Herbs & Plants


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Madhuca longifolia var. latifolia (syn. Bassia...
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Botanical Name : Madhuca longifolia
Family: Sapotaceae
Genus: Madhuca
Species: M. longifolia
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ericales

Synonyms: Bassia latifolia

Common Names: Mahua, Mahwa or Iluppai, Butter tree (In Sanskrit, the plant is known as Madhuka)
Names for this tree in some of the Indian states are Mahua and Mohwa in Hindi speaking belt, Mahwa, Mahula and Maul in Bengal, Mahwa and Mohwro in Maharashtra, Mahuda in Gujarat, Ippa in Andhra Pradesh (Telugu), Illupei or in Tamil, Ilipe in Karnataka, Poonam and Ilupa in Kerala (Malayalam) and Mahula, Moha and Modgi in Orissa (Oriya)

Habitat ; Madhuca longifolia is an Indian tropical tree found largely in the central and north Indian plains and forests.It is a prominent tree in tropical mixed deciduous forests in India in the states of West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Gujarat and Orissa.

Madhuca longifolia is a fast-growing deciduous tree that grows to approximately 20 meters in height, possesses evergreen or semi-evergreen foliage. It is cultivated in warm and humid regions for its oleaginous seeds, flowers and wood. The tree grows on a wide variety of soils but thrives best on sandy soil. The species is drought-resistant, strong light demander and readily suppressed under shade. It is not frost-hardy. It also grows on shallow, bouldery, clayey and calcareous soils. CLICK &  SEE  THE  PICTURES
Edible Uses:
The fat is used for the care of the skin, to manufacture soap or detergents, and as a vegetable butter. It can also be used as a fuel oil. A full grown tree can produce up to 90 kg of flowers in a year. The fruit contains 51% valuable oil known as mohua oil or butter of commerce, that is used for cooking, illumination, soap and candle making…....CLICK  &  SEE

Outer fruit coat is eaten as a vegetable and the fleshy cotyledons are dried and ground into a meal. The product is often used in sweets and chocolates under the name “illipe”. The seed cakes obtained after extraction of oil constitute very good fertilizer. The flowers are used to produce an alcoholic drink in tropical India. Several parts of the tree, including the bark, are used for their medicinal properties. It is considered holy by many tribal communitites because of its usefulness.

The tree is considered a boon by the tribals who are forest dwellers and keenly conserve this tree. However, conservation of this tree has been marginalized, as it is not favoured by nontribals. The leaves of Madhuca longifolia are fed on by the moth Antheraea paphia, which produces tassar silk (tussah), a form of wild silk of commercial importance in India. The mahuwa flower is edible and is a food item for tribals. They are used to make syrup for medicinal purposes.

Tribals taking Mahua flowers to market

The Madhuca tree is a very important source of food for the tribes in central and western India.The flowers are eaten raw or cooked. They are also used for making alcohol,viniger,syrup and jams. Madhuca oil is very largely used in the manufacture of soaps.

Mahua, Madhuca indica, is an Indian tropical tree found largely in the north Indian plains and forests. Mahua is considered holy by many tribal communitites because of its usefulness. The flowers are fermented to make an intoxicating drink. Oil extracted from the seeds are used for cooking and medicinal purposes. The bark is used for medicinal purposes. Hence it is considered one of the most useful trees in India. It is a prominet tree in tropical deciduous forests in Central India.
The mahuwa flower is edible and is a food item for tribals. They are used to make syrup for medicinal purposes.

They are also fermented to produce the alcoholic drink mahuwa, a country liquor. Tribals of Bastar in Chhattisgarh and Orissa, Santhals of Santhal Paraganas (Jharkhand), Koya tribals of North-East Andhra Pradesh (vippa saara) and tribals of North Maharashtra consider the tree and the mahuwa drink as part of their cultural heritage. Mahuwa is an essential drink for tribal men and women during celebrations. The main ingredients used for making it are chhowa gud (granular molasses) and dried mahuwa flowers.

The liquor produced from the flowers is largely colourless, with a whitish tinge and not very strong. The taste is reminiscent of sake with a distinctive smell of mahua flowers. It is inexpensive and the production is largely done in home stills.

