Scientific name – Bauhinia variegata
Family – Fabaceae
Kachnar is closely related to peacock flower and Kachnar tree is considered as a beautiful tree in the world when it blooms. Orchid tree, camel’s foot tree, mountain ebony, butterfly ash, poor man’s orchid, the ebony tree all are common names of Kachnar. It is an ornamental tree with beautiful and scented flowers. This tree is used to attract hummingbirds in parks and gardens. Leaves, flowers, and flower buds of kachnar tree are eaten as a vegetable. Buds of this tree are very beautiful as well as very delicious by taste. Flowers of this plant are the richest source of vitamin c. In Ayurvedic medicine system, it is best herb for krimi roga (worm infestation), apchi (lymphadenitis) gandmala (scrofula) and varna (wounds). This herb is anti- bacterial, anti-fungal, cytotoxic, anti-inflammatory, pain and fever alleviating and thyroid regulating herb.
Kachnar is a deciduous tree of small to medium sized height up to 15mt with spreading crown and a short bole. Twigs of the tree are slender, light green, angled, hairy and brownish grey in color. The outer bark is scaly, smooth to slightly fissured and brownish grey in color and the inner bark is pinkish in color, fibrous and bitter. Leaves of the tree are bi-lobed with minute stipules, ovate to circular, 10-13 nerved and upper surface of leaves are glabrous. Leaves of the plant are just like camel’s hoof print. Flowers are reminiscent of showy orchids and have five slightly overlapped and irregular petals of yellow and pinkish purple color. The Cluster of flowers is unbranched at the end of twigs. Scented flowers show its first appearance in late winters when the tree is bare of leaves. Fruit is dehiscent pod; strap- shaped contains various flat seeds and about 15- 30cm long.
काञ्चनारः काखनको गण्डाररः शोणपुष्पकः ॥ १०१ ॥ कु ण्डऱी ताम्रपुष्पश्चाश्मन्तकः स्वल्पके शरी ॥ १०२ ॥
कोववदारोऽवप तद्वत्सस्यात्सतयोः पुष्पं ऱघु स्मतम ् । रूक्षं संग्राहि वपत्सतात्रप्रदरक्षयकासनुत ् ॥ १०४ ॥
Kachnar, kanchnak, gandari and shonpushpak are various synonyms of Kachnar. Kovidar, marik, kuddal, yugpatrak, kundali, tamrpushp, ashmantak and swalpkeshri are synonyms of kanchanar. • This herb is cold by potency, astringent by taste, pacifies pitta and kapha dosha and very effective in worm infestation, hemorrhoids, rectal prolapse, cervical lymphadenitis, an wounds. Both varieties have equal action and properties.
• Flowers of both the species are light, rough, used in bleeding disorders, cough and in tuberculosis.
Stem Bark Contents:
• ascorbic acid,
• keto acid,
• amino acid,