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Research Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry
Year : 2015, Volume : 7, Issue : 4
First page : ( 227) Last page : ( 231)
Print ISSN : 0975-2331. Online ISSN : 0975-4385.
Article DOI : 10.5958/0975-4385.2015.00035.7

A Review on Sappan Wood-A Therapeutic Dye Yielding Tree

Mekala K.*, Radha R.

Department of Pharmacognosy, College of Pharmacy, Madras Medical College, Chennai-600003

*Corresponding Author E-mail: mailmekala.r@gmail.com

Online published on 8 December, 2015.


The plant Caesalpinia sappan is a small leguminous tree upto 10m in height belonging to the Caesalpiniaceae family, with an orange-red hard Heartwood with spiny trunk, which besides being useful in turnery gives a red dye. It is commonly known as Brazil or Sappan wood, native to tropical Asia, also grown as a hedge plant. The plant is being used worldwide for a large number of traditional medicinal purposes including anti-tumour, antiinflammatory, immunosuppressive, anti-diabetic, anti-allergic, cardioactive, neurotoxicity, anti-bacterial, antiacne, anemia, tuberculosis and some other activities. The main active constituent is Brazilin, and together triterpenoids, flavanoids, lipids, steroids, aminoacids etc are found. Leaves yield volatile oil, 0.16 to 0.25%; pods contain 40% tannin; seeds yield 32.1% and 34.4% mucilage and straw-yellow, edible oil(7.5%) having a characteristic smell; roots contains caesalpin-type diterpenoids along with sitosterol. In folklore medicine it is used as a herbal drinking water for its blood purifying, anti-thirst, anti-tumour and to improve complexion in Kerela. It has the potential to hit the market as a safe natural colouring agent with good medicinal value for pharmaceuticals, food products and beverages. The plant is one of the ingredients of an indigenous drug ‘Lukol’ which is administered orally for the treatment of non-specific leucorrhoea. The present article summarizes review on the plant, its phytochemistry and its pharmacological activity which have been reported.



Caesalpinia sappan, phytochemicals, Anti-tumour, Immunosuppressive, Cardioactive.


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