Biswul or Val-likhadira a large, thorny climbing shrub or rarely a small tree, armed with recurved, hooked, smooth prickles. Leaves are bipinnate and are often prickly, with a large oval gland above the middle of the petiole. Flower heads are white or pale yellow in colour, fruits are stalked, flat, thin, rounded or shortly apiculate, reddish-brown in colour, glabrous, dehiscent and contain 6-12 round and the seeds are flat. Flowers come between June and August in central and western India and fruits between January and April.
Biswul or Val-likhadira is a palaeotropical species distributed from India to Malesia, and in tropical and subtropical Africa. It is found throughout India in dry and moist deciduous forest areas to an altitude of 1500 m in the central and eastern Himalayas and on the eastern slopes of the Western Ghats. In central India it is very common along streams and ravines, and in hedges. The botanical name of Biswul or Val-likhadira is. This plant is also known as kuchui in Bengali, rusty mimosa in English and val-likhadira in Sanskrit.
Biswul or Val-likhadira has some medicinal properties. In Ayurveda, the bark is used to treat diseases of the blood, biliousness, bronchitis and asthma. A decoction of the leaves is used as a febrifuge. The leaf juice, mixed with milk, is given to infants suffering from indigestion. The leaves are chewed, either alone or with sugar and cumin, to relieve bleeding gums. The fruit pulp is reportedly used as a piscicide (fish poison).
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(Last Updated on : 02-12-2013)