Ethnobotanical uses of some of the plants of family Fabaceae :- It is estimated that nearly one third of about 15,000 higher plant species in India are used by the tribals and poor people. These plants meet most requirements, both for man and his domesticated animals. The various uses of barks of trees for clothing, fibers and floss for nets and clothing, vegetable fats as an luminant and as a cooking media, bows, bow- strings, fishing nets and floats to carts wheels, wheels spokes, axles, mortars, poles, posts, turnery and combs to musical instruments are all made from these plants.
Seeds are used by potters to smoothen earthenware before firing and are used as measure by goldsmiths. They are also used as spices and condiments, as an antidotes to snake, scorpion and dog bite, used as incense, perfumes, dyes and insecticides. Plant charcoal is used as gun powder and for smelting iron, materials for writing, sand paper for polishing wood, ivory and horns, the mucus of seeds in mortar or plaster to keep away white ants, the production of fire by friction of wood and in rituals and ceremonies etc. The uses of some plants are as follows:-
1. Abrus precatorius Linn. ‘Rati’ ( Indian Liquorice ) :- The seed of Rati weights 1.75 grams and is used by jewellers as a unit of weight and the unit is known as Rati. The finely powdered seeds are used by jewellers to increase adhesion when soldering delicate ornaments. The seeds are also used for making bracelets, necklaces, rosaries etc. The fiber extracted from the stem is woven into baskets (Dastur, 1964).
2. Acacia arabia Willd. ‘Babul & Kikar’ ( The Babul tree ) :- The villagers finds many uses for this plant. The young plant is used to fence his fields ; the sapling provides him with poles and posts for his huts ; leaves and pods are fodder for their cattle. The timber is hard, durable tough, strong and resistant to attacks of white ants and is used for making beams rafters, doors frames, agricultural implements, sugar and oil presses, Persian wheels, hookah stems, oars, dyes for cloths stamping, gymnasium equipment etc., railways utilize this wood for keys, anvils and break blocks. It is also used for carving turnery etc. It is used as fuel. It is an important tanning material. It is very suitable for sole and heavier leathers. Bark is used for dying clothes dark brown and in manufacture of rum and country liquors, paper pulp is made out of barks of young branches. Pods produce organic acid by fermentation and so are used in tanneries for drenching or bating ; they give a fast buff colour to leathers and a fast black colour known as ‘syah bhura’ is obtained by boiling the pods. The pods are used for removing line from hides before they are tanned, for dehairing skins for manufacturing of tooth powders and ink and for coagulating rubber latex. Babul gum is known as gumghati. It is used in calico printing and dyeing, as a sizing material for silk and cotton, for fixing paints and white wash, in the manufacture of paper, matches and ink, and as a mucilage. Because of its nutritive value it is also used in the preparation of sweets. The twigs are used for cleaning teeth, for making strong and durable baskets and fishing traps (Dastur, 1964).
3. Acacia catechu Willd. ‘Katha , khadira , khair’ (Catechu tree) :- Kols tribe of Uttar Pradesh use its leaves for blood dysentery (Chakravarthy et al., 1983). The extract of leaves is taken with milk (Maheshwari and Singh, 1987). Seeds exhibit antiviral, antiimflammatory, hepatoprotective and spasmolytic activity (Nirmal et al., 1985). The wood is very hard, durable, takes a fine polish, and is resistant to ants. It is used for house posts, boat buildings, cart construction, wells, agricultural implements, tool handles, rice pestles, oil and sugarcane mills etc. Goldsmiths prize the wood as fire wood. The tree is an important source of vitamin P, cutch, katha and kheersal (Dastur, 1964).
4. Acacia concinna DC. ‘Ritha , Shikakai’ :- Pods are detergent. They are used for washing the head, and silk and woolen fabrics and for cleaning tarnished silver plate. A decoction of the pod is an insecticide and is used for killing head lice. The bark is used for dyeing and tanning fishing lines (Dastur, 1964).
5. Acacia chundra Willd. Syn. A. Sundra DC. ‘kari’ ( Red cutch ) :- Bhils, Nayakas and other tribal communities of Gujrat state use its wood for leucoderma. Paste of wood is applied locally (Bhatt and Sabnis, 1987).
