It was a superstition, that sighting the seeds of this plant would remove the pain of a scorpion sting1. The Egyptians used the seeds for their astringent properties. It has found mention in Arab and Persian literature.
It is found cultivated throughout India. It is a main shade crop in tea, turmeric, pan leaf and sweet orange plantations. It is also grown as a perennial green manure crop.
Morphology Description (Habit)
It is a soft-wooded, quick-growing short-lived shrub. The leaves are long, and paripinnate. The leaflets are 8.20 pairs, linear-oblong, glabrous, entire, mucronate to acuminate. The flowers are yellow or yellow spotted, red to purple or with standard petals colored purple or brown from outside, in 8-10-flowered, lax, axillary racemes. Pods are pendulous, weak, distinctly torulose, twisted, sharply beaked, 20-30-seeded and septate. On the basis of the flower color it has three varieties2.
Kaempferol-3-O-a-L-rhamnosyl (1®2)3-(a-L-rhamnosyl (1®6)-b-D-galactoside4 was isolated.
It has antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.
There are no adverse effects reported on use of this plant as drug or as food.
In indigenous medicine it is used for its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. In the form of ointment, it is used to cure itching and various skin eruptions.
- Anonymous, 1972, The Wealth of India, Vol. IX, PID, CSIR, New Delhi.
- Chatterjee, A. and Pakrashi, S.C., 1997, The Treatise on Indian Medicinal Plants, National Institute of Science Communication, New Delhi.
- Gamble, J.S., 1997 (Reprinted Edition), Flora of Madras, Vol. I-III, Bishen Singh Mahendra Pal Singh, Dehra Dun.
- El Sayed, N.H., 1991, A rare Kaempferol Trisaccharide anti-tumor promotor from Sesbania sesban, Pharmazie, 1991, 46, 679 William D. 1890, Pharmacographia indica, Vol. I, Trench, trubner & Co., Ltd., London.