A city is known by its trees, flowers, fruits and the birds, butterflies frolicking around it. Which is the best season to witness all these? Come spring with summer at its heels and we rejoice to see the blooming Amaltas, the dancing butterflies and hovering honeybees. “How enchanting is the fragrance coming out from summer breeze, How lovely is the bunch of yellow flowers, calling me there, while hanging on the tree of Amaltas and embracing it completely, Oh, yellow Amaltas, why you bloom, So enchanting in summer only.”
A city is known by its trees, flowers, fruits and the birds, butterflies frolicking around it. Which is the best season to witness all these? Come spring with summer at its heels and we rejoice to see the blooming Amaltas, the dancing butterflies and hovering honeybees.
“How enchanting is the fragrance coming out from summer breeze, How lovely is the bunch of yellow flowers, calling me there, while hanging on the tree of Amaltas and embracing it completely, Oh, yellow Amaltas, why you bloom, So enchanting in summer only.”
Amaltas is also known as yellow shower, Indian laburnum, golden rain tree, Cassia fistula . In Ayurveda, the golden shower tree is known as Aragvadha means to kill disease. Golden shower tree is a medium sized ornamental deciduous tree growing to 10-20 mtrs. (33-66 fts.) tall with fast growth, with an irregular crown of more or less drooping branches. The tree grows best in full sun and a well drained soil. It blooms well where there is a marked temperature difference in summer and winter. It blooms in late spring.Colorful and fragrant flowers are very attractive to bees and butterflies. The flowers are 20 to 40 cms. long. After flowering fruits are developed in form of cylindrical pods. These are initially green and later turn dark brown. They are about two feet long, flat and about an inch broad. The fruit is a legume with pungent odour and containing several seeds 40 to 100. Seeds are rich in protein. The seeds are held in sticky brown pulp in compartments in the pods. Tender leaves, flowers and pods are used as vegetable and considered as excellent source of vitamin C and calcium. It is the state flower of Kerala known as “Konikkonna”. It is popular plant used in herbal medicines.
Nutrients in Amaltas
1. The fruit is low in sodium.
2. 100 gms. of fresh fruit provides 100% of the daily Vitamin-K requirement.
3. 100 gms. of dried fruit provides 800 mg calcium which is almost 100% of the daily need.
4. It is a good source of mineral iron and manganese. The concentration of these minerals are much higher then is present in apples, pears, oranges, peaches or apricots on a weight to weight basis.
5. The pulp contains amino acids such as lysine and glutamine.
6. The stem bark has potent antioxidant properties as do the leaves.
Fruit pulp: 5 to 10 gms.
For Purgation : 10 to 20 gms.
Root bark decoction: 50 to 100 ml.
Flower: 5 to 10 gms.
Properties of Amaltas:
The properties of Amaltas are heavy, sweet, cool and purgative. It is used in fever, heart disorders, bleeding disorders, bloating and abdominal colic pain. Fruits of Amaltas are soft, purgative, appetizer in nature and used to pacify kapha and pitta doshas. They are also used in leprosy. Best used as purgative & antipyretic. Every part of this tree contains various phytoingredients.
Leaves: Tannins, glucosides and sennosides.
Stem bark: Fistucacidin, tannins, barbolin
Pulp: carbohydrates, proteins, leucin, tryptophen, glutamic acid.
Seeds: vermolic, sterculic, galactomannan.
Medicinal use of Amaltas: It is one of the most popular herbal plant known for its medicinal worth. It has got very effective detoxifying properties for the body not only externally when applied to skin but also internally. It has liver protecting properties. One such study done on rats with paracetamol induced hepatotoxicity and the leaves of amaltas exhibited significant liver protecting effect by decreasing SGOT, SGPT, Bilirubin, ALP (Alkaline phosphates). Studies also confirms the anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant activities and thus supports the traditional use of this tree in treatment of RA. It is also used in dysuria, hematuria, delirium and convulsions. It helps in reducing cough, improves wound healing. It has potent anti-microbial properties. It is also helpful in constipation.
Medicinal uses of Amaltas:
Fruit pulp is a medicine for flatulence, dyspepsia, colic, intermittent fever, constipation, intestinal worms & indigestion. It strengthens the intestines.
Leaves are laxative and used as leafy vegetable. These are used in dry cough, bronchitis and burning sensation. In case of severe itching in skin, these are rubbed on affected area. Leaf poultice of Amaltas is also used for facial massage in routine and in case of facial paralysis. The decoction is given to treat fever.
Roots are used to cure skin diseases such as psoriasis and eczema to alleviate burning sensation.
Bark is rich in tannins and so is used for boils, leprosy, ringworms & colic. It is used to relieve constipation as well as dyspepsia and heart problems.
Flowers are said to be good for skin diseases. Local application of their paste acts as coolant and cure skin complaints.
Post digestive effect: Pungent
Effects on Tridoshas: Pacifies Vata, Pitta & Kapha
Ayurvedic products of Cassia fistula:
• Aragvadhadi kwath
• Aragvadhadi leha
• Aragvadhadi taila
• Aragvadhadi Kashayam
• Maharasanadi Kashayam
• Maha Manjistadi Kashayam
• Manasamitra vatakam
• Kushta rakshana tail
8 Health Benefits of Amaltas
1. Abdominal distension Eating 5 gms. fruit pulp with sugar and water once a day is helpful. Prepare paste of fruit pulp and apply around navel area in a circular motion for about 10 minutes, doing this daily for a month cures the distension.
2. Skin Eruptions Prepare paste of leaves and bark and apply at affected area or soak Amaltas fruit pulp and some tamarind in a cup of water over night. Next morning mash them well strain out the pulp and drink the water. Do it for a month to get a complete relief. It also makes the skin glow.
3. Rheumatism- Traditional remedy is to roast 12-24 gm leaves of Amaltas in mustard oil and take twice a day or a decoction of the pulp be taken with 2 gms each of dry ginger, harad and giloy powder.
4. Gout In gout, the roots 5-10 gm are boiled in a glass of milk and taken twice a day for few days.
5. Piles Boil 10gms each of Amaltas fruit pulp, harad, munaka, and drink this decoction at bedtime for some days. The extract of the bark is also used as cream for piles as it is seen that it is good for veins and blood flow.
6. Constipation According to Ayurveda, keeping the bowel clear is the first step for maintenance of a healthy body. When the gut is clear, the digestive fire can be maintained in a healthy way and the body can stay disease free for a long time. 10-15 gm of fruit pulp of Amaltas is soaked in ½ ltr. water at night. Next morning the pulp is mashed, filtered and taken orally.
7. Chronic cough Ghee is prepared from the decoction of fruit pulp and taken twice a day.
8. Baldness Apply a paste made by mixing ash of Amaltas leaves with some goat’s milk. This is very effective for loss of hair from the scalp, eyebrows and beard.
Precautions: It is not indicated in diarrhoea and dysentery. Large dose may cause heavy purgations. Self medication with Amaltas is not advised in Ayurvedic texts. It should be used with caution in pregnancy.