6. Acacia farnesiana Willd. ‘Wilayati Kikar , Divana Babul’ (Cassie flower, scented Babul) :- Well known cassie perfume is distilled from the flowers ; it is extensively used in perfumery and pomades. The bark and the pods are used for tanning and dyeing leather.
7. Acacia lecuophloea Willd. ‘Hiwar , saved kikar’ (Reunja, White – Valem bark ) :- Wood is used for posts, agricultural implements, oil mills, cart wheels and turnery. It is an excellent fuel. The bark fibre is strong and it is used for fishing ropes. The bark is used to flavour spirits prepared from sugarcane and palm juice. It is used as a tan and a black dye ; it can be used as a substitute for wattle bark in the tanning of skins.
8. Acacia pennata Willd. ‘Shembi , ‘Aila’ :- Bark and fruits are used for tanning fishing nets. The stem yields a long, strong fiber suitable for cordage, fishing gear etc.; the charred fiber is used for cleaning mirrors. The twigs and roots are used for cleaning teeth and also beads and ornaments.
9. Acacia senegal Willd. ‘Kher , Kumta’ :- The tree yields the true gum Arabic of commerce ; it is used in manufacture of pharmaceutical preparations, blacking, ink and confectionary in calico printing and dyeing of silk and crepe, and for thickening colours and mordants. It is also mixed with pigments used for colouring pottery. The fiber extracted from the bark is used for cordage.
10. Aeschynomene aspera Linn. ‘Benda , Sola’ (Solapith plant) :- The pith like stem is used for making fishing foats, rafts, swimming belts, plugs for bottles, sun hats, mukut (marriage crown for Hindu bride and bridegroom), shera (the bridal veil of Muslims), toys and other similar articles. Being a bad conductor of heat it is also used as insulator.
11. Aeschynomene indica Linn. ‘kathsola , kuhilia’ :- It is used for making sola hats, fishing floats, rafts, elephant pads and similar other articles ; charcoal prepared from this plant is in demand for making gun powder and fire works ; the wood is used as fuel for firing pottery.
12. Albizzia amara Boiv. ‘Lallei , Varacchi’ :- The wood is strong, moderately hard, fibrous and durable ; it is used for tool handles, mallet heads, break blocks, beams, carts, plough, fuel, carving, turnery, cabinet making. Leaves are detergent and are used for washing the hairs.
13. Albizzia lebbek Benth. ‘Siris’ ( Siris tree , Indian walnut ) :- The wood is durable, lustrous and fairly strong ; it is excellent for high class furniture, internal decoration, paneling and parquet and strip flooring ; it is also much used for house building, agricultural implements, rollers, oil and sugarcane mills, boats, carts, carriages, toys etc. Bark is used for tanning and dyeing and as a detergen.
14. Albizzia odoratissima Benth. ‘Chikunda , kala siris’ :- Wood is moderately heavy and polishes well, fairly resistant to white ants ; it is used for oil mills, furniture, agricultural implements, carts, decorative work, propeller blades of aircrafts etc. The leaves and twigs provide fodder of excellent quality. The dye obtained from the bark gives a brownish colour to yarn.
15. Albizzia procera Benth. ‘ Safed siris’ ( White siris ) :- It is used for sugar cane mills, furniture, agricultural implements, carts, paneling etc. Bark is used for tanning and dyeing and as a fish poison. The gum exudes from the bark. It is used in the manufacture of Nepal paper.
16. Alysicarpus vaginalis (Linn.) DC. ‘Davai’ :- Santals of santals Pargana in Bihar use its root as an antifetility agent (Goel et al., 1984).
17. Atylosia volubilis ( Blanco ) Gamble:- In habitants of Orissa use its root for mumps. The root is made into a paste and applied locally (Saxena et al. , 1981).
18. Bauhinia purpurea Linn. ‘Khairwal , Sona’ ( Geraniun tree ) :- Tree yield a gum. The bark is used for dyeing and tanning, it yields a fiber . The leaves are given to cattle as fodder. The wood is used for making of agricultural implements and for building purposes. The flowers are used as a potherb in curries and they are made into pickles. Santals, Bhumij, Birhors and Kherias of West Bengal applied paste of its bark on the sores of smallpox (Jain and De, 1966). Nagas of Nagaland use its bark for curing cancerous growth in stomach (locally known as chapo). The paste of bark is given internally (Rao and Jamir, 1982 b). Among the inhabitant of Dharampuri forest division in Tamil Nadu, the paste of this plant mixed with milk latex of Jatropha curcas is administered to cure jaundice (Apparananthan and Chelladuria, 1986).
