The tree is one of the most widespread in the forests in India, usually occurring in deciduous forests throughout the greater part of India, ascending up to an altitude of 1,220 m in the sub- Himalayan tract and outer Himalayas. It is both wild and cultivated.
It is a deciduous, medium-sized tree with a gray, smooth, exfoliating bark. 4-8 pairs of leaflets are seen, distinctly stalked, oblong or ovate, with a silvery pubescence; the flowers are bright yellow, in axillary, pendulous, lax racemes; the pods are cylindrical, smooth, hard, dark brown or black; the seeds light brown, hard, shiny, biconcave and are embedded in sweetish pulp.
From the pulp 1,8-dihydroxyanthraquinone derivatives were identified1.
The aqueous extract of the fruit pulp had a significant purgative action. In a dose of 250mg. and above, it caused purgative action that reached a maximum in 6-9 hours and lasted for 24 hours. The purgative activity was attributed to the anthraquinones present2.
The pulp is a safe purgative and is recommended for children and pregnant women.
- Kapadia & Khorana, Lloydia, 1962, 25, 55.
- Lillykutty, Pharmacological studies of Cassia fistula, M.D. Thesis, 1968, Univ. Kerala.