Cassia fistula L.

Cassia fistula L.

Classification:Cassia-fistula-L.

Botanical Name:    Cassia fistula L.

Kingdom:             Plantae

Order:                 Fabales                                                               

Family:               Fabaceae, leguminasea

Genus:               Cassia

Local Name:      Amaltas

Sindhi Name:    Amaltas, chimkani

English Name:  Golden shower

Part used:        Fruit, leaves, barks, pods and pulp

Description:

Cassia fistula L. is a medium-sized tree 10–20 m tall with fast growth.  Leaves are deciduous, 15–60 cm long, pinnate. Flowers are 4–7 cm diameter with five yellow petals of equal size and shape.  Fruit is a legume, 30–60 cm with a pungent odor and contain several seeds. Seeds are poisonous. 1

Occurrence:

Cassia fistula L. is native to southern Asia, Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka. It is the national tree of Thailand and its flower is Thailand’s national flower.

Ethnomedicinal Uses in Skin Diseases:

Seeds of amaltas (Cassia fistula Linn.) are dissolved in boiling water at night. In the morning seeds are ground to make a paste.  This paste is applied for the treatment of athlete,s foot and deep lesions in Districts Sukkur, Badin, Umerkot, Tharparkar and Larkana.

Constituents:

Leaves of Cassia fistula L. contain highest amount of phenolics, flavonoids, proanthocyanidin,3 isoprenoid diterpenes, 3-formyl-1-hydroxy-8-methoxy, anthraquinone, bioactive, and galactopyranoside.2 Thanthraquinones like rhein, chrysophanol, 9-(-)-epiafzelechin, 3-O-B-D-glucopyranoside,  triflavonoids togetherwith (-) epiafzelechin, (-) epicatechin and bioflavonoids.

Chemical Structures:

Cassia-fistula-L.st_

Medicinal Uses and Pharmacology/ Scientific Studies:

Bark of Cassia fistula L. is used for the treatment of asthma, bronchitis, leprosy, diabetes, leucoderma, small pox, burning sensation, rheumatism, haemorrhages, biliousness, dysentery, seminal weakness, wound, skin disease and ulcer.3 Juice of tender leaves is used as a lotion in conjunctivitis.4 Paste made from fresh leaves is applied on the forehead for headache.4Leaves are orally consumed as such and paste is applied locally to cure body swelling. Soft stem and their branches are used as toothbrush to cure various diseases of teeth and gums.5The plant is used as a therapeutic agent for the treatment of hypercholesterolemia, as antipyretic, analgesic, intestinal disorders, antiperiodic, 6 antibacterial,  antiinflammatory,  antioxidant,  antitussive, and antimicrobial agents.7

References:

  1. Phondke, G. P. (1992), The Wealth of India, 3: Ca-Cl, 340-341, Publication and information Directorate, CSIR, Dr. K. S. Kirshnan Marg, New Delhi- India.
  2. Parjapati, N. D. (2003), A Handbook of Medicinal Plants, p. 119-120, Agrobios, Jodhpur, India.
  3. Bently, R. (2002), Trimen, H., Medicinal Plants, Vol. 3, p. 468-69, Omsons Publications, New Delhi, India.
  4. Khare, P. C. (2007), Indian Medicinal Plants, p. 128, Springer Science Publishers, NY, USA.
  5. Bhakta, T. (1999). Evaluation ofhepatoprotective activity of Cassiafistula leaf extract. Journal of Ethanopharmacollogy, 66(3), 277-282.
  6. Abu, S. (1999). Studies on the characterization and glyceride composition of Cassia fistula seed oil. Bangladesh Journal of  Scientific & Industrial Research, 34(3), 144-148
  7. Bhakta T et.al. (2010). Studies on in vitro wound healing activity of Cassia fistula leaves in rats. Journal of Natural Product & Sciences, 4(6), 84-87.