This tree, in Sanskrit, was called Lodhra, Rodhra or Srimata meaning “propitious”, and “Tilaka” because it was used in making the Tilaka mark on the forehead. A decoction of the bark was used for gargling when the gums were spongy and bleeding (Susruta). Roxburgh remarks that the bark was popular among the dyes of red in Calcutta and seemed to be used as a mordant only. In Europe it was formerly looked upon as a cinchona bark and had been known at various times as “Ecorce de lautour”, “China nova”, “China calafornica”, “China Brasilarsis”, and “China paraquatan”. It was also known as “Lotus Bark”.
It grows abundantly in the plains and lower hills throughout North and East India, ascending in the Himalayas up to an elevation of 1,400 m; southwards it extends up to Chota Nagpur.
Morphology Description (Habit)
S.racemosa is an evergreen tree or shrub. The leaves are dark green above, orbicular, elliptic oblong, coriaceous and glabrous above; the flowers are white, turning yellow, fragrant, in axillary, simple or compound racemes; the drupes are purplish black, subcylindric, smooth and 1-3 seeded.
Three alkaloids, viz. loturine, loturidine and colloturine.
The astringent bark is given for the treatment of diarrhea, dysentery andliver complaints. It is recommended in the treatment of menorrhagia and other uterine disorder.