Sunday, March 15, 2009

Borassus flabellifer Linn.

English Name : Brab tree

Family : Arecaceae

Origin : India

A very tall, erect, magnificent dioecious (rarely hermaphrodite) palm, 20-23 m in height and 1.0-2.2 m in girth, sometimes up to 31 m in height, with a fine crown of 30-40 large leaves. Trunk blackish grey, cylindric, with a dense mass of long rootlets near the ground, generally straight, swollen above the middle and again contracting upwards, old stems marked with black, narrow scars of petioles, young stems covered with dry leaves or with the bases of their petioles; leaves palmately divided, fan-shaped, petioles, 0.6-1.2 m long, stout, semi-terete, spinescent-margined, lamina, 0.9-1.5 m in diam, rigidly coriaceous, divided into lanceolate or linear 2-fid lobes, segments 60-80, shining folded along the midrib, spinulose; spadices very large, stout, male spadix stout, cylindric, branched, or sometimes double, bracts enclosing spikelets, flowers yellow; female spadix sparingly branched, flowers yellow, solitary, few, scattered; drupes 15-20 cm in diam, enclosed by the enlarged perianth, distinctly trigonous when young, almost spherical when old; pyrenes 3-1, rarely 4, obcordate, fibrous outside with hyaline edible endosperm.

It is found in the plains along the riverbanks and coastal areas, and grows on every type of wasteland, including rocky areas. The most congenial situations for its favourable development are low sandy plains, scarcely above the sea-level, where they are exposed to the burning sun and at least one monsoon.

Parts Used : Sap, root

Herb Effects
Cooling, diuretic, stimulant, antiphlegmatic, laxative (sap); cooling, restorative, diuretic and anthelmintic (root)

Medicinal Use
In skin troubles and blood purification (bark); in dysentery (decoction); useful in inflammatory affections, ulcers and dropsy, in digestive troubles and sometimes in chronic gonorrhoea; in diabetes, as a tonic to asthmatic and anaemic patients, and in Hansen's disease (juice).


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