ACACIA CATECHU Willd.

Family: Malvaceae

Bengali/vernacular name: Khair, Katha, Khadir
English name: Kutch tree

Description of the plant:
ACACIA CATECHU Willd. is a moderate sized spiny deciduous tree; spines short hooked in pairs. Leaves 2-pinnate; pinnae 40-80; leaflets 60-100, small ligulate. Flowers small, pale yellow or white in cylindrical axillary spikes; corolla 2-3 times the calyx. Pods strap-shaped, straight, brown.

Using information:
Bark is astringent, anthelmintic, antidysenteric, antipyretic; cures itching, inflammations, sore throat, bronchitis, indigestion, ulcers, boils, leucoderma, psoriasis, leprosy and elephantiasis; strengthens the teeth. Catechu extracted from the brak posesses more or less the same properties. It is tonic and aphrodisiac; cures leucorrhoea, piles, erysipelas; useful in diarrhoea, spongy gums, relaxation of uvula, hypertrophy of the tonsil.

EtOH(50%) extract of stem is antivirous and spasmolytic. Heartwood extract is antifungal. Seed extract is hypoglycaemic to normal albino rats but not effective in diabetic rats (Asolkar et al., 1992).


Acacia Catechu
ACACIA CATECHU Willd.


Chemical constituents:
Bark and the shiny, black-brown extract of leaves and shoots contain tannins, catechin, catechutannic acid, catechuic acid, catechu red, mucilage, flavonoids, quercetin, quercitrin, resins and gum. Wood contains many flavonoids, α-, ß- and γ–catechin and l-epicatechin. A water-soluble polysaccharide has been isolated from the gum. The polysaccharide on hydrolysis yield galactose, arabinose, rhamnose and glucuronic acid and hexasaccharide and trisaccharide (Ghani, 2003).

Distribution:
Bogra, Faridpur, Pabna and Rajshahi.