Traditional uses and benefits of Indian Willow

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Indian Willow Quick Facts
Name: Indian Willow
Scientific Name: Salix tetrasperma
Origin From Afghanistan and the Punjab eastwards throughout South-East Asia including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Laos, Thailand and southern China
Shapes Capsules are long, stipulate, in groups of 3 to 4.
Taste Sweet, bitter
Health benefits Support epilepsy, rheumatism, bladder stones, hemorrhoids, epilepsy, diabetes, hepatitis, piles, wound, ear pain, dysentery, cough and cold, bloody diarrhea, splenomegaly, hepatomegaly and jaundice
   Salix tetrasperma, commonly called Indian willow, locally known as ঊযুম (ooyum) is a medium sized tree belonging to Salicaceae (Willow family). The plant is native from Afghanistan and the Punjab eastwards throughout South-East Asia including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Laos, Thailand and southern China; in Malesia in Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra, Java, Lesser Sunda Islands (Bali and Nusa Tenggara), East Kalimantan and the Philippines. In Peninsular Malaysia, only the male sex has been introduced. Few of the popular common names of the plants are Indian willow, Atrupalai, Bains, Niranji, Panijama and Vanchimaram.

In Manipur, in NE India, the new flowers of Indian willow are eaten, and are considered delicious. The wood is light, soft, even-grained, and is used for planking and rough carpentry. The twigs are used to make baskets. This species also has medicinal properties. It is often planted for soil protection, especially on rice field boundaries or riverbanks. Willows are rarely grown from seed but can easily be propagated from sets or cuttings. Due to its wide range the study of provenances is likely to be important. Rust and powdery mildew may cause damage to the foliage. It is reproduced both from seed and by vegetative means. Seed are small and wind disseminated. However most trees result from root suckers or cuttings. It is relatively fast growing. Diameter growth of 0.7 to 2 cm/yr. has been reported. Grains are straight, fine, and even textured. Wood is moderately light and soft having Specific gravity of 0.49.

