Thursday, December 4, 2008

Balanites aegyptiaca (L.) DELILE

Family : Zygophyllaceae

Synonym(s) : Balanites roxburghii Planch, Balanitesaegyptica var. roxburghii Duthie.

English Name : Desert Date, soapberry tree, thorn tree.

Origin : Egypt


Spiny tree, about 6 m high; branches glabrous or puberulous and ending in very strong ascending spines; leaves alternate, bifoliate, ashy green, leaflets coriaceous; cymes axillary, 4- to 10-flowered; flowers green, velvety pubescent; fruits ovoid, about 5 cm in length, fleshy drupes, 1-seeded; seed oily but exalbuminous.


Clay soils of open, arid parts of India.

Parts Used : Fruit, root, stem bark, seed, plant and its oil

Herb Effects

Laxative (fruit); hypothermic, alleviates spasms and stimulates the central nervous and cardiovascular systems (stem bark); kills certain molluscs (plant); antifungal (oil); expectorant (seed).

Active Ingredients

Balanitisin (plant); diosgenin and yamogenin (root, seed and stem bark); nitogenin glucosides (stem bark).

Medicinal Use

In rheumatism (seed oil); stomach problems and as an expectorant (seed); useful in burns, wounds and ulcers, common cold, whooping cough, leucoderma, malaria, sleeping sickness and other skin diseases.


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