This article is by Dr MS Krishnamurthy MD(Ayu) PhD.
Shami / Banni tree is appreciated as an auspicious plant as per Hindu mythology. Its leaves and flowers are used for worshiping Lord Shiva. Bark is the main usable part of this plant. The plant is cold in potency and and heavy and dry in nature. It is used to pacify both Kapha and Pitta dosha.
The plant is known as Sponge tree in English and its botanical name is Prosopis cineraria / prosopis specigera. It is belonging to Leguminaceae family.
This medium sized tree is found in dry area. Gujarat and Rajasthan is the main habitat of this plant. The people of Rajasthan and Punjab use its legumes as vegetables; in some part of Maharashtra and Karnataka its fruits are used to feed to the cattle.
Bark is the main usable part of this plant. The plant is cold in potency and and heavy and dry in nature. It is used to pacify both Kapha and Pitta dosha.
The usable part bark is used both internally and externally.
Read related: Shami Tree, Banni Tree: Prosopis cineraria Medicinal Uses
Some of its simple and effective remedies are referred here below-
1. Banni tree Bark decoction for mouth gargling in mouth ulcers:
The bark is collected, cut into pieces. Concentrated decoction is made and this is used for gargling / oral rinsing / swishing. 3-4 days regular gargling pacifies the mouth ulcers.
General method of decoction preparation is –
1 tablespoon (10 grams) of coarse powder of the herb is added with 2 cups of water. Boiled in open air till the total content is reduced to 1 cup. This is filtered and used.
Joint pain, diarrhoea
2. Hot infusion in joint pain and dysentery, diarrhea:
The coarse powder of the bark is taken and 4 parts hot water is added and kept for a while. When it is lukewarm it is filtered and administered in a dose of 20 – 30 ml once or twice a day, before food. This can be taken twice daily. This pacifies joint pain and chronic dysentery.
Itching skin diseases
3. Leaf decoction for itching skin diseases:
Fresh leaves are collected and decoction is made. After taking the bath this decoction is poured over the lesions which are oozing or itching. In dandruff and itching of the scalp also this is beneficial.
Facial hair removal
4. Fruit paste for facial hair removal:
The fruits are crushed well and made into fine paste. This is applied over the area where extra hair growth is found. Regular application acts as facial hair removal, in natural way.
5. Banni tree bark paste for scorpion bite:
The fine paste of the bark is applied to the area of the scorpion bite. This pacifies burning and swelling of the bitten area.
6. Cold infusion of the bark in bleeding disorders:
The bark in fresh or dry form is taken and soaked in 6 parts cold water for 1-2 hour. Later it is macerated well and filtered. This is administered internally in various bleeding disorders including haematuria, haemorrhoids and bleeding gum complaints, in a dose of 20-30 ml once or twice a day after food.
7. Fresh fruit soup for diarrhea:
The fresh unripened fruits are used as vegetables.The soup is prepared out of the fruits and advised to take. This is practiced abundantly in Gujarat and Rajasthan. This is effective to control the bowel habit.
Bleeding disorders, wounds
8. Bark decoction for bleeding disorders and wounds:
The stem bark is made into decoction and used for washing the wounds. Thus helps to reduce the bleeding as well as to heal the wounds.
9. Flower fine paste with sugar candy for repeated abortion:
The Shami plant flowers are taken and fine paste is made. This is mixed with sugar and given daily to the woman who is repeatedly aborted.
Burning sensation of eyes, face
10. Leaf – cold infusion in burning of the eyes and face:
The chopped leaves are soaked in water and macerated after 30 minutes. This is filtered and used to apply over the closed eyes and skin surface (face).It reduces the burning sensation of the eyes, skin and face.
The holy plant Shami is planted in the premises of the temples, Navagraha vanas and sacred places. Even though it is a common plant in few of the dry area it has several significant benefits in the treatment of skin diseases and chronic rheumatic complaints. People of Uttar Pradesh, India use its decoction to take bath in the beginning of the summer season and they believe that it prevents from several possible disorders of the forthcoming season.
Click to consult Dr MS Krishnamurthy MD(Ayu), PhD