Alexandrian Laurel

The Scientific name of Alexandrian laurel: Calophyllum inophyllum

Family:  Clusiaceae

Name of Alexandrian laurel  in different languages:-

English: Beauty leaf plant

Sanskrit: Punnaga, Purusha, Raktavriksha

Hindi: Sultan Chamba- सुलतान चम्पा

Malayalam: Cherupunna-ചെറു പുന്ന, Sundari Ela, Punnagam

Tamil: புன்னை punnai

Plant description:

Alexandrian laurel – Calophyllum inophyllum is a slow-growing, evergreen tree that grows up to 20 meters in height. commonly found in beach areas and backwater banks of Kerala. The leaves are glossy green, attractive, and elliptical, making a dense canopy. The flower is 25 mm wide, fragrant, and occurs in racemose up to 15 flowers.

The fruits are round, green drupes grow up to 4 cm in diameter and contain a large seed. When it is ripe, the color changes from yellow to brownish-red. The  seeds yield an oil called tamanu or Bombay oil which is dark green, and used to grease hair

Leaf Arrangement

Shape-Ovate Margin-Entire Venation-pinnate

Useful parts:

Bark, leaves, seeds

Medicinal uses:

The bark is useful in skin diseases, strangury, and internal hemorrhages, The leaves are useful in migraine, vertigo, and ophthalmia. The seed oil is useful in intramuscular pain, leprosy, skin diseases, and scabies. Oil is used to reduce headaches, the resin is used to heal wounds and dysentery, to treat cataracts, to treat rheumatoid arthritis, and to cure Vata disorders.

Ayurvedic uses of Alexandrian laurel

  1. Wound Healing: The oil extracted from Alexandrian laurel seeds is used topically to promote wound healing. It is believed to have antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that aid in the healing process.
  2. Skin Disorders: The oil is used to treat various skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis. It is believed to soothe irritated skin and reduce inflammation.
  3. Rheumatic Conditions: The oil is used for massage in cases of rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory joint conditions. It is believed to help reduce pain and inflammation.
  4. Anti-inflammatory: The oil is thought to have anti-inflammatory properties and may be used to alleviate inflammation in various parts of the body.
  5. Anti-fungal Properties: It is believed to have antifungal properties and may be used to treat fungal infections of the skin.
  6. Anti-bacterial Properties: The oil is considered to have antibacterial properties, which can be beneficial in treating bacterial infections.
  7. Burns and Scalds: The oil is used to soothe and promote the healing of burns and scalds.
  8. Ear Infections: In some traditional practices, Alexandrian laurel oil is used for ear infections to help reduce pain and inflammation.
  9. Gastrointestinal Disorders: The oil may be used in traditional remedies for digestive issues, although its effectiveness for this purpose is not scientifically established.
  10. Respiratory Conditions: Some traditional uses suggest that Alexandrian laurel may be used to address respiratory issues like coughs and bronchitis.
  11. Wound Cleansing: The leaves of the Alexandrian laurel tree may be used to prepare a decoction for cleaning wounds.
  12. Lymphatic System Support: In Ayurveda, it is believed to have benefits for the lymphatic system, potentially helping to detoxify the body.

Chemical content:

Seed yields fixed oil, the kernel of seed yields 45-50% of oil with a bitter taste, and other constituents are Tannin, kalofiloid, kalofilic acid, and Enophilic Acid.

Medicinal Properties:

Bark is astringent, anodyne, vulnerary, diuretic, anti-dermatic, emollient and purgative. The seed oil is anodyne, diuretic and demulcent

How to prepare medicines:

1. Application of oil can reduce Rheumatic arthritic pain.

2. Leaf juice is used to treat cataracts.

3. Bark resin is used to treat wounds.

Alexandrian laurel  is used as an ingredient in the Ayurveda medicines like:-

Nisosiradi Thailam



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