Cassia alata Linn./ Senna alata
Family _ Caesalpiniaceae.
Habitat _ Native to the West Indies. Found wild almost throughout India.
- Hindi – प्रपुन्नाड Prapunnad, एड़गज Ergaj, Dadmurdan दादमुर्दन
- Kannada- ಸೀಮೆ ಅಗಸೆ Sime Agase
- Malayalam – മലന്തകര Malamtakara, പുഴുക്കടിത്തകര Puzhukkadittakara, ആനത്തകര Aanattakara,, ശീമ അഗത്തി Seema Agatti
- Marathi- शिमई अगसे Shimai Agase
- Sanskrit- एडगजः Edagaja, उरणक्षकः Uranakshaka, उरभ्रः Urabhrh, प्रपुनाल Prapunal
- Tamil- வண்டுகொல்லி Vantu-kolli, சீமையகத்தி Cimai-y-akatti
- Telugu- మెట్టతామర Metta-tamara, సీమ అవిసె Siima Avise, తంటెము Tantemu, అవిచిచెట్టు Avicicettu
- Urdu- ergaja
English _ Ringworm Cassia., Candle Bush, Large-leafletted Eglandular Senna
Ayurvedic _ Dadrughna, Dadrumardana.
Siddha _ Malanthakerai, Seemaiagathi (Tamil).
Folk _ Daadmaari.
This plant, a 6 – 25 feet tall, perennial shrub, has erect waxy yellow spikes that resemble fat candles before the individual blossoms open. The large leaves are bilateral – symetrical opposed and fold together at night. The fruit is a pod, while the seeds are small and square. The leaves contain chrysophanic acid. The leaves are reported to be sudorific, diuretic and purgative, being used in the same manner as senna. The leaves are commonly used for ringworm and other skin diseases. The leaves in decoction are also used to treat bronchitis and asthma. Because of it’s anti-fungal properties, it is a common ingredient in soaps, shampoos, and lotions in the Philippines.
Action _ Leaf—used in skin diseases like herpes, blotch, eczema, mycosis (washerman’s itch). Dried leaves in leprosy.
A strong decoction is used for ringworm, eczema and herpes. Leaves are also used as a purgative.
Young pods contain rhein, emodin and aloe-emodin. The antibacterial activity of the leaves is reported to be due to rhein. The roots contain anthraquinone. Emodin, aloe-emodin and anthraquinone contribute to the purgative activity of the leaves and roots. Crushed leaves or roots are rubbed on to the skin to cure ringworm and to control Tinea imbricata, a skin fungus.