Bauhinia variegata (Mountain ebony): Classification, History, Botanical Description, Chemical Constituents, and Health Benefits of B. variegata
A member of the mountain ebony, Bauhinia variegata L. belongs to the Leguminosae family. It is found all over India and climbs to a height of 1300 meters in the Himalayas. In the tropics and other warm climates of the world, it is commonly planted. It is one of the more than 200 species that make up the genus Bauhinia. It thrives in either partial shade or the full moon. It spreads quickly from seed and through air layering. Medium-sized deciduous tree Bauhinia variegata. The genus includes trees, vines, and shrubs that are widely planted for their colourful flowers and decorative leaves. Their entire body is employed for medicinal properties. It is sometimes referred to as mountain ebony and kachnar. The bark of the plant has a rough exterior due to a significant number of longitudinal fissures and cracks and is greyish brown on the outside and pale pink on the inside. The subcoriaceous, deeply cordate leaves are broad, 10–15 cm long, and broad. When the tree has no leaves, the huge, fragrant, white, or purple blooms begin to bloom. The pods are firm, flat, dehiscent, 15–30 by 1.8–2.5 cm, and contain 10-15 seeds.
B. variegata, often known as the “Kachnar,” is a deciduous, quickly growing flowering tree that is mostly found in tropical climates, the Carnatic and Deccan regions of southern India, and the stony hills of Circars (Sahu and Gupta 2012). In Sanskrit, it is known as “A beautiful radiant lady” (Irchhaiya et al. 2014). It has been used in folk medicine for several different things. For instance, because of the presence of many phytochemicals living in the plant, it is used to treat various diseases, and pathologies, primarily diabetes, as well as inflammation and discomfort. The plant contains kaempferol-3-glucoside, -sitosterol tannins, carbohydrates, amides, vitamin C, reducing sugars, crude fibers, protein, phosphorus, calcium, quercetin, quercetin-7-O-glucoside, apigenin, dotetracontan-15-en-9-ol, 13-diol, and heptatriacontan-12 as commonly isolated chemical constituents (Naeem and Ugur 2019). Due to their strong antioxidant properties, polyphenols shield the lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids in cells against oxidative damage and other negative effects. In plants, a high concentration of phenolic chemicals shows strong antioxidant potential. The redox actions of phenolic compounds, which cause the phenolic components to act as singlet oxygen, hydrogen donors, and reducing agents, are largely responsible for the antioxidant potential of medicinal or therapeutic plants (Hakkim et al. 2007). Due to their exceptional scavenging capacity, hydroxyl groups in phenolic compounds are regarded as key plant ingredients. Due to their high level of free radical scavenging activity (FRSA), flavonoids, the most significant and important polyphenols, are being given attention as antioxidants (Souza et al. 2008). The chemicals produced by plants, or antioxidants, are typically phenolic metabolites that can range from simple to highly polymerized complexes. Numerous studies have shown that eating foods high in phenolic compounds can help avoid a variety of chronic diseases (Hollman 2001).
Species: B. variegata
Scientific Name: Bauhinia variegata
Common Name(s): Orchid tree, Camel’s foot, Mountain ebony, Napoleon’s hat, Paper mulberry, Poor man’s orchid, Bauhinia, kachnar, kachnal
The tropical and temperate Indian subcontinent (including Nepal, India, Pakistan, and Bhutan), Southeast Asia (including Vietnam, Myanmar, Thailand, and Laos), and China are the native habitats of the Bauhinia variegata plant. The stem bark and blossoms of this plant are employed in a variety of medicinal compositions, and it is fully described in the ancient Indian school of life known as Ayurveda. Galaganda (Goiter), gandamala (Lymphadenopathy), ashthila [Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)], kapha-pitta dosha diseases, and arbuda are a few conditions for which the bark of the Kachnar tree is utilized (Tumor). The flowers, on the other hand, possess rakta pradaraghna (treats dysfunctional uterine haemorrhage), pittaghna (calms pitta dosha), kshyaghna (antitubercular), and kaasghna (treats cough) characteristics. But it is also used to treat a variety of carcinomas (Patil et al. 2010). Another important tree species to the people of Himachal Pradesh is the kachnar (B. variegata).
