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Black Cutch

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  • Botanical: Acacia catechu
  • Family: Leguminosae
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Black Cutch

Botanical

Acacia catechu

Family

Leguminosae

Known as

Senegalia catechu, khair, kachu, catechu, cachou, cutchtree, black cutch, black catechu, Gerber Akazie, Katechu Akazie

Old Use

medical, industry, culinary

Parts Used

bark, wood

Medicinal

bleeding, circulation, gingivitis, gum bleeding, menstrual cramps, menstrual problems, wounds

Heart & Circulation

bleeding, circulation

Hormone & Sexual Organs

menstrual cramps, menstrual problems, uterine bleeding

Respiratory System

catarrh

Stomach & Intestinal

diarrhea, gastrointestinal

Skin & Hair

wounds

Properties

antibacterial, anti inflammatory

Description

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

Medical use:

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.

Food:

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:

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.

Leather tanning:

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.

Cautions

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.

Distribution

Senegalia catechu is found in Asia, China, India and the Indian Ocean area.

Constituents

Main chemical constituents are catechin, catechuic acid, pyrocatechin, phloroglucin, protocatechuic acid, quercetin, gum and mineral.

For educational purposes only This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.