BOTANICAL NAME: Butea monosperma
Indian name: Palas
Butea, also known as 'flame of the forest" is a well known tree of India. The scarlet and orange flowers of the tree make its name appropriate.
Butea is a medium-sized tree, with compound leaves. The leaves fall in winter and flowers bloom in Feb - March in small but dense clusters generally on leafless branches, and the tree appears to be aflame. The fruits are flat pods, with a single seed in each fruit.
This herb is indigenous in India. the tree is found mainly in the mixed or dry deciduous forests of Central and western India.
The red coloured gum, called Bengal kino or butea gum, obtained from the tree, is rich in gallic and tannic acids.
The seeds contain a yellow fixed oil called moodooga oil or kino-tree oil, small quantities of a resin and large quantities of a water-soluble albuminoid.
Fresh seeds contain proteolytic and lipolytic enzymes.
Healing power and curative proporties
The butea gum, the seeds and leaves of the tree have medicinal properties. The leaves of the tree are tonic and aphrodisiac. They are useful in arresting secretion or bleeding
Diarrhoea and Dysentery:
The gum of the tree is useful in the treatment of diarrhoea and dysentery. Its action is however mild, particularly suitable for children and women of delicate disposition.
The leaves can be chewed orally during the ailment.
Infusion or decoction of the gum as a rectal enema would yield instant relief. Fresh leaf juice is also useful in these deceases.
Take the seed powder or paste with honey to kill intestinal worms. About a gram of seeds with honey can be given thrice a day for three days to treat intestinal worms. On the fourth day, a dose of castor oil may be administered to evacuate the bowels. They are specially useful in the treatment of roundworms and tapeworms.
The seeds, ground and mixed with lemon juice, can be daubed on dhobi's itch- an eczema-type of skin disorder, characterized by itching.
They can also be applied with gratifying results on ringworms.
A hot poultice of the leaves can be applied to resolve boils, pimples, tumorous piles, ulcers and swellings.
The crushed seeds can be used for killing maggots in wounds and sores.
The leaves are very useful in reducing blood sugar levels and are useful in glycosuria - that is, presence of a large amount of glucose in urine.
The leaves are also beneficial in the treatment of leucorrhoea. Decoction or infusion of leaves should be used as a vaginal douche for this purpose.
The leaves are useful in congested and septic throat. A decoction of the leaves obtained by boiling them in water, should be used as a mouth-wash in the treatment of this disorder.
Retention of Urine:
The leaves are useful in treating the difficulty of retention of urine. The public region should be fomented with the leaves in this disorder.