English: Semal, Kapok Tree
Sanskrit: Mocharasa, Shalmali or shaalmali
Hindi: शाल्मली-Shalmali, सेमल-Semal
Tamil: Sanmali, Sittan
Malayalam: ഇലവ് -Elavu, മുള്ളിലവ് -Mullilavu
The silk cotton tree is a deciduous, big tree mostly found in tropical areas, and Western ghat areas, grows up to 60 m tall and up to 120 inches in diameter, the bark is scaly, dark brown, full of covered with thorns. The leaves are large, glabrous, leaflets 3 to 7, entire, lanceolate, arranged oppositely and spirally at the branch apex, dark green, up to 15 cm long and 3 cm wide, the stamen is pinkish brown, blossoming in January to March, trees bear gorgeous red-colored flowers. The fruits are green, the size of a ping-pong ball, in maturity; it burst out cotton-like fibrous stuff with small black seeds. Wood is used to make plywood, sticks, and match boxes. The leaves are food for larvae of some Lepidoptera. Useful plant parts:
Used in the treatments of Seminal disorders, Blood purifier, Leucorrhoea, Excess bleeding in menstruation, Acne, skin blemish, skin pigmentation, scar marks due to boils, freckles, acne and burns, Wounds, Weakness, Increase breast milk, Cold and cough.
It is used as a tonic, other medicinal qualities are – anti-dysenteric, aphrodisiac, antimicrobial diuretic, alternative, astringent, anti-diarrhea, and antipyretic.
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