Mahua flowers are also used to manufacture jam, which is being made by tribal cooperatives in the Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra

Fatty acid composition (acid, %) : palmitic (c16:0) : 24.5, stearic (c18:0) : 22.7, oleic (c18:1) : 37.0, linoleic (c18:2) : 14.3
Trifed, a web site of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India reports: “Mahuwa oil has emollient properties and is used in skin disease, rheumatism and headache. It is also a laxative and considered useful in habitual constipation, piles and haemorrhoids and as an emetic. Tribals also used it as an illuminant and hair fixer.”

It has also been used as biodiesel

Click to see Cultivation of the plant

Medicinal Properties :- Madhuca is useful in arresting secretions or bleeding because of its tannin content. The bark of the tree is an astringent and tonic. The flowers of the tree help the removal of catarrhal matter and phlegm from the bronchial tubes. They also exercise the soothing effect of the skin. A decoction of the bark can be given internally in rheumatic diseases. It is also be taken in diabetes mellitus with beneficial results. Madhuca oil extracted from the seeds has laxative properties. It helps cure piles by relieving chronic constipation. The leaves of Madhuca are effective in the treatment of eczema.

The Honey tree (English name) has many medicinal uses. Almost all parts of this tree are medicinally very important. Tribals in Central India worship this tree for its medicinal values and also for its relevance in their rituals. According to the local healers, flowers are used in the treatment of eye diseases. Bhumkas (local healer in Patalkot valley in Chhindwara district of Central India) use various parts of the plant in their day to day treatment methods. According to Chimmilal, a local healer (Bhumka), flowers mixed with milk are useful in impotency and general debility.

Roasted leaves of the tree are mixed with sesame oil and applied on swelling and inflammation. Patients suffering from piles are given with 12-15 drops of seed oil. It works as laxative. Bark decoction is good in diabetes. Topical application of seed oil is recommended for stiffness and arthritis. Seed oil provides soothing effect to the skin. A decoction of the bark can be given internally in rheumatic diseases. The leaves of Madhuca are effective in the treatment of eczema. Flowers are expectorants and used for curing bronchial asthma. Tribal healers prescribe dry flower for increasing milk in women. Seed oil cures skin problems too. In eczema, leaves are smeared with sesame oil and are used as a bandage on the affected region.

Madhuca indica flowers are known as energy rich material and used as animal as well as human feed. Flowers are used for making local wine. The distillation product of flowers gives a spirit which has healing, astringent, tonic, and appetizer properties. The fleshy petals are eaten as raw or cooked and country spirit is made from flowers which are a favorite drink of tribal people in India. The oil extracted from seeds is used in cooking, soap making and manufacture of margarine. Flowers are used as sweet, some ethnic food like chapati are prepared by tribal women. Mahua cake is used as manure; it has pesticidal properties.

For Bronchitis and cough: The flowers of the tree are very effective medicine for these diseases.

Secretion of milk: Flowers are very effective in increasing the flow of milk in nursing mothers.The seeds also have similar property.

Rheumatic Pain: A decoction of bark can be given internally in rheumatic pains.The oil extracted from seeds can also be applied externally on the affected areas.

Constipation:Madhuca oil extracted from the seeds has very good laxative properties.It helps to cure piles by relieving chronic constipation.

Diabetes: A decoction of bark can be taken in diabetes for beneficial results.

Inflamation of testicles:Vapours of boiling madhuca is very useful in relieving the pain of orchitis or the in flamation of testicles.

Tonsilitis and pharyngitis: A lotion made from the liquid extract of the bark with water is an excellent gargle for bleeding and spongy gums and is used as a gargle for the treatment of acute and chronic tonsilitis and pharyngitis.

Eczema: The leaves of madhuca are very effective in the treatment of eczema. The leaves smeared with sesame oil warmed over the fire and bandaged over the affected parts provide great relief.

Burns and scalds: The ash of the leaves mixed with ghee can be used as a dressing for burns and scalds.For the cure of itching a paste of the bark should be applied locally.

Skin diseases: The oil extracted from the seeds can also be applied locally in skin diseases.

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.


Miracles of Herbs

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