Family: Pinaceae (pine family)
Genus: Pinus
Botanical name: Pinus roxburghii
Sanskrit: Madana
Hindi: Chir
English: Chir pine, Himalayan longleaf pine
Malayalam: Charaḷam
Charaḷam is a large tree reaching 30–50 m (98–160 ft) with a trunk diameter of up to 2 m (6.6 ft), exceptionally 3 m (10 ft). The bark is red-brown, thick and deeply fissured at the base of the trunk, thinner and flaky in the upper crown. The leaves are needle-like, in fascicles of three, very slender, 20–35 cm (7.9–14 in) long, and distinctly yellowish green.
The cones are ovoid conic, 12–24 cm (4.7–9.4 in) long and 5–8 cm (2.0–3.1 in) broad at the base when closed, green at first, ripening glossy chestnut-brown when 24 months old. They open slowly over the next year or so, or after being heated by a forest fire, to release the seeds, opening to 9–18 cm broad. The seeds are 8–9 millimetres (0.31–0.35 in) long, with a 40 mm (1.6 in) wing, and are wind-dispersed.
The turpentine obtained from the resin of all pine trees is antiseptic, diuretic, rubefacient and vermifuge. It is a valuable remedy used internally in the treatment of kidney and bladder complaints and is used both internally and as a rub and steam bath in the treatment of rheumatic affections. It is also very beneficial to the respiratory system and so is useful in treating diseases of the mucous membranes and respiratory complaints such as coughs, colds, influenza and TB. Externally it is a very beneficial treatment for a variety of skin complaints, wounds, sores, burns, boils etc and is used in the form of liniment plasters, poultices, herbal steam baths and inhalers. The wood is diaphoretic and stimulant. It is useful in treating burning of the body, cough, fainting and ulcers
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