Traditional uses and benefits of Sangri

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Sangri Quick Facts
Name: Sangri
Scientific Name: Prosopis cineraria
Origin Western Asia and the Indian Subcontinent
Colors Light green-yellow
Shapes Elongate, sub-cylindrical pod that are 8-19 cm long and 4-7 mm in diameter
Taste Bitter, Astringent, sweet
Health benefits Asthma, bronchitis, dysentery, leucoderma, leprosy, rheumatism, muscle tremors, piles and osteo arthritis
Prosopis cineraria, popularly known as Ghaf or Sangri, are a species of flowering tree in the pea family, Fabaceae ⁄ Leguminosae. The plant is native to dry portions of Western Asia and the Indian Subcontinent, including Afghanistan, Bahrain, Iran, India, Oman, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen. It can be found in desert places where it can survive. It is an established introduced species in parts of Southeast Asia, including Indonesia. Apart from Sangri it is also known as Banni, Chaunkra, Hamra, Jambi, Jambu, Jammi chettu, Jand, Jhand, Jot, Kandi, Khaka, Khanjra, Khar, Khejdi, Khejra, Khejri, Khijado, Parampu, Perumbai, Perumbay, Sami, Sangri, Saundar, Saunder, Semru, Shami, Shami, Sheh, Shemri, Shum, Summi, Tambu and Ghaf.

It is the national tree of the United Arab Emirates and is also the state tree of Rajasthan, Western Uttar Pradesh and Telangana in India. It is supposed that the local name khejri has been derived from the name of a village Khejrali in Jodhpur district of Rajasthan. It is one of the chief indigenous trees of the Indian north western plains and gently undulating ravine lands. The tree is known by different names across the western and northern regions of India, e.g. Shami in Maharastra & Uttar Pradesh, Jammi in Telangana, Khijro in Gujarat, Khejri in Rajasthan, Janti in Haryana, and Jand in Punjab. The tree has a wide range of uses, being collected from the wild for food, medicine and various commodities. It is also cultivated in arid and semi-arid regions of the tropics and subtropics as an agro-forestry tree and for soil stabilization. It has been verified in large scale trials in Yemen as a drought resistant tree that can be used as a windbreak against sandstorms.

Sangri Facts

Name Sangri
Scientific Name Prosopis cineraria
Native Arid portions of Western Asia and the Indian Subcontinent, including Afghanistan, Bahrain, Iran, India, Oman, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen
Common Names Banni, Chaunkra, Hamra, Jambi, Jambu, Jammi chettu, Jand, Jhand, Jot, Kandi, Khaka, Khanjra, Khar, Khejdi, Khejra, Khejri, Khijado, Parampu, Perumbai, Perumbay, Sami, Sangri, Saundar, Saunder, Semru, Shami, Shami, Sheh, Shemri, Shum, Summi, Tambu, Ghaf
Name in Other Languages Arabic: Ghaf,  ghaf rmady  (غاف رمادي)
Assamese: Shomi, Somidh
Bengali: Shami
Burmese: Gandasein
English: Jand, Jandi, mesquite, khejri tree, screw-bean, Indian Mesquite, shamee, sponge tree
German: Ährenschelfe
Gujarati: Khījaḍō (ખીજડો), Samadi, Khijadi
Hindi: Jand (जंड), Khejri (खेजड़ी) Khejri, Chaunkra, Jand, Khar, Khejra, janum-chettu, khejri, banni, chanee, chani, chaunkra, chheonkar, haura, jambi, jambu, jammi, jand, jhand, jimbi, kabanni, karma, kandi, kando, khar, khejra, khejri, khigdo, kundi, parambai, parambe, perambi, perumbe, perumbu, samada, sami, sangri, saundal, saunder, sayandal, semru, shami, shema, shemi, sumri, vannee, vanni, vuckai
Kannada: Banni (ಬನ್ನಿ), Perumbai, Banni mara, Banni ele, Shamee patre, Perumbe, Perunje, Vunne, vanni Kashanti
Konkani: Shami, shemi, xembi
Malayalam: Vanni (വന്നി), Parampu, Marampu, Thawi Vanni,
Marvadi: Khejdo, jaaj, jaati
Marathi: Shemi (शमी), Saunder, savandad, shamee, shambaree
Oriya: Shami ଶମୀ
Pakistan: Jand, kandi, khejri
Persian: پرسپیس سینراریا
Punjabi: Jaḍa (ਜੰਡ), Jund, Bishnois, Janti
Rajastani: Khejri, Rhejri, Loong
Sindh: Kandi
Tamil: Vanni (வன்னி), parambai, Jambu, kalisam, kulisam, parambai, perabe, perumbe, Sami, seemaimullu, sivaa, thamali
Telugu: Jammi chettu (జమ్మి చెట్టు), Jammi, Jambi, priyadarshini, shamichetta
Plant Growth Habit Small thorny, deep-rooted, irregularly branched, multipurpose perennial, evergreen tree
Growing Climates Secondary dry deciduous forest, desert thorn forest, ravine thorn forest, Zizyphus scrub, and desert dune scrub
Plant Size 3–5 m (9.8–16.4 ft.) tall. The crooked bole is up to 30cm in diameter
Root Deep taproot going down to 3 m or even deeper (down to 20 m)
Bark Thick, rough, deeply fissured and cinereous (ash-grey in color)
Leaf Leaves are alternate, bipinnately compound with 1-3 pairs of pinnae. Each pinna has 7-14 pairs of leaflets. The leaflets are glabrous or puberulous. Leaf blade is ovate, without nerves, mucronate, 4-15 mm long and 2-4.5 mm broad
Flowering season Mid April to mid-May
Flower Small and creamy yellow flowers are borne on 5-23 cm spike-like racemes. Calyx is truncate and 0.8-1.2 mm long. Corolla is 3.5 mm long, glabrous, petals are rolled back in age
Fruit Shape & Size Elongate, sub-cylindrical pod that are 8-19 cm long and 4-7 mm in diameter. The pods contain 10-25 seeds
Fruit Color Light green-yellow
Seed Distant, longitudinal, oval-shaped and dull brown-colored and 0.3 to 0.8 cm long
Propagation By root suckers or by seeds
Taste Bitter, Astringent, sweet
Plant Parts Used Leaves, flowers, bark, fruit
Lifespan 200 years or more

