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Characteristics of the Medicinal Amaltas or Cassia Fistula Plant

Updated on November 1, 2017
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Rajan is a botany and chemistry major. He has worked as a poultry breeder for 23 years, breeding layer and broiler parents.

About Amaltas or Cassia fistula Tree

Latin name : Cassia fistula.

Indian name : Amaltas, Aragvadha (meaning, remover of disease).

Common names : Indian Laburnum tree, golden shower tree, pudding pipe tree, purging cassia, lantern tree(in Thailand).

Amaltas is native to India and Pakistan and the tropical countries of Southeast Asia. It is the national tree of Thailand and its flower is the national flower of Thailand.

Amaltas is a tree of religious significance in the Kerala state of India and its flower is the state flower of Kerala state. The flowers of Amaltas are used for rituals during the Vishu festival, the Kerala new year.

Amaltas Tree And Flowers

Click thumbnail to view full-size
The Amaltas treethe flowersThe flowers in racemesAmaltas flowersAmaltas flower close up
The Amaltas tree
The Amaltas tree | Source
the flowers
the flowers | Source
The flowers in racemes
The flowers in racemes | Source
Amaltas flowers
Amaltas flowers | Source
Amaltas flower close up
Amaltas flower close up | Source

Amaltas Tree and Flowers

The Amaltas medium-sized tree is a show stopper when in bloom. It grows to about 30-40 feet tall. Counted among the most beautiful of the tropical ornamental trees, it drops almost all its leaves and bursts forth with grape-like bunches of bright yellow flowers.

The 12-18 inches long showy flower racemes give the tree a very elegant look as they sway majestically in the spring breeze. The colorful and fragrant flowers are very attractive to bees and butterflies that frequent it for its nectar and aid in its pollination.

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.

The fruits are green when immature and turn dark brown when mature. They are about 2 feet long, flat, and about an inch broad, carrying between 40-100 seeds, each. The seeds are held in a sticky brown pulp in compartments in the pods, a seed to each cell. The fruits have a pungent odor. The seeds are poisonous.

Amaltas Fruits And Seeds

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Cassia fistula fruitsAmaltas fruit with compartments, each containing a single seed
Cassia fistula fruits
Cassia fistula fruits | Source
Amaltas fruit with compartments, each containing a single seed
Amaltas fruit with compartments, each containing a single seed | Source

Uses of the Amaltas Tree

The wood is hard, durable, and heavy. It is used for making cabinets, inlay work, temple drums, fence posts, agricultural implements and also in the construction of houses, bridges etc.

The pulp from the fruit pods is used to flavor tobacco. The flowers are used to decorate hair. All parts of the tree are used in traditional medicine and also in Ayurvedic medicine.

Nutrients in Amaltas

  • The fruit is low in sodium.
  • 100 grams of fresh fruit provides 100% of the daily Vitamin K requirement.
  • 100 grams of dried fruit provides 800 mg calcium which is almost 100% of the daily need.
  • It is a good source of the minerals iron and manganese. The concentration of these minerals are much higher than is present in apples, pears, oranges, peaches or apricots on a weight to weight basis.
  • It is high in energy.

Always consult with a medical professional such as a licensed doctor or Ayurvedic specialist before ingesting any natural nutritional supplement for proper dosing and potential side effects.

Health Benefits of Cassia Fistula or Amaltas

The various parts of the tree like the bark, root, flowers, leaves, fruit pulp are used medicinally and have several health benefits.

The tree has the following properties and potential uses: antidiabetic, antifertility, antitumor, hepato-protective, cholesterol lowering, astringent, febrifugal, purgative, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antibacterial, antiviral, analgesic, tonic, and antidysenteric properties.

According to Ayurveda, Amaltas pacifies the 3 doshas of vaat, pitta, and kapha. It expels the pitta and kapha from the body.

