Toothbrush tree.

The Scientific name of Toothbrush tree.: Salvadora Persica

Name of Toothbrush tree. in different languages:-

English: Salvadora indica,  Toothbrush tree, Mustard tree

Sanskrit: गुडफल gudaphala, पिलु pilu,  Peelu

Hindi: मेस्वाक meswak, पिलु पीलू Peelu

Tamil: உகா uka

Malayalam: ഉകമരം-Ukamaram, പിലു-Pilu

Plant Description

Salvadora persica, commonly known as the toothbrush tree, mustard tree, or arak tree, is a small to medium-sized evergreen shrub or small tree that belongs to the Salvadoraceae family. This plant is native to arid and semi-arid regions of the Middle East, Africa, and the Indian subcontinent. Here’s a detailed plant description of Salvadora persica:

Size and Growth Habit:

Salvadora persica typically grows as a multi-branched shrub or small tree.

It can reach heights of 2 to 7 meters (6.5 to 23 feet), depending on environmental conditions and age.


The leaves of Salvadora persica are small, alternate, and simple.

They are lanceolate to elliptical in shape and are usually around 1-3 cm long.

The leaves are green, leathery, and often have a glossy appearance.


The bark of the tree is rough, grayish-brown, and fissured, becoming more gnarled with age.


Salvadora persica produces small, inconspicuous, and greenish-white flowers.

The flowers are arranged in dense clusters, typically on the axils of the leaves.

The plant is dioecious, meaning male and female flowers are found on separate plants.


The plant produces small, oval-shaped, and fleshy fruits that are green when young and turn yellow when ripe.

These fruits are about 1-2 cm in length and contain one or two seeds.

Root System:

Salvadora persica has a deep taproot system that allows it to access groundwater in arid regions.


Salvadora persica has been used for various purposes for centuries:

Dental Health: The twigs of this plant are traditionally used as natural toothbrushes in many cultures due to their fibrous and abrasive nature, which helps clean teeth.

Timber: The wood of Salvadora persica is used for making small tools, utensils, and furniture.

Forage: In some regions, livestock graze on the leaves and twigs of this plant.


Salvadora persica is well adapted to arid and semi-arid conditions, with drought-resistant characteristics.

Its deep root system allows it to withstand dry spells and tap into underground water sources.


It is commonly found in desert and arid regions, including parts of the Middle East, Africa, and the Indian subcontinent.

Conservation Status:

Salvadora persica is not considered endangered or threatened and is widely distributed in its native range.

Overall, Salvadora persica is a hardy and versatile plant with a range of practical uses, particularly in regions with limited water resources.

Leaf Arrangement

Shape-Cuneate Margin-Entire Venation-pinnate
 Margin_Entire  Venation-pinnate

Useful plant parts:

Fruit, Flower, bark, root

Medicinal uses:

Various parts of the plant, including the roots and leaves, have been used in traditional medicine for their potential medicinal properties. Toothbrush tree is commonly used to treat menstrual disorders, cough, asthma, rheumatism, piles, fever, cough, wound, scurvy, etc., and used as an antiseptic, astringent, and detergent.

Chemical content:

Alkaloids like trimethylamine; salvadorine, chlorides,  terpenes, glycosides; tannins, flavonoids, saponins, and sterols.


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