IXORA-The Flame of the woods

“A flame that can heal many health ailments”


Ixora, Flame of the Woods or Santan (Ixora coccinea Linn.) is a species of flowering plant in the Rubiaceae family. It is a common,evergreen flowering shrub native to Southern India and Sri Lanka. Although there are around 500 species in the genus Ixora, only a handful are commonly cultivated. Depending on the medical condition, the flowers, leaves, roots, and the stem are used to treat various ailments in the Indian traditional system of medicine, the Ayurveda, and also in various folk medicines.The fruits, when fully ripe, are used as a dietary source. Studies indicate that the plant contains many phytochemicals of medicinal importance.Pharmacological studies suggest that the plant possesses wound healing,antioxidative, antibacterial, gastroprotective, hepatoprotective (prevent liver damage), antidiarrhoeal, antinociceptive (Reduced sensitivity to pain), antimutagenic, antineoplastic (preventing the growth and spread of tumors or malignant cells) and chemopreventive effects (prevent carcinogenic progression to invasive cancer). HenceIxora is lending scientific support to the plant’s ethnomedicinal (traditional medicine) uses.

Apart from the medicinal uses of the plant, the flowers of Ixora are usedto purify well-water by many traditional agriculturalists in coastal Karnataka and some parts of Kerala. These flowers are put into the well and after some time clear water is observed and also good in taste. The method is practiced since ages in these regions. Studies are going on to see the science behind this practice and this research can be of a huge benefit to the mankind in future.

“As always traditional Indian systems belonging to the past are the Technologies of the future.”


Dileep R.

Assistant Professor of Chemistry,

Presidency University, Bangalore