Bhallataka (भल्लातक) SEMECARPUS ANACARDIUM – Static/plant poison | Liveveda


Introduction -

In English it is called Marking nut. It belongs to Family Anacardiaceae, and it is a tree bearing hard nut-like fruit, the acid juice of which is blackish in colour and is used by washermen to mark cloths.


भिलावा, भेला, अरुष्कर, अग्निक, तपन, वातारी, कृमिघ्नि etc.

Active Principles

  1. Semecarpol
  2. Bhilawanol

Signs and symptoms

  1. Contact with skin produces inflammation and vesication.
  2. Ingestion causes severe gastroenteritis, hypotension and delerium. Death is uncommon.

Fatal Dose -

4 to 10 gm

Fatal Period -

May produce death within 12 to 24 hrs.

Treatment / Management

According to Ayurveda :

The Juice extracted from मेघनाद ( Ameranthus tricolor) mixed with butter if applied locally subsides the swelling caused by bhallataka. The mixture of देवदारु, सर्षप and मुस्त mixed with butter if applied on the body subsides all the complications caused by bhallataka.

According to Modern :

This is symptomatic. When applied externally, the parts should be washed with warm water and bland liniments applied.

Post-mortem appearence

Signs of gastro-intestinal irritation.

Medico-legal Importance

  1. Illicit abortification ( local application)
  2. Juice may be applied to the skin to create fabricate injury (usually a bruise). However, unlike a bruise the resultant injury is usually associated with blister formation.
  3. Accidental poisoning may result from therapeutic misadventures at the hands of unqualified quacks.

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