Palash – Butea monosperma
It is said that the tree is a form of Agni, God of Fire. In Telangana, these flowers are specially used in the worship of Lord Shiva on occasion of Shivratri. In Telugu, this tree is called Modugu chettu.
- The flowers are used to prepare a traditional Holi color. It is also used as a dye for fabric.
- It is also used to worship during Sivaratri and is believed that the tree is a form of Agnidev, God of Fire.
- Its gum is known as Bengal Kino and is considered valuable by druggists because of its astringent qualities and by leather workers because of its tannin.
- These colors prevent diseases like chickenpox which usually spread during that season. But excess usage of artificial colors these days has spoiled the health purpose behind playing Holi.
- It is also used as a dyeing color for fabric.
- This plant and its flowers control pollution in air wherever they grow.
As per Ayurveda, the tree balances Vata and Pitta. It has been used extensively in Ayurvedic, Unani and Homeopathic medicine. The extracts of various parts of the tree as well as the whole parts possess anti microbial, anti bacterial, anti fungal, hypoglycemic, anti inflammatory, astringent, tonic, aphrodisiac and diuretic properties.
Leaves: The leaves have astringent, carminative, anthelmintic, aphrodisiacal, tonic, anti inflammatory, antidiabetic, wound healing properties.
A hot poultice of leaves relieves boils, pimples, skin ulcers, swelling and bleeding piles. The juice of leaves can be used as an enema. A decoction of the leaves treats leucorrhea and diabetes. They can be put into a douche to treat leucorrhea. The leaves are good for eye diseases.
Flowers: The flowers have astringent, anti diarrheal, anti cancer, hepato protective, anti oxidative, expectorant, diuretic, anti inflammatory, anti gonorrheal, tonic, aphrodisiacal and emmenagogue properties.
They are also depurative, remove swelling and promote menstrual flow, prevent pus formation in urogenital tract of males. Extracts of flowers have free radical scavenging activity. They also have strong chemo protective effect.
Seeds: The seeds have antithetical activity. The seeds treat diarrhea when ground and mixed with lemon juice, and applied, they can relieve itching of ringworm and eczema. The crushed seeds have the potency to kill maggots in wounds and sores. The fruit and seeds are useful in piles, eye diseases, inflammation. They cure skin diseases, abdominal troubles, and tumors.
Bark: The bark is acrid and bitter and has appetizing, aphrodisiacal, laxative, anthelmintic, properties. It is useful in bone fractures, piles, hydrocele, liver disorders, gonorrhea, dysmenorrhea, biliousness and purifies blood. It cures diarrhea, dysentery, sore throat, ulcers, tumors and neutralizes snake bite poison. A paste of the stem bark relieves body swelling. Stem juice benefits if applied on goiter.
Roots: The roots possess antifertility, aphrodisiacal and analgesic properties. They are useful in night blindness, filariasis, helminthiasis, piles, ulcers, and tumors. They cure night blindness and other eye defects.
Gum: The gum is astringent to the bowels. It relieves stomatitis, cough, excessive perspiration and corneal opacity. The gum is used for treating diarrhea and dysentery. A decoction or infusion of the gum is used as enema. Read More…