Herbs & Plants

Caesalpinia pulcherrima

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Botanical Name : Caesalpinia pulcherrima
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Caesalpinia
Species: C. pulcherrima
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fabales

Synonym : Poinciana pulcherrima, Poinciana bijuga.

Common Names :Poinciana, Peacock Flower, Red Bird of Paradise, Mexican Bird of Paradise, Dwarf Poinciana, Pride of Barbados, and flamboyan-de-jardin. Pride of Barbados, dwarf poinciana, red bird of paradise, krere – krere, Barbados flower – fence, pearock flower, tabachin, tabaquin.

Common names for this species in other languages include:-

Bengali: Radhachura and maybe also Krishnachura   (though this usually refers to Delonix regia)
Hindi: Guletura
Filipino: Caballer:
Spanish: Flamboyan
 Kannada: Kenjige
Konkani: Ratnagandhi Phoolor “meshae phool”
Malayalam: Settimandaram or Rajamalli
Manipuri: Krishnachura
Marathi: Sankasur
Oriya: Krushnachuda
Sanskrit: Sidhakya
 Tamil: Mayirkonrai; Nazhal
Telugu: Ratnagandhi

Sranantongo: Krere-krere
Vietnamese: Kim ph??ng
Sinhalese: Monara pila

Habitat :Caesalpinia pulcherrima is native to West Indies; common throughout Sonoran deserts, naturalized in Texas. It is the national flower of the Caribbean island of Barbados, and is depicted on the Queen’s personal Barbadian flag.

Pride of Barbados is a small evergreen perennial shrub or tree, from the West Indies, 10 – 15 feet high with alternate, bipinnate leaves. The stem and branches are armed with spines. The red, orange, yellow and pink flowers grow at the end of the prickly branches.
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This small, graceful tree flowers throughout the year and is a beautiful garden plant.
Pride of Barbados has beautiful bowl – shaped flowers in the colors red, orange, orange – red and yellow.
The yellow variety is often called yellow bird of paradise.
The fruits are legumes, 3 – 4″ long; when ripe they split open and release the brown bean.
The variety of pride of Barbados with red flowers is also called red bird of paradise, while the yellow species is called phoenix bird of paradise.
Closely related is the Yellow bird of paradise (Caesalpinnia gilliesii) which has yellow flowers with long red stamens.

The leaves are bipinnate, 20–40 cm long, bearing 3-10 pairs of pinnae, each with 6-10 pairs of leaflets 15–25 mm long and 10–15 mm broad. The flowers are borne in racemes up to 20 cm long, each flower with five yellow, orange or red petals. The fruit is a pod 6–12 cm long.
Leaves: bipinnately compound, fern-like, many 3/4in leaflets; normally bright green turning red in winter, sometimes leafless in winter
Flowers: distinctive panicle of bright blooms; flowers are red, orange and yellow with long red stamens; on terminal ends of branches in summer
Fruit: hard brownish pod, 2.5in long, thin and flat, twists when drying, explosively dehiscent, poisonous
USDA zone : 8 – 11.

Propagation :  Seeds and cuttings (For details about germination, go to ISHS).

Medicinal Uses:
Medicine men in the Amazon Rainforest have long known some of the medicinal uses for Caesalpinia pulcherrima, which is known as ayoowiri. Four grams from the root is also said to induce abortion in the first trimester of pregnancy.

Traditionally the seed has been used as a liver tonic.  In Latin America: for ‘irritacion”, an infantile disease characterized by fever, swollen belly, cold hands and feet, perspiration, and diarrhea—squeeze a large double handful of leaves in 1 gallon of hot water and allow to soak in sun all day; bathe infant with this warm sun tea for 3 nights and give ¼ cup to drink after each bath.