19. Bauhinia vahlii Wight and Arn. ‘Champuli, Jallur , mahul’ (Camel’s foot climber) :- The climbing stem is used for making suspension bridges in the Himalayas. Baskets and mats are made out of the branches. The stem yields a valuable tanning material ; a soft cream colour leather is obtained from the hide tanned with this material. Selu, the fiber extracted from the bark, is used for ropes. The leaves are used for thatching roofs and for making umbrells and baskets.
20. Bauhinia variegata Linn. ‘Kachnar’ :- The plant is of value for decorative purposes. The tree yields a gum with the properties of cherry gum. The bark is used in tanning and dyeing ; it yields a fiber. The leaves are said to yield an oil. The wood is hard and used for making agricultural implements and for fuel. The leaves, the flowers, the buds and the young pods are eaten as vegetable. The flowers buds are often pickled. The tree is often seen on Buddhist sculptures. Inhabitants of Garhwal Himalaya use its bark for malaria (Negi et al., 1985).
21. Butea buteformis Voigt Grierson Syn. B.minor Buch – Ham :- Angami- Naga of Nagaland make a paste from its seeds and take it with water to kill intestinal worms (Megoneitso and Rao, 1983).
22. Butea frondosa Roxb. Syn. B.monosperma (Lamk) Kuntze ‘Dhak palasha’ ( Butea Gum Tree , Flame of the forest ) :- The wood is used for rough packing cases, well-curbs, piles, water scoops and cheap board wood ; the charcoal from the wood is greatly used for gun powder. The astringent gum that exudes from the trunk is known as Bengal kino or Butea kino ; It is used in substitute for the genuine kino of commerce ; it is used in tanning and dyeing ; it yields a durable blue dye ; the gum contains tanning and gallic acid . Fiber extracted from the inner bark is used for making cordage, paper and for caulking boats. The fiber from the roots is used for making rustic sandals. The flower Tessu used for dyeing cotton fabrics, sola articles and cotton carpets. Flowers are used for making ‘Gulal’ the powder used at the time of Holi. Andh, Bhil, Gond, Halba, Cobna, Korku and Malhar tribes of Khandala region in Maharashtra use its flowers for urinary complaints. fresh or dried flowers are crushed and mixed with water. One cup of extract is given for proper urination (Ved Prakash and Mehrotra, 1987). Santhals of Santhal Pargana of Bihar use its roots for tuber-culosis (Goel e.al., 1984). Brilliant orange flowers are appeared before the leaves make the plant a very attractive one for decorative purposes. A valuable tree for covering salt lands and it is one of the most important host for lac insects. Gum exudes from the tree is largely used in medicines and also in tanning and dyeing. The leaves served as plates and are also used for making umbrellas. They are used as manure. A clear bright oil is extracted from the seeds in small quantity. In Gujrat and the central province of Ceylon the wood is extensively employed for house building purposes. In Punjab it is used for well curbs, piles and water scoops of native wells. It is also used for gun powder charcoal. The root of young tree 1 to 2 years old is baked and eaten by Mundari children. But when eaten raw it causes giddiness. The leaves are fodder for buffalos and elephant. The tree is scared to the Moon, is said to have sprung from the feather of a falcon imbued with the soma, the beverage of the goats. It is supposed to be thus imbued with the immortalizing Soma. It is much employed in the Hindus ceremonies connected with the blessings of calves to ensure their providing good milkers.
The dry twigs are used to feed the sacred fire. The wood is sacrificial and is frequently mentioned in the Vedas. From it are made scared utensils and the staff of Brahmin which is placed in his hand as the part of thread ceremony. When the last tuft of hair being removed a Brahmin boy becomes a Sadhu, he must eat from a palas leaf. It is trifoliate, the middle leaflet is suppose to represent Vishnu, left leaflet Brahma and right Shiva. The red flowers are offered to the God and in spring festival they serve to give a temporary yellow dye to the clothes of their volantaries. They are likened by Buddhist to penitents dresses in red. Amir Khusru, the turkoman poet likened them to a lions claws stained with blood.
