Folk Semar

Action ► Young roots (Semul-musali)—astringent, (used for dysentery) stimulant, demulcent. Fruits—stimulant, diuretic, expectorant. Used for chronic inflammation of bladder, kidney also for calculus affections. Flowers— astringent and cooling, applied to cutaneous affections. Leaves— anti-inflammatory. Stem bark— demulcent, styptic. Aqueous extract with curd is given for blood-dysentery. Bark—paste is applied to skin eruptions, boils, acne, pimples. Seeds used for chickenpox, smallpox, catarrhal affections, chronic cystitis and genitourinary diseases. Gum—astringent, demulcent, styptic. Used for diarrhoea, dysentery, haemoptysis, bleeding piles, menor-rhagia, spermatorrhoea. Root and pod—used for the treatment of low vitality and debility.

The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia ofIn-dia recommends the stem bark in bleeding disorders and in acne vul-garis.

All parts of the plant gave beta-sitosterol and its glucosides; seeds, bark and root bark, lupeol; flowers, hentri-acontane, hentriacontanol; root bark, in addition, gave 7-hydroxycadalene. The seed oil yields arachidic, linoleic, myristic, oleic and palmitic acids; seeds contain carotenes, n-hexacosanol, et-hylgallate and tocopherols; the gum contains gallic and tannic acids, yields L-arbinose, D-galactose, D-galacturo-nic acid and D-galactopyranose.

Younger roots contain more sugars (arabinose and galactose 8.2%) and peptic substances (6.0%) than the older ones. They contain mucilage, starch (71.2%), mineral matter (2.1%), tannins 0.4 and non-tannins 0.1%, along with other constituents.

The Musali compares favourably with the nutritive value of Pueraria tuberosa, Dioscorea bulbifera, Ipomoea digitata and Butea monosperma (all used in sexual debility).

A related species, Salmalia insig-nis (Wall.) Schott & Endl., synonym

574 Salsola kali Linn.

Bombax insigne Wall. (Assam, Western Ghats and the Andamans); is known as Semul; Dumboil (Assam), Didu (Andamans) and Kal-ilavu (Tamil Nadu).

Dosage ► Stem bark—5-10 g powder. (API, Vol. III.) Flower, bark root— 3-5 g powder. (CCRAS.)

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