Plant of the Month
Some Scientific Facts
Name: Semecarpous anacardium
Plant Distribution: Sub-Himalayan tract from the Bias eastwards, ascending into the outer hills upto 3500 ft. Assam Khasia hills, Chittagong, Central India and Western Peninsula, South Asia, Australia.
Habitat: A moderate/medium sized tree, with rough dark brown bark.
Stem: Bark rough, ashbrown coloured;
Flowers: greenish-white/yellowish, sub-sessile, fascicled in pubescent panicles, unisexual, in terminal, hairy panicles. Female panicles shorter than males, pedicel short, bracts-lanceolate, pilose. Calyx segments about 1mm long, pilose outside. Petals 4-5mm long by 2mm. broad, ovate, acute. Ovary in the male flowers rudimentary, hairy. In female sub-globose, densely pilose, crowned with 3 styles.
Common Names :
Kannada : Goddugeru, Agnimukhi, Bhallataka
Sanskrit: Agnika, Dhanurvriksha
Hindi : Belatak, Bilaran, Bheyla
Tamil : Vakkanai, Vakkanathan, Vellaittuvarai
Malayalam : Chera, Kampira
Telugu : Bhallataki, Gudova
English : Common marking nut tree, Oriental cashew-nut
Fruits: Drupes, 2.5 cm long., globose, long, obliquely ovoid or oblong, smooth and shining, black when ripe, seated on a fleshy receptacle or hypocarp about 2 cm long, smooth and yellow when ripe.
Bio-Chemical UsageChemical composition: Fruit contains biflavones, bhilwanol,. Nuts contain biflavones binaringenin, tetrahydrobustaflavone, tetra-hydro-amentoflavone; nutshell contains biflavonone- semecarpuflavonone, semecarpetin, jeediflavonone,galluflavonone, nallaflavonone. Kernel contains semidrying oil, glycoside.
Medicinal uses: Tree exudes a gum resin used in leprosy and nervous debility. Fruit is acrid, hot, digestible, aphrodisiac, anthelmintic, removes kapha skin diseases, piles dysentery, fever, loss of appetite, dysentery, heals ulcers, strengthens teeth, useful in insanity, urinary discharges, used in ascites, rheumatism, asthama, neuralgia, epilepsy and psoriasis and also for warts and tumors, carcinoma of the naso-pharynx ; extracts also show hypo-glyceamic action.