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Indian Laburnum

Botanical Name(s): Cassia Fistula
Family Name: Caesulpinaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Subclass: Rosidae
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Caesalpinioideae
Tribe: Cassieae
Sub-tribe: Cassiinae
Genus: Cassia
Species: C. fistula
Popular Name(s): Indian Laburnum, Purging Fistula, Golden Shower, Amaltas, Canafistula, Gurmala, Baton Casse, Chacara, Samyaka, Klober
Parts Used: Fruits, leaves, bark
Habitat: Grows in valleys up to 1200 m in the Himalayas.

Also known as the ‘Golden Tree’, Indian laburnum is a medium-sized tree that grows to a height of about 10 to 20 meters. The tropical ornamental tree has hard reddish and heavy wood. Its long and deciduous leaves have pinnate leaflets, with 3 to 8 pairs in each leaf. The flowers are bright and yellow, 20 to 40 cm in length, with five petals of equal shape and size. The fruit is long, while the legumes are around 30-60 cm long and 1.5-2.5 cm broad. It has a pungent odor and several seeds that are poisonous.

Commonly known as the ‘Golden Shower tree’, Indian laburnum is the national tree of Thailand. It is also the state flower of Kerala, a state in South India. It is spread all across Southern Asia, right from southern areas Pakistan to Myanmar and through India to Sri Lanka. The tree is known as bendra lathi or dhanbaher in Hindi, amaltas in Urdu, bahava in Marathi, aragvadha or chaturangula in Sanskrit and konrai in Tamil.

Plant Chemicals
(+)- anthraquinones, crude protein, crude fat, crude fiber, carbohydrates, fistulic acid, rhein, rheinglucoside, galactomannan, sennosides A and B, tannin, phlobaphenes, oxyanthraquinone substances, emodin, chrysophanic acid, fistuacacidin, barbaloin, lupeol, beta-sitosterol, hexacosanol.

Uses & Benefits of Indian Laburnum