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Sarita Karole*, Dr. Greindra Gautam, Dr. Shailsh Gupta

Bhagwant University, Ajmer, Rajesthan


Bombax ceiba Linn. is a tall tree buttressed at the base that is widely distributed throughout India, Ceylon and Malaya, upto 1500 m of altitude. Bombax ceiba is commonly known as silk cotton tree and semal which belongs to family Bombacaceae. Its medicinal usage has been reported in the traditional systems of medicine such as Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani. It has wide range of medicinal and pharmacological application. Many parts of the plant (root, stem bark, gum, leaf, prickles, flower, fruit, seed and heartwood) are used by various tribal communities and forest dwellers for the treatment of a variety of ailments. The plant literature survey shows the plant possesses astringent, cooling, stimulant, diuretic, aphrodisiac, demulcent, and tonic effects and also helps in dysentery. It also possesses important pharmacological activity such as aphrodisiac, anti-inflammatory and hepatoprotective activity in addition to anticancer and anti-HIV activity, anti-Helicobacter pylori, antiangiogenic, analgesic and antioxidant activity and hypotensive, hypoglycemic and antimicrobial activity. It is reported to contain important phytoconstituents such as naphthol, naphthoquinones, polysaccharides, anthocyanins, shamimin and lupeol. This paper provides an overview on pharmacological, phytochemical properties and therapeutic benefits of the plant.

Keywords: Bombax ceiba, Simbal, Simul, Ethnobotanical uses, Phytochemistry, Pharmacological activities.

[Full Text Article]