The membersof sub family Papilionaceae are herbs, shrubs or trees found in all climates but mostly between and near the tropics and are more abundant in the old than in the New World. The family includes the greatest number of Legumes, comparising 400 genera with about 7000 species. It is an extremely important family and its members yield nutritious food, fiber,shelter, valuable  medicines and also virulent poisons (Datta and  Kumar ,1985).


Cassia fistula belonging to Leguminosae family, is widely used for its medicinal properties, its main property being that of a mild laxative suitable for children and pregnant women. It is also a purgative due to the wax aloin and a tonic (Satyavati and Sharma, 1989) and has been reported to treat many other intestinal disorders like healing ulcers (Biswas et al.,1973; Kirtikar and Basu, 1975). The plant has a high therapeutic value and it exerts an antipyretic and analgesic effect (Patel et al., 1965). Besides, ithas been found to exhibit antinflammatory and hypoglycaemic activity (Datta and Kumar, 1985). In the Indian literature, this plant has been described to be useful against skin diseases, liver troubles, tuberculous glands and its use in the treatment of haematemesis, pruritus, leucoderm and diabetes has been suggested (Alam et al., 1990; Asolkar et al., 1992). C. fistula extractis used as an anti-periodic agent and in the treatment of rheumatism (Biswas etal., 1973; Kirtikar and Basu, 1975) and the leaf extract is also indicated forits anti-tussive and wound healing properties.

            Some of the important genera are  Abrus sp., Alhagi sp., Arachis sp., Butea sp., Cajanus sp.,  Cicer sp., Derris sp., Glycine sp., Glycyrrhiza sp., Medicago sp., Pisum sp., Phaselous sp., Psoralea sp., Sesbaniasp., Tephrosia sp., Vicia sp. and Vigna sp.

For further reading .

            _Alam , M. M., Siddiqui, M.B., Hussian ,W. (1990) Treatment of diabetes

through herbal drugs in rural India. Fitoter. 61: 240-242.


Arora, A.K. (1985) Genetic Resources of less known cultivated food plants. NBPGR Science Monograph No. 9, New Delhi.


Asolkar, L.V., Kakkar, K.K., Chakre ,O.J. (1992)  Second supplement to

glossary of Indian medicinal plant with active principles. In:

Publication and Information Directorate, New Delhi. CSIR, I,. pp. 177.


Biswas, K., Ghosh ,A.B. (1973) In Bharatia Banawasadhi, Calcutta

University, Advancement of learning, Calcutta., 2: 336.


Bahorun, T., Neergheen,V.S., Aruoma,O.I. ,(2005)

Phytochemical constituents of Cassia fistula. Afri.J. Biotech.. 4 (13), pp: 1530-1540.



Datta, S.C. and Mukherjee, B. (1952) Pharmacognosy of Indian Leaves drugs. Indian Press, Calcutta.


Dutta ,A., De B (1998)  Seasonal variation in the content of sennosides

and rhein in leaves and pods of Cassia fistula. Indian J. Pharmacol.

Sci. 60: 388-390.


Ganesan, S. and Kesavan, L. (2003). Ethnomedicinal plants used by the ethnic group of Valaiyans of Vellimalai hills (Reserved forest), Tamil nadu, India, J Econ. Taxon. Bot, 27: .754-760



Kirtikar, K.R., Basu, B.D. (1975) In: B. Singh and M. Pal Singh (Eds), Indian Medicinal Plants, Dehradun. 2: 858.



Patel, D., Karbhari, D., Gulati, D., Gokhale, D. (1965) Antipyretic and analgesic activities of Aconatum spicatum and Cassia fistula. Pharm. Biol. 157: 22–27.



Ilavarasan, R., Mallik, M. and Venkataraman , S.(2005)



Afr. J. Trad. CAM 2 (1): 70 – 85.


Satyavati, G.V., Sharma, M. (1989) In Medicinal plant in India. ICMR,

New Delhi.


Saeed M. M, Arshad M, Ahmed E and Ishaque,M. (2004) Ethnophytotherapies for the treatment of various diseases by the local people of selected areas P.J.B.S, 7(7) p1104-1108.


Sharma, P.V., (1979) Dravyagun Vigyan II, Choukhamba Prakashan, Varanasi 210-240.


Srivastava, V.K., Gupta, R. and Maheshwari, M.L., (1980) Photocontrol of anthracene compounds formation in senna leaves. Indian J. Experimental Biol., Vol. 18(11) pp:1318-1319.

Srivastava, V.K., Maheshwari, M.L. and Mandal, S.(1983) Investigation on chemical methods of assay of sennosides in senna . Intern. J. Tropical Agri. Vol. 1 (3) : 231-235.

Srivastava, V.K., Maheshwari, M.L., Singh, S. and Gupta, R., (1982) Dynamics and localization of anthracene compounds during the growth of senna. Herba Hungarica Vol. 20 (1-2) : 75-81.


Sukma M, Chaichantipyuth C, Murakami Y, Tohda M, Matsumoto K, Watanabe H.(2003) CNS inhibitory effects of barakol, a constituent of Cassia siamia Lamk. J Ethnopharmacol. 85:175-6
Viegas C Jr, da S  Bolzani V, Furlan M, Barreiro EJ, Young MC, Tomazela D, Eberlin MN. (2004) Further bioactive piperidine alkaloids from the flowers and green fruits of Cassia spectabilis. J Nat Prod. 67:908-10.