Sunday, March 15, 2009

Bombax ceiba L.

English Name : Silk Cotton Tree

Family : Bombacaceae

Origin : Indian subcontinent

A large sized tall, deciduous tree having straight, buttressed trunk with a clear bole and widespread branches. The trunk and branch bark is gray in colour having hard, sharp and conical prickles. Leaves are large, deciduous, digitate and glabrous. Leaflets 3 to 9, entire, lanceolate or oval, cuspidate and tip is acute. Petiole is long (up to 20 cm), petiolules 1,2 to 2.5 cm long, and stipules small and caducous. Flowers solitary or clustered, axillary or sub-terminal, fascicles at or near the ends of the branches, when the tree is bare of leaves. Calyx is cup-shaped usually 3 lobed. Corolla red or white, petals 5, oblong, recurved, fleshy, tomentose on the out side and sparingly pubescent inner. Staminal tube is short, more than 60 in 5 bundles. Ovary conical, glabrous, stigma 5, capsule ovoid, 5 valued dehiscing by 5 leathery, woody valves and lined with white silky hairs. Seeds are numerous, long, ovoid, black or gray in colour and packed in white cotton.

Forests and along roads in the warmer areas of India

Parts Used : Root, seed, gum, bark and flower

Herb Effects
Stimulant (root); stimulates the heart and contraction of the uterus (seed); emetic (bark); astringent (gum and bark); demulcent (flower, gum and bark).

Active Ingredients
Hentriocontane, hentriacontanol, quercetin and kaempferol (flower); tannins, nontannins, beta-sitosterol, lupeol and D-glucoside (bark).

Medicinal Use
Snakebite antidote (flower); on wounds (bark); in tuberculosis, influenza, menorrhagia, dysentery and hemoptysis (gum).


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