Lasora (Cordia dichotoma) Medicinal Used And Health Benefits

Lasora tree information like botanical information, medicinal properties. Know it’s health benefits and medicinal uses in Ayurveda. Learn about safety profile like contraindications, dosage and side effects.

Lasora, Lisodaa, Gondi, Naruvili, and Sabestan Plum are few common names of Cordia dichotoma or Cordia myxa, a tree found throughout India. The various parts of the tree are used both internally, and externally for medicinal purpose since time immemorial.

Lasora tree is used traditionally in the treatment of dyspepsia, fever, ringworm, ulcers, prolapsed of the uterus/vagina, headache, affection of the urinary passage, diseases of lungs, and spleen. The leaves, fruit, bark, and seeds have been reported to exhibit antidiabetic, antiulcer, anti-inflammatory, immune-modulator, and analgesic activities.

Lasora or Sabestan Plum bears edible mucilaginous fruits (drupes) with a sweet taste. The sticky white substance from the fruits can be extracted, and as used as glue. Fruits can be eaten fresh, dry, and pickled.

Ripe fruits are eaten fresh while unripe fruits can be pickled. Due to mucilaginous, astringent, and demulcent properties Acharya Sushruta prescribed the fruits internally for biliousness, cough, and hemorrhage. Fruits exhibits significant anti-ulcer, and cytoprotective effects. As they are expectorant, demulcent, and hence are useful in dry cough, catarrh, coryza, chronic bronchitis, influenza, and in burning micturition. The bark is high in tannic acid, and applied topically on erysipelas, spider-poisoning, ulcers, and boils.

In Egypt dried fruits are still sold today in the spice markets as sapistan, and are used as medicine. In Unani, Sapistan is considered hot, and dry of second degree. The fruits are used as an adjuvant to purgatives for counteracting their irritative effect. A Unani compound formulation, Laooq-e-Sapistan is indicated in catarrh, coryza, chronic bronchitis, influenza.

General Information

Plant Description: Cordia dichotoma is a moderate-sized, deciduous, tree, 40 or 50 feet high, and usually, with a crooked trunk. It has slender, glabrous twigs, and pubescent buds.

Bark of the tree is grey or brown rough, with shallow longitudinal wrinkles, and furrows, and about half inch thick. Branchlets are glabrous, and the young shoots are silvery grey. The bark is available in the form of pieces, 5 to 10 cm long, and 6 to 12 mm thick with dark greyish brown color.

The leaves are simple, alternate, 6-10.5 cm long, 4-7.5 cm broad, broadly oval or elliptic-ovate, rounded at the base, obtuse or subacute at apex, entire or more or less coarsely sinuate-serrate in the upper half, glabrous on both sides, thin. Petioles are 1.7—4.3 cm long, and slender.

Flowers are regular, bisexual, white, divaricate, branched corymbs, pedicels short. Sepals are 5, fused into a tubular-campanulate, glabrous calyx, pubescent within. Petals are 5, fused into a funnel-shaped corolla. Corolla-tube 4 mm long, segments 3.5 mm long, 2 mm broad, oblong, recurved. Stamens are 5, hairy, inserted in the throat of the corolla. Ovary is superior, globular, glabrous.

Fruit is a globular-ovoid drupe. It is smooth, and of the size of a cherry. It is yellow on ripening, and the pulp is almost transparent, tough, and viscid. Nut is cordate, and seed is solitary. The dried fruit is conical with acute apex, up to 2 cm in length, and 1.5 cm in diameter, occasionally with attached calyx, and pedicel, greyish brown to dark brown, surface shrunken, hard to break. The smell of the nut on cutting is heavy, and disagreeable.

  • Part(s) used for medicinal purpose: Leaf, Bark, Flower, Kernel, Mucilage of fruit
  • Plant type / Growth Habit: Tree
  • Duration: Perennial
  • Distribution: Grows in the warmer parts of India, Sri Lanka, Malasia, South China, Java, New Guinea, Philippine Islands, and tropical Australia.
  • Habitat: Drier (arid, and sub-arid), warmer regions

