Bengal Arum (Typhonium trilobatum L. Schott): Medicinal Uses and Toxicity

In South Asian countries e.g., Bangladesh and India, a plant with a unique leaf structure is found. It seems like three leaves are attached to form a single leaf. This plant is Bengal Arum (Scientific name: Typhonium trilobatum). In my country, Bangladesh Typhonium trilobatum is commonly known as ‘Kharkon’, ‘Ghat kachu’, or ‘Ghatkol’. In Bengali, ‘kachu’ is the common name for all aroids. So, you can understand that Bengal Arum belongs to the family Araceae. This perennial plant has some traditional medicinal uses. So, its toxicity and medicinal values should be explored more by scientists.

Photo of Bengal Arum (Typhonium trilobatum)
Bengal Arum (Typhonium trilobatum L. Schott)


Bengal Arum is mainly found in South Asian countries viz. Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. This plant is also found in China, Vietnam, and Australia.

This plant is found in forests, grasslands, and roadsides.

Common names

Typhonium trilobatum is also known as ‘Arum trilobatum’, ‘Arum orixense’.
Some other common names of Bengal Arum include Lobed Leaf Typhonium, Ghat kanchu/ Ghat kachu, Kharkol, Kharkon, Ghatkol, Ghet kachu/ Ghet kanchu, chema kachu, Panu ala etc.


Bengal Arum is in the arum family, Araceae.


Color: Green
Unique character: Trilobed leaves
Shape: Central lobe of the leaf is ovate. The side lobes are smaller than the central one.


Bengal Arum has Spadix Inflorescence.
Flower color: reddish-purple


Fruits of Bengal Arum are berries.
Fruit color: Green, have purple dots. Mature fruits are white.
Seed: Each fruit contains 1 to 2 seeds.

Medicinal values of Bengal Arum

  1. Treatment of Dyspepsia: In case of indigestion, we often feel stomach pain. Which sometimes felt like over-fullness in the stomach and bloating. These conditions are called Dyspepsia. Typhonium trilobatum L. Schott or Bengal Arum has traditional use to treat Dyspepsia.
  2. Anti-diarrheal use: Bengal Arum has traditional medicinal use to treat diarrhea also.
  3. Treating piles: It is heard that Bengal Arum helps to treat piles or Haemorrhoids.
  4. Analgesic use: Leaf extract of Bangal Arum is used traditionally by some Asian people to get relief from pain and swelling.
  5. Anti-ulcerogenic use: It is believed that Bengal Arum has anti-ulcerogenic effects.


Typhonium trilobatum contains calcium oxalate crystals in its body. The most concentration of this toxin is found in tubers/corms (/aroid roots).

Bengal Arum toxicity causes-

  • Acute pain in the oral cavity
  • Breathing difficulties/ discomfort (upper airway compromise, respiratory distress)
  • High heart rate
  • Higher blood pressure
  • Swollen lips
  • Swollen tongue
  • Saliva drooling/ increased salivation

These signs and symptoms may appear within 10 to 15 minutes of consuming Typhonium trilobatum. So, stay away from consuming this plant by yourself.

Calcium oxalate forms oxalic acid in blood streams and sediments in the liver, heart, lungs, and kidney. So, to save these organs, avoid taking Bengal Arum.


Bengal Arum is hard to control as it has an underground corm (tuber). To effectively control this plant, underground parts have to be removed.

Taxonomic classification of Bengal Arum

  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Phylum: Spermatophyta
  • Subphylum: Angiospermae
  • Class: Monocotyledonae
  • Order: Alismatales
  • Family: Araceae
  • Sub-family: Aroideae
  • Genus: Typhonium
  • Species: T. trilobatum

A B M Zahidul Hoque

I'm the owner of After completing my bachelor of science in agriculture, I have joined as a scientist at Bangladesh Jute Research Institute (BJRI) under the Ministry of Agriculture, Bangladesh. I started Weeds in Gardens to make you familiar with different weeds and their positive and negative aspects.

Recent Posts