|Adenanthera pavonina with the red seeds, India.|
Adenanthera pavonina is a species of Leguminous tree, used for its timber, also known as Barbados pride, Coral-wood, Coralwood, Peacock flower fence, Red beadtree, Red sandalwood tree, Red sandalwood, Sandalwood tree, Saga; syn. Adenanthera gersenii Scheff., Adenanthera polita Miq., Corallaria parvifolia Rumph. The tree is common within the tropics of the old world. The species has many names in various local languages throughout its range, for example in Kerala it is known as Manchadi. It is also introduced in the following countries of the Americas: Brazil, especially in Caatinga vegetation; Costa Rica, Honduras, Cuba, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Trinidad, Tobago, Venezuela, and the United States, specially in southern Florida.
This tree is useful for nitrogen fixation, and it is often cultivated for forage, as an ornamental garden plant or urban tree, and as a medicinal plant. For example, the young leaves can be cooked and eaten. The raw seeds are toxic, but may be eaten when cooked.
Adenanthera pavonina seeds have long been a symbol of love in China, and its name in Chinese is xiang si dou (Chinese: 相思豆), or "mutual love bean". The beauty of the seeds has led to them being used as beads for jewellery. Renowned botanist Edred Corner states that in India, the seeds have been used as units of weight for fine measures, of gold for instance, throughout recorded history. Indeed, the Malay name for the tree, saga, has been traced to the Arabic for 'goldsmith'. The small, yellowish flower grows in dense drooping rat-tail flower heads, almost like catkins. The curved hanging pods, with a bulge opposite each seed, split open into two twisted halves to reveal the hard, scarlet seeds. This tree is used for making soap, and a red dye can be obtained from the wood. The wood, which is extremely hard, is also used in boat-building, making furniture and for firewood.
In traditional medicine, a decoction of the young leaves and bark of Adenanthera pavonina is used to treat diarrhoea. Also, the ground seeds are used to treat inflammation. Preliminary scientific studies appear to support these traditional uses. In vitro studies show that Adenanthera pavonina leaf extract has antibacterial activity against the intestinal pathogen Campylobacter jejuni. Also, high doses of seed extract have an anti-inflammatory effect in studies in rats and mice.
- E. J. H. Corner, "Wayside Trees of Malaya: Vol. I", Malayan Nature Society, 4th ed., 1997
- Species used for Soap, Dr. Duke's Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Databases
- "Adenanthera pavonina". International Center for Research in Agroforestry. Retrieved 24 September 2013.
- Smith AC (1985). "Flora Vitiensis nova: a new flora of Fiji, Lawai, Kauai, Hawaii". Natl. Trop. Bot. Garden 5: 56–57.
- Dholvitayakhun A, Cushnie TPT, Trachoo N (2012). "Antibacterial activity of three medicinal Thai plants against Campylobacter jejuni and other foodborne pathogens". Natural Product Research 26 (4): 356–363. doi:10.1080/14786419.2010.545777. PMID 21878033.
- Olajide O.A., Echianu C.A., Adedapo A.D., Makinde J.M. (2004). "Anti-inflammatory studies on Adenanthera pavonina seed extract". Inflammopharmacology 12 (2): 196–202. doi:10.1163/1568560041352310. PMID 15265320.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Adenanthera pavonina.|
- International Legume Database & Information Service: Adenanthera pavonina
- Adenanthera pavonina
- USDA Plants Profile: Adenanthera pavonina
- Adenanthera pavonina L. Medicinal Plant Images Database (School of Chinese Medicine, Hong Kong Baptist University) (traditional Chinese) (English)