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Pankaj Oudhia’s Notes on Shorea robusta Gaertn.[Kirtikar, Kanhoba Ranchoddas, and Baman Das Basu. "Indian Medicinal Plants." Indian Medicinal Plants. (1918)].
Based on Ethnobotanical surveys since year 1990 in different parts of India Pankaj Oudhia has documented vital information about Medicinal Plants mentioned in the famous publication by Kirtikar and Basu (1918). Through this research document Pankaj Oudhia has tried to present original document with additional notes. For complete paper with pictures, Interactive Tables, Video and Audio clips please visit pankajoudhia.com
For original publication by Kirtikar and Basu (1918) please visit https://archive.org/details/indianmedicinalp01kirt
140. Shorea robusta, Gaertn., h.f.b.l, i. 306.
Sans. : — Sala. Asvakarna.
Vevn. :--Sal, sala, salwa, sakhu, sakher, sakoh (resin) =
rail dhuna, damar (Hind.) ; Sal, shai (resin) = rall dhuna (Beiig.) ;
Sarjmu, serkura. (Kol) ; Sarjom, Sontal ; Sorgi Bhumij, sekwa,
sekwa oraon, bolsal (Garo) ; Sakwa (Nepal) Tatural, (Lepcha) ;
Salwa, saringhi (Uriya) ; Sal, sarei, rinjal (C. P.) ; Sal, kandar
sakhu, koron (N.-W. P.) ; Koroh (Oudhj ; Sal, serai (resin) = ral,
dhua (Bomb.); (resin)=rala, guggul (Mar.); (resin) = ral,
(Guz.); (resin) = guggala (Khan.);
Habitat : — Tropical Himalaya, and along its base, from
Assam to the Sutlej, Eastern districts of Central India, Western
A large gregarious tree, deciduous, but never quite leaf-
less. Bark off young tree smooth, with a few long, deep, vertical
cracks; of old trees 1-2 in. thick, dark-coloured, rough, with deep
N. O. DIPTERROCARPEAE. 161
longitudinal furrows. Wood. Sap wood small, whitish, not dur-
able ; heartwood brown, pale, when first cut but darkening on
exposure, coarse-grained, hard, with a remarkably cross-grained
and fibrous structure ; the fibres of alternate belts in the wood
on a vertical section, running in opposite directions, so that when
the wood is dressed, a very sharp plane is necessary, or it will
not get smooth ; does not season well. Leaves, when full grown,
glabrous and shining, 6-10 by 4-6 in., petiole f-1 in., stipules fin.,
falcate, pubescent, caducous. — (W. T. Thiselton Dyer). 4-12 by
2-7 in., ovate-oblong, acuminate, tough, thinly coriaceous ; lateral
nerves 12-15 pair, twice near the apex, very slender, base cordate
or rounded ; petioles terete (Kanjilal). Flowers in large lax
terminal or axillary racemose panicles covered with white
pubescence. Calyx-tube short, adnate to the torus ; segments
ovate, all accrescent in fruit. Petals pale yellow, about Jin.
long, narrow, oblong, lanceolate, bearded, minutely trifid at apex.
Ovary 3- celled ; style subulate. Fruit \ in. long, ovoid, acute,
rather fleshy,, indehiscent, white— pubescent. Wings 5, 2-3 in.
long, spathulate, narrowed at the base, brown when dry, some-
what unequal, with 10-12 straight parallel nerves.
The tree yields, when tapped, a large quantity of white
opaline resin, which is burnt as incense. An oil is extracted
from the fruit which is used for burning and to adulterate
with ghee. The fruit is formed into flour and eaten by the
poorer classes in times of scarcity (Kanjilal ).
This is the principal tree of the Siwalik Division. In
Nepal, it attains 100-150 ft., with a clear stem, to the first
branch of 60-80 ft., and a girth of 20-25 ft. (Brandis). Within
the limits of the Siwalik and Jaunsar Flora, it is seldom more
than 80 ft. in height, and 6 ft. in girth, unless hollow inside
(Kanjilal). ''Tropical Himalaya and along its base, from Assam
to the Sutlej. Eastern Districts, Central India, western Bengal
Hills." (W.T. T. Dyer).
Parts used : — The resin and leaves. [Pankaj Oudhia’s Comment: All parts are used as medicine. Even insects specially beetles attacking Shorea are also used as medicine in Traditional Entomotherapy. Please see the Table Shor-9 for list of Medicinal Insect based Formulations in which Shorea insects are used. Diseases Shorea is used by the Traditional Healers of Central India.]
Use : — By the Hindoo writers, the resin is regarded as
astringent and detergent, and is used in dysentery, and for
fumigations, plasters, &c. The resin thrown over the fire gives
162 INDIAN MEDICINAL PLANTS.
out thick volumes of fragrant smoke, and is much used for fumi-
gating rooms occupied by the sick (U. C. Dutt).
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The superior kinds of Sal resin are efficient substitutes for
the Pine resins of the European Pharmacopoeias. (Beng. Disp.,
Dr. Sakharam Arjun states ('Bombay Drugs') that he has
seen shorea resin, mixed with sugar, given with good effect in
dysentery. [Pankaj Oudhia’s Comment: The Traditional Healers add resins from different wild tree species in the Formulations in order to make it stronger.]
According to Mr. Campbell, the leaves are used medici-
nally by the Santals.
The resin is used by native doctors for weak digestion,
gonorrhoea, and as an aphrodisiac (Watt.)
[Pankaj Oudhia’s Comment: Through Ethnobotanical surveys since year 1990 I have documented Traditional Medicinal Knowledge about over 15000 Traditional Herbal Formulations in which Shorea root is used as important ingredient. In Over 20000 Traditional Herbal Formulations Shorea bark is added. These Formulations are used both internally as well as externally. In over 50,000 Traditional Herbal Formulations Shorea resin is used as primary and secondary ingredient. In over 5000 Traditional Herbal Formulations Shorea leaves are used as Septenary ingredient. For details please see Table Shor-10 to Shor-90.]
It is not prescribed internally [Pankaj Oudhia’s Comment: Disagree.], but used occasionally for
fumigation of rooms and houses, to remove bad odours. It does
not destroy offensive smell [Pankaj Oudhia’s Comment: Disagree.], but rather conceals it under its thick
and odoriferous smoke. There is every reason to think that it
will prove itself an efficient ingredient in many ointments and
plasters, if employed, instead of pine and other resins (Moodeen
E-documents of Shorea
Oudhia, Pankaj (2013). Pankaj Oudhia’s Notes on Shorea robusta Gaertn.[Kirtikar, Kanhoba Ranchoddas, and Baman Das Basu. "Indian Medicinal Plants." Indian Medicinal Plants. (1918)]. www.pankajoudhia.com
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