Prosopis cineraria: Distribution, Classification, Plant Description, Phytochemistry, and Uses
Prosopis cineraria also known as Prosopis spicigera is small to the moderately sized tree that is native to Arabia and has spread to other parts of India, including Rajasthan, Gujarat, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu. P. cineraria has earned the nicknames “the Wonder Tree” and “Ruler of the Desert” from many groups and social orders due to the adaptability of all of its parts. In the northwest region of the Indian subcontinent, the tree plays a key role in the rural economy. The name “Kalptaru” refers to the fact that the entire tree is beneficial. It is an essential component of India’s desert plan since it produces biomass, improves desert soil, absorbs atmospheric gas, and provides an untapped resource. It increases the area’s natural stability while providing a wide range of services to people, ethereal warm-blooded creatures, and supplements deficient soils. Cases of this plant, locally referred to as “Sangri,” are one of the major components of the Rajasthani dish “Panchkuta” and are regarded as desert produce. Our older literature has discussed the significance of the restorative evaluation of this tree. The unprocessed Prosopis cineraria concentrate provides encouraging signs supporting health edges and in anticipation of a wide range of medical issues, including macromolecule and necessity. Although Prosopis is frequently planted as a rapidly growing and forgiving fuel and feed tree for the dry season, it spreads quickly without the executives’ knowledge in a significant number of countries. The Prosopis wood is an excellent source of fuel, and fuel and charcoal are crucial components of the supply chain for helping the dependent ranchers.
The Prosopis variety’s nectar, which has a protracted and abundant flowering period, is of the highest quality. The bark-derived gum is the kind of gum that is consumed in large quantities. Ranchers gather the leaves of the Prosopis family and use them as a fertilizer suggestion for agricultural fields. The Prosopis leaf variety has a certain specialized and insecticidal effect. Prosopis bark is used as a source of phenol, colour, and filaments, and is thus mostly used to prepare prescriptions for conditions affecting the mid-region, the skin, and the eyes. Variety The Prosopis tree may fix gas, which increases the soil’s actual quality and fruitfulness.
Distribution: Iran, Arabia, Afghanistan, Pakistan,
Family: Leguminosae (Fabaceae)
Common Names: Jhand, Candy, Khejari Mesquite, Sami, Shami,
1. Prosopis cineraria is a tree that may grow up to 6.5 metres tall and has cinereous cortex with multipurpose prickles. Before summer, it produces fresh flush leaves.
2. The tiny, bright yellow or pure white blossoms, which appear from March to May after the new leaf bud, are small in size. The cases immediately take shape and fill up to their full size, which takes about two months. It has a cinereous cortex with multipurpose prickles that are dispersed, straight, and very visible, as well as expansive bases in the shape of funnels.
3. Prosopis cineraria have a lengthy and well-developed root system. Although roots below the ground travel deeper in search of groundwater, growth above the ground are gradual. There have been reports of taproot penetration up to 35 metres deep.
4. The stem’s diameter ranges from 13 to 16 cm, and it is erect, branching, substantial, woody, and sturdy. The hue of young twigs is a purple green. The stem has galls and short (0.3 to 0.6 cm) spines. The woody part also has annular rings on it. The tannin sacs and gum channels in the stem tissue are frequently abundant.
5. The bark is strong, dense, and dark brown in hue. Lichens and liver warts can be found on the bark’s exterior.
6. Leaves are compound, bipinnate, stipulate, with spine-like stipules, alternate, and petiolate. Oval leaflets have a mucronate apex, an uneven base, and an entire edge with reticulate venation. The leaf measures 0.4–0.6 cm in width and 1-1.5 cm in length.
7. Racemose spikes are the inflorescence.
8. Flowers are regular, bisexual, bracteate, complete, zygomorphic, and pentamerous hypogenous. From March through May, following the first flush of new leaves, tiny, yellowish flowers start to bloom.
9. Calyx: The sepals are five-lobed, gamosepalous, valvate, and yellowish in hue.
10. Corolla: It has five gamopetalous, valvate, and yellowish petals.
11. Androecium: There are 10 free stamens. 10 filaments, 5 of which are long and 5 of which are short. Two-celled and dorsifixed anthers are present.
12. Gynoecium: Uni-locular, marginal placentation, monocarpellary superior ovary. The fashion is formal. The capitate is stigma.
13. Legume is Fruit (pod). The sickle-shaped fleshy pods, which are 10 to 20 cm long and have a sweetish, mucilaginous pulp within, are fleshy. Pods reach maturity in May and June.
14. Non-endospermic, dark brown seeds are enclosed in a brown pulp. The form of seeds is ovoid. There are 10 to 25 seeds in one fruit.
There are a variety of chemical components in Prosopis cineraria L. that are both beneficial to health and function in a specific way to prevent and treat disease. The entire plant is made up of methyl heptacosanoate, heneicosanoic acid, 4-hydroxy benzoic acid, methyl 4-hydroxycinnamate, methyl 2-methoxy-5-hydroxycinnamate, and O-Coumaroylglycrol (Khan et al., 2006). Prosogerin C, Prosogerin D, Prosogerin E, Gallic Acid, Patuletin, Patulitrin, Lutein, and Rutin are all found in the seeds (Bhardwaj et al., 1978; 1980). (Gangal et al., 2009; Iches et al., 1973). With linoleic and oleic acids, the seed has a disproportionately high amount of unsaturated fatty acids (Shankaranarayan et al., 1979).
