What is Palasha? Full information, usage, benefits and side effects

What is Palasha? Full information, usage, benefits and side effects

Palasha [Butea monosperma (Lam.) Kuntze] - 
Palasha is a deciduous, medium-sized tree with somewhat crooked trunk and irregular branches, found in the dry deciduous forests, open grasslands and scrub forests of tropical zones. Its mature fruits are collected before the rains commence, either from the tree or off the ground, dried in the shade and kept dry. Properly preserved seeds are flat, kidney-shaped, dark reddish brown, thin, glossy; and rich in fixed oil with a faint odour and slightly acrid and bitter taste.Optimal potency of the seed and its powder lasts for about four months.

              It is used as a remedy for common ailments like worm infestation, skin diseases, etc. Tribal communities make use of fresh or dried seeds of Palasha in the form of a decoction or powder and mixed with other herbs for the management of parasitic worm infestation.

Composition - The formulation consists of dried powdered seeds of Palasha.

English name - Flame of forest, Bengal kino tree, Bastard teak.
Latin name - Butea monosperma Lam. Kuntze.
Family - Fabaceae.
Parts used - Seeds.

Main chemical constituents - Fixed oil (yellow, tasteless), enzymes (proteolytic and lypolytic) and small quantities of resins and alkaloids, glucose, butrin, and palasonin.

Dosage form - Yellowish-brown powder.

Therapeutic properties -  Palasha seeds have anthelmintic, purgative, rubefacient and tonic properties.

Indications and uses - The Palasha seeds are internally administered as anthelmintic, mainly for roundworm and threadworm, and also for giardiasis.

Precautions and safety aspects -

(1) No side or toxic effects are reported in literature with recommended dose of Palasha seed.

(2) Women desirous to conceive and pregnant women should not use this drug.

(3) As Palasha seed powder is bitter, astringent and hot in potency, large doses should be avoided. Large doses may cause nausea, vomiting and abdominal colic.

(4) A high dose can occasionally cause nephrotoxicity and anaemia. Liver, lungs and spleen congestion can also occur with a very high dose.

(5) The seed suspension has shown teratogenic effects in rats ; therefore in pregnant women it should not be used. However, short term use of this medication may be safe for the baby if a nursing mother is taking it.
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