Indian Willow Facts

Name Indian Willow
Scientific Name Salix tetrasperma
Native From Afghanistan and the Punjab eastwards throughout South-East Asia including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Laos, Thailand and southern China; in Malesia in Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra, Java, Lesser Sunda Islands (Bali and Nusa Tenggara), East Kalimantan and the Philippines. In Peninsular Malaysia, only the male sex has been introduced
Common Names Indian willow, Atrupalai, Bains, Niranji, Panijama, Vanchimaram
Name in Other Languages Arabic: Safsaf (صفصاف), safsaf afranjaa (صفصاف افرنجى)
Assamese: Bheha (ভেহ), veh
Bengali: Biyasa (বিয়াস), Panijama, baishakhi (বৈশাখী), pani jama (পানী জমা)
Burmese: Momaka
Cambodian: Sampaet
Chinese: Si ZI liu (四子柳)
English: Indian willow, Atrupalai, Bains, Niranji, Panijama, Vanchimaram
French: Saule d’Inde
Garo: Bhesh, bol-slak
German: Roxburghs Weide
Hindi:  Badah, Badhla, Baishi, Bhinsu, Pani jama, Sukul bet, Valunja (वाळुंज), Veta, bains, jalvetas, bains, laila, Bod, Jalmala, bed-laila (बेद लैला), bakshel (बक्षेल), bedha (बेधा), begas (बेगस), bent (बेंट), bhains (भैन्स), jalmala (जलमाला), magsher (मगशेर)
Marathi: Bachcha (बच्चा), baka (बाका), bitsa (बितसा), bok (बोक)
Indonesian: Dalu-dalu, Leri
Javanese: Anjang anjang
Laotian: Kh’aiz khaw, Kh’aiz ngiwz, Kh’aiz munz
Kannada: Baiche mara (ಬೈಚೆ ಮರ), Neeruvanji (ನೀರುವಂಜಿ), Neeranji (ನೀರಂಜಿ), Neerumanji (ನೀರುಮಂಜಿ)
Kashmiri: Vir (वीर्)
Khasi: Jamynrei
Konkani: Walunj (वाळुंज)
Malaya: Dalu dalu, Dedalu, Medalu, Mer nalu air, Sendalu
Malay: Pokok Dedalu
Malayalam: Arali (അരളി), Arrupala (അര്രുപല),  Attupala (അട്ടുപല), Nirunchi (നിരുഞ്ചി), Nirunni (നിരുഞ്ഞി),  Vanchi (വഞ്ചി), Vanti (വണ്ടി), Vetasa (വെടാസ ), Puzhappanji, vanchi, Vachimaram
Malaysia: Dedaln india, nalu air, sendalu
Manipuri: Ooyum (ঊযুম)
Marathi:  Bithsa, Bitsa, Valunja (वाळुंज), Valunja, walunj
Mizo: Tuipuisuthlah
Myanmar: Momaka, yenè
Nepal: Bains
Pakistan: Bins
Philippines: Bai-bai
Punjabi:  Bisa
Russian: Iva chetyrekhsemyannaya (ива четырехсемянная)
Sanskrit:  Nadeya,  Jalavetasaḥ (जलवॆतसः), Vanira, Vanjula, Vetasa, naadeya, Jalvetas, nadeya (नादेय), vanira (वानीर), vanjula (वञ्जुल), varuna (वरुणा)
Santal: Gada
Sinhalese:  Saliks tetrasperma (සලික්ස් තෙත්‍රස්පෙර්ම)
Sundanese: Kapeh kapeh
Tamil: Celamakitam, Celamakitamaram, Cuvetavanci, Cuvetavancimaram, Vanci, Vancimaram, Vanji, caliks (சாலிக்ஸ்) Ṭeṭrāsparmā (டெட்ராஸ்பர்மா), Artupalai, Nirvani, arru-p-palai (ஆற்றுப்பாலை), cuvetam (சுவேதம்), nir-vanci (நீர்வஞ்சி)
Telugu:  Etipaala, Etipisinika, Vodime, konda ganneru (కొండగన్నేరు)
Thai:  Sanun (สนุ่น), Tanun (ตุ หนุ่น),  Ta khrai bok (ตะไคร้ บก), Snun (สนุ่น), Ta krai bok, Khrai, Khrai nun, sanun nam (สนุ่นน้ำ), tanun (ตะหนุ่น), khrai yai (ไคร้ใหญ่), khrai (ไคร้), nga-lu (งาลู), da-lu (ดาลู), ma-da-lu (มาดาลู), takhrai bok (ตะไคร้บก), sanun (สนุ่น), khrai nun (ไคร้นุ่น), khrai bok (ไคร้บก)
Urdu:  Burg baid sada
Plant Growth Habit Small to medium sized deciduous tree
Growing Climates Swampy areas, on river islands, and on the banks of water courses
Soil Grows on a variety of rich, sandy loam soils that are well drained
Plant Size 6 to 12 m tall with diameters of 0.4 to 1.0 m.
Bark Bark is rough, with deep, vertical fissures and the young shoots leaves are silky
In Leaf October–December
Leaf Leaves are lanceolate, 8 to 15 centimeters long, with minutely and regularly toothed margins
Flowering season December – March
Flower Male sweet scented catkins are 5–10 cm long, and are borne on leafy branchlets. The female catkins are 8–12 cm long.
Fruit Shape & Size Capsules are long, stipulate, in groups of 3 to 4
Taste Sweet, bitter
Plant Parts Used Bark, leaves, roots, flowers, stem sap
Season April
Culinary Uses
  • In India, the new flowers are lightly boiled and mixed with mashed potatoes.
Precautions
  • High doses and prolonged usage can cause stomach irritation, nausea and constipations.
  • Seek advice for its usage in pregnancy and lactation.

Plant Description

Indian Willow is a small to medium sized deciduous tree that normally grows about 6 to 12 m tall with diameters of 0.4 to 1.0 m. The trunk is erect, with a large crown. The bark is rough, with deep, vertical fissures. The young shoots and young leaves are silky. It is a light-demanding species, which may tolerate a wide range of climatic conditions. It is usually found along watercourses and in other moist areas, therefore in drier areas its growth is not dependent on rainfall. Normally the plant prefers wet and swampy places. Shedding of its leaves start at the end of monsoon season.

