Pterocarpus marsupium is an important medicinal tree to manage diabetes in Ayurveda. In Ayurveda it is known by many names such as Asana, Bijaka, Priyaka, Pitashala. It is also known as Indian Kino tree or Malabar Kino tree. In India it is found in hilly regions throughout the Deccan Peninsula, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Orissa. Various parts of this tree are used for treatment of variety of diseases. The leaves are useful in skin diseases. Bark is indicated in bleeding and diarrhea. The inner part of a tree trunk or heartwood is medicine for anemia, intestinal worms, urinary problems, diseases of skin, obesity, lipid disorders etc. The bark is useful in the management of diabetes. Chemical studies done on various part of this tree indicate more than fifty biologically active compounds that act against various major and minor diseases including diarrhea, dysentery, leucoderma, elephantiasis etc.
Table of Contents
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Subkingdom: Viridaeplantae
- Phylum: Magnoliophyta
- Subphylum: Euphyllophytina
- Infraphylum: Radiatopsis
- Class: Magnoliopsida
- Subclass: Rosidae
- Super order: Fabanae
- Order: Fabales
- Genus: Pterocarpus
- Species: marsupium
- Family: Fabaceae
- Latin name: Pterocarpus marsupium Roxb.
English: Red sandalwood, Indian Kino Tree Bengali: Piyasala, Pitasala, Piyashal Gujarati: Biyo
Hindi: Vijayasara, BijaKannada: Bijasara, Asana Kashmiri: Lal Chandeur Malayalam: Venga
Marathi: Bibala Oriya: Piashala, Piasal Punjabi: Chandan Lal. Channanlal Tamil: Vengai Telugu: Yegi, Vegisa Urdu: Bijasar
Ayurvedic: Biyo, Asana, vijaysar, Pitasara, Asanam, bijasal Unani: Bijaysaar Siddha/Tamil: Vengai
Distribution: grows wild especially in dry forest, outer Himalayas Shivaliks, South Indian plateau with altitudes ranging from 250-1200 m and also cultivated throughout Indian subcontinent. Pterocarpus marsupium is a moderate to large sized, deciduous tree, about 90 ft. or more high and 2.5 m in girth, with straight clear bole.
STEM BARK: grey-brown to brown;rough, longitudinally fissured and scaled;heartwood golden yellow;older tree exude red gum resin which is known as Vijay sara in Ayurveda.
LEAVES:3-5 inches long, with 5-7 leaflets;long, margin wavy and obtuse;petioles are round, smooth and waved from leaflet to leaflet.
FLOWER:1.5 cm long, very numerous, white, with a small tinge of yellow;Stamens are 10, united near the base;soon dividing into two parcels of 5 each;anthersare globose and 2 lobed.
Part used In Medicines: Heartwood, Leaves, Flowers, Gum resin
Doses of various preparations: Bark powder-3-6 grams;decoction-50-100 ml;extracted juice 125 mg.
Medicinal Properties & Uses
- Indian Kino Tree or Asana is used for treatment of broad variety of diseases. It exhibits following scientifically confirmed activities.
- Powerful astringent due to tannic acid so useful in diarrhea, dysentery
- Anti-diabetic due to iso flavonoids, terpenoids and tannins. Biological studies confirms substantial hypoglycaemic activity of this tree.
- Lowers triglycerides, serum cholesterol, LDL, and VLDL
- Immunomodulation and relieve stress
Various parts of Indian Kino Tree are used internally as well as externally for medicinal purpose.
For treating abscesses, boils, ulcers, scabies, skin diseases paste of the leaves is used. A poultice prepared from the bark and leaves of the tree is useful in skin diseases. For premature hair greying, the inner wood of tree is boiled in Til Taila/Sesame oil and applied on scalp.
Internally, it is used in the treatment of diabetes, gout, arthritis, fracture of bones etc. The extract of the bark is used as an astringent for gum and is also useful in diarrhea.
In the case of toothache, the gum resin of tree is chewed.
For diabetes treatment, wood of tree is pulverised. This heartwood powder powder (5 g) is soaked in one glass water for whole night. Next morning, the water is filtered and taken empty stomach. Same should be repeated for 30 days. There are many research has been done on this to test effects of rat with diabetes and result were excellent.
Indian Kino Tree is a very famous medicine of diabetes. It lowers blood sugar level, cholesterol and triglycerides. Indian Kino Tree Tumbler is made from its heartwood. The water is stored in this tumbler overnight and taken for managing blood sugar level.
Heartwood powder also lowers total cholesterol levels in the body.
There are many classical as well as modern Ayurvedic medicines containing bark powder of this medicinal tree are used to manage diabetes.
Himalaya Diabecon is herbal preparation which contains various herbs including Pterocarpus marsupium(Vijaysar) jamun, Punarnava, giloy, tulsi, bhuiamla, karela etc. This herbal medicine is non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM/type II), as a monotherapy or as an adjuvant to other oral antidiabetic drugs. One should always consult an ayurvedic doctor before using this.
Asana Vilwadi Thailam
Asana Vilwadi Thailam is polyherbal Ayurvedic medicated oil prepared from sesame oil and medicinal herbs. The principle herbs of this oil are Asana or Vijaysar or Asana heartwood and Bael root. The other herbs are Bala, Giloy, Sunthi, Mulethi, and Triphala
This oil is for abhyanga which means Ayurvedic massage or the application of herbal oils to the body and its subsequent absorption into the body. It is useful in diseases of the head, eyes and ear.
Here is given more about Asanavilvadi Taila such as indication/therapeutic uses, Key Ingredients and how to use.
Key Ingredients of Asana Vilwadi Thailam
76 gram each: Asana Pterocarpus marsupium heartwood, Bilva root, Bala, Giloy stem;water for decoction 12.288 litre reduced to 3.072 litre;Til taila sesame taila 768 g;38. 4 grams each Mulheti root;Sunthi rhizome;Amla, Haritaki;Bibhitaka;768 ml Gau dugdha
This oil is indicated in Nayana Roga (Disease of the eye such as eye pain, eye infection), Karna roga (Disease of ear such as hearing difficulties, pain in ear), Shiroroga (Disease of the head like migraine, pain in head).
This is for external use ONLY. It should be applied on head in case of diseases of the head.