Synonyms: Psoralea corylifolia L.

Family: Fabaceae

Bengali/Vernacular Name: Babchi, Buchki, Hakuch, Barachi, Latakasturi.

English Name: Babchi.

Description of the Plant

An erect annual herb, 0.6-1.2 m high; stems and branches grooved. Leaves simple, 3.8-7.5 cm, broadly elliptic, inciso-dentate, rounded and mucronate at the apex, sparingly clothed with white hairs. Flowers close, in dense axillary solitary 10-30 flowered racemes. Corolla bluish purple, 6-8 mm long. Pods 5 mm long, ovoid-oblong, somewhat compressed, black.

Using Information

The seeds are laxative, tonic, aphrodisiac, diuretic, stomachic and anthelmintic. Oleoresinous extract of the seeds are especially recommended in leucoderma, leprosy, psoriasis and inflammatory diseases of the skin as external application.

Essential oil of the seed has powerful effect against skin streptococci. It also stimulates melanoblasts leading to pigment formation. The root is useful in caries of the teeth and the leaves in diarrhoea.

Alcoholic extract of the seeds exhibited prominent in vitro immunomodulatory activity in concentration of 50 mg/ml and 100 mg/ml. (Jawale et al., 2007).


Chemical Constituents

Terpenes, furocoumarins and flavones/chalcones have been isolated from roots and leaves. Seeds contain fixed oil, resin, a terpenoid oil, essential oil and furocoumarins like psoralen, isopsoralen, psoralidin, isopsoralidin, bavachin and corylifolean. An anti-tumour monoterpenoid compound, (+)-bakuchiol has been isolated from seeds.

Lipid content of seed is composed of triacylglycerols, free fatty acids, diacyl glycerols, monoacyl glycerols, hydrocarbons, wax esters and polar lipids. Seeds also contain flavonoids such as bavachalcone, iso-bavachalcone, bavachinin, neobavaisoflavone, bavachin, iso-bavachin and their various derivatives.

A new isoflavone neobavaisoflavone and a new chromenochalcone-bavachromene have been isolated from seeds and fruits (Rastogi & Mehrotra, 1993).



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