Scientific name of Indian beech: Pongamia pinnata (Linn.) Pierre
Name of Indian beech in different languages:
Sanskrit: Karanja, Nakthamala
Malayalam: Ungu, Pungu (ഉങ്ങ്, പുങ്ങ്)
Indian beech tree tropical tree which grows up to the height of 25 m., it is s many-branched tree and spread as a large canopy. It is semi-deciduous and its leaves are dark green, soft, shiny and ovate at the end, flowers are clusters of white, purple or pink flowers blossoming almost throughout the year, the pods are thick-walled, smooth and flattened. The pods contained one or two beans colored in brownish-red seeds, it has a straight or crooked trunk is smooth, grayish-brown bark.
Useful plant parts:
Leaf, seed, bark, root
To treat the cough, fever, wounds, skin disorders, infectious diarrhea
Antihyperglycaemic and anti-lipid peroxidative
Indian beech Ayurveda uses
The Indian Beech tree, also known as Pongamia pinnata, has a number of traditional uses in Ayurveda. Various parts of the tree, including the seeds, leaves, bark, and oil derived from the seeds, are utilized for their medicinal properties. Here are some of the Ayurvedic uses of Indian Beech:
- Skin Conditions:
- The oil extracted from Indian Beech seeds, known as Pongamia oil, is used topically in Ayurveda to treat various skin conditions. It is believed to have antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that can help with conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and acne.
- Wound Healing:
- The oil from Indian Beech seeds is traditionally used to promote wound healing. It is applied topically to clean wounds and accelerate the healing process.
- Joint Pain and Inflammation:
- Indian Beech oil is sometimes used in massage and as a topical application to alleviate joint pain, arthritis, and inflammation.
- Insect Bites and Stings:
- The oil from Indian Beech seeds is applied topically to relieve itching, pain, and inflammation associated with insect bites and stings.
- Hair Care:
- Pongamia oil is also used in Ayurvedic hair care. It is believed to nourish the scalp, promote hair growth, and help maintain healthy, lustrous hair.
- Respiratory Disorders:
- In Ayurvedic medicine, various parts of the Indian Beech tree, including leaves and bark, have been used in remedies for respiratory conditions such as coughs and bronchitis.
- Antimicrobial Properties:
- Indian Beech oil is believed to have antimicrobial properties, which can be helpful in treating skin infections and other microbial conditions.
- Anti-inflammatory Properties:
- The oil may have anti-inflammatory effects, which can be beneficial for reducing inflammation associated with various conditions.
- Lice Treatment:
- Pongamia oil is used in some Ayurvedic treatments for lice. It is believed to have insecticidal properties that can help eliminate lice and their eggs.
- Muscle Pain and Cramps:
- The oil may be used in massage to alleviate muscle pain, cramps, and spasms.
- Dental Health:
- In some traditional practices, the bark of the Indian Beech tree is used for its astringent properties to promote oral health.
As with any herbal remedy, it’s important to consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner or an Ayurvedic expert before using Indian Beech for therapeutic purposes. They can provide guidance on dosage, preparation, and potential interactions with other medications or conditions.
The Indian beech tree is one of the ingredients in Ayurveda medicines like-