Some additional health benefits are given below:

  1. Amaltas reduces fever, cold, swelling of the throat, asthma symptoms.
  2. It benefits in constipation where there is drying of the fluids in the intestine due to the high pitta on the intestine. It has a gentle laxative action and can be used in children and elderly alike.
  3. Amaltas subsides gas, flatulence, acidity. It reduces colic pain. It eases the discomfort of piles, stops bleeding from different parts of the body and benefits in heart disease.
  4. It cleanses the blood and eradicates skin problems like itching, inflammation, and suppuration.
  5. It also alleviates symptoms and pain of arthritis, gout, nervous system diseases, eczema, ringworm, leucoderma, leprosy etc.

Some Ayurvedic Remedies With Amaltas

Consult a specialist for proper dosing and usage before attempting a remedy on your own.

  • For acidity or gas, massage a slightly warmed up fruit pulp around the navel area in a circular motion in multiples of seven for about 10 minutes. doing this daily for a month cures.
  • For skin eruptions due to impure blood, soak Aamaltas fruit pulp and some tamarind in a cup of water overnight. Next morning mash them well, strain out the pulp and drink the water. Do it for a month to get complete relief. It also makes the skin glow.
  • For constipation, soak 10 to 20 grams of fruit pulp in a glass of water overnight. Filter the water in the morning and drink it. This is a very gentle laxative.
  • For alopecia areata or baldness, apply a paste made by mixing ash of Amaltas leaves with some goat's milk. This is very effective for loss of hairs from the scalp, eyebrows, and beard.
  • To treat piles, boil 10 grams each of Aamaltas fruit pulp, harad, and munakka and drink this decoction at bedtime for some days.
  • In rheumatoid arthritis, a decoction of the pulp is taken with 2 grams each of dry ginger, harad, and giloy powders.
  • A paste of the leaves is used for treating amenorrhea while a plaster of leaves is used for treating chilblain.
  • Leaf poultices are also used for facial massage in afflictions of the brain and applied externally in paralysis, rheumatism, and gout.

Precautions

Self-medication with Amaltas is not advised in Ayurvedic texts. It should be used with caution if you are pregnant or nursing.

References

TribuneIndia

Indiantzone

FlowersofIndia

Wikipedia

p=Cassia_Fistula&c=Herbs&k=Ahala_Kanuwa

Medicinal importance of Amaltas/ (Cassia fistula)

Cassia fistula - Golden Shower, Yellow Shower,Indian Laburnum

© 2013 Rajan Singh Jolly

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    • profile image

      Rishav 5 months ago

      What is the use of the seeds? Are they of any use in curing any ailment?

    • rajan jolly profile image
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      Rajan Singh Jolly 2 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      neeta you can get the bark from any pansari shop in Mumbai.

    • profile image

      neeta 2 years ago

      Where can I get bark of amaltas tree in mumbai i heard by soaking d bark in water overnightn drinking d same water brinngs down d sugar level for diabetics.

    • rajan jolly profile image
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      Rajan Singh Jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      anju you can purchase dried amaltas fruit and break the shell to extract pieces of the dried pulp.

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      anju_024@yahoo.com 3 years ago

      Rajan. Hw cn we extract pulp from dried fruit

    • rajan jolly profile image
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      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      @Peggy-Amaltas is a beautiful tree to have in one's backyard. I appreciate your visit, votes and sharing.

      @Rose-I'm glad you like the info. Thanks for the thumbs up.

    • rose-the planner profile image

      rose-the planner 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario-Canada

      Rajan, you always produce some worthwhile, informative and interesting articles. This was a great article on the Indian medicinal plant - Amaltas (Cassia fistula). Thank you for sharing. (Voted Up). -Rose

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Rajan,

      Thanks for introducing me to this most beautiful Amaltas or Cassia fistula Tree. It is stunning when it is in bloom. It was nice learning about all the different ways parts of the tree are utilized. Gave this a 5 star rating, up votes and will share and pin.

    • rajan jolly profile image
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      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Thanks and its wonderful to know you have this tree growing in your garden. I appreciate your visit and comments.

    • agapsikap profile image

      agapsikap 4 years ago from Philippines

      You're an angel in disquise! WOW! I didn't know its Amaltas tree until now. You see I have it here in my own yard, and it is really amazing how every summer I'm waiting for that amaltas tree to bloom cause it add so much beauty in our little garden. You gave me the answer. I didn't even know all its healthy benefits. I was just thinking before to write an article about gardening and put the picture of my amaltas up front. Really thank you for this great article and all the info, sir rajan.

