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Atibala – Benefits, Side Effects, Precautions & More!

By Dr Siddharth Gupta +2 more


Atibala, scientifically called Abutilon Indicum (Linn.), belongs to the Malvaceae family. It is known as Country mallow in English, Kanghi in Hindi, and Atibala in Sanskrit. It’s a perennial shrub that grows up to 3 meters tall. 1 

The plant can be found in India, Sri Lanka, America’s tropical regions, and Malesia. It grows as a weed in sub-Himalayan areas, up to 1200 meters in elevation, and in hotter portions of India.1 

Atibala ayurvedic herb

Nutritional Benefits of Atibala: 

Abutilon Indicum (Linn) also known as atibala is a medicinal plant used in our Traditional System of Medicine to address various health problems.1 

Whole plant: Mucilaginous compounds, asparagines, saponins, flavonoids, and alkaloids are found throughout the plant. 

Atibala contains various essential oils like α-pinene, caryophyllene, caryophyllene oxide, endesmol, farnesol, borenol, geraniol, geranyl acetate, elemene, and α-cineole. 2 

Therapeutic Uses of Atibala: 

  • Atibala acts as a demulcent, aphrodisiac, laxative, diuretic, and sedative.  
  • It has been used to treat inflammation, piles, gonorrhoea, and boost immunity.  
  • Aphrodisiac, anti-diabetic, antipyretic, anthelmintic, nerve tonic, and diuretic are properties of the root and bark. It may be useful in treating haematuria and leprosy. 
  • Seeds: Urinary problems may be treated using seeds. The seeds are also used as a laxative in piles and as a remedy for cough. Puerperal sickness and chronic dysentery can also be treated with the seeds from this plant. 
  • According to the Chinese in Hong Kong, the seeds are used as an emollient and demulcent.  
  • The juice from its leaves has been used to make an ointment to help heal ulcers quickly.  
  • Its extract is also used to treat bronchitis, diarrhoea, gonorrhoea, and bladder inflammation and reduce fever. 
  • Atibala can also be used to clean wounds as well as to treat vaginal infections and as an enema.3 

The Atibala plant has been used for its variety of medicinal properties since ancient times. It has shown positive effects on fever, allergy, bloody dysentery, etc. The Atibala tree’s bark is highly beneficial in tending to urinary complaints. Leaves of the Atibala tree work wonderfully on toothache, piles, and all kinds of inflammations.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, MD

Benefits of Atibala: 

Benefits of Atibala for Kidneys: 

  • Atibala may aid in the prevention of diuresis.
  • This is because it increases the amount of urine produced and excreted.
  • This increases urine sodium loss while not affecting the intrinsic potassium-sparing action.4 

Benefits of  Atibala for Arthritis: 

  • Atibala may help manage the symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis.
  • It has analgesic and anti-inflammatory qualities.
  • It also helps to minimize joint inflammation.
  • Abutilon Indicum offers considerable protection against protein denaturation and RBC membrane damage caused by hypotonic saline.4 

Benefits of  Atibala for Diarrhoea: 

  • Atibala may be beneficial for diarrhoea as it possesses anti-diarrheal properties.
  • In addition, it reduces gastrointestinal motility and slows the contraction of intestinal muscles.
  • This helps prevent stomach aches, pain, and loose or watery stools.4 

Benefits of Atibala for Epilepsy and Siezures: 

  • Atibala may be useful in the treatment of seizures.
  • It contains linoleic acid and/or flavonoid components, which have anticonvulsant properties and prevent muscles from contracting involuntarily.4 

Benefits of Atibala for Skin: 

  • Atibala has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial qualities that may aid wound healing.
  • Atibala has ingredients that aid in wound contraction and closure, as well as skin cell regeneration.
  • It also helps to promote wound healing by lowering the risk of infection at the wound site.4 

Benefits of Atibala for Diabetes: 

  • Insulin sensitivity is improved by using Atibala.
  • In addition, Atibala’s ability to regulate adipocyte development and increase glucose utilization may make it useful for lowering insulin resistance.4 

Benefits of  Atibala for Female Reproductive System:  

  • The herb Abutilon Indicum has anti-oestrogenic properties.
  • It was discovered that it suppressed enzyme activity and the uterotropic response induced by oestrogen.4 

Benefits of  Atibala for Immunity:  

  • Atibala leaves may have immunomodulatory properties.
  • It boosts antibody production in the blood and neutralizes infections.
  • This aids in the improvement of the immune system. 4 

Benefits of Atibala for Infections: 

  • In the case of Gram-positive bacteria, the extract of Abutilon Indicum was found to be most effective against Staphylococcus aureus, followed by Bacillus sublitis.
  • In the case of Gram-negative bacteria, the extract was most effective against Escherichia coli, which showed the largest zone of inhibition, followed by Pseudomonas aeruginosa. In addition, the ethanolic extract had a lot of antifungal activity against Candida albicans.4 