Plant Description

Sangri is a small thorny, deep-rooted, irregularly branched, multipurpose perennial, evergreen tree that normally grows about 3–5 m (9.8–16.4 ft.) tall.  It has an open crown that becomes rounded under lopping. The crooked bole is 2 m high, straight, up to 30 cm in diameter. The bark is thick, rough, deeply fissured and cinereous (ash-grey in color), hence the name of the species. The tree has several inter-nodal thorns, like rose-trees. It has a deep taproot going down to 3 m or even deeper (down to 20 m). The plant is found growing in secondary dry deciduous forest, desert thorn forest, ravine thorn forest, Zizyphus scrub, and desert dune scrub. A large and well-known example of the species is the Tree of Life in Bahrain – approximately 400 years old and growing in a desert devoid of any obvious sources of water.

Leaves

Leaves are alternate, bipinnately compound with 1-3 pairs of pinnae. Each pinna has 7-14 pairs of leaflets. The leaflets are glabrous or puberulous. Leaf blade is ovate, without nerves, mucronate, 4-15 mm long and 2-4.5 mm broad. The leaflets are green in color, becoming grey when dry. The thorns are straight with a conical base and distributed sparsely along the length of the stem. They first become visible when the seedlings are 6-8 weeks old. In this respect, P. cineraria differ from the thorny New World species of Prosopis which have thorns in pairs at the nodes but thorn less internodes.

Flowers

The 0.6 cm, small and creamy yellow flowers are borne on 5-23 cm spike-like racemes. Calyx is truncate and 0.8-1.2 mm long. Corolla is 3.5 mm long, glabrous, petals are rolled back in age; anthers 0.8-1 mm long; pistil glabrous. Flowering normally takes place in between mid-April to mid-May.

Fruits

Fertile flowers are followed by elongate, sub-cylindrical pod that are 8-19 cm long and 4-7 mm in diameter. The pods contain 10-25 seeds that are distant, longitudinal, oval-shaped and dull brown-colored and 0.3 to 0.8 cm long. Pods are light green-yellow in color. Endocarp segments are thin, longitudinal, little developed.

The tree is not to be confused with the similar looking Chinese lantern tree, Dichrostachys cinerea, which can be told apart by its flowers. While the Chinese lantern tree has bicolored pink-yellow flowers, the true Shami tree only has yellow-colored bristled flowers like most other mesquites. Historically Sangri tree has played a significant role in the rural economy in the northwest arid region of Indian sub-continent. This tree is a legume and it improves soil fertility. It is an important constituent of the vegetation system. It is well adapted to the arid conditions and stands well to the adverse vagaries of climate and browsing by animals. Camels and goats readily browse it. In areas open to goat browsing, the young plants assume cauliflower shaped bushy appearance.

Medicinal Uses of Sangri

Plant Parts Medicinal Effects
Flowers
  • Flowers are known as an anti-diabetic agent.
  • Flowers can be mixed with sugar when administered orally prevent miscarriage.
Leaves
  • Leaf paste of P. cineraria is applied on boils and blisters, including mouth ulcers in livestock and leaf infusion on open sores on the skin
  • Smoke of the leaves is considered good for eye troubles and infections.
Pods
  • Dry pods help in preventing protein calorie malnutrition and iron calcium deficiency in blood.
Barks
  •  Bark used in the treatment of asthma, bronchitis, dysentery, leucoderma, leprosy, muscle tremors and piles.
  • Different extracts of stem bark possessed aweak antibacterial activity.