Leaves

The leaves are lance-like, or ovate-lance like, 8–15 cm long, with minutely and regularly toothed margins. It flowers after leafing.

Flowers

Indian Willow is dioecious plant. The male and female catkins are borne on leafy shoots. The sweet scented male catkins are 2.5 to 12.5 cm long and are borne on leafy branchlets, while the female catkins are 2.5 to 12.5 cm long. Flowering and seed production occurs between February and May. It does coppice.

Fruit

Fertile flowers are followed by capsules that are long, stipulate, in groups of 3 to 4. Normally 4 to 6 seeds are found in a capsule.

Distribution

The tree is native to the sub-continent including Pakistan. It occurs in swampy areas, on river islands, and on the banks of water courses. In Pakistan it is found in the Murree hills, Kahuta, Hazara, Swat, Azad Kashmir, Quetta, Kurram and Gilgit. It has been successfully planted in the plains of Afghanistan and in the Peshawar valley. It is an intolerant tree that grows on a variety of rich, sandy loam soils that are well drained. It is adapted to a precipitation zone of 750 to 1250 mm/yr. or more, within an elevation range of 300 to 1600 m and within a temperature range of -10 to 40°C. It prefers a sub-humid, semi-arid, sub-tropical, monsoon to temperate climate and is frost hardy.

Ethno botanical uses of Indian Willow (medicinal uses)

Location Uses
Central Punjab, Pakistan Bark is used as febrifuge
Bangladesh Febrifuge
Nagaland, India Decoction of bark is used in fever
Tharu tribes, Himalayan Terai region of India Bark in fever; Leaves with sugar in rheumatism, epilepsy, venereal diseases, Wild bladder stone, piles and swellings
Kozhenchery Taluk, Pathanamthitta District, Kerala, India Rheumatism, Antiepileptic, Swelling, Piles, Venereal diseases, Stones in bladder
Indo-Burma region, India Bark is febrifuge
Neelum Valley, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan Anodyne and febrifuge
Wayanad, Kerala, India Roots are used in diabetes
District Bannu, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan Leaves poultice to wounds, leaf juice for ear pain, roots in cough and cold, seeds in dysentery
Western Mizoram, India Bark is used as febrifuge
Karamar valley, district Swabi, Pakistan Bark is used in fever and leaves for piles and rheumatism
Meghalaya, northeast India Bark febrifuge; dried and powdered leaves with sugar in rheumatism, epilepsy, piles, swellings, stones in bladder
Lahaul valley, Himachal Pradesh, India Fever
Dehradun, India Fever
Jalgaon district, Maharashtra, India Management of wounds

 

Ethno-botanical uses of Indian Willow (non-medicinal uses)

Location Uses
Wayanad wildlife sanctuary, Kerala, India Twigs are used for making basket
Mao-Naga tribe, Manipur, India Log of the plant is used for making traditional utensils.

Plant is grown as soil binder on embankments.

Agra Valley Parachinar, upper Kurram agency, Pakistan Wood is used as fuel and in making agricultural tools
Siran Valley, District Mansehra, Pakistan Construction, furniture, fencing, roofing, fuel wood
Ashezai and Salarzai Valleys, District Buner, Pakistan Wood
Sargodha district, Punjab, Pakistan Ornamental
Chagharzai valley, district Buner, Pakistan Fuel wood, timber, roofing material
Dawarian village, Neelum valley, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan Used as fuel, foliage is used as fodder, wood is used as making sport articles
Himachal Pradesh, India Used in making agricultural equipment and house construction, as timber
District Ghizer, Gilgit, Baltistan Leaf is used as fodder, stem is used as fence and fuel
Ghulamo tibmber market Mardan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan Timber and fuel
Allai valley, district Battagram, Pakistan Fuel and timber
Temperate zones of Pakistani Hindukush-Himalaya Stem is used as fuel wood; leaves are used as fodder
District Rajouri, Jammu and Kashmir, India Shoot looped for cattle fodder

