Barringtonia acutangula

Botanical Name :Barringtonia acutangula Gaertn
Family: Lecythidaceae
Genus: Barringtonia
Species: B. acutangula
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ericales
Synonym(s):
Barringtonia edaphocarpa Gagnep
Barringtonia pedicellata Ridley
Barringtonia spicata Blume

Common Names :
Ingar, Ambuja, Hijjala, Samudraphala, Dhatri phala, Indian Oak


Habitat
:Native to coastal wetlands in southern Asia and northern Australasia, from Afghanistan east to the Philippines and Queensland.
Barringtonia racemosa is mainly a coastal species that thrives under very humid, moist conditions. It is common along tropical and subtropical coasts in the Indian Ocean, starting at the east coast of South Africa. It is also common in Mozambique, Madagascar, India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Thailand, Laos, southern China, northern Australia, the Ryukyu Islands of Japan and a number of Polynesian islands. It does grow well under dry conditions but it cannot tolerate even mild frost

Description:
Barringtonia acutangula is a midium size freshwater mangrove tree  or shrub  grows in alluvium sandy clay  on banks of river & creeks,floodplains. It has a straight, unbranched stem that leads to a rounded crown and is usually 4-8 m tall, but occasionally reaches 15 m. The bark is greyish brown to pink with white blotches and raised dots and lines. The branches are marked with leaf scars.
The leaves are alternate and carried in clusters at the ends of branches, are 180-320 x 55-145 mm, with petioles 5-12 mm long. The midribs are prominent on the lower side of the leaf and the branching veins are visible on both sides.

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The flowers are produced on hanging racemes up to 1 m long.It blooms during January -December.  The buds are pinkish red and split open to bring forth masses of delicate stamens in white sprays up to 35 mm wide, which are often tinged with pink. The flowers give off a pungent, putrid yet faintly sweet odour in the morning. The fruit are quadrangular, 65 x 40 mm. Each fruit contains a single seed surrounded by spongy, fibrous flesh that provides the buoyancy that allows the fruit to be carried off with the tide.

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Conservation status
: Barringtonia racemosa is not threatened in any way.

Medicinal Uses:
Its bark contains potent opioid painkillers.The fruit is spoken of as Samudra-phala and Dh?triphala or “nurse’s fruit,” and is one of the best known domestic remedies. When children suffer from a cold in the chest, the seed is rubbed down on a stone with water and applied over the sternum, and if there is much dyspnoea a few grains with or without the juice of fresh ginger are administered internally and seldom fail to induce vomiting and the expulsion of mucus from the air passages. To reduce the enlarged abdomen of children it is given in doses of from 2 to 3 grains in milk. Rumphius states that the roots are used to kill fish, and this use of the bark is known in most parts of India. The fish are said to be not unwholesome.
Barringtonia racemosa has similar properties, the bark, root and seed being bitter. Ainslie states that in Java and in Ternate the seeds are used for intoxicating fish. The powdered seeds of these plants induce sneezing.

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*Antibacterial activity of Barringtonia acutangula against selected urinary tract pathogens

* Traditional use of Barringtonia acutangula Gaertn in fish farming

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://vaniindia.org.whbus12.onlyfordemo.com/herbal/plantdir.asp
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barringtonia_acutangula
http://florabase.dec.wa.gov.au/browse/profile/5289
http://iu.ff.cuni.cz/pandanus/database/details.php?id=242
http://www.worldagroforestry.org:8090/sea/Products/AFDbases/WD/asps/DisplayDetail.asp?SpecID=399
http://www.flickr.com/photos/phuonglovejesus2782010/5065287585/

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