Synonyms: Bombax pentadrum L.

Family: Bombacaceae

Bengali/Vernacular Name: Shet Simul, Kapok; Sirmai Tula, Burma Simul (Chittagong-Cox's Bazar).

English Name: White silk cotton tree, Kapok, True Kapok tree.

Description of the Plant

A medium-sized, deciduous tree; branches horizontal, in whorls of three. Leaves long petioled, leaflets 5-8, lanceolate, 5-12.5 cm long. Flowers 3.8-5 cm diam., dirty white, appears at the ends of the branches in clusters of 2-8. Capsules fusiform, 15-20 cm long.

Using Information

The bark is diuretic, astringent, febrifuge and emetic. The gum is astringent and is given as a remedy for bowel complaints. The root is diuretic, tonic, alterative and laxative; juice is prescribed for diabetes. Young leaves are used as emollient. Decoction or infusion of the flowers is given as a laxative. The unripe fruit is regarded as demulcent and astringent; prescribed in migraine and vertigo. The oil from the seeds is used as an emollient.

EtOH(50%) extract of the aerial parts is CNS depressant and diuretic (Asolkar et al., 1992).


Chemical Constituents

The plant yields a gum, which contains phenolic substances. It also contains linarin (acacetin 7-rutinoside) and water-soluble antigen. Seeds contain a fixed oil rich in palmitic, oleic and linoleic acids (Ghani, 2003).


Planted mainly in Cox's Bazar and Chittagong; sporadically elsewhere.

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