(Last Updated on : 28/06/2011)
Indian almond tree is a medicinal plant which is known by botanical name Terminalia catappa. This Indian medicinal plant is famous by various local names: in Sanskrit, it is called ingudi; badam, banglabadam or deshibadam in Bengali; badamali, deshibadam or lilibadam in Gujarati; badami, deshibadam, jan-glibadam or pattibadam in Hindi; adama-ram, badami, kadubadami, natubadami, olegra or urubadami in Kannada; adamar-ram, badam or nattubadam in Malayalam; bengal-ibadam, janglibadama or natbadam in Marathi; badambo, bodamo or desiyobadamo in Oriya; nattuvadumai, siruppinga, vathakottai or natavadom in Tamil; badam, badami, badamuchettu, or vedam in Telugu.
Indian almond tree is a vital Indian Medicinal Plant. This plant is generally an evergreen or briefly deciduous tree depending on locality. It is about 10-35 meter tall, with smooth grey bark and whorled branches. The young branches of the Indian almond tree is densely yellow-brown pubescent. The leaves are about 13 to 22 centimeter long and 7 to 12 centimeters wide. All leaves are spirally arranged or clustered at the ends of branches with obovate or elliptic-ovate shape. The leaves of this Indian medicinal plant are found narrowing below the middle into a narrow sub-cordate base and bear dark-coloured, sessile gland on each side of the midrib. They are finely tomentose when young and become somewhat glossy when mature. There are 9 to 11 pairs of veins and the petioles are 0.5-1 centimeter long. Indian almond tree has bracts ovate within 0.5 to 0.6 millimeter long.
Flowers of this Indian Medicinal Plant are sessile and white in colour. All the flowers are in axillary spikes with 5 to14 centimeter long with a predominance of male flowers and a few female or hermaphrodite flowers usually only at the base. The bracts are minute and calyx-teeth are glabrous or nearly so within and without. Each fruit is about 3.5-5.5 centimeter long and 2.5 centimeter or more wide. All fruits in the Indian almond tree are ellipsoid or ovoid in shape. They are laterally more or less compressed and often ringed by a rigid wing which is 2 millimeter broad.
Indian almond tree is a native tree to coastal forests on sandy soils in India. The Indian medicinal plant is cultivated in many parts of tropical India as an ornamental tree and for its nutritious fruits. This Indian medicinal plant has great Ayurvedic properties. The fruit is considered as a cooling agent. Each fruit is aphrodisiac and astringent to the bowels and is used to treat biliousness and bronchitis. The seed of the Indian almond tree is edible and contains oil which is used medicinally for true almond oil. The leaves act as a sudorific and are applied to relieve rheumatic joint pain. The juice of the young leaves is used in southern India to prepare an ointment for treating scabies, leprosy and other skin diseases. This juice has great medicinal value and can be taken internally, it is said to be useful for treating colic and headache. The tannin from the leaves and bark is used as an astringent for treating dysentery. This Indian medicinal plant, Indian almond tree is regarded has properties such as diuretic and car-diotonic, and is applied externally on skin eruptions. The bark and leaves, and sometimes the roots and green fruits, are used for tanning leather, dyeing cloth, and for making ink.