ashvamantaka :Bauhinia tomentosa, the yellow bauhinia or yellow bell orchid tree, is a species of legume in the Fabaceae family. It is found only in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, India and Sri Lanka. The plant is known to have antimicrobial activity against Gram-positive bacteria
Kingdom: Plantae - Plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta - Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida - Dicotyledons
Genus: Bauhinia .
Species: Bauhinia tomentosa
VERNACULAR NAMESSanskrit: ashvamantaka, phalgu , pita kanchana
English: Yellow bauhinia , Yellow orchid tree, Yellow bell orchid tree, Yellow butterfly tree
Spanish: Flor de Azufre (Argentina), Guacamaya americana.
Chinese: Huang hua yang zi jing (Taiwan)
German: Filzige Bauhinie
Sinhalese: Petan, Kaha Penath
SynonymsSynonyms in Ayurveda: ashvamantaka, phalgu
The generic name commemorates the Bauhin brothers Jean (1541-1613) and Gaspard (1560-1624), the Swiss botanists; the two lobes of the leaf exemplify the two brothers, and tomentosa is derived from tomentose, meaning with dense, interwoven hairs
Guna: Laghu Ruksha
Karma: Kaphahara Pittahara
Cultivation:A plant of fairly dry areas in the tropics and subtropics. Plants can withstand light frost
Succeeds in full sun or light shade. Prefers a fertile, well-drained but moisture-retentive soil Established plans are somewhat drought tolerant
Young plants are fast-growing, able to increase in height by up yo 90cm a year.
Plants flower in their second year and are usually very floriferous, bearing flowers during most months of the year in tropical areas.
Flowering can be stimulated by pruning the plants once a year during the dormant season.
When planting in dry areas, it is advisable to obtain seeds from plants growing in dry areas.
Although many species within the family Fabaceae have a symbiotic relationship with soil bacteria, this species is said to be devoid of such a relationship and therefore does not fix atmospheric nitrogen
Harvesting:Trees flower in their 2nd year and are usually very floriferous, bearing flowers during most months of the year. In southern Africa, flowering can be observed from December to March; young fruits appear in January and mature in June or later.
Phytochemistry:Flower contains flavonoids, isoquerlitrin 6%, rutin 4.6%, and a small amount of quercetrin.
- Flower extract yielded lignins, saponins, sterols, alkaloids, and phenols. (see study below) (19)
- Seed yields a fatty oil, called ebony oil, protein, pentosan, water soluble mucilage and saponins.
- Bark yields a fiber.
- Phytochemical screening of crude extract of flowers yielded carbohydrates, glycosides, alkaloids, phytosteroids, flavonoids, saponins, tannins, phenolic compounds, and fixed oils.
- Roots yielded glycosides, proteins, flavonoids, carbohydrates, tannins and phenolic compounds, and steroids.
Parts used for medicinal purposeBark, Flower, Root, Seed, ,
- powder- 1-2 g
- decoction -56- 112 ml
- infusion of flower- 3-5 g
Antidote:No information regarding Bauhinia tomentosas antidote is currently available.
Substitute:No information regarding Bauhinia tomentosas substitute is currently available.
Commercial value:Fodder: Not an important browsing tree for cattle as it contains prussic acid in the pods and the flowers; goats tend to nibble the leaves but do not consume much. Leaves are browsed by the black rhino, kudu and grey duiker; the flower buds and mature flowers are consumed by the grey lourie.
Morphology:Bauhinia tomentosa is usually a scrambling, many-stemmed shrub or small tree reaching 4 m (max. 8) in height, the branches often drooping, with many slender twigs. Bark grey and smooth or slightly hairy on young branches, becoming brown and smooth on the older stems. Leaves deeply divided for almost half their length, with a small apical appendage between the lobes; each lobe is oval to almost elliptic, most often small about 2.5 x 2.5 cm, but may be up to 8 cm, pale fresh green; apex of each lobe broadly tapering; base of the whole leaf shallowly lobed; margin entire, petiolate; leaf stalk 10 to 30 mm long. Flowers bell-shaped, up to 7 cm long, beautiful and distinctive, pendulous, solitary, with large, lemon-yellow petals, 1-3 of which have a dark maroon patch at the base and turning a veined reddish brown with age. Fruit a woody pod, slender, pale brown, velvety, pointed, 10-11 x 1.5-2 cm, dehiscent, splitting on the tree to release 6-12 seeds. Seeds 7-8.5 x 5.5-7 x 2-3 mm, ovate, compressed, glossy, reddish brown, somewhat rugose to nearly smooth, with V-shaped marginal hilum, often bearing an apical, hook-shaped funicular remnant.
Geographical distribution:Cultivated in Manila and other towns.
- A vigorous shrub used as border plants.
- Introduced from tropical Asia.
- Found in India, West Bengal, Sri Lanka and tropical Africa.
ECOLOGICAL ASPECT:The hairy bauhinia grows from Natal and Zululand to eastern Transvaal, northwards to tropical Africa, and eastwards to Sri Lanka and India. In South Africa, it grows in forest, bushveld and the coastal dune bush. It also occurs in low-altitude woodland, often forming part of the riverine thickets, and on the forest edges. In Zambia, it grows in thickets and on stream banks and rocky slopes of the central and southern provinces and the Luangwa Valley. Trees can be found growing naturally from Ethiopia in the north to KwaZulu Natal in the south. Trees grow in the shade or in full sun, can withstand light frost and are somewhat drought hardy.