23. Caesalpinia coriaria Willd. ‘Divi-divi’ ( Divi-divi ):- Tree is the richest tannin source. Its pods are true astringent. Leather cured with divi-divi is as good as that tanned with oak bark. A red dye is extracted from the wood.
24. Caesalpinia digyna Rottler. ‘Teri , vakerimul’ ( Teripods ) :- Pods are very valuable because of the large amount of tannin they contain ; the tannin consist of mostly of monodigallyol glucose. It is very useful material for the manufacture of tannic acids and gallic acids. The tannin of the pod are considerably used in the tanning industry.
25. Caesalpinia pulcherrima Linn. ( Swartz ) ‘Peacock flower’ :- Kondh, Bhumij and Saora tribes of Orrisa use decoction of its fresh seeds for pain in gums due to inflammation. Seeds and some common salts are made into a paste and applied on ringworm (Chaudhary et al., 1975).
26. Caesalpinia sappan Linn. ‘Bakam , Patang’ (Brazil wood , Sappan wood ) :- The wood of this tree is known as bukam or sappan wood. It is hard, beautiful and takes a fine polish. It is in used for inlaying and fancy works, for making cabinets, scabbards, walking sticks ; the heart wood is valued for rich dye, Brazlin is used extensively for dyeing wool, cotton and silk ; the wood dyes bright red and violet shades. It is also largely used in the preparation of gulal which is used on the occasion of Holi festival. The bark yields a red dye and also an orange-yellow dye. The pods are rich in tannin and used in the manufacture of light leather. The shell of the pod and the bark are used with iron with dyeing to produce black shade.
27. Cassia auriculata Linn. ‘Tarvar’ ( Avaram , Tanner’s cassia ) :- The astringents bark is one of the most valuable tanning material and it is in great demand for crust tanning ; it is chiefly used for heavy hides where colour is not of much importance. It dyes leather to a buff colour. It is also used to modify dyes. Tribals of East Rajasthan use the extract of its seeds in asthma (Singh and Pandey 1980). Inhabitants of Maharashtra use its roots extract for rheumatic pain (Sharma and Malhotra, 1984).
28. Cassia fistula Linn. ‘Amaltas , Gurmala , Suvarnaka’ ( Indian Laburnam , Purging cassia ) :- The tree is very suitable for decorative purposes. From the stem exudes are red juice which hardens into a gummy substance. The bark is used for dyeing and tanning in India and Java. The pulp of pod is largely used in Bengal to flavour native tobacco. The wood is durable and takes a lasting polish. It is used for houses and bridge posts, wheels, shafts of carts, carts, yokes, tom-toms, agricultural implements, rice pounders, turnery, bowls, tool handles, boat buildings, high class furniture etc. It makes a excellent charcoal. The flowers are largely used by the Santhals as an article of food. In Mysore, stakes from the trees are fixed in the ground and worship.
29. Cassia javanica Linn. :- In French Guiana it is used medicinally as a substitute for Cassia fistula.
30. Cassia grandis Linn. :- The bitter pulp is used as a purgative.
31. Cassia marginator Roxb. :- Heartwood light brown very hard and is well adapted for turning, naves of wheels and handles of tools are made from it.
32. Cassia multijuga Richard. :- Leaves are utilized like Sena leaves.
33. Cassia sophera Linn. ‘Rawasan’ ( Sophera Senna ) :- Bhoxa of Uttar Pradesh use its leaves for piles . The leaves paste with Neem oil is applied locally , it relives itching and pain (Singh, 1988).
34. Cassia tora L. ‘Pamar’ ( Sickle Senna ) :- Bhoxa of Bijnor district in Uttar Pradesh eat the young leaves for rheumatic pain (Maheshwari and Singh, 1984).
35. Ceratonia siliqua Linn. ‘Kharnub’ ( Locust tree , Saint John’s bread ) :- The pods and seeds are of economical value. The pods are used in the manufacture of sugar ; the by-product obtained after the extraction of sugar in ethyl alcohol. The wood yields a dye Algarrobin which gives a light brown colour to textiles ; it is also used as a mordant for coal tar colouring. The wood is used for cabinet work. The seeds are rich in proteins ; they are a useful cattle feed. They yield a valuable gum named Carob gum or Tragasol ; it is used for sizing many natural and artificial yarns, finishing, painting and back filling of fabrics, as a thickener for colour pastes in caligo printing, as a retarder in tanning. It has its uses also in paper industry and in many cosmetic preparation.
