Botanical Name:Astronium urundeuva
Common Name: Urunday
Habitat: Astronium urundeuva is native to S. America – northern Argentina, Paraguay, eastern, central and northeastern Brazil, Bolivia. It grows in the rainforests in moist areas and open, stunted woodland in arid areas. Dryland forests and savannahs
Astronium urundeuva is a deciduous tree with a beautiful, pyramid-shaped crown, varying in height according to the soil in which it grows. In poorer soils it is likely to be in the range of 6 – 14 metres, but in more fertile conditions it can be 20 – 25 metres tall. The bole is almost cylindrical, 50 – 80cm in diameter.
The tree is harvested from the wild for its excellent timber and medicinal uses. The wood is heavily exploitated commercially, but there is little indication to what extent it occurs in international trade. Recent studies have shown the plant to have potential in the treatment of nerve-degenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s Disease.
The tree is commercially overexploited for the decay-resistant dense wood. Large natural stands have become scarce in places. All size classes are exploited for a variety of uses: small trees for fencing and larger trees for railroad ties, posts and other construction work. The plant is classified as ‘Data Deficient’ in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
A plant of the warm temperate zone to the tropics, where it can succeed in semi-arid to moist regions with 2,000mm of rain per year.
Prefers a sunny position in a well-drained soil.
In different silvicultural trials, trees of 3 years have attained a height of 1.7 metres; trees of 5 years have attained a height of 5.11 metres; and trees of 9 years have attained a height of 9.6 metres with a bole diameter of 97mm.
Through Seed – it does not need pre-treatment and is best sown as soon as it is ripe in a semi-shaded nursery bed. A germination rate of more than 80% is normally achieved within 8 – 18 days. The seedlings grow away quickly.
The bark, and the resin obtained from it, are balsamic and haemostatic. They are used in the treatment of pulmonary complaints, kidney problems, haemoptysis, metrorrhagia, for post-natal vaginal washes, stomach ulcers and colitis. The resin is also tonic.
Research has shown that both aqueous and alcohol extracts of the bark strongly inhibit gastric ulceration.
Extracts of the bark have been shown to exert a neuro-protective effect and could provide benefits, along with other therapies, in neurodegenerative injuries, such as Parkinson’s disease.
The cherry-red to dark-brownish red wood is very heavy, very durable and strong. It is an excellent timber for external work, being used for railroad ties, telegraph posts, bridge timbers, posts and piles.
The wood is a source of muiracatiara timber. We have no more specific information, but a general description of muiracatiara timber is as follows:-
The heartwood is pinkish-brown to yellow-brown, becoming red-brown to dark brown with very irregularly spaced black-brown veins; it is clearly demarcated from the 4 – 10cm wide band of sapwood. The texture is fine; the grain straight or interlocked. The wood is heavy, hard and very durable, being resistant to fungi, dry wood borers and termites. It seasons normally with little risk of checking or distortion; once dry it is poorly stable in service. It has a fairly high blunting effect upon toold, stellite-tipped and tungsten carbide tools are recommended; nailing and screwing are good, but pre-boring is necessary; gluing is poor. The wood has a wide range of applications, being used in cabinet making for high class furniture, for flooring, turnery, interior and exterior joinery, heavy carpentry, tool handles, musical instruments, carving etc.
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.