Scientific Name B. monosperma (Lam.) Taub. syn. B. frondosa  Koenig ex Roxb. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />


Family   Fabaceae  (Papilionaceae )


Used Part  Fruit pieces


Distribution Area It is common throughout the greater part of <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />India, ascending the Himalayas up to 900 m and in peninsular India up to 1,200 m.


Common Uses . The seeds are purgative, ophthalmic, anthelmintic, rubefacient, depurative and tonic. They are useful in herpes, skin diseases, ringworm, opthalmopathy, epilepsy, round worms, arthritis, flatulence, constipation and diabetes. The seeds possess a faint odour, and taste slightly acrid and bitter.    They are reported to possess aperient and rubefacient properties; they       are sometimes substituted for santonin. A composite powder from the dried seeds of B. monosperma, Embelia ribes  Brum. f. and Mallotus philippensis  Muell.-Arg. was found to be effective in controlling the worm Hymenolepis nana  (V. Siebold) in human intestine. However, the clinical use of seeds as an anthelmintic drug in humans is not safe, as it may produce nephrotoxicity. The seeds are also used as vermifuge in

    veterinary medicine. A paste of the powdered seeds with lemon-juice is applied as a cure for ringworm and herpes. A decoction of the seeds is given in gravel.



The flowers are astringent, sweet, cooling constipating, aphrodisiac, haemostatic, diuretic,febriguge, depurative and tonic. They are useful in vititated conditions of pitta and kapha., diarrhoea, haemorrhoids, menorrhagia, strangury, fever, leprosy, skin diseases, swellings, hyperdipsia, haematoptysis, arthritis, burning sensation, bone fractures and are very efficacious in birth control.

Considered useful in worm infestations, cure of ring worm and for dispersing boils and pipmples. The main preparations employing the crude drug are Palaashabijaadi churna and Paal

The seeds alleviate deranged vata and kapha and is useful in abdominal tumors, intestinal worms, urinary diseases, skin diseases and piles. In ancient Ayurvedic literature there is extensive mention of drug palasa in the treatment of worm infestations. Externally the seeds when pounded with lemon-juice and applied to the skin, act as rebefacient. They have been successfully used for the cure of the form of herpes,known as dhobie's itch. When made into paste they are used as a remedy for ringworm.


The flowers are reported to possess astringent, diuretic, depurative, aphrodisiac and tonic properties; they are used as an emmenagogue, and as poultice in orchitis and to reduce swellings, for bruises and sprains. They are also effective in leprosy, leucorrhoea and gout. A decoction of the flowers is given in diarrhoea and to puerperal women.


The leaves are credited with astringent, tonic, diuretic

      and aphrodisiac properties. They are used to cure boils, pimples and    tumorous haemorrhoids and are internally given in flatulent colic,


The roots cure night blindness and other defects of sight, useful in elephantiasis. The roots are useful in elephantiasis, and in curing night blindness and other defects of sight. They are also reported to cause temporary sterility in women.

The rootbark is used as an aphrodisiac and an analgesic

    And anthelmintic. It is also applied in sprue, piles, ulcers, tumours and dropsy. It yields a coarse fibre which is used for country brushes, cordage, slow matches and for caulking boats


 The bark is hot acrid, bitter, oily , appetiser, aphrodisiac, laxative, anthemlmintic, useful in fractures of the bones, diseases of the anus, dysentary, piles, hydrocoele, cures ulcer and tumors. The leaves are good for diseases of the eye. The gum is astringent to the bowels, good in dysentery, stomatitis, cough, pterygium , conrneal opacities, cures excessive perspiration. The flowers are sweet, bitter, hot acrid, astringent to the bowels, increase "vata "and cure ", kapha", leprosy, strangury, gout, skin diseases, tumors, abdominal troubles.

The bark is reported to possess astringent, bitter, pungent,

    alterative, aphrodisiac and anthelmintic properties. It is useful in

    tumours, bleeding piles and ulcers. The decoction is prescribed in cold, cough, fever, various forms of haemorrhages, in menstrual    disorders and in the preparation of tonics and elixirs.