For both children and adults suffering from “tristesa”—sadness and grief—bathe in this mixture.  A methyl alchohol extract of the dried bark of Bird of Paradise flower was shown to have in vitro activity against Staphylococcus aureus and a water extract of the fresh leaves was shown to have strong in vitro antifungal activity against Ustilago maydis and Ustilago nuda, both plant pathogens.  A methanol extract of dried root bark was shown to have in vitro activity against Staphylococcus aueus and Escherichia coli.  An ethanol-chloroform extract of fresh seed pods was shown to have tumor promoting effect (94% enhancement of sarcoma HS1 tumor) in mice.

Other Uses:
OrnamentalC. pulcherrima is the most widely cultivated species in the genus Caesalpinia. It is a striking ornamental plant, widely grown in domestic and public gardens and has a beautiful inflorescence in yellow, red and orange. Its small size and the fact that it tolerates pruning well allows it to be planted in groups to form a hedgerow; it can be also used to attract hummingbirds

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.


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Herbs & Plants

Siit (Caesalpinia sumatrana Roxb.)

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Botanical Name :Caesalpinia sumatrana Roxb.
Family :Fabaceae / Leguminosae
Scientific names : Mesoneuron sumatranum (Roxb.) W. & A. ,Caesalpinia sumatrana Roxb.,Mezoneuron rubrum Merr. ,Mezoneuron sulfureum.
Common names :Siit (Tag.) ,Cat’s claw (Engl.)

Habitat :Siit is found in thickets at low altitude in Palawan. It also occurs in the Malay Peninsula, Singapore, Sumatra, and Borneo.


This plant is a robust, prickly climber, 6 to 10 meters in length. The leaves are 30 centimeters or more in length, and compound. The pinnae are 6, about 10 centimeters long. The leaflets are firm, oblong or obovate-oblong, 5 to 8 centimeters in length, and 2.5 to 3.5 centimeters wide. The racemes are forked, as long as the leaves, hairy, and obtuse at the tip. The calyx is smooth and 1 to 1.3 centimeters long, with upper teeth minute, the lowest rather longer, and the tube splitting off the insertion of the glabrous filaments. The petals are a little exserted, reddish-yellow, much narrower than in Mezoneurum latisiliquum, permanently imbricated, and oblanceolate-spatulate. The pods are thin, about 15 centimeters long, 4 to 5.5 centimeters wide, and furnished with a moderately broad wing, and contain 4 to 5 seeds.

According to Burkill, the active substance is a saponin, which has a weak, destructive action if brought into contact with the blood. Boorsma reports that in the leaf and bark, a weak alkaloid is present, which in an experiment failed to kill a frog.

Medicinal Uses:

Parts Used :Leaves

Burkill and Haniff state that the Malays use it medicinally, giving decoctions of the leaves as a vermifuge, and for intestinal complaints such as diarrhea; also, they administer it after childbirth.

• The Malays use is medicinally.
Decoction of leaves used as a vermifuge, for intestinal complaints.
• Also used after childbirth.

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.


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Herbs & Plants

Caesalpinia sappan

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Botanical name : Caesalpinia sappan Linn.
Family : Caesalpiniaceae
Sanskrit Synonyms :Kuchandana, Lohita, Patanga, Ranjana, Patranga

Common Names :Patanga, Raktamukta, Basiletta, Sappan wood, Sappanga

Local names: Hapang (Sbl.); sapang (Ilk., Bis., Tag.); sappan (Ilk., Tag.); sibukau (Tag., Sul., Bis.); sappan wood, bukum wood (Engl.).

Name in Other Languages :
English : Japan wood, Sappan wood, Brazil wood
Hindi : Patamg, Bakam
Malayalam : Chappgnga, Sappanga, Patumukam

Habitat :Sapang is found locally abundant throughout the Philippines at low and medium altitudes in dry thickets, parang, etc. It is perhaps an introduced plant in the Archipelago, and if so, is of prehistoric introduction. It occurs also in India to Malaya. In dry deciduous forests in India, also cultivated.

