Psoralea corylifolia

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Psoralea corylifolia
Psoralea corylifolia - Agri-Horticultural Society of India - Alipore - Kolkata 2013-01-05 2282.JPG
Scientific classification
P. corylifolia
Binomial name
Psoralea corylifolia
  • Cullen corylifolium (L.) Medik.
  • Lotodes corylifolia (L.) Kuntze
  • Lotodes corylifolium (L.) Kuntze
  • Psoralea patersoniae Schönl.
  • Trifolium unifolium Forssk.

Psoralea corylifolia (Babchi) is a plant used in Indian and Chinese traditional medicine. The seeds of this plant contain a variety of coumarins, including psoralen.


Psoralea is from the Greek psoraleos meaning 'scabby', and refers to small glands covering the plant. Corylifolia comes from similarity of the leaves to those of Corylus, a genus of tree in northern world regions, such as Sweden.[1]


Psoralea corylifolia grows 50–90 cm tall and is an annual plant. It has pale-purple flowers in short, condensed, axillary spikes. Its corolla is pale purple. Flowers one-seeded fruits. The most distinctive feature is the occurrence of minute brown glands which are immersed in surface tissue on all parts of the plant, giving it a distinctive and pleasant fragrance.[2]

Habitat and distribution[edit]

P. corylifolia is native to India and Sri Lanka, and was occasionally cultivated in Arabia for its supposed medicinal properties.[3]

Chemical constituents[edit]

P. corylifolia extract contains numerous phytochemicals, including flavonoids (neobavaisoflavone, isobavachalcone, bavachalcone, bavachinin, bavachin, corylin, corylifol, corylifolin and 6-prenylnaringenin), coumarins (psoralidin, psoralen, isopsoralen and angelicin), meroterpenes (bakuchiol, and 3-hydroxybakuchiol).[4]

Use in traditional medicine[edit]

P. corylifolia L., or bu gu zhi in traditional Chinese medicine,[5] is a herb used as a supposed therapy for several disorders having limited clinical evidence, such as treatment of [lichen planus] by psoralen extract combined with sunlight exposure.[6]


  1. ^ G. Miller, Anthony; Morris, Miranda (1988). Plants of Dhofar. Oman. pp. 174–5. ISBN 978-071570808-8.
  2. ^ G. Miller, Anthony; Morris, Miranda (1988). Plants of Dhofar. Oman. pp. 174–5. ISBN 978-071570808-8.
  3. ^ G. Miller, Anthony; Morris, Miranda (1988). Plants of Dhofar. Oman. pp. 174–5. ISBN 978-071570808-8.
  4. ^ Zhao LH, Huang CY, Shan Z, Xiang BG, Mei LH (2005). "Fingerprint analysis of Psoralea corylifolia by HLPC and LC-MS". J Chromatogr B. 821 (1): 67–74. doi:10.1016/j.jchromb.2005.04.008. PMID 15905140.
  5. ^ Cheng, Xia (2001). Easy Comprehension of Traditional Chinese Medicine: Chinese Materia Medica, Canadian Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine, p343.
  6. ^ Atzmony, L; Reiter, O; Hodak, E; Gdalevich, M; Mimouni, D (2016). "Treatments for cutaneous lichen planus: A systematic review and meta-analysis". American Journal of Clinical Dermatology. 17 (1): 11–22. doi:10.1007/s40257-015-0160-6. ISSN 1175-0561. PMID 26507510. S2CID 3711429.