By Dr M S Krishnamurthy MD(Ayu), PhD
Silk Cotton Tree is known as Shalmali in Ayurveda. Its botanical name is Bombax ceiba. It belongs to Malvaceae family. The plants are commonly found in Srilanka, Myamnar, Sumatra, etc.
The bark, stem exudates/gum and flowers are used in therapeutics.
It is used in the treatment of gynaecological disorders as it is a coolant and astringent tonic. The gummy extract of the plant is known as Mocharasa.
The bark as well as the gum-mocharas are light-unctuous-and viscous in nature and is cold in potency. The plant is appreciated in the treatment of Vata pittaja disorders.
Read related: Shalmali, Silk Cotton Tree – Ayurveda Use, Formulations, Home Remedies
Pushyanuga choorna is a famous recipe containing Shalmali niryasa-mocharasa.
Folklore practitioners use this drug in the treatment of several ill health conditions of both humans and animals.
Some important remedies are mentioned here below-
1. Gum extract of Shalmali-Mocharasa fine powder along with sugar candy for haemorrhoids:
1-2 gram of Shalmali resin is taken (dry form) along with double amount of sugar candy and fine powder is made. This is administered twice or thrice a day along with water. This pacifies any kind of bleeding; especially bleeding haemorrhoids.
2. Fine paste of resin and asafoetida –external application for abscess:
Equal amount of Mocharas and asafoetida are taken, 1 teaspoon each. This is added to 5 teaspoons of sour buttermilk or lemon juice fine paste is made. This is applied over the abscess. It helps in early maturation and hence to take out the pus from such abscesses.
3. Fine paste of the thorn in hyper pigmentation, acne, acne scars
Thorns are taken and rubbed well with rice washed water or plain water. This paste is applied over the skin lesions where hyper pigmentation is found.10-15 days medication imparts good benefit in this respect.
4. Raw fruit in cough and throat irritation:
Raw fruits are plucked and taken or chewed along with jaggery or sugar candy. This is very effective against the cough and throat irritation.
5. Bark decoction for diarrhoea and leucorrhoea:
1-2 teaspoon of the bark or bark powder is taken and decoction is made. This is consumed early in the morning. This is effective against the diarrhoea and non specific leucorrhoea.
Folk practitioners advise this decoction to check the recurrent abortion.
General method of decoction preparation is –
1 tablespoon (10 grams) fo 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.
Koota Shalmali is another variety of Shalmali and it possesses white colored flowers where as Shalmali possesses flowers of red color.People often confused each other and the flowers color is the main pouint of differentiation.Botanical name of Kootashalmali is Eriodendron anfractuosom. Even though they are similar in action and qualities Shalmali is more coolant and has higher benefits.