A red juice exudes from natural cracks and also from artificial

      incisions in the bark. When fresh, the juice is ruby-red and

    transparent. It dries to form a gum known as BUTEA GUM or BENGAL KINO and  forms small elongated tears or irregular, elongated masses,    smaller than grains of barley, apparently black and opaque but actually ruby-red and translucent. The tears are very brittle and can readily be pulverized into a reddish powder, and are water-soluble. On keeping, the gum becomes dull, nearly black, opaque and tough. The fresh juice     is applied to ulcers and in relaxed, congested, and septic sore throat. The gum is a powerful astringent; it is given internally for diarrhoea and dysentery, phthisis and haemorrhage from stomach and bladder; its infusion is occasionally employed as a local application in leucorrhoea. A solution of the gum is applied to bruises and erysipelatous inflammations and ringworm.

The gum known as Bengalkino or Buteakino is astringent, constipating, haemostatic, aphrodisiac, depurative and tonic and is useful in diarrhoea, haemorrhoids, haemoptysis, haematemesis, diabetes, leprosy, skin  diseases, ulcer, pharyngodynia, general debility, hyperacidity, dyspepsia and fever. The gum is reported to be often used as a substitute for or an adulterant of genuine gum kino of commerce obtained from Pterocarpus marsupium  Roxb.


Therapeutic uses on Disease or Syndrome


Frequency  Common


Similar crude drugs  1. Butea superba Roxb.

        2. Pterocarpus marsupium  Roxb.


Chemical Constituent The fresh seeds contain lipolytic and proteolytic enzymes. The latter is a mixture of plant proteinase and polypeptidase and behaves like "yeast trypsin". The presence of three alkaloids one of which is identified as monospermin (1-N-acetyl-2-oxo-4-methoxy-3H, 5H-    imidazole), a new g-lactone of n-heneicosanoic acid (yield, 0.24%;    C21H40O2, m p 70-71°) and a phytolectin has been reported in the seeds. Palasonin is the anthelmintic principle present in the seeds (yield, 0.025-0.030%). Besides palasonin, the seeds contain an imide, as its methyl ester (m p 150° and [a]25°D,-121°) which on saponification, yields palasonin and ß-phenylalanine.

Two new compounds, 15-hydroxy pentacosanoic acid and 1-carbo-    methoxy-2-carbo-methydrazine have been isolated from the ethnolic    extract of the seed coat. Two lectins were isolated from seeds. The gum obtained from bark contains leucocyanidin, its tetramer, procyanidin, gallic acid and mucilaginous material. It is edible, rich in riboflavin (138.8

    µg/g) and also contains thiamine (4.3 µg/g). On dry distillation it

    gives pyrocatechin. Earlier it was used for the preparation of cyanidin chloride and precipitating indigo; it was reported to increase the out-    turn of indigo by 30-40 per cent.



The flowers contain butin, butein, butrin, isobutrin, palasitrin,

    coreopsin, isocoreopsin (butin-7-glucoside), sulphurein, monospermoside (butein-3-ß-D-glucoside) and isomonospermoside. The major  glycoside of the flower is butrin. The bright colour of the flowers is attributed to the presence of chalcones and aurones. The aqueous extract of the flowers, containing mainly the chalcone, isobutrin, can be used for colouring of foodstuff in the yellow-orange range in place of synthetic coal-tar dyes currently in use.


Pharmacological Effect The property of  this plant to kill worms has been proved clinically. The seeds have been found to be an effective cure for ascariasis and thread worm infestation. The antifertility activity of the seeds has been proved  and bark has been demonstrated to have significant antiasthmatic property.

The seeds contain three alkaloids toxic to earthworms.

      An alcoholic extract of the bark is reported to inhibit the activity of Escherichia coli  and Micrococcus pyogenes  var. aureus .

The anthelmintic effect of palasonin obtained from seeds is more pronounced than either piperazine or santonin against round worm (Ascaris lumbricoides Linn.) in humans. It has been found to potentiate the stimulant action on different smooth muscles The freshly powdered seeds give good results     against Ascaris  infection. Maggots are killed by sprinkling the powder. 

The hot alcoholic extract of the seeds showed significant anti-

    implantation and anti-ovulatory activity in rats and rabbits,

    respectively; it also showed partial abortive activity in mice. The

    alcoholic extract of seeds also inhibits the growth of Escherichia coli   and Micrococcus pyogenes  var. aureus.A crude, saline extract (0.9%) of seeds agglutinates the erythrocytes of several animal species.

Alcoholic extracts of the flowers exhibit significant antioestrogenic    activity in mice. The ethyl acctate extract showed inhibition of    uterus weight gain and vaginal epithelium cornification. The flowers    and seeds are used against antifertility and anthelmintic properties. An aqueous extract of flowers showed hepato-    protactive activity against CCl4 induced liver injury in albino    rats.