Oroxylum indicum: A medicinal forest tree species for the symptom management of Covid 19

Oroxylum indicum

Humanity is coping with the aftermath of  Corona virus pandemic. The outbreak of virus resulted in devastation and is still causing millions of fatalities everyday. The first outbreak of this pandemic with severe pneumonia was reported in the city of Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, on December, 2019. World Health Organization (WHO) designated Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), as novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), a global pandemic.

Even if we are gearing up for mass vaccination there is dubiousness about the effectiveness of the vaccine in different parts of the world. There is no scientifically validated medication also for the treatment of this disease. Considering this situation complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) delivers a wide range prospects to mitigate the harmful effects of Covid 19. Common symptoms due to infection cause lower and upper respiratory tract infection, common cold, pneumonia, bronchiolitis, rhinitis, pharyngitis, sinusitis COVID-19 (genera: β-coronavirus) may share symptoms with the severe acute respiratory syndrome related corona viruses which offers a global risk of tasks and trials both in primary and secondary prevention to treat the infected patients. Ayurveda has broad spectrum of biological activities and provides a commendable source for antiviral applications. Since time immemorial, complementary and alternative medications have been commonly to treat many viral infections. Studies show that herbal extracts have been proven effective for preventing and treating respiratory viral infections . In this context, the AYUSH ministry, government of India, has recently recommended the use of Kadha (decoction), from herbs which help to boosts the immune system and reduces inflammation and disease severity in the infected individuals during COVID-19 crisis.

A decocotion made with Aegle marmelos, Oroxylum indicum, Stereospermum suaveolens, Gmelina arborea, Solanum indicum, Solanum xanthocarpum, Desmodium gangeticum, Uraria picta, Tribulus terrestris, Mucuna pruriens, Hedychium spicatum, Sida cordifolia, Scindapsus of icinalis, Achyranthes aspera, Piper longum, Plumbago zeylanica, Clerodendrum serratum, Inula racemosa, Hordeum vulgare, Terminalia chebula. This is an aromatic ayurvedic drug for pneumonia, predominant uncomplicated illness and for immunocompromised conditions. The decoction can be taken 5 grams with warm water twice a day.

Oroxylum tree in the forest

Oroxylum indicum is of high significance in Buddhist and Hindu mythology and its mention can be traced from ancient manuscripts. In different parts of North east India, especially in the rural areas of Assam, the long hanging pods of O.indicum are kept in kitchen and dining room, it is believed that the pods prevent hiccups in people of old age while consuming food. Various parts of the plant are used in a variety of oriental dishes. Young shoots, unripe fruits and flowers of this tree are eaten as vegetable. In Thailand, the fruits and flowers of the plant are consumed as a vegetable.The tree is also lopped for fodder. Seeds yield non-drying oil which is used in perfumery industry. Wood of tree is used to make match boxes. Stem bark and fruits of the tree are employed as mordant and the stem bark yield a Khaki colour dye. It is in high demand now-a-days for its bark which is used for tanning and as medicine for fever and many other ailments and as tonic. The tree is often grown as an ornamental tree for its strange appearance. The sword like fruit is used by the farmers to kill crabs in wet paddy fields. A paste made of the bark is applied to wounds of animals to kill maggots.

Oroxylum indicum is being used as medicinal herb for thousands of years without any known adverse effects. In Indian system of medicine it has been used as a single drug or as a component of certain poly-herbal drug preparations. It is an active ingredient of well-known Ayurvedic formulations like Amartarista, Awalwha, Brahma rasayana, Bruhatpancha, Chyawanaprasha, Dantyadarishta, Dasamoola, Dhanawantara ghrita, Mulayadikwath, Narayana taila and Shyonaka patpak. Different parts of the plant are found to have anti-allergic, anti-anorexic, anti-arthritic, antibacterial, anti-bronchitic, anti-cancer, antcarcinogenic, anti-diabetic, anti-fungal, antihelminthic, anti- hepatotoxic, anti-inflammatory, anti-leucodermatic, anti-microbial, anti- oxidant, anti-proliferative, anti-rheumatic, anti-tumor etc. This plant is used as an astringent, carminative, diuretic, stomachic, and aphrodisiac and is valued for stimulating digestion, curing fevers, coughs and other respiratory disorders.

Thank you!!


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Published by Dr. Chandrima Debi

Hi, I am Chandrima Debi. I am a Doctorate in Forestry and an independent researcher. Ever since childhood, I experienced deep-rooted connection with nature, forest and wildlife. I have written various research articles, case studies based on geology, forests, medicinal plants, biodiversity and conservation. Through this blog I share my experiences with nature and forests around us and aid towards the protection and conservation of biodiversity, wildlife and the values associated.

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