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An extensively used medicinal tree of Ayurveda is Shyonak or Oroxylum indicum. It is one of the ten roots of famous Ayurvedic formulation ‘Dashmula’ (group of ten roots). This tree is mentioned in various Ayurvedic treatise. Sushrut and Charak prescribed Shyonak as antiseptic, astringent and prescribed for non-healing ulcers, female disorders and dysentery. Shyonak grows throughout India, chiefly in evergreen forest.
For the medicinal purpose its root, bark and gum are used. The roots of the tree are greyish-brown to light brown in color and tastes sweet. The main constituent of roots are Flavonoids and Tannins. The roots are astringent, bitter Tonic, stomachic, anodyne, anti-inflammatory and expectorant in action. They stimulate digestion, cure fever, cough and other respiratory disorders and is useful in diarrhea, dysentery, abdominal pain, thirst, vomiting, anorexia, rheumatism, worms, leprosy and other skin diseases, oedema and urogenital disorders. In Ayurveda, the roots are considered Tikta/Bitter, kashaya/Astringent (Rasa/taste), Laghu/Light, Ruksha/Dry (Guna/characteristic), Sheet/ Cool (Virya/Potency) and Katu/Pungent (Vipaka/Post Digestive Effect). In action, the roots are Dipana, Kapha-pitta-shamak and Grahi in nature. The roots are given to treat respiratory illness, low appetite, gout, abdominal diseases, ear diseases and swelling.
Tender fruits tones stomach, expels gas and gives relief in spasm of smooth muscle. Bark if roots is astringent and anti-diarrheal. The tree bark has diuretic/stimulates urine production and anti-rheumatic in action.
TAXONOMICAL CLASSIFICATION OF SHYONAK/ OROXYLUM
The botanical name of Shyonak is Oroxylum indicum (L.)Vent. and it belongs to the family Bignoniaceae. The synonyms of Oroxylum indicum species are Bignonia indica, Spathodea indic, Calosanthes indica, etc. Its taxonomical classification is as given below:
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Division: Magnoliophyta
- Class: Magnoliopsida
- Order: Lamiales
- Family: Bignoniaceae
- Genus: Oroxylum
- Species: indicum
Sanskrit: Bhut-vriksha, Dirghavrinta, Kutannat, Manduk (the flower) patrorna, Putivriksha, Shallaka, Shuran or Son, Vatuk
English: Broken bones plant, Indian calosanthes, Indian Trumpet, Indian trumpet flower, Midnight horror, Oroxylum
- Siddha: Peruvagai
- Assamese: Kering, Bhatghila
- Bengali: Sonagachh
- Gujrati: Tentoo
- Hindi: Sonapatha, Shyonak, Tentoo, Aralu
- Kannada: Tigudu, Tattuna
- Malayalam: Palagripayanni
- Marathi: Tentoo
- Oriya: Pamponiya
- Punjabi: Tatpaling, Talvarphali
- Tamil: Peruvagai, Cori-konnai, Palai-y-utaicci, Putapuspam
- (the flower)
- Telugu: Dundilumu, Gumpena, Pampini
- Urdu: Sonapatha
- Uttarakhand: Ullu ki Phali (as fruits (pods) are long with winged seeds)
- Chinese: Hanyu pinyin
- Nepalese: Tatelo
- Sri Lanka: Totila, Thotila
Trade Name: Indian trumpet tree
Common Indian folk name: Sona-patha
Distribution in India: This tree is found throughout India, up to an altitude of 1200m, from Himalaya to Konkan, Malabar, Western Ghats and Coro Mandal. It prefers moist places of deciduous forests and evergreen forests and rarely seen in dry, western area.
Also found in: Nepal, China, and Sri Lanka eastwards through Southeast Asia to Philippines and Indonesia.
BOTANICAL DESCRIPTION of SHYONAK/ OROXYLUM
Tree reaches height 8-15 m;branched at top;bark light brown soft;Leaves 3-7 cm long, 2-3 pinnate with opposite pinnae, rachis very stout, cylindrical;leaflets 2-4 pairs, 6-12 cm long and 4-10 cm broad, ovate or elliptic, acuminate, glabrous;petioles of the lateral leaflets 6-15 mm long.;Flowers numerous, foetid, in large erect racemes, 0.3-0.6 meter long or even more pedicels 6-30 mm long;Calyx 4 cm long, leathery, oblong-campanulate and glabrous;Corolla usually lurid-purple, reaching 10 cm long, fleshy lobes about 4 cm long with crisped margins;Stamens 5, slightly exerted beyond the corolla tube, one of them little shorter than the 4, filaments cottony at the base. Capsules 0.3-0.6 meter long and 5-9 cm broad, straight, tapering to both ends, flat, hardly 8 mm thick, acute, valves semi-woody;Seeds numerous, 6 cm long, winged all round except at the base.
Medicinal uses of Shyonak/ Oroxylum
Shyonak is extensively used in Ayurveda for the treatment of a variety of diseases since Vedic era. In the case of chronic dysentery medicated ghee of Shyonak is prescribed. Shyonak leaves are emollient containing anthraquinone and aloe-emodin. Leaves paste is applied topically for hair fall, baldness and ulcers. Poultice of leaves is used for joint pain, enlarged spleen, headaches and ulcers. Medicated oil prepared by boiling bark in Sesame oil is used in case of ear discharge. Tender fruits are used as purgative. The root decoction is used in diarrhea and dysentery. Seed paste is applied to treat boils and wounds. Ayurveda recommends to use fresh roots of the tree for medicinal purpose. In Dashmool, roots and rootbark of this are used. Some of the famous Ayurvedic preparation containing Shyonak include, Dashmularishtha, Dashmul kwath, Dashmul Taila, Narayana Taila, Dhanawantara Ghrita, Brahma Rasayana, and Chyavanprash.
Pain in ear
Prepare a fine blend of bark powder and water. Now in Sesame oil, add water (2 times the oil) and bark paste. Cook at low flame till all water evaporates and only oil is left. Put 2-3 drops of this oil in ears.
The bark (10g) of the tree is soaked in one cup water for four hours. Mash the bark and filter the solution. The filtrate should be taken twice a day.
Prepare a decoction of Shyonak root bark. Use this for gargling.
The juice of bark is taken in a dose of two teaspoon.
One gram bark powder is taken with ginger and honey.
Weakness, pain after delivery
Mix Shyonak bark powder, dry ginger powder and jaggery in equal amount. Make pills of about 5g and take thrice a day with Dashmula decoction/Kwath for 2-3 weeks.
The bark powder should be taken in a dose of 1/4g thrice a day.
Recommended dose of Roots:5-10 g. in powder form;25-50 g. in decoction.