 

Traditional medicinal uses of various parts of Sangri

Plant Parts Disease Preparation/Use
Leaves

 

  • Dyspepsia

 

Leaves juice along with lemon juice
Pods

 

  • Earache
  • Toothache
Juice extricate from pods is used to cure earache and toothache
Leaves

 

  • Boils/ Blisters
Crush the leaves to prepare paste and apply on the affected area
Leaves

 

  • Sore skin
Infusion of leaves apply on affected sore skin
Bark

 

  • Rheumatism/
  • Scorpion stings/
  • Snake bite
Crush the bark to prepare paste and apply on the affected area
Bark

 

  • Remove hair

 

The ashes of bark are rubbed over the skin to remove hair
Flowers/Twigs

 

  • Diabetes

 

Decoction of flowers are used to treat diabetes
Flowers/Bark

 

  • Prevent miscarriage

 

Consumption of flowers along with sugar are used to prevent miscarriage
Dry Leaves

 

  • Eye inflammations

 

Get the smoke of the dry leaves
Pods

 

  • Health tonic
  • Immunity booster
Curry, Pickle
Leaves

 

  • Mouth ulcers

 

Leaves paste apply on the affected area
Bark

 

  • Cough
  • Cold Common

 

Consume bark paste
Flowers
  • Blood purifier
Consumption of flowers along with sugar for purifying blood
Flowers

 

  • Cooling effect

 

Consumption of flowers along with sugar
Bark/Leaves

 

  • Skin disease

 

Apply aqueous extract of bark and leaves on the affected area
Leaves/Seeds

 

  • Diarrhea

 

Paste of seeds and leaves to treat diarrhea
Bark

 

  • Asthma
  • Bronchitis
Paste of bark to treat diarrhea

 

Traditional uses and benefits of Sangri

  • The plant is stated to be astringent, demulcent, and pectoral.
  • It is a folk remedy for various ailments.
  • Flowers are mixed with sugar and used to prevent miscarriage.
  • Ash of the fruit is rubbed over the skin to remove hair.
  • It is used for treating asthma, bronchitis, dysentery, leucoderma, leprosy, rheumatism, muscle tremors, piles, and wandering of the mind.
  • Smoke from the leaves is recommended for eye troubles.
  • Pod is said to be astringent.
  • Although recommended for scorpion sting and snakebite, the plant has not proved to be effective.
  • Leaf paste is used to treat mouth ulcers and a leaf infusion is used to curing open sores on the skin.
  • Flowers are triturated and mixed with sugar candy and are given to a pregnant woman to avoid unexpected abortion.
  • Bark is used in the central province as a remedy for rheumatism.
  • In western India, bark is used in treating osteo arthritis.
  • It is used for the treatment of vertigo and as a brain tonic.
  • Paste of bark is applied to scorpion sting.
  • Bark is considered anthelmintic, refrigerant, and tonic, is used for asthma, bronchitis, dysentery, leucoderma, leprosy, muscle tremors, piles, and wandering of the mind.
  • Smoke from the leaves is suggested for eye troubles, but the fruit is said to be indigestible, inducing biliousness, and destroying nails and hair.

Culinary Uses

  • Pods are used as vegetable in the dried and green form.
  • Tender pods are eaten green or dried after boiling locally called sangri and used in the preparation of curries and pickles.
  • Sweetish pulp surrounding the seeds can be eaten raw or cooked.
  • It can be dried for later use.
  • Sweetish bark was ground into flour and made into cakes.
  • Pods are eaten green, dried or after boiling.
  • During famine, bark is used as food.
  • The unripe pods are used for making curry and pickle.
  • The green pods are consumed as vegetables.
  • The flour of mature pods is used for cookies preparation and other local dishes.

Other Facts

  • It is the national tree of the United Arab Emirates, where it is known as Ghaf.
  • It is also the state tree of Rajasthan, Western Uttar Pradesh and Telangana in India.
  • Prosopis cineraria, called Shami, is highly revered among Hindus and worshipped as part of Dasahra festival.
  • Trees are planted to stabilize and reforest sand dunes.
  • They can withstand periodic burial by the sand.
  • It increases fertility under its canopy.
  • The tree yields a pale to amber colored gum with properties similar to the gum acacias.
  • The bark and leaf galls are used for tanning.
  • Wood is used for making boat frames, houses, posts, and tool handles; the poor form of unimproved trees limits its use as timber.
  • In the Punjab, its rather scanty, purplish brown heartwood is preferred to other kinds for firewood.
  • It is an excellent fuel, also giving high-quality charcoal.
  • Tree is highly revered among Hindus and worshiped as part of Dusshera festival.
  • The wood is valuable to make poles and utensils.
  • It is good firewood, directly burnt or transformed into charcoal.
  • The flowers are valuable for honey production.
  • Bark can be used in leather tanning and yields an edible gum.
  • Leaves are good fodder for camels, goats and donkeys.
  • Leaves are much used as fodder.
  • Leaves are useful for green manuring.

References:

https://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=506299#null

https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxon/taxonomydetail?id=29749

https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Prosopis+cineraria

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prosopis_cineraria

https://www.cabi.org/isc/datasheet/44431

http://tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Prosopis+cineraria

https://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=PRCI4

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

https://www.feedipedia.org/node/261

https://www.flowersofindia.net/catalog/slides/Khejri%20Tree.html

http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl1.1/record/ild-31185

https://hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/duke_energy/Prosopis_cineraria.html

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