It is a small tree, 3 to 5 and sometimes 10 meters high, with scattered prickles. The leaves are compound, and up 50 centimeters long. The pinnae are about 20, opposite, and 10 to 20 centimeters long. The leaflets are 20 to 30, obliquely oblong to oblong-rhomboid. The flowers are yellow, on terminal panicles, and 2. To 2.5 centimeters in diameter. Fruits small woody pods, with 2-3 seeds. The pod is oblong to oblong-ovate, about 7 centimeters long, and 3.5 to 4 centimeters wide, hard, shinning, with a hard, recurved beak at the upper angle.Stem covered with woody thons.

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Medicinal Uses:
Parts Used :   Heartwood.
Plant pacifies vitiated pitta, burning sensation, wounds, ulcers, skin diseases, diarrhea, menorrhagia, leucorrhoea, diabetes, and stomatitis.

A decoction or infusion of the wood is reputed to be powerful emmenagogue and a strong astringent, and is medicinally recommended as a substitute for logwood. It also used in atomic diarrhea, dysentery, etc. The decoction is also administered in cases of haemorrhage, especially from the lungs. It is commonly given to women after confinement, chiefly as a tonic. The decoction is considered useful in some forms of skin diseases. It is also used as a diuretic. The roots, stems, and seeds are used as sedatives and vulnerary.

Ayurvedic properities

Rasa    : Tikta
Guna   : Guru, Rooksha
Virya   : Seeta
Vipaka : Madhura

Other Uses:
Sapang is chiefly used as a dyewood, being very popular in the Filipinos for coloring the native fabrics.

According to Dymock the coloring matter of sappan wood appears from Bolleys investigation to be identical with chevreul’s brazilin obtained from brazilwood. Dey states that it contains a principle resembling haematein. He quotes Dr. Warden, who states that the resinous extract of the sappan tree contains a crystalline principle which, fused with potash, yields resorcin. Nadkarni includes as the additional constituents, besides brazilin, Gallic and tannic acids. Studies made by Bacon confirmed the discovery that the coloring matter of sappan wood is brazilin. Burkill declares hat the leaves (19 percent), bark, and fruit walls (44 percent) contain tannin. Volatile oil, suggesting pepper, is present in the leaves. Wehmer records the following constituents of the volatile oil (0.16 to 0.25 percent) of the leaves: d-c-phellandrene, terpene, and methyl alcohol.

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.


Click to access sapang.pdf

Herbs & Plants

Caesalpinia digyna

Botanical Name :Caesalpinia digyna
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Caesalpinioideae
Tribes: Caesalpinieae
Genus: Caesalpinia
Species: Caesalpinia digyna
Order: Fabales

Synonym(s):  Caesalpinia oleosperma Roxb.

Common Names : Vakerimool
English Names :Teri Pods
Sanskrit Names :Udakiryaka
Hindi Names : Udakiryaka
(Burmese) : tari
(Cambodia) : khvaw banla
(Filipino) : teri-pod plant
(Lao (Sino-Tibetan)) : kachaay
(Thai) : khee raet
(Vietnamese) : moc meo xanh (Dong Nai)

Habitat : Caesalpinia digyna is found in thickets, light forests and forest borders, in Indo-China up to 1200 m. In Indonesia C. digyna occurs in drier areas up to 200 m. The plant  has a distribution comparable with the preceding species, but is not found further north than Hainan in China.

It grows wild  in the scrub forests,of the eastern himalays, in Asam & West Bengal. It is also found in the Eastern Ghat in Andhra Pradesh & Madha Pradesh.

A prickly climber or scandent shrub, 2-5 m tall with long recurved prickles. Pinnae in 8-13 pairs, leaflets in 6-12 pairs, oblong-elliptic, 5-13 mm x 2.5-5 mm, subsessile. Flowers in long racemes, fairly large, with petals 8-10 mm long, yellow with red dot at base of red veins in terminal or axillary racemes, dark brown sub-globose seeds in short beaked fruits. Pods oblong-elliptic, 3-6 cm x 1.5-2 cm, constricted between the seeds (1-)2-3(-4)-seeded.