    • rajan jolly profile image
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      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      you are right about the seeds, Indra!

    • profile image

      INDRA AGARWAL,AGRA 4 years ago

      you are right .amaltas herbs pulp is very good for constipation in kids sa well as elders .Be alert ,DON'T USE ITS SEEDS IT IS VERY POISONOUS,

    • rajan jolly profile image
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      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Thanks, Abdus!

    • vertualit profile image

      Abdus Salam 4 years ago from Bangladesh

      very useful article. thanks for sharing..

    • rajan jolly profile image
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      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Yes we are forgetting our roots, Indian Chef. Thanks for reading and sharing.

    • Indian Chef profile image

      Indian Chef 4 years ago from New Delhi India

      When I was kid this tree laden with yellow flowers was all around my village but now with rise in population and use of every possible inch of land, they do not seem anywhere. Very informative hub. Voted it up, awesome and shared.

    • rajan jolly profile image
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      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      GTF, these trees are indeed beautiful in full bloom and would brighten up any place they are grown. Thank you for such inspiring comments and I much appreciate your visit.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      I would love to live in a climate where these beautiful trees grow. The yellow flowers would totally brighten up my yard. Your hubs really bring attention to the importance of taking care of the earth because there are so many medicinal benefits of plants.

    • rajan jolly profile image
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      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      You are right, Shining. We just need to look around us. I appreciate the visit.

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

      It is astounding the many bounties Mother Nature provides. The heath benefits abound.

    • rajan jolly profile image
      Author

      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      @Bill-thanks for giving this a read, votes and sharing. Much appreciated.

      @Joe-thanks for your kind comments. It is my pleasure too, to read your very informative hubs. Thanks for the visit and have a great day.

      @Carol-thanks and your visit is always looked forward to.

      @Nithya-thanks for stopping by. Good to see you.

      @Jo-are the flowers akin to the ones you see on here? I think so! Glad to see you and thanks for your comments.

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 4 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Rajan, another beauty; I have a Laburnum in the garden, probably a distance cousin of the Indian Laburnum, it produces large long clusters of gorgeous yellow flowers, no fruit so far :). I also remember larger trees in the Caribbean with the large bean-like fruits but I did not know the pulp were edible.

      Thank you for this great info.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      Great hub about the Amaltas tree, it seems to have great health benefits. Thanks for sharing.

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      The tree is beautiful and as always you provide an indepth hub about whatever you write. Enjoyed reading about this. Voting up and pinning.

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      Rajan Jolly, my good friend!

      Recently, I wrote a brilliant article by billybuc about givers and takers here on HubPages. You, my friend, are definitely a giver, and the beautiful ironic result is that you receive so many blessings as a result of your generous giving. I commend you on yet another in a long line of wonderful and informative hubs. Thank you so much for your positive contributions to our literary community. Have a memorable weekend, my friend! Aloha!

      Joe

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hey rajan. Never heard of the Amaltas Tree? It's beautiful in bloom with those yellow flowers. You continue to amaze me with your hubs on interesting trees, fruits, etc... Great job. Voted up, shared , etc..

    • rajan jolly profile image
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      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      @Devika-thanks for stopping by.

      @Bill-thanks, my friend. It is always a pleasure to share information.

      @wetnosedogs-thanks, my friend.

    • wetnosedogs profile image

      wetnosedogs 4 years ago from Alabama

      Thank you for this wonderful education. That is a beautiful tree.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      It is a big world out there, Rajan. I learn so much from your hubs about fruits, nuts, vegetables, trees that I have never heard of before. Thank you for this wonderful education.

      Be well my friend and enjoy your weekend.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Amaltas Or Cassia fistula, brilliantly approached and an informative hub about a unique title and most beneficial to any reader.

    • rajan jolly profile image
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      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      You are correct, loksmi. Thanks for reading.

    • profile image

      loksmi 4 years ago

      Good one, again:)

      Nature has a solution to almost everything, isn't it?