Senegalia catechu

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Senegalia catechu
Acacia catechu - Köhler–s Medizinal-Pflanzen-003.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Senegalia
Species: S. catechu
Binomial name
Senegalia catechu
(L.f.) P.J.H.Hurter & Mabb.
varieties
  • Senegalia catechu var. catechu (L.f.) P.J.H.Hurter & Mabb.
  • Senegalia catechu var. sundra (L.f.) Willd.[1]
Acacia-catechu-range-map2.png
Range of Senegalia catechu
Synonyms[2]

Senegalia catechu is a deciduous, thorny tree which grows up to 15 m (50 ft) in height.[3] The plant is called khair [4] in Hindi, and kachu in Malay, hence the name was Latinized to "catechu" in Linnaean taxonomy, as the type-species from which the extracts cutch and catechu are derived.[5] Common names for it include catechu, cachou, cutchtree, black cutch, and black catechu.

Senegalia catechu is found in Asia, China, India and the Indian Ocean area.[2]

Through derivatives of the flavanols in its extracts, the species has lent its name to the important catechins, catechols and catecholamines of chemistry and biology.

Uses[edit]

Food[edit]

Senegalia catechu flowers

The tree's seeds are a good source of protein.[6] Kattha (catechu), an extract of its heartwood, is used as an ingredient to give red color and typical flavor to paan. Paan, from the word pān in Hindi: पान, is an Indian and Southeast Asian tradition of chewing betel leaf (Piper betle) with areca nut and slaked lime paste.

Fodder[edit]

Branches of the tree are quite often cut for goat fodder and are sometimes fed to cattle.[2]

[6]

Medicinal uses[edit]

The heart wood and bark of the tree are used in traditional medicine.[7] A wood extract called catechu is used in traditional medicine for sore throats and diarrhea.[3] The concentrated aqueous extract, known as khayer gum or cutch, is astringent.[8] It is used in Ayurvedic medicine.[9] In ayurveda, it is used for rasayana ( rejuvenation treatments). It is also used for its actions like anti-dyslipidemic, anthelminthic, anti-inflammatory, anti-diuretic,anti-pruritic, coolant, taste promoting, enhancing digestion and curing skin disorders.[10]

Wood[edit]

Senegalia catechu trunks

The tree is often planted for use as firewood and charcoal and its wood is highly valued for furniture and tools.[3] The wood has a density of about 0.88 g/cm³.[11]

Other uses[edit]

Its heartwood extract is used in dyeing and leather tanning, as a preservative for fishing nets, and as a viscosity regulator for oil drilling.[3]

Cultivation[edit]

Senegalia catechu pods

The tree can be propagated by planting its seeds, which are soaked in hot water first. After about six months in a nursery, the seedlings can be planted in the field.[3]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Media related to Senegalia catechu at Wikimedia Commons Data related to Acacia catechu at Wikispecies