CASSIA OCCIDENTALIS L.

Family: Caesalpiniaceae

Bengali/Vernacular Name: Kalkasunde, Eski, Essi, Tolikoroi.

Tribal Name: Ka-ja, Ka-ja baong (Marma); Rotha (Tipra), Dangor Dattlong (Chakma).

English Name: Western Senna, Negro Coffee.

Description of the Plant

A diffuse undershrub, 0.6-1.5 m high. Leaves compound, 15-20 cm long; leaflets 3-5 pairs, 2.5-10 cm long, ovate-lanceolate. Flowers in short peduncled few-flowered, axillary, corymbose racemes, and forming a terminal panicle. Petals 5, 1.3 cm long, ovate-oblong, yellow. Pods 10-12.5 cm long, thick, recurved, compressed, distinctly torulose.

Using Information

The leaves are alexiteric, antiperiodic, depurant and febrifuge; cure cough, hiccup, asthma, fever; warm decoction is given to children to cure worms. Leaves, roots and seeds are purgative. Seeds are tonic and febrifuge. The roasted seeds are excellent diuretic; decoction of the powdered seeds is a mild purgative. Root is considerd tonic, stomachic, diuretic and antiperiodic; useful in ringworm, infusion is given in fevers, neuralgia and dropsy.

Root bark is used as a substitute for quinine to cure fever. Externally seeds and leaves are used in sores, itches and blisters. Decoction of leaves, roots and flowers is highly prized in hysteria to relieve the spasm; also relieves flatulence and dyspepsia. In Chittagong Hill Tracts decoction of the leaves is used for treating jaundice by different different tribe.

Chemical Constituents

Leaves, pods and seeds contain anthraquinones, anthraquinone glycosides, emodin and sennosides. Leaves also contain flavones, dianthronic heteroside. Roots and flowers contain phytosterol, dihydroxy-anthraquinones, physcion and its glucoside, emodin, chrysophanic acid, crysophanol, a3-sitosterol, cassiollin, phytosterolin and ß-sitosterol. Roots also contain emodol. Xanthone, casiolline, islandicin, helminthosporin, xanthorin and physcion-3-methyl-6-methoxy-1, 8-dihydroxy-anthraquinone are also present in this plant.

Seeds contain chrysarobin, tannic acid, mucilage, fatty oil, a toxalbumin, N-methylmorpholine, a phytosterolin, a water soluble polysaccharide (composed of D-galactose and D-mannose) and physcion-ß-D-glucopyranoside (Ghani, 2003; Rastogi & Mehrotra, 1993).

Distribution

All over the country in roadsides and fallow lands.


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