Kanchnar is a moderate sized deciduous tree growing up to 12 meters tall. It is an ornamental tree widely used for decorative purposes because of its beautiful fragrant flowers which are bright pink or white. Known by common names mountain ebony, orchid tree, Buddhist bauhinia, bauhinia variegata. The medicinal properties of this tree finds its application in treating various ailments. Mountain ebony flowers are used for treating diarrhea, dysentery. The dried buds are useful in treating diarrhea, dysentery, worms, piles. The bud decotion is useful in treating piles, haematuria, cough. The root decotion is useful in treating indigestion, dyspepsia, malaria, weight loss, heartburn, gas. The skin of the bark is renowned for its use in glandular swellings especially in the lymphatic system. The bark is commonly used for treating skin diseases, diarrhea, the paste of the bark is useful in treating wounds. The leaves have antifungal properties. The seeds possess blood agglutinating activity. The medicinal properties of kanchnar tree are also used to treat osteoporosis, ulcers and other ailments.
Benefits of Kanchnar: Main herb for lymphatic system/glands, fights cancer, lymphadenitis, helps in soothing digestive system, glandular swellings, thyroid gland disease, sore throat, skin diseases, useful in leprosy, osteoporosis, strengthens bones, inflammations, cough, tuberculosis, ulcers, diarrhea, dysentery, useful in managing diabetes, worms, gas, edema, enlargement of neck glands, piles, useful in bleeding disorders, haematuria, haemoptysis, malaria, heartburn, weight loss, wounds, scrofula, menstrual disorders, cysts, fibroids.
Habitat: Kanchnar is distributed in the Sub-Himalayan tracts from the Indus eastward and throughout the dry forests of India at altitudes up to 1800 m.
Action: Lymphatic, alterative, astringent, haemostatic, antispasmodic, emetic, expectorant, anti-inflammatory.
Scientific name: Bauhinia variegata.
Useful part: Bark, leaves, gum, root, bud, seed, flowers.
Dosage: 1–10g per day or 3–15ml.
Gulmaghna: Helps in alleviating swollen glands and lumps.
Kusthaghna: Helps in alleviating skin disorders.
Pradaraghna: Helps in alleviating menstrual disorders.
Vrtya: Treats ulcers.
Rasa (taste): Astringent, bitter
Vipaka (post-digestive effect): Pungent
Guna (quality): Dry, light
Dosa effect: KP−, V+
Dhatu(tissue): Blood, muscle, fat, bone, reproductive
Srotas (channel): Reproductive
Description: Kanchnar is a moderate sized deciduous tree with vertically cracked grey bark, wood is greyish brown with irregular darker patches. Leaves are of 2 leaflets. Leaflets are ovate with rounded apex, 10-15cm long, pubescent beneath when young and coriaceous. Flowers are white or pink. Stamens are 5 and stamenodes absent. Fruits are flat dehiscent pods with 10-15 seeds.
Classical and common names
Ayurvedic: Kaanchanaara, Kaanchanaaraka, Kanchanak, Kaanchana, Gandhaari, Sonapushpaka, Ashmantaka.
English: Mountain Ebony, Orchid Tree, Buddhist Bauhinia.
Safety: No drug–herb interactions are known.
Properties and Activity
Flowers contain ﬂavonoids, kaempferol-3-galactoside and kaempferol-3-rhamnoglucoside. The stem bark contains hentriacontane, octacosanol and stigmasterol. Stem contains beta-sitosterol, lupeol and a ﬂavanone glycoside.
Stem bark is hypothermic. Stem possesses juvenoid activity. Bud, flower, leaf and stembark have antibacterial properties. Bark is tonic, alterative, antileprotic and antirheumatic. Bud is antidysenteric. Root is carminative. Bark, flower and root promote suppuration. Bark and bud are astringent and vermifuge. Seeds possess human blood agglutinating activity.
Preparation: Emulsion, paste, gargle, decoction.