Latin name: Bauhinia variegata Linn. (Caesalpiniaceae)
Sanskrit/Indian name: Kanchanara, Kovidara, Kachnar, Kaniar
Buddhist Bauhinia is found in abundance in Punjab and Western Assam. It is also cultivated in gardens across India. It is often referred to as ‘poor man’s orchid’ due to the orchid-like appearance of its flower.
The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India has documented the use of the stem bark in treating lymphadenitis and goiter. It is also helpful in treating skin diseases and stomach disorders.
The flowers contain the flavonoids, kaempferol-3-galactoside and kaempferol-3- rhamnoglucoside. The stem bark has hentriacontane, octacosanol and stigmasterol, while stem contains beta-sitosterol, lupeol and a flavanone glycoside. These compounds render the herb its pharmacological properties (Indian Medicinal Plants—An Illustrated Dictionary, C.P.Khare. 96. 2007).
Key therapeutic benefits:
- The plant treats skin diseases, ulcers and leprosy.
- Buddhist Bauhinia is known to soothe gastrointestinal problems like, dysentery and diarrhea.
- It can also arrest hemorrhoids.