Herbs & Plants

Avicennia officinalis

Botanical Name: Avicennia officinalis
Family: Acanthaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales
Genus: Avicennia
Species: A. officinalis

Common Names: Jat Baine, Indian mangrove

Habitat: Avicennia officinalis is found sporadically on the banks of rivers and rarely found near the sea. It prefers clay soil and usually found inland. The plant can be found in Iran,Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Avicennia officinalis as young tree forms a low, dense bushy crown. When it matures, it forms a columnar tree up to 15 m and may grow up to 30 m. The shiny green leaves, 10 cm long by 5 cm wide, have rounded apexes and golden-brown under leaf and grow in opposites. The flower, the largest among the Avicennia species has a diameter of 6 to 10 mm when expanded. It is orange yellow to lemon yellow in color. The bark is smooth, dirty green to dark gray in color. It is slightly fissured and does not flake. The fruit is green or brown, heart-shaped abruptly narrowed to a short beak, is 2.5 cm long or more.


A plant of the moist to wet tropics and subtropics, where it is always found at around sea-level near the coast. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 25 – 34°c, but can tolerate 15 – 38°c. It can be killed by temperatures of -1°c or lower. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 1,000 – 3,000mm, but tolerates 800 – 4,000mm.
A plant of the coastal marshes, needing to grow in this habitat if it is to thrive. It requires a sunny position. Plants succeed in alkaline and saline conditions. Succeeds with a pH in the range 6 – 8.5. Prefers a pH in the range 6.5 – 7, tolerating 6 – 7.5.
Planting of this species is usually not needed because natural regeneration is so successful. In Avicennia and Rhizophora direct seeding result in ca 90% survival.

Since this mangrove can regrow rapidly from buds beneath the bark along the trunk and branches, it is said to suffer little from removal of much of the branchwood.

Good mangrove stands can show annual productivity of 10 – 20 (-25) metric tonnes per hectare per year. Because of the heaviness of the wood, a cubic meter of mangrove is generally more valuable than other species. Litter fall may account for 1/3 – 1/2 of aboveground productivity

Seed – there is no dormancy, but the seeds are normally sown with the fruit cover removed, because it is highly susceptible to fungus attack. Fresh seeds often have very high germination, typically more than 95%. Seed that has imbibed moisture will usually have radicle formation within 3 days from sowing.
Division of root suckers.

Edible Uses:
The bitter fruits and seeds are sometimes used for food after rather an elaborate processing. Eaten after baking or steaming.

Medicinal Uses:
Indian mangrove is a folk remedy for boils and tumours – the fruits are plastered onto tumours in India.

The roots are said to be aphrodisiac.

Unripe seeds are poulticed onto abscesses, boils, and smallpox sores.

The bark is used for treating skin afflictions, especially scabies.

A green, bitter, resinous substance that exudes from the bark is said to act as a contraceptive, and apparently can be taken all year long without ill effects. The resin is also used to treat snakebite.

Other Uses:
The bark and roots are used for tanning. The tannin content may be as low as 2.5%.
The bark is used for dying cloth

The ash of the wood is rich in alkali and is used for washing cloth.

The wood has an attractive grain and is suitable for cabinet work. It is used to construct boats, houses, and wharves, has been recommended for creosoted paving blocks and has been studied as a possible pulp source.
Brittle wood is used for firewood.

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


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.