Vernacular Names / Synonyms

  1. Scientific name: Cordia dichotoma
  2. Sanskrit: Bahuvaraka, Bhukampadaruka, Bhukarbudara, Bhuselu, Bhutadruma, Kshudrashleshmataka, Laghupichhila, Laghushelu, Laghushita, Laghushleshmataka, Madhubhutadruma, Sukshmaphala
  3. Hindi: Bhairala, Bhokar, Gondi, Guslasah, Lasora, Lasura, Lessora, Rasalla
  4. Assam: Dilk
  5. Bengali: Bohari, buhul, boho-dari, bahubara, Bahnaree, Bahuvar
  6. Gujarati: Vadagunda
  7. Marathi: Bhokar, Bhonkar
  8. Kannada: Chikkachalli, Doduchallu
  9. Malayalam: Naruvari, Naruviri
  10. Punjabi: Lasuda
  11. Telugu: Nakkera
  12. Tamil: Naruvili, Selu, Sirunaruvili, Vallagu, Vidi, Viri, Virisu, Viriyan, Vidi Maram
  13. English: Sebesten Plum, Fragrant manjack, The bird lime tree
  14. Lepcha: Ninut
  15. Sinhalese: Lolu, Lotu
  16. Arabic: Dabk
  17. Persian: Sugpistan, Sebestan, Sapistan
  18. Myanmar: Thanet
  19. Java: Kendal
  20. Unani: Sapistan
  21. Tehran: Sepistan
  22. Sino-Tibetan: Lao
  23. Malay: petekat,sekendai
  24. Nepali: kalo bohori, bohori
  25. Thai: Mandong, manma, phakmong
  26. Philippines: Anonang

Scientific Classification

The botanical name of Lasora / Sebesten plum, is Cordia dichotoma / Cordia myxa. It belongs to plant family Boraginaceae. Genus Cordia includes hundreds of tree, and shrub species growing across the tropical, and subtropical areas of America, Africa, and Asia. Cordia dichotoma is native of tropical Asia.

Below is given taxonomical classification of the plant.

  • Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
  • Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
  • Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
  • Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
  • Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
  • Subclass: Asteridae
  • Order: Lamiales
  • Family: Boraginaceae – Borage family
  • Genus: Cordia L. – cordia
  • Species: Cordia dichotoma G. Forst. – fragrant manjac
  • Synonyms : Cordia obliqua Willd., Cordia myxa Thw. non Linn., Cordia myxa var. obtiqua Trim., Cordia sebestena Blanco, Cordia blancoi Vidal, Cordia btancoi var. mollis Merr., Cordia leschenaultii DC., Cordia latifolia Roxb.

Constituents of Cordia dichotoma

The fruits contain sugar, gum, β-sitosterol, palmitic, stearic, and oleic acids. They have about 70% pulp. In per 100 grams, following nutrients are present:

  1. Water 6 g
  2. Protein 35 g
  3. Calcium 55 mg
  4. Phosphorus 275 mg
  5. Zinc 2 mg
  6. Iron 6 mg
  7. Manganese 2 mg
  8. Chromium 0.2 mg
  9. Copper 1.6 mg
  10. Oxalic acid (250mg/100g) is also present in fruits.

The bark contains, tannin, Cathartin, Gallic acid, and β-sitosterol. D-glucose, D-xylose, L-rhamnose, D-glucuronic acid, D-arbinose, lactose, and L-fructose among sugars, and glycine, leucine, glutamic acid, cystine, alanine, threonine, aspartic acid, and proline are also present in plant.

The seed contains per 100 g: water 32 g, fat 46 g, and the principal fatty acids palmitic acid, stearic acid, arachidic acid, behenic acid, oleic acid, and linoleic acid.

Ayurvedic Properties, and Action

Cordia dichotoma is known as Shleshmataka, Picchila, Bhuta Padapa, Dwij Kustsaka, and by some other names in Ayurveda. The bark, and fruits of the tree are used in the treatment of a variety of diseases. The bark is especially useful in skin diseases.

Bark

Bark of the tree has the following properties:

  • Rasa (taste on the tongue): Madhura (Sweet), Katu (Pungent), Tikta (Bitter), Kashaya (Astringent)
  • Guna (Pharmacological Action): Ruksha (Dry), Picchila (Slimy)
  • Virya (Action): Shita (Cooling)
  • Vipaka (transformed state after digestion): Katu (Pungent)

Karma / Action

  • Kaphahara: Pacifies Kapha Dosha
  • Pittahara: Pacifies Pitta Dosha
  • Keshya: Good for hairs
  • Grahi: Inspissants, due to stomachic, digestive, and heating qualities it dries the fluids of the body
  • Krimighna: Destroys worms
  • Pachan: Assist in digesting undigested food, but do not increase the appetite
  • Vishahara: Destroyer of poison

The decoction of the tree bark in a dose of 50-100 ml is used as single drug in the treatment of

  • Raktadosha (Disorders of blood)
  • Bahu Vran (Multiple wounds)
  • Amadosha (Semi-disgested food metabolites),
  • Drkjata masurika (Occular manifestation of small pox)
  • Krimi Shula (Colic due to worm infestation)
  • Kushtha (Leprosy / diseases of the skin), Lutavisha (Spider bite), Masurika (Small pox), Visarpa (Erysepales), Visphota (Blister), and Vrana (Ulcers)

Fruits

The dried fruits of Lasora or Sleshmataka have yhe following properties:

  • Rasa (taste on the tongue): Kashaya (Astringent), Madhura (Sweet), Tikta (Bitter)
  • Guna (Pharmacological Action): Laghu (Light),Ruksha (Dry),
  • Virya (Action): Shita (Cooling)
  • Vipaka (transformed state after digestion): Katu (Pungent)

Karma / Action

  • Pittahara: Pacifies Pitta Dosha
  • Kaphahara: Pacifies Kapha Dosha
  • Grahi: Inspissants are medicines which from their stomachic, digestive, and heating qualities dry the fluids of the body.