The flowers include the flavone compounds Prosogerin A and Prosogerin B, as well as the patuletin glycoside patulitrin (Ferguson et al., 2005). (Malik et al., 2007). Prosphylline, 5, 50-oxybis-1,3 benzendiol, 3, 4, and 5 trihydro-xycinnamic acids, 2, hydroxy ethyl ester, and 5, 30, 40-trihydroxyflavanone 7-glycoside are all present in dried pods. They also contain 3-benzyl-2-hydroxy-urs-12-en28-oicacid, linoleic acid, and 3-glucoside of maslinic (Jewers et al., 1976). The leaves also include the piperidine alkaloid spicigerine as well as steroid compounds such as campesterol, cholestrol, sitosterol, stigma sterol, actacosanol, hentriacontane, methyl docosanoate, diisopropyl10,11-dihydroxyicosane-1,20-dioate, tricosan-1-ol, and 7,24-Tiruc (Robertson et al., 2011; Maideen et al., 2011).
The Prosopis cineraria tree’s usefulness for health has been emphasized in old Ayurvedic texts.
Bark: Prosopis cineraria bark has cooling properties, is an anthelmintic and tonic and treats a variety of illnesses including dysentery, bronchitis, asthma, leucoderma, piles, and muscle spasms (Kirtikar & Basu 1984). diarrhoea, worm infestations, rheumatism, colds and coughs, and skin conditions (Sharma et al.,1993). Anyone bitten by a snake or a scorpion can get treatment right away by applying the plant’s bark to their wound (Chopra et al., 1956). It has been said that using bark as a food source helped save many lives during the Rajputana servere famine of 1868–1869 It was turned into flour and used to make cakes.
Leaf: Prosopis leaves are highly nutritious and are referred to as “Long.” Prosopis leaf extract has antibacterial, antihyperglycemic, and antioxidant properties (Pal et al., 2015). Leaf smoke appears to be beneficial for eye problems. Animal mouth ulcers are treated with leaf paste on boils and blisters, while exposed skin sores are treated with leaf infusion (Nandkarni et al., 2000). Medicines for treating neurological diseases are made from leaves and fruits. Camel, goat, and cow eat the leaves as well as the pods.
Flowers are mashed, combined with sugar, and consumed during pregnancy as a preventative measure for miscarriage. When taken orally, flower and twig paste also functions as an anti-diabetic medication. (2018) Dobhal et al.
Gum: Pregnant women use tree gum during childbirth because it is nourishing, tasty, and reputed to have astringent, demulcent, and pectoral effects.
Fruits: The indigenous term for the pods is “Sangari,” and tribal peoples eat them. They also make excellent animal feed. In times of scarcity, it is eaten in the desert. For the tribal people, it provides a good source of vitamins as well. According to Maheshwari et al., Sangri pods are combined with wheat flour to create bakery goods including chapatti and bread. One of Rajasthani cuisine’s best dishes
Importance and uses
The Khejri plant is known as “Kalpavriksha of the desert,” “The king of the desert,” “The lifeline of Thar Desert,” and “The wonder tree” since every portion is advantageous to existence and has a big impact on the social life of the human. Because it can endure exceptionally hard environmental conditions, khejri is “The Great Indian Thar Desert’s” lifeline. It can withstand extremely severe temperatures of up to 450C in summer and low than 00C in winter and is resistant to frost and drought. It can thrive where there is 100–600 mm of rainfall per year. The tree can endure the stifling winds and the hottest season, and it can persist where other plants can not. Its renown for saving many lives during the Great Rajputana Famine of 1868 is one of the most significant events that make it unique.
It is referred to as the “Golden Tree” or “King of the Desert” because it offers a variety of services, including fuelwood, fodder, timber, improved soil fertility, and shade and shelter for all types of animals, livestock, and people during the sweltering heat of extreme summers. It also stabilizes income during droughts and improves the aesthetic value of the landscape. The nitrogen-fixing leguminous tree Khejri has a deep root structure that enables it to draw water from the deeper soil layers and provide hydration to the crops. Because its powdered bark may be consumed when combined with flour during a famine, it helps people. In this region, khejri (Prosopis cineraria)-based agroforestry systems increase farm revenue, family nutrition, and resilience to harsh environmental circumstances.
Agroforestry systems built on the Khejri are incredibly fruitful, varied, and effective. The only practical way to meet basic needs is through the ecosystem services provided by Khejri-based agroforestry systems, which emphasize multiple services such as food, fodder, and firewood; regulatory and supporting services such as the control of erosion, carbon sequestration, improvement in microclimate, arrest of desertification, soil fertility improvement, and biodiversity conservation; aesthetic and religious services that value farmers’ involvement and empowerment.