contributed towards the freedom movement by donating his wealth. He also donated lands to tribal people for their upliftments. Shri Rai Sahib turned down the title of Raja Saheb by the British government following Gandhiji’s advice in 1938.Shri Rai Bahadur was the industrial advisor to the government before independence. The family has a lineage of 400 years.

Second generation scion Rai Sahib Laxminarayan, whose father Late Rai Bahadur Thakur had migrated to Ranchi from Uttar Pradesh, scaled up the business to great heights. In 1922, he became the first non-British to own a Ford car.

The Ford car owned by the business family once drove the father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi from Ranchi to Ramgarh for the famous Ramgarh Congress in 1940.Besides, it is also the most sought after vehicle for the elite families, especially those known to the Jaiswals, for taking out their marriage processions in this four-seater convertible Ford car.

The Mahatma’s connection with this vintage car imported from London in 1922 by the then Shellac King Late Rai Sahib Lakshmi Narain Jaiswal is the most precious possession of this family into liquor and shellac business. Besides the Mahatma, Indian Presidents Rajendra Prasad and Zakir Hussain too had had honoured the ride.

In 1940,when Gandhiji came to Ranchi, he visited ailing Rai Bahadur thakur jaiswal and then proceeded to Ramgrah in their Ford. Rai Sahib, also a strong nationalist, grabbed the opportunity and drove the Mahatma in his car. The family is awarded a tamra patra for the active participation in the freedom movement.Rai saheb's son Sheo Narain Jaiswal was chairman Ranchi municipality for a period of 14 years(1962-76). One of the family member Rajaram Shastri was awarded by Padma Vibhusan and was Members of Parliament from Varanasi. One of the great grandson of rai sahib i.e Mr. Aditya Vikram Jaiswal out of total 10 grand children of Shri Sheo Narain Jaiswal (5 girls and 5 boys)has taken up politics to facilitate the development of the state. He is the state secretary in Jharkhand Congress and is the President of social organization Empower Jharkhand which works for the upliftment of the underprivileged people..

Hatia Bypoll

The business family is a traditional Congress supporter. Many of the family ancestors have been leaders of the party. Family campaigned with the vary car in the 2012 hatiya assembly bypoll for a congress candidate, brother of the then union minister of tourism Subodh Kant Sahai. The campaign started from Birsa Chowk and ended in Doranda. The Scheme of the campaign was for the upliftment of depressed section of the society. Ranchi is doing great when it comes to people's growth and more importantly growth of tribal people of the adjoining area due to impactful growth in the town.

Ranchi Distillery-

In 18 th century, the British government identified the potential of Madhuca longifolia and went a step forward to help the Jaiswal family in Ranchi to come up with the first distillery of the country named Ranchi distillery in 1875.


The Sapotaceae are a family of flowering plants belonging to the order Ericales. The family includes about 800 species of evergreen trees and shrubs in around 65 genera (35-75, depending on generic definition). Their distribution is pantropical.

Many species produce edible fruits, or white blood-sap that is used to cleanse dirt, organically and manually, while others have other economic uses. Species noted for their edible fruits include Manilkara (Sapodilla, sapota), Chrysophyllum cainito (star-apple or golden leaf tree), and Pouteria (abiu, canistel, lúcuma, Mamey sapote). Vitellaria paradoxa (shi in several languages of West Africa and karité in French; also anglicized as shea) is also the source of an oil-rich nut, the source of edible shea butter, which is the major lipid source for many African ethnic groups and is also used in traditional and Western cosmetics and medications. The 'miracle fruit' Synsepalum dulcificum is also in the Sapotaceae.

Trees of the genus Palaquium (gutta-percha) produce an important latex with a wide variety of uses.

The seeds of the tree Argania spinosa produce an edible oil, traditionally harvested in Morocco.

The family name is derived from zapote, a Mexican vernacular name for one of the plants (in turn derived from the Nahuatl tzapotl) and Latinised by Linnaeus as sapota, a name now treated as a synonym of Manilkara (also formerly known by the invalid name Achras).

Somawathiya National Park

Somawathiya National Park is one of the four national parks designated under the Mahaweli River development project. Somawathiya Chaitya, a stupa said to be containing a relic of the tooth of the Buddha, is situated within the park. The park was created on 2 September 1986, having been originally designated a wildlife sanctuary on 9 August 1966. The park is home to many megaherbivores. The national park is located 266 kilometres (165 mi) north-east of Colombo.

Trees of India

Trees of India

Sources: Common Trees of India, Pippa Mukherjee, World Wildlife Fund India/ Oxford University Press 1983, Flowering Trees and Shrubs in India, D.V. Cowen

Animal products
Edible plants / roots
Sap / Gum / etc.


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