Saptaparni is an evergreen tree with small greenish-white flowers and a distinct smell which can be felt from December through March in the sub-himalayan regions of India.
It is a glabrous tree and grows up to 40 meter tall. The bark is grayish, almost odorless and very bitter, with abundant bitter and milky sap.The name comes from two Sanskrit words, Sapta meaning seven, and parni meaning leaves. As the name suggests, the leaves, most often, are found in bunches of seven around the stem. They are blunt, glossy, and create starry symmetries.The tree flowers in October-November. The flowers are as fragrant as the nightingale. The flowers are not immediately visible, but the fragrance of the flowers indicates that they came. This is a feature of Saptaparni especially in the evening. The clusters of greenish white, pentagonal flowers on the upper stalks of the leaves are found in the leaf axils.Fertilized flowers are followed by thin pods that can grow up to 20 inches long. Fruit a pendulous, two-lobed, brown or green, dry or woody, spindle-shaped, containing numerous flat, oblong, brown seeds.
It’s botanical name is Alstonia scholaris which belongs to Apocynaceae family. It is commonly called blackboard tree, Scholar Tree, Milkwood or devil’s tree in English. It is known as Chitvan in Hindi.
Parts Used –
Stem bark, latex and flowers of Saptaparni can be used for medicinal purposes.
• Bark Decoction – 20 to 30 ml twice a day
• Malaria like recurrent and intermittent fever
Saptaparni bark is used as alternative to quinine in malaria fever. It is also highly recommended as Antipyretic for high grade fever conditions. bark is collected and its outer skin is removed by scraping.
To this, small piece of garlic and cumin seeds are added in equal proportion and decoction is prepared. This is administered fourth hourly in a dose of 15-20 ml. This calms recurrent and intermittent fever effectively.
• Postpartum problems
It is given in postnatal conditions to mothers for increasing lactation. Powder mixed with ginger is given to new mothers the first day after birthing to cleanse the blood and promote lactation.It is very good supplement that helps to improves appetite and is given to women after delivery.
• Obesity & Cholesterol
Fresh bark or leaves are collected and fresh juice is obtained by pounding. Preferably this is administered in early morning. This is very effective against the complaints like obesity, hyper cholesterol and lipoma.
5-10 gram of Indian devil tree’s bark is taken and fine paste is made. This is administered along with buttermilk, daily early in the morning for 5-10 days. It is found to be effective in obstructive jaundice cases.
Neem and Indian devil tree are taken and fine paste is made. This is added with little salt and warmed. This is applied as poultice in case of abscess.
Sap is applied to sores to stimulate healing; mixed with sesame oil and swabbed inside the ear to treat earache.
Juice of Indian devil tree’s flowers with honey is useful in condition of asthma.
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