Butea monosperma: An Ornamental Plant to Precious Herb

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Shrirao A. V

Abstract

Since ancient times plants are used for their medicinal and cosmetic properties. India has well-recorded
and well practiced knowledge of traditional herbal medicine. Butea monosperma popularly known as
Flame of the Forest, Dhak, Palash or ‘Bastard teak’ which has immense potential and appears to have a
broad spectrum of activity on several ailments. Previous phytochemical examination of this plant
indicated the presence of various constituents some of these are Cajanin and isoformononetin; Stigma
sterol; Butin; two known flavonoids, isobutrin (3, 4, 2', 4'-tetrahydroxychalcone-3, 4'-diglucoside), and
the less active butrin (7, 3', 4'-trihydroxyflavanone-7, 3'-diglucoside); free sugars and free amino acids
and (-)-3-hydroxy-9-methoxypterocarpan[(-)-medicarpin which were isolated from stem-bark extract;
bark; seeds; flower; the petroleum ether extract of flowers and petroleum and ethyl acetate extract of stem
bark. Many reported pharmacological properties include anthelmintic, anticonceptive, anticonvulsive,
antidiabetic, antidiarrhoeal, antiestrogenic and antifertility, antiinflammatory, antimicrobial, antifungal,
antibacterial, antistress, chemopreventive, haemaggultinating, hepatoprotective, radical scavenging,
Thyroid inhibitory, antiperoxidative and hypoglycemic effects and wound healing activities. Other then
this Ayurvedic herbal medicine which was prepared from Piper longum (Pippali) and Butea monosperma
(Palash) has significant activity against Giardiasis.

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