Plant conservation:Trees are fast growing, up to 900 mm a year. Flowering can be stimulated by pruning the plants once a year during the winter. For planting in dry areas, it is advisable to obtain seeds from plants growing in dry areas.
Therapeutic Uses:The dried leaf and flower bud of B. tomentosa and a decoction of the root and bark are used medicinally by the African doctors of South Africa. In India and Sri Lanka, the root bark is used internally for conditions of the large intestine, while the flower is used as a remedy for dysentery and diarrhoea. A decoction of the root bark is used in India as a vermifuge and an infusion of the stem bark as an astringent gargle. The fruit is said to be diuretic, and the seed is eaten in India as a tonic and aphrodisiac. In Madura, the leaf is an ingredient in a plaster applied to abscesses. A decoction of the root bark is used as a vermifuge, and an infusion made from the stem bark is used as an astringent gargle. A decoction of the root bark is used for abdominal troubles and as an anthelmintic. An infusion of the root bark is used as an external application to inflamed glands, abscesses and skin conditions, while the fruit is said to be diuretic and an infusion of the rind is used as an astringent gargle. A paste of the seed made with vinegar is used as a local application to the wounds produced by venomous animals
Systemic Use:The root bark is vermifuge. It is used internally to treat conditions of the large intestine
An infusion of the root bark is used as an external application to treat inflamed glands, abscesses and skin conditions
The stem bark is astringent. It is used as a gargle for the mouth
The flowers are used as a remedy for dysentery and diarrhoea
The fruit is said to be diuretic
An infusion of the rind is used as an astringent gargle
The seed is eaten as a tonic and aphrodisiac
A paste of the seed made with vinegar is used as a local application to the wounds produced by venomous animals
The leaves are an ingredient in a plaster applied to abscesses
Administration:decoction of root bark
Pharmacological:Leaves smell like burned rubber when rubbed, probably giving the plant its local name of baho-baho.
- Considered astringent, vermifuge.
- Seeds considered tonic and aphrodisiac.
- Fruit considered diuretic.
- Cytotoxicity Study Of Antioxidant Flavonoids From Bauhinia Tomentosa Leaf Extract / M A Aderogba, L J McGaw, A O Ogundaini, J N Eloff / Nigerian Journal of Natural Products and Medicine, Vol 12 , 2008
- Pharmacological effect of aqueous extract of Bauhinia tomentosa L. on wistar albino rats / Kanakasabapathi Devaki, Uthamaraj Beulah et al / Journal of Pharmacy Research, Vol 4, No 6 (2011
- Bauhinia tomentosa stimulates the immune system and scavenges free radical generation in vitro / Kannan N, Renitta RE, Guruvayoorappan C. / J Basic Clin Physiol Pharmacol. 2010;21(2):157-68.
- PHYTOCHEMICAL SCREENING & ANTIMICROBIAL ACTIVITY OF BAUHINIA TOMENTOSA (LINN.) FLOWER / V. Kishor Kumar*, P. Satheeshkumar, T.venkatachalam et al /
- ANTI-ULCER ACTIVITY OF AQUEOUS EXTRACT OF BAUHINIA TOMENTOSA LINN. LEAVES / L. N. Patidar*, P. Bhargava, R. S. Bhadauria and N. Ravichandran / ARPB, 2011; Vol 1(1)
- Pharmacognostical and preliminary phytochemical studies of bauhinia tomentosa (linn) flower. / Rangasamy Manivannan*, Mannangatti Vijayakumar, Ayyasamy Balasubramaniam, Emin Baby and Natesan Senthil Kumar. / JPR: BioMedRx: An International Journal, Vol 3, No 3 (2010)
- Antidiabetic activity of Bauhinia Tomentosa Linn. roots extract in alloxan induced diabetic rats / Ajit Kiran Kaur*, S. K. Jain, A. Gupta, Shiv K. Gupta, M. Bansal and P. K. Sharma / Der Pharmacia Lettre, 2011, 3(2): 456-459
- IN VITRO ANTIBACTERIAL ACTIVITY OF Bauhinia tomentosa Linn., LEAF EXTRACTS / Rhama S*, Madhavan S / Journal of Drug Delivery & Therapeutics; 2012, 2(6), 83-85
Use in other system of medicine:
CONCLUSION:Bauhinia tomentosa is a scrambling, many-stemmed shrub or small tree, the branches often dropping, with many slender twigs. It is called as adavimandaramu in Telugu and phalgu in Sanskrit. It has been reported to contain amino acids, proteins, fatty acids, minerals, lectins, protocatechuic acid, phytohemagglutinins, rutin, quercetin and isoquercetin. Leaves smell like burned rubber when rubbed, probably giving the plant its local name of baho-baho. Considered astringent, vermifuge. Seeds considered tonic and aphrodisiac. Fruit considered diuretic.
KEY WORDS: ashvamantaka Bauhinia tomentosa Linn
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