Friday, December 5, 2008

Cassia fistula L.

Family : Caesalpiniaceae

Synonym(s) : Cassia rhombifolia Roxb., Cathartocarpus fistula (L.) Pers.

English Name : Indian Laburnum and Purging Cassia

Origin : In tropical Asia and possibly in tropical and subt


It is a deciduous, medium-sized tree with a gray, smooth, exfoliating bark. 4 to 8 pairs of leaflets are seen, distinctly stalked, oblong or ovate, with a silvery pubescence; the flowers are bright yellow, in axillary, pendulous, lax racemes; the pods are cylindrical, smooth, hard, dark brown or black; the seeds light brown, hard, shiny, biconcave and are embedded in sweetish pulp.


India (including tropical Garhwal), West Indies, Brazil, Central America, Java, Ceylon, the Philippines and tropical and subtropical Africa.

Parts Used : Fruit, seed, pod (its pulp), stem bark and flower

Herb Effects

Anticancer, antiviral and lowers blood sugar (stem bark and pod), laxative and antiinflammatory (pod pulp), reduces total lipids, reduces total cholesterol everywhere but the brain, improves the level of triglycerides.

Active Ingredients

Sinnosides A and B, barbaloin, aloin, rhein and its glucoside, butyric and formic acids (and their ethyl esters) and oxalic acid (pod pulp), fistulin (flower), fistulic acid (pod), galactomannan (seed).

Medicinal Use

In tuberculosis, reducing fever and as a tonic (seed and fruit), in rheumatism, gout, blood poisoning, dysentery, anthrax, diabetes, leprosy, liver problems (including biliousness) and for varicose veins (including shrinking them) (pod pulp).


There are no known serious human toxic reaction cases from the traditional therapeutic use of the plant. However, it is recommended not to exceed its use due to its laxative effect.


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