Facts and benefits of Pistacia integerrima

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Pistacia integerrima Quick Facts
Name: Pistacia integerrima
Scientific Name: Pistacia integerrima
Origin Asia
Colors Purple to blue
Shapes Globular, 4-6 mm diameter
Taste Slightly bitter
Pistacia integerrima, belonging to Anacardiaceae family, is a dioecious tree inherent to Asia and widely distributed in Pakistan, East Afghanistan, North West and West Himalaya to Kumaon growing at an altitude of 800 to 1900 meters. Some common names for the herb are zebrawood and crab’s claw. The plant has single stem with many branches and large pinnately compound leaves. Leaves are 25 cm long which consists of 2-6 pairs of lanceolate leaflets. Flowers are reddish arranged in panicles. Fruits are globular, purple to blue and about 4 to 6 mm diameter. Galls are rugose, horn shaped and hollow formed due to insect attack of Pemphigus species. Galls are store houses of secondary metabolites.

The plant parts such as bark, leaf, root and galls are reported to possess secondary metabolites. Galls are used in folk medicines. It is used in various Ayurvedic formulations such as Dasamularista, Shringyad curna and Chayavanaprasa and use for treating diseases such as tuberculosis, asthma, heart disease, indigestion, liver disorder and fever. Secondary metabolites are tannins, alkaloids, flavonoids and terpenoids. The minor constituents are gum mastic, crystalline hydrocarbon, crystalline acids and resinous substance. Bark contains flavonoids and terpenoids. Leaves and roots contain terpenoids and tannins.

Habit and geographical distribution

It is found in England, Nepal, Myanmar, India, Bhutan, Afghanistan and Pakistan. In Pakistan, it is grown in the Temperate Himalayas Mountains.  It is found at an altitude of 600-2500 meters from sea levels.  It grows in a tropical climate.

Roots, stem and leaves

 It is a deciduous multi-branched tree with dark gray and blackish bark and usually grows to 18 meters. Leaves are 20 to 25 cm long with or without leaflets. Leaflets are 4 to 5 pairs, coriaceous, lanceolate, pari or imparipinnate and base oblique. Leaves are dark green that turns bright red in autumn.

Flower and fruit

Flowers are in lateral panicles. Male is a compact pubescent and female lax and elongated. Plant bears flowers and fruits in spring with large clusters of yellowish-brown colored fruit in winter.

Medicinal uses

  • Galls are used for treating cough, dysentery, asthma, liver disorders and snake bites.
  • The plant is used for treating various diseases such as coughs, dyspeptic vomiting, appetite, phthisis, dysentery and asthma.
  • Take roasted galls with honey for diarrhea and cough asthma in northern areas of Pakistan.
  • In Pakistan, galls are also used for hepatitis and other liver problems.
  • Use the galls with other drugs for scorpion sting and snake bites.
  • Boil bark in water and extract is used for hepatitis and jaundice.
  • Stem resin is used to heal wounds.
  • In India, galls are used for treating respiratory ailments.
  • In India, it is used as a remedy for chronic bronchitis, vomiting, psoriasis, fever and promotes appetite.

Culinary uses

  • Cook young shoots and leaves as vegetable.
  • Roast the seeds and consume as confectionery.














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