Svetakanchana is a small, crooked, bushy, deciduous tree with drooping branches. The bark of the plant is bluish-black, rough, and it is pinkish-red inside, turning brown on exposure. Flowers of svetakanchana come in yellowish- or greenish-white colour. Fruits (pods) of this plant are falcate, glabrous, turgid, and indehiscent. Depending on locality, the flowers of the plant come from April to November (April to June in central India), and fruits from November to February. In central Indian, deciduous forests and trees remain leafless for a short period between March-April and April-June.
This plant is also known as 'banraji' in Bengali, 'ashitri' in Gujarati, 'dhodri' in Hindi. The scientific name of Svetakanchana is Bauhinia parviflora Vahl.
Svetakanchana is found throughout India to an altitude of 1650 metre in the western Himalayas, and common in dry deciduous forest of peninsular India to an elevation of about 1200 metre. It is sometimes planted for erosion control and as an ornament in gardens.
Benefits of Svetakanchana
Svetakanchana is used for various medicinal purposes. Be it the bark or leaf or the flower, everything is equipped with some quality which ensures benefits to the mankind. Some of the advantages are as follows:
The stem bark and flowers are used in Ayurvedic medicine as a substitute for those of Bauhinia variegata.
The bark is highly astringent and is used to treat dysentery; it also shows significant anti-inflammatory and cholagogue properties.
It is used to treat glandular inflammation, ulcers, skin diseases, and is a useful remedy for goiter.
Among the Bhil tribes in Rajasthan, the stem bark is boiled and used as a vapour bath following childbirth for its reputed restorative and tonic action. Among the tribal inhabitants of Udaipur district in Rajasthan, an infusion of the stem bark is taken orally as a blood-purifier and a decoction of the fruit pulp is given to treat dysentery.
The leaves are given with onion to treat diarrhoea and as an anthelmintic.
A decoction of the leaves is given to relieve headache in malarial fevers.
The flowers are used to treat haemorrhage, piles, cough, and as a laxative.
(Last Updated on : 30-09-2014)
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