The Syrup prepared from ripened fruit is used in the treatment of

  1. Jvara (Fever)
  2. Kasa (Cough), Pratisyaya (Coryza)
  3. Krmi (Worm infestation)
  4. Raktadosha (Disorders of blood)
  5. Raktapitta (Bleeding disorder)
  6. Sukradaurbalya (Seminal stress)
  7. Shvasa (Asthma)
  8. Trishna (Thirst)
  9. Upadansha (Syphilis / Soft chancre)
  10. Vata-pitta-janya Rog (Due to Vata, and Pitta dosa)

Important Ayurvedic Formulations

Gojihvadi Kwath Churna

Important Medicinal Properties

Cordia dichotoma fruits are rich in medicinal properties. The understanding of these properties will help us to better utilize this herb. These also indicate the conditions in which we should avoid it.

Below is given medicinal properties along with the meaning.

  1. Analgesic: Relieve pain.
  2. Anti-inflammatory: Reducing inflammation by acting on body mechanisms.
  3. Antidote: Counteracts a poison
  4. Astringents: Constrict tissues; styptic.
  5. Anthelmintic: Antiparasitic, expel Parasitic worms (helminths), and other internal parasites from the body.
  6. Antiulcer: Tending to prevent or heal ulcers.
  7. Anticatarrhal: Remove excess mucous from the body.
  8. Aperient: Used to relieve constipation.
  9. Diuretic: Promoting excretion of urine/agent that increases the amount of urine excreted.
  10. Demulcent: Relieving inflammation or irritation.
  11. Emollient: Soothing, and softening effect on the skin or an irritated internal surface.
  12. Expectorant: Promotes the secretion of sputum by the air passages, used to treat coughs.
  13. Laxative: Tending to stimulate or facilitate the evacuation of the bowels.
  14. Mucilaginous: Moist, soft, and viscid.

Medicinal Uses of Cordia dichotoma

Cordia dichotoma is used in Ayurveda, and Unani system of medicine for treating cold, cough, coryza, fever, and skin diseases.

Fruits of the tree are edible, slimy, and heavy to digest. They are given in colic pain, disorders of blood, seminal weakness, and sexual disorders.

Bark of the tree helps in Ama dosha. Ama is the unmetabolised waste that is not utilized by the body. It is sticky, heavy, viscous, slimy, unctuous, wet, cold, sweet, and is the root cause of most of diseases in the body, resulting from excess Vayu or Kapha (or both). The bark contain Gallic acid, b-sitosterol, and reduces pitta, and Kapha. For the medicinal purpose the decoction of bark is used.

  1. The bark, and the unripe fruit are used as a mild tonic.
  2. The juice of the bark along with coconut’ milk relieves severe colic.
  3. The bark is given for dysentery together with Pomegranate rind.
  4. The bark is useful in calculous affections, strangury, and catarrh.
  5. The decoction of the bark is found useful in dyspepsia, and fevers.
  6. Externally the moistened bark is applied on boils, and tumors. In powder form, it is used as a cure for ulcers in the mouth.
  7. The bark is rubbed on teeth to strengthen them. The infusion of bark is used as a gargle.
  8. Powdered bark is applied on itchy skin patches on hands, and legs.
  9. The ripe fruits are sweet, cooling, and demulcent.
  10. The mucilage in the fruit is used for treating coughs, and diseases of the chest, uterus, urethra, etc. In larger doses, it is given for bilious ailments as a laxative.
  11. The kernels of the fruit are a good remedy in ringworm. They are powdered, mixed with oil, and applied on ringworm.
  12. The leaves are useful as an application to ulcers, and in headache.
  13. The decoction of leaves is used in cough, and cold.

The Dosage of Cordia dichotoma

9-15 fruits, the decoction of bark can be taken in a dose of 50-100 ml.

Contraindications, Interactions, Side-effects, and Warnings Cordia dichotoma

The fruit is a cooling, and heavy.

Leaf extract has anti-implantation activity, and works as a natural contraceptive drug.

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