Monday, March 16, 2009

Cassia occidentalis L.

English Name : The Negro Coffee

Family : Caesalpiniaceae

Origin : Pantropics

Cassia occidentalis is an erect, annual herb or undershrub. The leaves are lanceolate or ovate-lanceolate, the leaflets, 3-paired, membranous, glaucous, ovate or lanceolate; the flowers, yellow, in short racemes; the pods, recurved, glabrous and compressed; the seeds, dark olive green, ovoid, compressed, hard, smooth and shining.

Wastelands and roadsides in India.

Parts Used : Root, seed, leaf, plant and its aerial part

Herb Effects
Antibacterial (root, seed and leaf); diuretic (root), bitter and has tonic, febrifugal and purgative properties (seed); antiinflammatory and hepatoprotective (Jafri).

Active Ingredients
Cassiolin, emodin, physcion, sitosterol and chrysophanol (plant); dihydroxy-anthraquinone and phytosterolin (seed); quercetin, phytosterol, xanthorin and anthraquinones (root); mattucinol and jaceidin-7-rhamnoside (leaf).

Medicinal Use
Snakebite antidote (root); skin diseases (seed and leaf); digestive problems such as constipation, indigestion, gastric pains in children; in cough, asthma and whooping cough, convulsions and in heart diseases (seeds).

The use of this plant is contraindicated during pregnancy. May speed the clearance of some drugs in the liver (thereby reducing their effect). It is mildly hypotensive (lowers blood pressure).

Leaf infusion: 1 cup twice daily.
Tincture: 3–4 ml twice daily.
Tablets or capsules: 1–2 g in twice daily


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