CAJANUS CAJAN (L.) Huth.

C. indicus Spreng.
Family: Fabaceae

Bengali/Vernacular Name: Arhar, Tur, Aral.

Tribal Name: Flaying (Murong); Heankhrung (Chakma); Santai (Tipra); Piang Kong (Marma).

English Name: Pigeon Pea, Red Gram, Congo Pea.

Description of the Plant:
An erect bushy shrub up to 3 m high. Leaves trifoliate, leaflets oblong-lanceolate, densely silky beneath. Flowers yellow, in loose corymbose racemes or forming a terminal panicle; Corolla three times the calyx; standard yellow or veined with red. Pod oblong, 5-7.5 cm long, finely downy.

Using Information:
Leaves are used in diseases of the mouth and piles; tender leaves are chewed in cases of aphthae and spongy gums. Juice of leaves is laxative; given in jaundice and pneumonia. The seeds are astringent to the bowels and anthelmintic; cures ulcers of the mouth, tumours, bronchitis, heart diseases, piles and cough. The flour from the seeds is resolvent. The poultice made with the seeds reduces swelling. Leaves and seeds are also useful in cough, and to check secretion of mother’s milk. Infusion of the buds, flowers and the green pods are considered pectoral. Leaf juice is prescribed in jaundice in Kaukhali of Rangamati; it is also given along with the bark juice of Oroxylum indicum or juice of Centella asiatica.

EtOH(50%) extract of seeds is hypoglycaemic; seeds also possesses enterokinase activity. Extract of germinating seeds is virus inhibiting (Asolkar et al., 1992).


Cajanus Cajan
CAJANUS CAJAN (L.) Huth.


Chemical Constituents:
Leaves contain phytoalexins, sterols, triterpens and other lipidic constituents. Roots contain antifungal isoflavone, cajanone, cajaflavone, methyl cajanone, cajaisoflavone, an isoflavone glucosides, genistein, an anthraquinone derivative, cajaquinone, sitosterol and its glucosides, lupeol and amyrins. Cajaquinone, an anthraquinone derivative have also been isolated form the roots. Tender red pods contain carbohydrates, protein, fats, vitamins A, B and C, carotene, minerals and amino acids. Constituents of the seeds are similar to those of the pods and they are rich sources of vitamin B6, folic acid, tocopherol, minerals, amino acids and plant acids. They also contain enzymes and isoflavones. Essential oil from plant contains α-, β-and γ-selinenes, copaene and a mixture of eudesmols (Ghani, 2003).

Distribution:
Cultivated throughout Bangladesh.