Acacia catechu (Linn. f.) Willd.

Family : Mimosaceae.

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Habitat Drier regions of India, particularly Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and Rajasthan.

English Cutch tree, Catechu.

Ayurvedic Khadira, Kadara, Somavalka, Gaayatri, Dantdhaavan, Kantaki, Raktasaara (heartwood extract).

Unani Khair, Kaat, Katthaa (heartwood extract).

Siddha/Tamil Karunkaali

(bark), Kalippakku, Kadiram.

Katthakkaambu, Kaasukkatti

(heartwood extract).


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Action  wood— powerful astringent (in urinary and vaginal discharge), antidiarrhoeal, haemostatic; used for treating excessive mucous discharges, haemorrhages, relaxed conditions of gums, throat and mouth, stomatitis, irritable bowel; also used as an antileprotic drug.

Along with other therapeutic applications, The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India indicates the use of dried pieces of heartwood in inflammations, skin diseases and urinary disorders, recommends its use as a blood purifier, in diseases caused by lipid disorders.


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Cutch (the concentrated extract) contains tannins 2—20%, catechin 25— 33%, phiobatannins including catechutannic acid 20—50%; flavonoids including quercetin, quercitrin, fisetin; gums, resins, pigments. The gum from A. catechu is a good substitute for Gum arabic. diabetic rats. Seed oil—antifungal. Flowers, pods and gum resin—used in diarrhoea and dysentery.

Along with other therapeutic applications, The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India indicates the use of stembark in acute diarrhoea and helminthiasis.

Tannin contents of the bark varies considerably (12—20%). Several polyphenolic compounds have been reported in the bark, also in the pods. The whole pod contains 12—19% tannins and 18—27% after the removal of seeds.


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The seeds ofA. benthamii, A. nilotica ssp. subulata, probably same as ssp. indica, are considered hypoglycaemic. Some seed components stimulate insulin secretion by beta cells.

The gum contains galactose; l-arabinose, l-rhamnose and aldobiouronic acids, also arabinobioses.

The flowers contain flavonoids— kaempferol-3-glucoside, iso- quercitrin and leucocyanidin.

Dosage Stembark—20—30 g for decoction.


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Medicinal plants of India ; Ayurveda

Encyclopedia of Indian Medicinal Plants/Herbs mainly using in Ayurveda with good quality pictures and information like therapeutic usage of Medicinal Plants, cultivation, morphology, habitat, flower characters, Chemical content, parts used, research works etc.

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