Family: Mimosaceae (Touch-me-not family)
Genus: Acacia
Botanical name: Acacia catechu, Mimosa catechu, Acacia wallichiana
Sanskrit: Khadira, Kushtari, Rakthasaram
Hindi: Khair
English: Cutch Tree, Black catechu, Black cutch, Cashoo, Catechu, Wadalee gum
Malayalam: Karingali
Cutch Tree is a small tree, growing 3-15 m high. The stem is dark brown to black, with rough bark which peels off in long strips in mature trees; young trees have corky bark. The fern-like leaves are 100-200 mm long and contain between 8 and 30 pairs of small leaves made up of numerous, oblong pairs of secondary leaflets 2-6 mm long. Glands occur on the stem below the first pair of leaves, and between the uppermost six pairs of leaves. Pairs of stout thorns up to 10 mm long are found at the base of each leaf. The flowers are white or pale yellow, about 3 mm long and bunched tightly together to form a cylindrical flower spike, 35-75 mm long, resembling a lamb's tail. The brown, beaked seed pods are 50-125 mm long on a short stalk and contain between four and seven seeds, which are dark brown, flat and 5-8 mm in diameter. The taproot branches to 2 m depth.
The heart wood and bark of the Cutch Tree are used in traditional medicine. A wood extract called catechu is used in traditional medicine for sore throats anddiarrhea. The concentrated aqueous extract, known as khayer gum or cutch, is astringent. It is used in Ayurvedic medicine. In ayurveda, it is used for rasayana (rejuvenation treatments). It is also used for its actions like anti-dyslipidemic, anthelminthic, anti-inflammatory, anti-diuretic,anti-pruritic, coolant, taste promoting, enhancing digestion and curing skin disorders. Its heartwood extract is used in dyeing and leather tanning, as a preservative for fishing nets, and as a viscosity regulator for oil drilling.
Acacia catechu
Ayurvedic Medicinal Plants
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