 

Traditional uses and benefits of Indian Willow

  • On the Malay Peninsula a cold decoction of the leaves is used as a lotion for an ulcerated nose.
  • Bark is used to treat fever.
  • It is used in Egyptian folk medicine as anti-rheumatic sedative and analgesic.
  • Leaves and bark is used as remedy for aches.
  • Paste of both leaf and root is used externally for scorpion stings, bug bites, sores and warts.
  • Decoction of dried root is taken internally for treatment of hepatitis.
  • In Pakistan, bark is used as febrifuge; leaves used to poultice wounds.
  • In India, bark used for epilepsy, rheumatism, bladder stones, hemorrhoids, epilepsy; roots used for diabetes.
  • It is used to treat rheumatism, piles, VD, bladder stones, epilepsy and swelling.
  • In Bangladesh, bark decoction of Indian Willow is used to bring down high body temperature (fever).
  • Ethno-medicinally, the plant is used to treat ailments such as diabetes, fever, piles, epilepsy, rheumatism, swellings, and stones in bladder, wound, ear pain, dysentery, cough and cold.
  • Leaf juice is used to treat bloody diarrhea, splenomegaly, hepatomegaly and jaundice.
  • Leaves are dried, powdered and used along with sugar to treat rheumatic arthritis, swelling, epilepsy, venereal diseases, bladder stone and piles.
  • Sap of the stem is used orally to treat painful menstruation.
  • Roots are used to treat diabetes, cough and cold.
  • Decoction of the roots and leaves are used to treat whooping cough in kids.
  • Dried leaves possess cardio tonic and neuro-tonic activity.
  • Leaf and root paste is applied externally to heal wounds, warts, sores, scorpion stings and bug bites.
  • Leaf juice is used as ear drops to heal ear pain.
  • Hot water extract of the entire plant is used in vaginal canal to induce abortion and used rectally to treat sores in the rectum.
  • Tribes of the Keonjhar district of Orissa drink the bark paste properly suspended in water to treat diabetes mellitus.
  • Its bark has been used in traditional medicine in many countries to alleviate pain, fever, and inflammation.
  • It also strengthens the heart and can be given in bleeding disorders.
  • It can also be given to reduce hematemesis, bronchiectasis and dyspnea.
  • Its decoction is used in piles to reduce pain and stop bleeding.
  • It acts as a digestive and reduces water content from the fecal matter.
  • It acts as a diuretic and hence can be given in dysurea and renal stones.
  • It acts as an aphrodisiac and can be given in problems related to nightfall. (20 drops half an hour before sleeping taken along with 30 ml of water)
  • It also relieves vaginal problems.
  • It is helpful in hyper pyrexial conditions.
  • It is used in eye irritations and headaches.

Other Facts

  • It is planted along water courses to prevent erosion.
  • It is used for making cricket bats and light furniture.
  • Soft twigs are used in weaving of baskets.
  • Woods are used as a good gun-powder-charcoal, used for making of Cricket bats.
  • The non-medicinal applications of the plant includes the use of plant as fodder, soil binder on embankments and fuel and in making baskets, agricultural tools, sports articles, furniture and roofing material.
  • Planted on the bunds of wet rice fields in Peninsular Malaysia for soil protection.
  • It is also planted in regularly pollarded and coppiced hedges to delimit field boundaries.

References:

https://gd.eppo.int/taxon/SAXTE

http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl1.1/record/tro-28300561

http://www.stuartxchange.com/Malatiki

http://www.flowersofindia.net/catalog/slides/Indian%20Willow.html

https://indiabiodiversity.org/species/show/261494

https://www.cabidigitallibrary.org/doi/10.1079/cabicompendium.48709

https://uses.plantnet-project.org/en/Salix_tetrasperma_(PROSEA)#Synonyms

http://www.worldfloraonline.org/taxon/wfo-0001133625

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