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What are the Health Benefits of Salmalia Malabarica (Silk Cotton Tree)?

Salmalia malabarica, Shalmali

What is Salmalia Malabarica?

Salmalia is one of the very useful Ayurvedic herb, used for the treatment of dysentery, diarrhea, hemoptysis, influenza, acne, pimple, and menorrhagia. The botanical name of the plant is Salmalia malabarica and belongs to the Bombacaceae family. The plant grows up to the height of 20 to 40 meters, in proper tropical humid condition. This tree is also known as the king of the forest because of its beautiful flowers and enormous size. The plant contains straight and stout trunk with light grey color and deciduous leaves.

The plant bears hard, sharp and conical thorns. The flowers of the tree are of beautiful red color and cup-shaped. Flowers of this plant are in a cluster near the end of branches. Flowers are about 6-7 inch long and 7 inches broad. The flowering season of Salmalia malabarica is during January to March and the fruits appear in the month of March and April. The fruit contains cotton in it that's why it is known as Silk cotton tree. The color of immature fruits of Salmalia are light green but after ripening color changes to dark brown.

Salmalia is mainly native to India and Burma, also found in tropical Southern Asia, Australia, and Africa and wildly distributed in Malaysia and Hong Kong. In India, this plant is cultivated throughout hotter areas up to altitudes of 1500mts. Salmalia malabarica is very common in deciduous forests, near rivers and also cultivated in gardens and roadsides in peninsular regions of India.

What is the Classification of Salmalia Malabarica?

  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Division: Magnioliophyta
  • Order: Malvales
  • Family: Bombacaceae
  • Genus: Bombax
  • Species: B. ceiba

What are the other Names of Salmalia Malabarica?

  • English name - Silk cotton tree, Indian Bombax
  • Latin name - Salmalia malabarica
  • Common name - Silk cotton tree, Kapok tree
  • Sanskrit name - Kantakadya, Mocha, Raktapushpa, Sthirayu
  • Hindi name - Shalmali, Semal
  • Malayalam name - Mullilavu
  • Bengali name - Shimul
  • Telugu name - Buruga
  • Manipuri name - Tera
  • Assamese name - Simolu
  • Telugu name - Buruga
  • Tamil name - Sittan, Sanmali, Llavam
  • Gujarati name - Shimalo
  • Urdu name - Sumbal
  • Marathi name - Safetasarava
  • Sinhala name - Katulmbul
  • Vietnamese name - Hoagao
  • Greek name - Vomvax malvarikos
  • Portuguese name - Painiera-vermehla-da

What are the Main Parts which are Used?

  • Seeds
  • Thorns
  • Roots
  • Flowers
  • Leaves
  • Fruits
  • Gum

What are the Medicinal Properties of Salmalia Malabarica According to Ayurveda?

  • Rasa: Kashaya (Astringent taste).
  • Guna (qualities): Snigdha (Oiliness) and Laghu (Light to digest).
  • Vipaka: Madhura (sweet) (It undergoes sweet taste conversion after digestion).
  • Veerya: Sheeta (The herb is cold in potency).
  • The main parts used: Flower, stem bark, petiole, prickles, / thorns, and peduncle.

What are the Main Chemical Constituents of Salmalia Malabarica?

The gum from the bark of plant contains Gallic and tannic acid. Seeds of the plant contain numbers of fatty acids such as myristic acid, palmitic acid, arachidic linoleic acid, and oleic acid (present in more amount). The flowers of the plant contain seven flavones such as linarine, cosmetine, apigenine, isovitexine, and vicenine. Bark, root, and seeds also contain lupeopl. Flowers are the also major source of chemicals such as hentriacontane and gossypol.

Flowers also contains: Three xanthones: isomangiferin, mangiferin, and 7-O-methyl mangiferin;

Four Coumarins: esculetine, scopoletine, fraxetine and scopoline.

10 flavonoids: Quercetine, quercetine-3-O-beta-D-glucopyranoside, quercetine-3-O-beta-D-glucuronopyranoside, rutine, vicenine 2sexangularetin-3-O-soforoside, vitexine, isovitexine, kaempferol-3-O-beta-D-glucuronopyranoside, and Kaempferol- 3-O-rutinoside.

What are the Health Benefits of Salmalia Malabarica?

  • Young roots of Salmalia used for the treatment of dysentery, diarrhea, and menorrhagia. This is also helpful for treating the wound. Roots are useful for low vitality and debility.
  • Fruits of the plant have a diuretic property which is very helpful for the bladder inflammation and kidney problems. It is also used for the calculi related disorders.
  • The gum of the plant also shows some very good medicinal effect on burning sensation, dysentery, influenza, enteritis, and hemoptysis and pulmonary tuberculosis.
  • The leaves of the plant have anti-inflammatory properties, leaves are hypotensive and hypoglycemic. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, it prevents and reduces the inflammation and swelling in the body.
  • Flowers of the plant act as a laxative, diuretic and astringent due to this it is beneficial for skin disorders such as acne and scars. The flowers are also used for hemorrhage and conjunctivitis treatment. Due to astringent properties of flower, they are helpful for pile and hemorrhoids treatment.
  • In Ayurveda for the treatment of acne and pimples, you can also apply the paste of thorns of stem bark. This paste is really effective.
  • The bark of the plant is very beneficial for the male reproductive system because it is helpful for increasing the quality and quantity of semen. Stem bark is demulcent and styptic. It also stops bleeding and useful for a healing wound.
  • Roots and bark of Shalmali improve the nourishment of the body and also provide relives from Pitta.
  • Flowers are sweet, dry and heavy to digest, coolant, increase vata and decrease the kapha.

This herb is very beneficial and Planet Ayurveda use this herb for the treatment of many disorder. Salmalia herb has been used for many years for the treatment of acne, diarrhea, digestive issues, and for increasing the semen content.

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