Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Ailanthus excelsa ROXB

English Name : Tree of Heaven

Family : Simaroubaceae

Origin : India and Sri Lanka

A large deciduous tree with stout stem and granular bark nearly smooth except on large trees. Branches rather large starting at right angles from the stem and then curving upwards. Twigs thick, marked with large scars of the fallen leaves. Leaves large 2 to 3 ft. long with 8 to 14 pairs of leaflets. In young trees there is usually a terminal leaflet in addition to several pairs of leaflets. Leaflets very unequal-sided at the base, coarsely toothed, dull green, softly hairy especially beneath when young, on rather long stalks. Flowers yellowish-green, small but occurring in big bunches. Fruit 1¾ inch long, ½ inch wide, thin, strongly nerved, twisted at the base bearing a solitary seed in the middle.

Parts Used : Leaf, root, bark and plant

Herb Effects
Aromatic, bitter, astringent, antiseptic, febrifuge, anthelmintic, antispasmodic, expectorant, antileukemic, anticancer and “cytotoxic against KB test-system” (root bark); stimulates the central nervous system (aerial part).

Active Ingredients
Ailanthinone, quassinoids and glaucarbinone (root bark); 2.6-dimethoxyaquinone (plant).

Medicinal Use
Curing wounds and sores (bark decoction); on rashes (leaf and bark); to treat asthma and bronchitis, and as an astringent for diarrhoea and dysentery.

Tincture: 5 to 60 drops.
Concentrated extract: 0.5-2 grams.
Infusion: a teaspoonful, night and morning, cold. (50 grams of the rootbark infused for a short time in 75 grams of hot water, then strained.)

Do not take while pregnant or breast feeding.


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