Cassia fistula Linn

Synonym ► C. rhombifolia Roxb.

Family ► Caesalpiniaceae.

Habitat ► Cultivated as an ornamental throughout India.

English ► Indian Laburnum, Purging Cassia, Golden Shower.

Ayurvedic ► Aaragvadha, Chatu-raangula, Kritamaala, Kritmaalaka, Karnikaara, Shampaaka, Praagra-ha, Raajvrksha, Nripapaadapa, Raajadruma, Vyaadhighaataka, Aarevata.

Unani ► Amaltaas, Khyaarshambar.

Siddha/Tamil ► Sarakkonrai.

Action ► Flowers and pods— purgative, febrifugal, astringent, antibilious. Seed powder—used in amoebiasis.

The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India indicated the fruit pulp for constipation, colic, chlorosis and urinary disorders.

Pulp of the pod contains anthraqui-none glycosides, sennosides A and B, rhein and its glucoside, barbaloin, aloin, formic acid, butyric acid, their ethyl esters and oxalic acid. Presence of pectin and tannin is also reported.

Seeds gave galactomannan free sugars and free amino acids; extract laxative, carminative, cooling and antipyretic properties.

Flowers gave ceryl alcohol, kaem-pferol, rhein and a bianthraquinone glycoside, fistulin.

Leaves gave free rhein, its glycosides—sennosides A and B.

Cassia javanica L., a related species found in West Bengal, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, is used as a substitute for Cassia fistula.

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