The Bauhinia variegata is a small to medium-sized tree with a large crown and a short bole. The tree had a 50 cm diameter and a maximum height of 15 m. In comparison, trees are substantially smaller in dry forests. The bark is light brown grey in hue, soft to slightly fissured, and scaly. Bark’s inside is pinkish in hue, bitter, and fibrous. The twigs have a pleasing brownish grey color and are light green, zigzag when young, slender, angled, and to some extent hairy. The tree’s leaves have small, 1-2 mm stipules and an early caduceus. The petiole measures 3-4 cm and is puberulous to glabrous, but the lamina measures 6-16 cm in diameter and is often oval to spherical and much wider than elongated. The lobe tips are extensively rounded. Typically, the upper surface is glabrous, and the lower is glaucous, yet once fully mature, the lower surface turns glabrous. Racemes with no branches at the twig ends make up the flower clusters. Fewer blooms contain hypanthium, which is a stalk-like structure with a narrow, green basal tube and short stalks. A bright green bud with five-pointed angles and a hair-covered calyx that breaks apart on one side while the other two sides remain attached. The flower features five petals, which are somewhat asymmetrical, smaller at the base, and edged with curves. The flower also has five exceedingly thin, curled stamens, a stigma that resembles a dot, a curved pistil, and a single, narrow, green ovary (Patil et al. 2012). Each stiff, long, flat, band-shaped, diagonally striate, dehiscent pod bears 10–15 seeds. The seeds are nearly spherical through the coriaceous testa, flat, and brown (Dey and Das 1988; Prakash et al. 1978)
Aerial parts include ombuin, kaempferol, kaempferol 7,4-dimethyl ether-3, O-D-2 glucopyranoside, triterpene, kaempferol-3, O-D-glucopyranoside, hesperidin, and isorhamenetin-3, O-D-D glucopyranoside (Gupta et al. 1980).
Stem: In variegata, there are kaempferol-3-glucoside, lupeol, isoquercitroside, myricetol glycoside, and kaempferol glycosides (Yadava and Reddy 2003; Gupta et al. 1980). While the stem extract contains the compound phenanthraquinone dione (Bauhinione), 2, 7-dimethoxy-3-methyl-9,10 dihydrophenanthrene-1 (Zhao et al. 2005).
The compounds found in leaves: lupeol, alkaloids, oil, fat, glycoside, phenolics, lignin, saponins, terpenoids, -sitisterol, tannins, kaempferol-3-glucoside, quercitin, rutin, apigenin, apigenin-7-O-glucoside amides, reducing sugar, carbs, protein, fibre, vitamin C (Shariff 2001).
Seeds: Protein and fatty oils with linoleic, oleic, palmitic, and stearic acids are both found in seeds. In the root extract of B., a novel flavone was discovered by Reddy et al. 5,7-dimethoxy-30 -40 -methyleneflavone is variegata.
Numerous substances are found in flowers, including reducing sugars, terpenoids, saponins, tannins, cardiac glycosides, and steroids (Uddin et al. 2012).
The leaves offer a good nutritional value for the healthy development of tasar silk worms and are used in medications since they are rich in reducing sugar. Biddies are made with the help of the leaves. The bark is astringent, tonic, anthelmintic, and used for scrofula and skin conditions. The root is carminative and used for dyspepsia and flatulence as well as an antidote to the snake poison. As vegetables and laxatives, the blossoms and flower buds are employed. Diarrhea, dysentery, and other stomach ailments are treated using flower juice. The dried buds are used to treat tumours, worms, piles, diarrhoea, and dysentery. The plant is said to have Kasaya rasa, Ruksha guna, Shita virya, and Katu vipaka in Ayurveda, according to Ayurvedic literature. the B. stem bark Apaci (cervical lymphadenitis), gandamala (scrofula), krinnroga (worm infection), and vrna are all diseases that are treated with variegata (wounds).
Health Benefits of B. variegata
In India’s tribal, Unani, homoeopathic, and Ayurvedic medical systems, Bauhinia variegata is a common therapeutic and medicinal plant used for healing purposes. It is thought to have hepatoprotective, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-hemagglutination, and antigoitrogenic effects (Mali et al. 2007). The bark is employed as a tonic, alternative astringent, alliterative, antitumor, antidiabetic, anthelmintic, and washing agent for ulcers and obesity (Rajkapoor et al. 2006; Prashar et al. 2010). It is used to treat skin conditions like scrofula, ulcers, and other skin ailments. For the treatment of diarrhoea, apply bark extract. Extracts from B. Variegata demonstrate an FRSA similar to that of vitamin C. It contains phenolic, flavonoids, and other phytochemical components that have antioxidant properties and aid in preventing or detecting oxidative stress and its associated degenerative diseases (Bhatia et al. 2011). The utilization of flavonoid rhamnocitrin, which is derived from tree bark, was used in the study addressing anticataract activity on chick embryos and an ovine lens model. Shigella dysenteriae, Salmonella typhi, Bacillus subtilis, Vibrio cholera, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Staphylococcus aureus are all susceptible to an extract prepared from the stem’s bark (Pokhrel et al. 2002). The Bauhinia variegata bark’s ethanol extract includes a protein that resembles insulin and has strong antidiabetic properties (Azevedo et al. 2006; Koti et al. 2009). Bark concentration in chloroform and water possesses anthelmintic qualities (Bairagi et al. 2012). According to Patil et al. (2010), the water/acetone extract and the isolated components from B. Variegata had the most notable activity on human in vitro neutrophils in all parameters, which are equivalent to standard and control at varying concentrations, indicating the possible immunostimulating impact.
