State Medicinal Plants Board (SMPB) Kerala

Acacia catechu (L.f.) Willd.

  • Family: Fabaceae
  • Vernacular names: Karingali, കരിങ്ങാലി (Malayalam), Black catechu (English),
  • Distribution: India and Myanmar
  • Description: Deciduous, gregarious trees, to 15 m high. Leaflets 30-50, opposite, paripinnate, sessile, stipels absent. Flowers pale yellow, sessile, in long solitary or in groups of 2-4 axillary spikes. Fruit a pod flat, straight, unlobed or sinuate along margins, thin walled, beaked at apex, brown, narrowed at base into a stipe, dehiscent; seeds 3-10, orbicular or ovate, flattened.
  • Habit: Tree
  • Habitat: Dry deciduous forests, also planted
  • Flowering & Fruiting: March-September

  • Parts used: Bark
  • Properties & Uses: The gummy extract of the wood called black catechu, is used as an anodyne, astringent and bactericide. The heartwood extract is also used in asthma, bronchitis, colic, diarrhea, boils, skin afflictions, sores and stomatitis. The bark shows anti-helminthic, antipyretic and anti-inflammatory properties. It is used in the treatment of bronchitis, ulcers, psoriasis, anemia and gum troubles. The sap of A. catechu is commonly used for the treatment of diarrhea and wounds in ruminants.
  • Systems of Medicines: Ayurveda, Folk,
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