Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Bauhinia purpurea L.

Family : Fabaceae

Synonym(s) : Bauhinia triandra Roxb.

English Name : Purple Orchid-Tree

Origin : South East Asia

A small or medium sized tree with ashy grey or brown nearly smooth bark. Leaves cleft about half-way down with 9 to 11 strong nerves from the top of the stalk. The leaf consists of two leaflets joined together thus making the characteristic leaf by which the Bauhinias are recognized. Flowers usually rosy purple, large and showy, the flower buds 5-angled, appearing when the tree is in leaf. Calyx consisting of a lower tubular portion less than ½ inch long an upper portion twice as long as the tube which usually splits into two reflexed segments, one notched at the tip, the other 3-toothed. Petals 1½ - 2 in. long. Stamens 3 or occasionally 4 fully developed. Pod 6 to 10 in. long ¾ inch wide, bursting suddenly when dry, the valves spirally twisting owing to the unequal tension within which occurs during drying and ultimately causes the pod to burst and throws the seeds away from the tree.

Commonly cultivated near sea level, or possibly sparingly naturalized along roadsides.

Parts Used : Bark, Root and Flower.

Herb Effects
Astringent, anthelmintic, carminative, laxative.

Medicinal Use
Used to treat gastric ulcer, swellings, leprosy, cough, menstrual disorders, glandular diseases and prolapse of the rectum, haemorrhagic diseases, leucorrhoea and coughs.


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