36. Clitoria ternatea Linn. ‘Aparajit’ :- Inhabitants of Dhasan valley in Bundelkhand region of Uttar Pradesh apply the powdered root externally for treatment of goiter. It is also useful against leprosy (Saxena and Vyas, 1983).
37. Crotalaria pallida dry Syn. D.striata DC. ‘Than-kur’ :- Mikirs of Assam take about 20 ml. extract of leaves in early morning to kill intestinal worms (Jain and Borthakur, 1980).
38. Dalbergia latifolia Roxb. ‘Shisham’ ( Bombay blackwood , Indian rosewood ) :- The wood is stronger and harder and is resistant to attack of white ants. It is one of the finest wood for furniture, cabinet work specially piano cases, internal decoration, internal paneling, ornaments, plywood for aircrafts, gun carriages, wheels, pulleys, combs brush backs, handles of knives and tools etc. As the wood resists the action of water it is valuable wood for well construction and knee ribs of boats ; it can also be used for floor boards rafter, posts and similar other purposes.
39. Dalbergia sisso Roxb. ‘Shisham , Sissoo’ ( Sissoo , South Indian red wood ) :- Wood is hard, strong and durable. It is used for making high class furniture, cabinet work, knee - ribs of boats, cart frames, wheels, railways sleepers, musical instruments, electric casing, bentwood furniture and handles, shoe heals, hookah tubes, oil and sugar mills, well construction, turning, carving and for sports equipments. The wood is excellent for making charcoal.
40. Derris elliptica Benth. ‘Bakal bip, etam chali , mokoi sopu’ :- The root contains a group of toxic principles, of which rotenone is the most important. Some of the others are deguelin, tephrosin and toxicarol. These compounds are found more in the lateral fine root than in the tap root. Because of the presence of these compounds the roots are used for the control of many insect pests of agricultural and horticultural crops, cattle, poultry, dogs and cats, and also as fish poison.
41. Desmodium gyroides Lamk. DC. :- Inhabitants of Hazaribagh district of Bihar use its whole plant to promote conception . The plant is made into a paste with four leaves of Ocimum sanctum (sacred brasil) put inside a banana and given to a lady for conception (Tarafdar, 1983).
42. Entada pursaetha D.C. sinohimalyensis Grierson and Long Syn. E. scandens Auct. ‘Pangra’ (Elephant creeper, garbee Bean) :- Inhabitants of Sikkim apply the paste of Kernel locally to cure mumps (Hajra and Chakraborty, 1981). Gond, Malba and Maria tribes of Abuj hmarh area in Madhya Pradesh use paste of the seeds for curing paralysis. The paste is rubbed on the affected part 3-4 times a day (Roy and Chaturvedi, 1987).
43. Erythrina indica Lamark. :- The tree yield a bark brown gum of little importance . Bark is used in dyeing and tanning, it yields an excellent cordage fiber of a pale straw colour. The dried red flowers on boiling yields a red dye. The wood is light and soft, fairly durable. In India it is used for making light boxes, toys, sieve frames, trays, planking jars for house hold purposes. The tender leaves are eaten in curry. In the trichinopoly district the leaves are used as cattle fodder. In Indo-China they are used to wrap minced meat. In Samoa, the wood when dead and dry is used for keeping fire in the house as it will smoulder a long time without going on. In Samoa, the native use the wood for the out riggers of their canoes. In Samoa and in other islands of Pacific the natives rock on the change of seasons of the flowering of this tree. It is supposed to flower in India’s garden. An episode in Puranas relates the quarrels of Rukhmini and Satyabhama for the possession of the flowers which Krishna had stolen from the garden. The leave is supposed to represent the Hindu’s Trimurti the middle leaflet is Vishnu, on his right is Brahma and on his left Shiva. The Portuguese have named them Folhas da Trindade.
44. Erythrina stricta Roxb. :- The wood is white , soft and spongy and fairly durable, used for fishing net floats on the West coast of Chennai, in the Mumbai presidency for scabbard, planking and boxes to be covered with lacquer.
