BOMBAX CEIBA L.

Salmalia malabarica DC., Bombax malabaricum DC.
Family: Bombacaceae

Bengali/vernacular name: Shimul, Shimul-tula, Lalshimul.

Tribal name: Chamful Gaith (Tanchangya), Lakh Pine (Marma).

English name: Silk Cotton Tree.

Description of the plant:
A large deciduous tree with tall trunk and spreading crown. Trunk and branches, particularly of young trees covered with large woody conical prickles. Leaves large, leaflets 3-7, palmately arranged, 15-30 cm long; petiole longer than the leaflets. Flowers large, yellow to bright red, numerous, fascicled at the end of the branches, appearing before the new leaves. Fruit 15-17.5 cm, oblong-obtuse, 5-valved, lined within with white silky hairs.

Using information:
The bark is emetic; used as a styptic in metrorrhagia. The gum is acrid, astringent, demulcent, tonic, alterative, haemostatic and aphrodisiac; useful in diarrhoea, dysentery, menorrhagia, cough, leucorrhoea, stomatitis and burning of the body. Root has stimulant, demulcent, tonic, diuretic, emetic and aphrodisiac properties; given in impotence. Young tap root is astringent, and is used in dysentery.


Bombax Ceiba
BOMBAX CEIBA L.


The flowers are used externally for boils, sores and itch. The root powder along with seeds of Isufgul (Plantago ovata) and Talmakhna (Hygrophylla auriculata) mixed in milk is administered in cases of gonorrhoea and seminal weakness.

The aqueous extract of the stem-bark showed antibacterial and antifungal activity (Ansari et al., 2007).

Chemical constituents:
Stem and root bark contains lupeol, β-sitosterol, naphthoquinone compound, phenolic substances, a lactone, 4 sesquiterpenes. Root yields triacontanol, β- sitosterol and new glycosides. Flower petals, yield essential oil. It also contains hentriacontane, hentiracontanol, quercetin, kaempferol, β-sitosterol, its glucoside and glucosides of pelargonidin and cyanidin; 3 biosides, flavonoids etc. (Asolkar et al., 1992).

Distribution:
Throughout Bangladesh.