English: Soap Pod Tree, Ritha
Hindi: शिकाकाई Shikakai, रीठा Reetha, Ban Ritha
Malayalam: Cheevakka, Perumkai, Cheekkakka, Shivakai, Cheenikka, Charmanthala, Cheeka
It is a climber plant, with spiny branches and densely prickly, brown smooth stripes, the leaves are arranged bi-pinnately with 5 to 7 pairs of pinnae, alternate-spiral, leaflets not overlapping, apex sub acute, Elliptic, margin entire, long, tapered, obliquely rounded at the base. Flowers are white, born in terminal axillary panicles, flowering is from February to April. Fruits are pods, dark brown, flat, prominently nerved, apex tapered, stalked, about 8 cm long, and 1.5 to 1.8 cm broad; seeds up to 12 numbers, fruiting season March to April.
Useful plant parts: Fruits, leaves
Medicinal uses: dandruff, hair growth, malarial fever, relieves biliousness, as a purgative and skin disease.
Chemical contents: Saponin, Tannin, Alkaloids, Triterpentine, ascorbic acid, Rutin, Nicotine and Colycotomine.
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