Friday, June 11, 2010

Brief History of Abroma augusta

Synonym : Abroma augulata Lam., A. wheeleri Retz., A. fastuosum Gaertn., Theobroma augusta L.

English name: Devil's cotton.

Vernacular names: Assami : Bon kopashi; Hindi and Bengali: Ulat kambal; Tamil: Sivapputtutti.

Trade name: Ulat kambal.

Traditional use:
The seeds are rich in linoleic acid and lowers cholestrol level in blood and yields fatty oil.

Medicinal Use:
The Plant is used to control mind, different ailments of head, heart, eyes, ears, nose, face, mouth, throat, stomach, abdomen, urinary organs, male and female sexual organs, respiratory organs, neck, back and limbs, skin diseases, fever and to regulate appetite and sleep.

Modern use:
Fresh and dried root-barkare used as uterine tonic and emmenagogue.
It is also used to regulates menstrual flow in females.
Fresh juice from root- bark is useful in congestive and neuralgic forms of dysmenorrhoea, amenorrhoea, urinary trouble, bronchitis, broncho-pneumonia, carbuncles and poisonous boils in humans.
Its Leaves are used in diabetes, rheumatic pain and sinusitis.

Phytography :
The plant is Shruby and branches which are downy, leaves are simple, cordate, 10-15 cm by 10-12.5 cm, base 3-7 costate, repand-denticulate while the upper narrower leaves are entire, glabrescent above and tomentose below, petiolate, petioles 1.25-2.5 cm long, stipules linear, as long as the petiole, deciduous; flowers axillary, pedunculate, peduncle 3.5 cm long; capsules 5-angled, 5-winged, obpyramidal, thrice as long as the persistent calyx; seeds albuminous, numerous.

Distribution: Widely distributed in hotter parts of India up to 1500 m; Bangladesh, Pakistan and the adjacent countries.

Ecology and cultivation: Plant prefers hot and moist climate; sometimes planted, occasionally found as an escape.

Chemical contents: Plant: fixed oil, a little resinous matter, alkaloid (minute quantity) and water-soluble bases.

Compiled by Harsh Saxena