45. Erythrina suberosa Roxb. ‘Madar , Pangra’ :- Wood is light, soft, white, spongy but fibrous and tough , used extensively for scabbard, sieve frames, drums, water troughs boxes, fruit packing cases, plywood, matches and match box, jars for house hold purposes etc. The bark is a very good material for the manufacture of composition cork and cork sheets ; they are used as bottle stoppers, crown cork liners and insulation boards. A good cordage fiber of a pale straw colour is obtained from the bark. The wood, ash and bark are employed for dyeing and the bark is also used in medicine Haines.
46. Erythrina variegata orientalis Merr. ‘Dadap , Mandar , Parijata’ ( Indian Coral Tree ) :- The wood is used for boxes , toys , scabbards , rafts, floats, canoes, tea chests, paper pulp etc. The bark is used for tanning and dyeing ; it yields a fiber suitable for cordage.
47. Flemingia chappar Bach. – Han ex Benth. ( Rusia- Gach ) :- Among Birhor, Munda, Oraon, Khond and Santal tribes of Hazaribagh district Bihar, one to two drops of juice extracted from its pressed seeds are put into in the eyes in eye troubles and to remove cataract (Tarafdar and Chaudhary, 1981).
48. Hardvickia Bianata Roxb. ‘Anjan’ :- The wood is extremely hard, very heavy, durable and resistant to rot and white ants ; it takes a good polish and is an excellent general utility timber ; it is in great demand for naves of cart wheels, clod crushers, house building, hand looms well construction, posts and beams, mine props, agricultural implements, lathe chucks, blocks for wood engraving, ornamental work etc.
49. Indigofera linnaei Ali Runkhadi. :- Inhabitants of Gujrat and south east of Rajasthan takes about 10 gm. fresh juice of whole plant mixed with curd and give once a day ( if needed twice ) to cure diarrhoea. Rice with such curd should be taken as a diet during treatment and no sugar or salt should be used in the diet. (Audichya et al. , 1983).
50. Indigofera tinctoria Linn. ‘Neel’ ( Indigo ) :- Leaf yields a valuable vegetable blue dye indigo ; it is fast both to light and water ; it is used for dyeing textiles and for painting.
51. Kingiodendron pinnatun Harms. ‘ Enne , Kolavu’ ( Piney ) :- The wood is strong ,hard , heavy, and fairly durable even in contacts with water. It takes a high polish, it is suitable for beams, rafters, battens, ceiling boards, flooring, furniture, billiard tables, ornamentals veneers, ship building, cordite cases, bowls, etc. An oleoresin is obtained by tapping the stem . It can be used as wood varnish. It yields on distillation a volatile oil which can be used as a substitute for clove oil.
52. Moghania macrophylla Kuntze. ‘Bara-salpan , Bhalia’ :- The pod are highly priced for dyeing silks ; it is not suitable for dyeing linen or cotton. The dye turns brown with alkaline solution.
53. Neptunia triquetra Benth. :- Kols, Gonds, Lodhs and Gujais of Banda district in Uttar Pradesh gives extract of its root for dysentry (Saxena and Vyas, 1981).
54. Ougeinia oojeinensis Hochreut. ‘Sandam , Timsa , Tinnas’ :- The wood is mottled, handsome, hard, tough and elastic ; it takes a good polish and is not readily attacked by white ants. It is in great demand for carts, carriages, shafts, yokes, axles, naves, spokes and felloes of wheels, agricultural implements, well construction, carving, turnery, cooperage, shuttles, spindles and other articles where toughness is required ; The bark fiber is used for making ropes.
55. Pongamia pinnata Pierre. ‘ Karanj’ ( Indian beach ) :- Wood is moderately hard and used for building purposes, ploughs, yokes, oil mills, solid cart wheels and fuels. The wood ash is used for dyeing. The seed oil is used as an illuminant, as an insecticides and in the manufacture of soap. The leaves are used for manuring rice fields.
