Bridal Couch Tree (Hymenodictyon orixense) is a deciduous tree found in various parts of India including Kerala. It is also known as Poochakkadampu, Neechankadampu and Peruntholi. It is a small to medium-sized tree with a rounded crown; it can grow up to 25 metres tall. The bole is straight and cylindrical. The plant is gathered from the wild for local use as a medicine. The wood is probably used rarely and on a local scale only, due to its comparative rareness and patchy occurrence.
Bridal Couch Tree is a small to medium-sized tree, growing up to 25 m tall. Trunk is usually rather straight, up to 50 cm in diameter. Bark is smooth, greyish-brown. Oppositely arranged leaves are obovate or ovate to elliptical-lanceolate, with scattered minute hairs all over the upper surface. Stipules are ovate, with tiny teeth-like glands on the margin. Flowers are borne in 10 cm long panicles at the end of branches. Lateral branches are generally curving upwards. Flowers have parts in fives. Sepals are minute, flowers are trumpet-shaped, short-hairy outside. Stamens remain inside the throat of the flowers. Fruit is an ellipsoid, 2-valved, many-seeded capsule. Seed are flat and winged all around.
The bitter bark is used in local medicine as an antiperiodic, astringent and febrifuge. It contains scopoletin and a very bitter glycoside. It has been used in traditional medicine for a wide range of ailments related to digestive, endocrine, reproductive, and respiratory systems. Additionally, it is also used in gastrointestinal tract and urinary tract infection