Characteristic Features of Kunchandana
Kunchandana or coral wood is a deciduous, spreading, fast-growing, unarmed tree with dark brown to greyish-brown bark that is rough on old trees, and white or brownish inside. Leaves are bipinnate, spirally arranged on branchlets, flowers are pale yellow in colour, scented, fruits are narrow, falcately curved, and carry 8-15 seeds. This plant bear flowers during the summer and fruits during winter.
Habitat of Kunchandana
Kunchandana or coral wood is found in Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia to the Solomon Islands. It is cultivated as a roadside and garden ornamental throughout India and in other tropical countries, often naturalized in evergreen to dry deciduous forest at lower elevations.
Medicinal Properties of Kunchandana
The medicinal properties of this plant are noticeable. The powdered seeds, sometimes mixed with honey, are used as an external application to hasten suppuration of boils and abscesses. A decoction of the seeds and wood is used to treat pulmonary affections, and as an external application for chronic ophthalmia. The roots are reported to be emetic. A decoction made from the leaves is used in south India as a remedy for chronic rheumatism and gout, and also to stop haemorrhage from bowels and for haematuria. The red dye obtained from the wood is used for colouring cloth, and for marking the forehead among Brahmins in India. The seeds are commonly used as ornaments (beads) and as jewellers' weights.
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