56. Pterocarpus indicus Willd. ‘Padauk’ ( Andama Padauk ) :- The timber is moderately heavy, very durable and resistant to white ants. It polishes well ; it is priced as an ornamental wood and is much in demand for decorative purposes, interior fittings in buildings, railway coaches and ship saloons, furniture, cabinet works, billiard tables, wheel right’s work and carriages. It is particularly used for counter tops in banks and the places where there is a great deal of wear from coins ; it can also be useful for aircraft propellers. In Burma the tree is often cultivated for its sweet scented flowers and as an ornamental tree. As it is in full foliage during the hot weather it is largely planted for shade. The tree produce a gum which when dried, is as good as the true Indian Kino derived from Pterocarpus marsupium. The Kernel of the fruit is emetic. The wood is much used in Cambodia for its antithermic and antimalarial properties. It is also considered diuretic and anti dysenteric.
57. Pterocarpus marsupium Roxb. ‘Asan , Bijsal’ (Gum-kino Tree ) :- The wood is very hard and durable and takes a fine polish ; it is as valuable as teak and blackwood. The wood is not only used in ornamental work, but also in demand for carts, cart wheels, boats, drums, coopers work, pit drops in coal mines etc. The tree is also of great commercial value because of red gum, that exudes from the bark ; it contains 75% of tannic acid which is used in medical preprations and in the manufacture of some wines.
58. Pterocarpus santalinus Linn . ‘Rakta Chandan’ ( Red Sandal wood ) :- The wood is extremely hard and resistant to white ants ; it is chiefly used for house posts, cart shafts, agricultural implements, picture frames, carving etc. The wood contains santalin, a valuable dye. This dye is used in calico printing and for staining wood, dyeing leather red and cloth salmon pink.
59. Saraca indica Linn. ‘Ashok’ ( The Asoka tree ) :- Its wood is light reddish brown and soft and is used for common house building purposes. Its bark is used in uterine affection and its decocation in milk is used in menorrhagia. Its bark is also used as an astringent in case of internal haemorrhoids. The flowers used in haemorrhagic dysentery. Asoka is one of the most sacred tree of hindus. Its flowers, probably on account of their beauty and delicacy of their perfume, are much used in temple decoration. Thee tree is symbol of love and is dedicated to Kama, the Indian God of love Sita, the wife of Lord Rama finds refuge in a groove of Asoka’s, when abducted by Ravana. In the legend of Buddha, when Maya is conscious of having conceived the Buddisattva, she retires to a wood of Asoka tree and sends for her husband. The tree is held sacred among the Burmans because under it Gautama Buddha was born and immediately after his birth delivered his first address.
60. Tamarindus indica Linn. ‘Chinch , Imli’ ( Tamarind Tree ) :- The wood is extremely hard, heavy, tough and resistant to insect attacks. It is used for mallets, planes, rice pounders, furniture, oil and sugar mills, mortars, and pestles, agricultural implements, side planks of boats, shafts, axles and naves, coopers work, well construction, fuel etc. The charcoal made from this wood is of excellent quality and is particularly used for gun-powder. The wood ash is used for tanning and dehairing goat skins. The bark is used as a tanning material in the preparation of hides . The leaves yield a fixed dye which colours woolens red ; it imparts a green colour to silk already dyed with indigo. The leaves, flowers and pods are used as auxiliaries in dyeing. The acid flesh of the pod is extensively used for culinary requirements and for cleaning metal vessels ; its infusion with sea water is useful for cleaning silverware. The seeds are rich in the pectine jellose which is used in jam and jelly industries ; the processed seed oil is used as a varnish for painting images and idols .A cement is made by mixing finely powdered seeds with a glue ; this cement is one of the strongest wood cements.
61. Trigonella Foenum-graecum Linn. ‘Methi’ ( Fenugreek ) :- The herb contains the alkaloid trigonelline and an essential oil ; it is an insect repellent ; it is much used for protecting stored grains against insect attacks ; it is used as a vegetable. The seeds are used in perfumery ; they are also used to flavour mustly scented cattle feed and to adulterate coffee. They yield a yellow dye and the alkaloid trigonelline.
62. Xylia dobariformis Benth. ‘Irul , Suria , ( Ironwood of Arracan , Ironwood of Burma ) :-The wood is very hard, durable, tough and strong . It is not attacked by White ants and resists the action of water. It is a favorite timber for the construction of sea going craft. It is also extensively used for building houses, bridges, dugouts, canoes and railway wagons. It is also in great demand for dock work, railway sleepers, telegraph posts, pit props in coal mines, oil presses, yokes, bolsters and solid wheels of heavy timber carts, naves, spokes and felloes of wheels, bowns, tool handles etc.