- Botanical: Acacia catechu
- Family: Leguminosae
- Hits: 600
Known asSenegalia catechu, khair, kachu, catechu, cachou, cutchtree, black cutch, black catechu, Gerber Akazie, Katechu Akazie
Old Usemedical, industry, culinary
Parts Usedbark, wood
Medicinalbleeding, circulation, gingivitis, gum bleeding, menstrual cramps, menstrual problems, wounds
Heart & Circulationbleeding, circulation
Hormone & Sexual Organsmenstrual cramps, menstrual problems, uterine bleeding
Stomach & Intestinaldiarrhea, gastrointestinal
Skin & Hairwounds
Propertiesantibacterial, anti inflammatory
Plant is of small to moderate size of about 15m hight. Bark is dark grey or grayish-brown.
Leaves are bipinnately compound, with 9-30 pairs of pinnae and a glandular rachis; leaflets 16-50 pairs, oblong-linear, 2-6 mm long, glabrous or pubescent. Flowers are 5-10 cm long (auxiliary spikes, pentamerous), white to pale yellow and with a campanulate calyx of 1-1.5 mm length, and a corolla of 2.5-3 mm length. Stamens are numerous and far exerted from the corolla, with white to yellowish white filaments.
Properties & Uses
The most common use of Acacia catechu is in sore throat. It is very old and very effective remedy. It provides astringent and soothing effect to throat.Tannins present in Acacia catechu are very useful in tanning (precipitation of skin) so burns and wounds are treated with extract of bark. It is very traditional method used for acute and chronic wound healing. Bark of Acacia catechu contain alkaloids and many other very potent active components which shows anti-microbial activity so for management of wounds and burns it also acts as a disinfectant which reduces the chances of infections at the site of wound. Due to presence of alkaloids and other active constituents it is used in many dermatological disorders. A combination of cinnamon and extract of Acacia catechu is given to treat diarrhea. Acacia catechu is also used as anti-pyretic and anti-inflammatory as it inhibits COX1 and COX2. Its anti-pyretic and anti-inflammatory property is not only confined to invivo studies but it is practically used in folk medicines. Biologically active major components have antioxidant property.
Seeds of Acacia catechu are very good source of protein. Acacia catechu extract is used in paan( chewing betel leaf) which is used after meal as sweet dish or along with tobacco for stimulant effect. Paan is a part of tradition of indo Asian culture. Leaves and branches are also food of goats and other animals.
Wood of Acacia catechu is very good firewood so people also use it for fire purposes. Its wood is not only good for burning fire but also have a very high place in furniture manufacturing.
Acacia catechu contains tannic acid which causes the tanning of protein in leather industries. Although now a days leather industry use many other new chemicals for tanning process but Acacia catechu is still used in backward areas.
Catechu might lower blood pressure. There is a concern that it might lower blood pressure too much, causing fainting and other symptoms, in people who already have low blood pressure.
Senegalia catechu is found in Asia, China, India and the Indian Ocean area.
Main chemical constituents are catechin, catechuic acid, pyrocatechin, phloroglucin, protocatechuic acid, quercetin, gum and mineral.