Plants are propagated by seed. The seeds of C. digyna plant are very hard and must be scarified before sowing.

Constituents : They yield bergenin (vakerin). A novel supermidine alkaloid, caesalpinine A (C25H3103N3) has also been isolated.

Medicinal Uses:
The roots have marked astringent and anti-pyretic properties. They also have antioxidant activity and are given internally in debility.
Caesalpinia digyna is reported to treat tuberculosis and diabetes.

The plant is used for curing senile pruritis with excellent result. The drug is also reported to exhibit anti-fatigue effect in rats. The roots have marked astringent and antipyretic properties.

You may click to see :Antioxidant activity of Caesalpinia digyna root.

Other Uses:
Tannin or dyestuff: The pods of C. digyna and C. coriacaria are very rich in tannin, and is used in tanning industry. For tanning leather, the tan-stuff from the pods is generally used as a blend, mixed with other tanning materials. The pods can also serve to prepare a blackish or blueish dye and a black ink, and are sometimes employed as a mordanting agent. The wood is reported to contain a red dye.

Fodder: The seeds of C. digyna can serve as cattle feed. Lipids: Teri-pod contain an oil which can be used in lamps.

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.


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Herbs & Plants

Caesalpinia crista

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Botanical Name : Caesalpinia crista L.
Other scientific names :Caesalpinia nuga Ait.,Caesalpinia kwangtungensis Merr. ,Caesalpinia szechuenensis Craib. ,Caesalpinia bonducella (L.) Fleming ,Caesalpinia bonduc (L.) Roxb.
Family : Fabaceae
Subfamily: Caesalpinioideae
Tribes: Caesalpinieae
Genus: Caesalpinia
Species: Caesalpinia crista

Syn. : C.donduc, C.donducella

Common Names :Nata, Karanja, Lathakaranja, Putikaranja, Bondoc nut, Indian Filbert, Molluca nut, Physic nut, Tapasi, Gajjaga,Bangbang (C. Bis.) ,Sabinit (Bik.),Bayag-kambing (Tag.), Smbar (Bag.),Dalagdag (Tag.),  Siñgor (Ilk.)Kamot-kabag (Tag.),  Dawer (Ilk.),Bebit (Sub.)  Physic nut (Engl.) , Binit (Bik.),  Grey niker seed (Engl.) ,Bugtong (Bis.),  Erolucca bean (Engl.), Dalugdug (Tag., Bis.), Bonduc seed  (Engl.),Kalumbibit (Tag., Pang.) Fever nut (Engl.)
Kamaunggi (Sul.)

Habitat :India and Sri Lanka through most of Southeast Asia to the Ryukyu Islands, Queensland, and New Caledonia. In thickets along and near the seashore.

The plant is a prickly shrub or woody vine reaching a length of 10 m or more.

click to see the pictures.

· Leaves: bipinnate, often nearly 1 m long, with the rachis armed with stout, sharp, recurved spines. The pinnae usually number about 10 pairs and are about 20 cm long with a pair of short, sharp spines at the point of attachment of each pair of leaflets. The leaflets also number 10 pairs and are oblong, 2 to 5 cm long and somewhat hairy.

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· Flowers: yellow, borne in axillary, simple or panicled raceme and about 1 cm long. Calyx deeply cleft, the disk basal, the lobes imbricate, the lowest one larger than the others. Petals spreading, usually clawed, the uppermost smaller than the others. Stamens, 10, free, declinate, anthers versatile. Ovary few-ovuled.


· Fruits: pods, oblong 5 to 7 cm in length, inflated and covered with slender spines and contain one or two seeds. The seeds are large, somewhat rounded or ovoid, hairy, grey and shiny.

