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Plant of the Month


Some Scientific Facts

Name: Semecarpous anacardium

Family: Anacardiaceae

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.

Leaves: Simple, obovate-oblong, round at the apex, cordate at base, coriaceous, glabrous above, ashy-grey more or less pubescent beneath and with cartilaginous margins, Petioles present.

The Leaves

Stem: Bark rough, ashbrown coloured;
The Stem

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 Usage

Chemical 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.
Siddha : Fruit, seed- leprosy, tuberculosis, poisoning, diseases of vatam, piles, skin diseases, leucoderma, glandular swellings, arthritis, carcinoma, rejuvenator.
Ayurveda: Fruit Worm infestation, stomachic, laxative, cures vata, bronchitis, ulcers, ascites, abdominal disorders, piles, sprue, leprosy, arthritis, polyuria, fever, leucoderma.
The sweet fruit is carminative, weakness and paralysis, the smoke from the burning pericarp is good for tumors. The oil is anthelmentic, makes hair black and nervous diseases.

Spurting Bud