The Gond tribe of Madhya Pradesh, India, uses the juice extracted from Bauhinia variegata’s leaves and roots to cure chest pain. According to Prashar et al(2010) study on rats fed a high-fat diet, ethanolic concentrate taken orally was effective in reducing hyperlipidemia that resulted from the diet, pointing to the potential use of the substance as an antiatherogenic medication. In their investigation of the antihyperlipidemic effects of tyloxapol (Triton WR-1339)-induced rats, Kumar et al. (2011) discovered similar findings. In addition to being used as a laxative, a mixture of leaves is used to treat piles (Khare et al. 2018). Thiruvenkatasubramanian and Jayakar (2010) found in another investigation on streptozotocin-affected diabetic rats that ethanolic and aqueous extracts can reduce blood sugar levels. Cough medicine is made from ash made from dried leaves (Pant and Sharma 2010). The cytotoxic action of the leaf extracts was similarly demonstrated by the leaf extract of B. Malignant cell lines are variegated utilizing the Sulforhodamine B dye test (Mishra et al. 2013).
The antidote for snake poison and dyspepsia are both treated with tree roots. They aid in the prevention of cancer (Singh et al. 2019). According to Yadava and Reddy (2003), roots have anti-inflammatory, antihyperlipidemic, antioxidant, and wound-healing effects (Singh et al. 2016). Additionally, the roots are utilized for dyspepsia and bloating (Bhatnagar et al. 1973; Kapoor and Kapoor 1980). The B. root extracts (ethanol and aqueous) were studied. Variegata has analgesic properties that may be caused by flavonoids, whereas its antiulcer properties may be caused by a possible link with prostaglandins (Kumar and Rajani 2011).
The dried buds have potent antioxidant qualities (Singh et al. 2016). These are employed in the management or treatment of liver, diarrhoea, piles, worms, and dysentery (Mali and Dhake 2009).
Bauhinia variegata flowers are regarded as a significant source of vitamin C. They are utilized for edoema and diarrhoea, and they also contain anthelmintic and laxative qualities (Malhotra and Moorthy 1973). (Badhe and Pandey 1990). They display anticarcinogenic behaviour (Pandey and Agarwal 2009). This study also demonstrated the antibacterial activity of the flowers, which was determined using gram +ve and gram -ve. The results showed that using a methanolic extract of B prevented the growth of bacteria. patterned flowers (Kulshrestha et al. 2011).
A microscopic examination of the trichomes that cover flowers revealed that they are uni to multicellular, broad at the base, and pointed at the apex, with thin-walled multicellular glandular trichomes that resemble balloons. Spheroidal and equatorial in view, tricolporate pollen grains have huge, thickened, circular pores that are wide open. 5 The leaf petiole’s transverse section reveals a single-layered epidermis that is protected by a thin cuticle. Cells with thin walls that are rectangular make up the epidermis. Numerous single calcium oxalate crystals can be seen on some of the cells. Vascular bundles can be seen in abundance. Both the xylem and the phloem have matured. The upper and lower epidermis of the lamina of leaves is covered by a thin cuticle and is composed of rectangular cells with thin walls. Vascular bundles of the veins are vertically visible in the mesophyll tissue. The Upper and lower epidermis with a well-developed thin cuticle is seen in the midrib of the leaves. The epidermal cells are both rectangular. Countless calcium oxalate solitary and clustered crystals are present in almost all cells. 6 Parenchyma cells with calcium oxalate crystals, arteries with helical to spiral thickening numerous crystals that are solitary and prism-shaped, and epidermal cells with anomocytic stomata can all be seen in the powder microscopy of leaves.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: What is the common name of Bauhinia Variegata?
Ans: Orchid tree, Camel’s foot, Mountain ebony, Napoleon’s hat, Paper mulberry, Poor man’s orchid, Bauhinia, kachnar, kachnal
Question: What is Bauhinia Variegata used for?
Ans: The leaves offer a good nutritional value for the healthy development of tasar silk worms and are used in medications since they are rich in reducing sugar. Biddies are made with the help of the leaves. The bark is astringent, tonic, anthelmintic, and used for scrofula and skin conditions. The root is carminative and used for dyspepsia and flatulence as well as an antidote to the snake poison. As vegetables and laxatives, the blossoms and flower buds are employed. Diarrhea, dysentery, and other stomach ailments are treated using flower juice. The dried buds are used to treat tumours, worms, piles, diarrhoea, and dysentery.
Question: Are Bauhinia flowers edible?
Question: Is Bauhinia variegata fast-growing?
Question: What is Kachnar called in English?
Ans: Mountain Ebony, Butterfly Ash, Camel’s Foot in English.
Question: What is the state flower of Bihar
Ans: Bauhinia variegate
Question: Is Bauhinia deciduous?