Sunday, December 14, 2008

Barringtonia acutangula (L.) GAERTN

Family : Lecythidaceae

Synonym(s) : Barringtonia edaphocarpa Gagnep., Barringtonia pedicellata Ridley, Barringtonia spicata Blume, Stavadium acutangulum (L.) Miers.

English Name : Indian Oak

Origin : Indo-Malaysian region to Australia.

A small evergreen tree up to 12 m tall; bark rough, dark grey, longitudinally furrowed. Leaves crowded at the ends of branchlets, 6.4 to 15 cm long and 3.3 to 8.4 cm wide, elliptic, obovate or oblanceolate, apex rounded, acute or acuminate, base narrowed into a short petiole, margins entire or minutely denticulate-crenate, glabrous, pale beneath. Flowers fragrant, dark scarlet, 8 to 13 mm across, born in slender, pendulous, many-flowered racemes 15 to 38 cm long; pedicels 1.5 to 3 mm long; bracteoles linear-lanceolate, acute. Fruits ovoid, bluntly quadrangular, 2 to 6 cm long and 1 to 2.5 cm wide, broadest in the middle, narrowed at each end, crowned by the small, persistent calyx.

Often borders streams; Madhya and Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Jammu, Orissa and Bihar.

Parts Used : Root, leaf, fruit and bark

Herb Effects
Hypoglycemic (root); antiprotozoal (stem bark); hypothermic and stimulates the central nervous system (root and bark); alexipharmic and antihelminthic (fruit).

Active Ingredients
Barringtogenols and barringtogenic acid (fruit); triterpenes, beta-sitosterol and stigmasterol (leaf).

Medicinal Use
On glandular swellings and boils (root); toothache, diarrhoea and dysentery (leaf); dropsy (bark), to treat biliousness, diseases of the blood, bronchitis, sore eyes, headache and hallucinations, to treat gingivitis and for healing wounds (fruits).


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