Properties and constituents :
Bitter tasting, cooling.
Reported as anticontusion, analgesic, antipyretic, antidiarrheal, antidote, antinociceptive, anxiolytic, diuretic, anthelmintic.
Study isolated four known cassane-type diterpenes and three new norcassane-type diterpenes.
Phytochemical studies of seeds have revealed alkaloids, flavonoids, glycosides, saponins, tanins and triterpenoids.

Medicinal Uses:
Parts Used : Leaves.
· Collect leaves from May to July; sun-dry.
· Propagation by seeds and cutting.

· Acute and chronic gastritis, gastric ulcer, carbuncle, furuncle.
· Dosage: Use 6 to 9 gms dried material in decoction. Pounded fresh material may be applied as poultice on carbuncle and furuncle.
• In Ayurveda, sprouts and root bark used to treat tumors. The juice of leaves for elephantiasis, worms. Paste of leaves used for pain and edema. Internally, used for abdominal pain, diarrhea, dysentery and colitis.
• In Assam, seeds are used in the treatment of diabetes.
• In traditional Indian medicine, used as antipyretic, antiperiodic, anticonvulsant and antiparalytic.

Anthelmintic: Anthelmintic activity of Chenopodium album (L.) and Caesalpinia crista (L.) against trichostrongylid nematodes of sheep: Study showed both C. crista and C. ablum possess anthelmintic activity in vitro and in vivo, supporting its traditional use in Pakistan.

• Antimalarial: (1) Study isolated 44 casssane- and norcassane-type diterpenes. Most of the tested diterpenes showed antimalarial activity; norcaesalpinin E showed the most potent activity, more than the drug chloroquine. (2) In a study of six plants used in traditional medicine for malaria, C. bonducella and Cassia abbreviata leaf ethanol extracts were the most promising for further studies.

Antioxidant: (1) Study showed the methanolic extract of C crista has potent antioxidant activity and ROS scavenging acitivity as well as iron chelating property. (2) Ethyl acetate extract showed a maximum of 49% free radical scavenging activity at the end of 1 hr. Although it may help in diabetes-linked oxidative stree, it does not necessarily contribute to its hypoglycemic activity.

• Antidiabetic / Hypoglycemic: (1) Study showed the seed kernel of Caesalpinia bonducella has significant antidiabetic and hypoglycemic effects. Activity may be partly due to a positive effect on glycogen synthesis in the liver, skeletal muscle and heart muscle due to an insulin-like action of its constituents and partly due to stimulatory action on insulin release. (2) Study of ethanolic and aqueous extracts showed significant blood sugar lowering effect of C. bonducella in the type 2 diabetic model. (3) Study of aqueous extract of C. bonducella seed shell showed very significant blood sugar lowering in glucose loaded, STZ and alloxan diabetic models.

• Antifilarial: Study showed the C. bonducella seed kernel extract and fractions showed microfilaricidal, macrofilaricidal and female-sterilizing efficacy against L. sigmodontin and microfilaricidal and female-sterilizing efficacy against B. malayi in animal models, suggesting a potential for its use in new antifilarial drug development.

• Anxiolytic Activity: Study of seed extract of C. bonducella showed a significant and dose-dependent anxiolytic activity.

• Antitumore / Antioxidant Activity: Study of methanol extract of C. bonducella showed significant antitumor and antioxidant activity in Erllich ascites carcinoma (EAC)-bearing mice.

Analgesic Activity: Study of flower extract of C. bonducella showed siginificant antinociceptive effect in the inflammatory phase of formalin-induced pain and acetic-induced parietal pain.

• Analgesic / Antipyretic / Anti-Inflammatory: Study showed the seed oil of C. bonducella could be a potential source of an anti-inflammatory, antipyretic and analgesic agent.

• Immunomodulatory: Study of the aqueous extract of C. bonducella seeds on cell mediated and humoral components of the immune system in rats produced an increase in hemagglutinating antibody titer and a change in delayed-type hypersensitivity suggesting that the extract could be a promising immunostimulatory agent.

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.