Family: Caesalpiniaceae

Bengali/Vernacular Name: Sonalu, Bador lathi; Bandar lathi (Mymensingh); Shondal, Sonail, Honail (Noakhali); Bijoy ghanta (Rangpur);

Tribal Name: Honalu (Chakma); Hunalu (Garo).

English Name: Indian Laburnum, Puddin Pipe Tree, Purging Fistula.

Description of the Plant

A small to medium, deciduous tree. Leaves compound, 23-40 cm long; leflets 4-8 pairs, ovate or ovate-oblong, acute, 5-12.5 cm long. Flowers in lax pendulous racemes, 30-50 cm long. Corolla 3.8 cm across, yellow. Pods 30-60 cm long, pendulous, cylindric, straight, brown-black.

Using Information

The leaves are laxative and antiperiodic; useful in ulcers, inflammation and rheumatism; juice of the young leaves is used to cure ringworms. Pulp of the fruit is an agreable laxative, safe for children and pregnant women; given in liver disorder. The purgative properties are due to the presence of Sennoside B. Externally the pulp is considered good application for gout, rheumatism and ringworm.

Seeds are given in jaundice. The fruit is reported to be used in Jaundice and diabetes in Khagrachari. Root, seeds and leaves also possess purgative properties. The bark and the wood are given in dysentery. Root is tonic; useful in fever and heart diseases. The Garo of Madhupur give bark juice against dysentery of cattle.

Alcoholic extracts of the leaves and stems possess potential antibacterial properties (Singha et al., 1993). EtOH(50%) extract of pod and stem bark is hypoglycaemic, antivirous and anticancer; showed antifertility activity in female albino rats (Asolkar et al., 1992).


Chemical Constituents

Leaves contain anthraquinone glycosides like rhein, sennosides A and B and flavones. Stem bark and wood contain leucoanthocyanidin, fistucacidin, flavones, anthraquinones, like barbalon, rhein and sennosides, lupeol, ß-sitosterol and hexacoasanol. Root bark contains tannin, phlobaphenes, oxyanthraquinone substances, flavonoid glycosides and hydroxyflavones.

Flowers contain ceryl alcohol, kaempferol, fustulin and pro-anthocyanidins. Pods contain aloe-emodin, emodin, chrysophanol, rhein, fistulic acid and sennidin A and B. 5-Nonatetracontanone, 2- hentri-acontanone and ß-sitosterol have also been isolated from pods. Pulp contains rhein, glucose, sucrose and fructose; also contains essential oil, waxy and resinous sunbstances. Seeds contain galactomannan (Ghani, 2003; Rastogi & Mehrotra, 1993).


Grows naturally throughout the country.

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