Benefits of Atibala for Respiratory system: 

  • Dried aerial parts of Abutilon Indicum help alleviate the frequent bronchial asthma-like symptoms: dyspnea, cough, chest tightness and wheezing.
  • It was also found to improve pulmonary function in patients with mild to severe bronchial asthma, as evaluated by forced vital capacity (FVC), forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1), and peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR). 4 

Also Read: Majuphal – Uses, Benefits, Side Effects & Precautions

In Unani medicine, the seeds of Atibala trees are used as a tonic and used for the management of bronchitis, chest troubles, piles, and gonorrhoea. The smoke of its seeds on charcoal is used to treat threadworms in children’s rectum. Similarly, its root has many health benefits and is used as a cooling medicine, laxative, pulmonary sedative, demulcent and diuretic.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

How to Use Atibala? 

  • The leaves and seeds can be crushed with water to make a paste . 
  • The leaves can be used as a paste, juice or as a whole as well. 
  • A blend of leaf powder and wheat flour can also be used.  
  • A fruit decoction combined with ammonium chloride can be taken orally with water. 
  • Seed powder is taken orally with water. 
  • The plant’s roots can be used in the form of powder.  
  • Root infusion can also be used.5 

Your doctor will prescribe you the appropriate form based on your individual needs. 

Side Effects of Atibala: 

Atibala is safe to use and shows no side effects or toxicity in humans.6 

Precautions to Take with Atibala: 

  • Avoid using concomitantly with antidiabetic drugs as it may cause hypoglycemia. 
  • Use with caution along with diuretic medicines.4 
  • No studies are available on usage of atibala in pregnant, or lactating mothers. 
  • There is no study available on safety of atibala in use for children. 

Also Read: Citronella – Uses, Benefits, Side Effects & Precautions

Frequently asked questions: 

1) What are the regional names of atibala? 

The plant is known by various names in different languages  as follows:    
> Sanskrit name : Kotibala, Kankatika  
> Hindi name : Kangahi, Kanghi, Kanghani  
> English name : Country-mallow  
> Telugu name : Tutiri-chettu, Thuteribenda 
> Tamil name : Tutti, Thuththi, Peruntutti 5 

2) Does atibala help with ulcers? 

Gastric volume, total acidity, and free acidity decreased significantly when atibala leaves were consumed. It also revealed a considerable reduction in the number of ulcers. 2 

3) What are some of the traditional uses of atibala? 

> The roots are used as a to relieve inflammation or irritation, diuretic, and in treating chest infections and urethritis. 
> The root infusion is used to treat fevers and is beneficial in treating strangury ( intense pain and desire to urinate due to blockage or irritation at the base of the bladder.), haematuria (blood in the urine), and leprosy. 
> The leaves have been discovered to be beneficial for ulcers and as a fomentation for aching body parts. 
> The leaves treat toothaches, sore gums, and bladder inflammation internally. In addition, as a febrifuge, anthelmintic, antidote, astringent, and diuretic, the bark is employed. 5 

4) Does atibala protect the liver against toxins? 

Yes, atibala shows hepatoprotective (protects the liver from toxins) properties but more studies need to be done in order to understand the mechanism by which it protects the liver.4

Also Read: Jatamansi – Uses, Benefits, Side Effects & Precautions 


1. Gautam V, Aslam P, Bharti K, Singhai AK. IJRPC 2013, 3(1) Vadnere Gautam et al ABUTILONS INDICUM LINN: A PHYTOPHARMACOLOGICAL REVIEW. Available from: www.ijrpc.com 

2. Sharma, A. & Sharma, R.A. & Singh, H.. (2013). Phytochemical and pharmacological profile of Abutilon Indicum L. sweet: A review. International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences Review and Research. 20. 120-127. 

3. Khadabadi, Somashekhar & Bhajipale, N.S.. (2010). A review on some important medicinal plants of Abutilon spp. Research Journal of Pharmaceutical, Biological, and Chemical Sciences. 1. 718-729. 

4. Raja, Ramasubramania & Kailasam, Koumara. (2015). Abutilon indicum L (Malvaceae)-Medicinal Potential Review. Pharmacognosy Journal. 7. 330-332. 10.5530/pj.2015.6.2. 

5.  Mohite M S, Shelar P A, Raje V N., Babar S. J., Sapkal R. K.. Review on Pharmacological Properties of Abutilon indicum. Asian J. Pharm. Res. 2(4): Oct. – Dec. 2012; Page 156-160.  

6. Pingale, S.S. & Virkar, P.S.. (2011). Evaluation of acute toxicity for Abutilon indicum. 3. 37-42. 

Also Read: Kachnar – Uses, Benefits, Side Effects & Precautions


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