Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Bauhinia tomentosa L.

Family : Fabaceae

Synonym(s) : Bauhinia binata Naves., Bauhinia taitensis Taub., Bauhinia hookeri F. Muell, Bauhinia picta DC.

English Name : Yellow Bauhinia, Bell bauhinia, Hairy bauhinia, Mountain ebony, Orchid tree, St. Thomas tree, Variegated bauhinia, Yellow tree bauhinia

Origin : Tropical Asia and Africa

An erect, branched shrub attaining a height of 1.5 to 3 meters. The branchlets, lower surfaces of the leaves, and pods are somewhat hairy. Leaves are 4 to 7 centimeters long, about as wide, and split about one-third to the base, into two, with oval, rounded lobes. Flowers are pale lemon yellow, usually in pairs on axillary peduncles. Pods are 9 to 11 centimeters long, about 1.5 centimeters wide, flattened, and contain 6 to 10 small seeds.

Found in woodland, riverine bush and coastal dune bush.

Parts Used : Stem-bark, root-bark, flower, fruit and seed

Herb Effects
Vermifuge (decoction of the root-bark); used as an astringent gargle (infusion of bark); diuretic (fruit); tonic and aphrodisiac (seeds).

Medicinal Use
The bruised bark is applied externally to tumors and wounds. A decoction of the root bark is used for abdominal troubles and for inflammation of the liver. An infusion of the root bark is used as an external application to inflamed glands, abscesses and skin conditions. The leaf is an ingredient in a plaster applied to abscesses. The flower is used as a remedy for dysentery and diarrhoea. A paste of the seed made with vinegar is used as a local application to the wounds produced by venomous animals.


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