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Latin name: Bauhinia Variegata
Sub family: Caesalpiniaceae
Common name: Kanchnar
English name: Mountain ebony, orchid tree
Habitat: Sub Himalayan tract and the
forest of India and Burma
Kanchnar is a medium sized tree with dark brown
bark with silvery patches and longitudinal cracks.
Orchid tree grows 20-40' tall and 10-20' wide
with a spreading crown of briefly deciduous
leaves, which are 4-6" across and rounded with
lobed ends and heart shaped bases. The leaves
are shaped a little like a cow's hoof. Some
cultivars have leaves with white variegations.
The flowers are reminiscent of showy orchids,
with five irregular, usually slightly overlapping
petals in shades of magenta, lavender or purplish
blue. The flowers often make their first appearance
in late winter while the tree is bare of leaves.
The blooming period then lasts until early summer.
The flowers are 3-5" across and carried in clusters
at the branch tips. A member of the bean family,
orchid tree produces flattened brown woody legumes
(pods) up to 12" long. The cultivars 'Candida'
(white orchid tree) have snow-white flowers
with greenish veins.
Parts used: bark, roots, buds, gum, leaves,
seeds and flowers.
Pharmacological action: bark is alterative,
tonic, astringent. Root is carminative and flowers
Action and uses in Ayurveda: krimiroghara,
gandmala, apaci, gudabhramsa, vrana
Indications: scrofulous enlargement of
Photochemical: tannins, Alkaloids- sennoside,
Ascorbic acid, Bioflavonoids, Vitamin C, Mucilage,
Essential oils- camphene, eugenol, gingerols,
Alkaloids- piperine, piperlongumine, Steroids-guggulsterones
that are lipid soluble, oleoresins
Properties and action:
Guna: ruksha, laghu
Preparations: emulsions, pill, paste,
gargle and decoction.
- OBESITY: When there are signs of
excess weight with a sluggish lymphatic system
this is appropriate
- Digestive system: decoction of buds
is used in bleeding piles, worms, and diarrhea.
- Respiratory system: a gargle made
from the bark is a remedy in sore throat.
A decoction of buds is used in cough.
- Skin: it is used in malaria. In
inflammatory skin disorders with oozing this
is a very effective formula. When the toxins
are obstructing the deeper fat tissues and
the Lipid layer then Kanchnar is the appropriate
- Endocrine system: the emulsion of
barks externally and extract orally are used
in scrofulous enlargement of glands of neck.
It is also a specific herb for hypo/hyper
thyroid. It has a balancing activity on the
thyroxin production; increasing any deficient
production and decreasing any excess. It also
clears swellings in the neck and goitre. It
is a specific herb for swollen lymph nodes,
cervical adenitis, scrophularia or swollen
glands in general. It effectively flushes
the lymphatic system of toxins, sluggishness
and accumulated wastes. Also may be beneficial
where the sinuses are congested because of
the sluggish lymphatic system. It is a powerful
- Genito-urinary system: decoction
of buds is used in haematuria and menorrhagia.
Used for polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS),
fibroids, and vaginal discharge. It is a fantastic
remedy for treating endometriosis- the Kanchnar
astringes the bleeding whilst the other ingredients
scrape and eliminate the adhesions
Dose: powder 3-6 gms
Capsule Kanchnar contains pure and concentrated
Dosage :one capsule twice a day, before meals.
Package size: 60 capsules.
- Dr.KM Nadkarni, The Indian Materia Medica,
Vol.I, pg 184
- Prof P.V Sharma, Dravya Guna Vigyana, Vol
II, pg 234
- The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia Of India, Part
I, Vol.I, pg 56
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