Characteristics of Rudraksha Tree (Elaeocarpus ganitrus) in the Wild

Elaeocarpus ganitrus
Rudraksha or Rudrākṣa is a large, broadleaf tree that is evergreen. The seeds are of high economic value and have been traditionally used to make prayer beads in Hinduism.

The seed is known as Rudrākṣa in Sanskrit which means “Eye of Rudra”.

Rudraksha can be produced from several Rudraksha tree species, however, Elaeocarpus ganitrus is the main species.

Rudraksha trees have several common names that are often used by the community such as Ganitrus, Ganitri, Jenitri, and Jentiri.

The tree grows in the Ganges highlands at the foot of the Himalayas and parts of Southeast Asia including Nepal, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Australia, Guam, and Hawaii.

The fruit appears with blue outer skin color. Some people call Rudraksha fruit by the named Blueberry.

Rudraksha seeds are mainly used in India, Nepal, and Indonesia as beads for accessories and prayer beads. These seeds are associated with rare beads, because of which Rudraksha seeds are very valuable.

There is a tradition of wearing 108 beads of Rudraksha seed in India, especially in Shaivism. It is because it has something to do with Shiva wearing Rudraksha’s garland.

Hindus have been using the Rudraksha seed as a rosary for meditation purposes and to purify mind, body, and spirit since the 10th century.

Rudraksha beads can be strung as mala or prayer beads and used to count the repetitions of prayers. Religions that use prayer beads for chanting and counting prayers include Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, and Christianity.

Each religion uses different seeds or seeds in a series of beads.


Characteristics of Rudraksha Leaf

Elaeocarpus ganitrus Leaf
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The leaves are simple, long, and wide.


Characteristics of Rudraksha Fruit

Elaeocarpus ganitrus Fruit
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Mature Rudraksha trees produce between 1,000-2,000 fruits each year.

Rudraksha fruit is covered with outer husk which is blue when ripe and this blue color comes not from sap but from structural.

The fruit has between 1-21 lines (mukhi) but was recently discovered to have 27 lines in Nepal. 80% of all Rudraksha seeds have 4-6 lines, and the rarest is the one with one line.

Rudraksha seeds from Nepal and Indonesia are between 25-30 mm in size. Originally Rudraksha seeds were white, red, brown (most common), yellow, and black.


Characteristics of Rudraksha Tree

Elaeocarpus ganitrus Tree
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Rudraksha is a fast-growing tree with a height of 20-25 meters. The tree begins to bear fruit after it is 5 years old or more.

Today there are more than 300 species of Elaeocarpus, 35 of which are found in India.

The trees tend to grow in a narrow space rather than open land. Mature trees will raise their roots to the soil surface.



The substances contained in the Rudraksha tree are elaeocarpidine, isoelaeocarpine, epiisoelaeocarpiline, rudrakine, flavonoids, quercetin, phytosterols, fats, alkaloids, carbohydrates, ethanol, protein, tannins, gallic acids, and ellagic acids.

In Ayurveda, the seeds, bark, and leaves (which have antibacterial effects) are used to treat mental disorders, headaches, fevers, skin diseases, and other ailments.

The pulp is used to treat epilepsy, headaches, and mental illness.


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