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Plant Name: Pterocarpus marsupium Roxb.

Common name:

Marathi:              Bivala, Beeja

Hindi:                    vijaysar

English:                Indian kino, Malabar Kino

Jawhar:                Beeja


Interesting facts and history

It is grown as shade tree in coffee plantations and is often cultivated as a multipurpose tree in home gardens and as component of agroforestry systems in India.


Identification guide



Indian Kino Tree is up to 30 m tall, bark 10-15 mm, surface grey or greyish-black, rough, deeply vertically cracked, exfoliations small, irregular, fibrous; blaze pink; exudation blood-red.


Flowers are bisexual, yellow, at branch-ends and in leaf-axils, borne in panicles; 1.0-1.2 cm long; bracts small, dioecious; bracteoles, falling off; sepal tube bell-shaped, sepals short, the upper often fused; flowers are protruding; petals 5, all long-clawed, crisped along the margins; standard round, wings oblique, obovate, eard; keel petals oblique, small, slightly fused; stamens.


Leaves are compound, alternate; stipules small, lateral, falling off; axis 6.5-11.1 cm long, slender, hairless.


Leaflets are 5-7, alternate, estipulate; leaflet-stalk 6-10 mm, slender, hairless; blade 3.5-12.5 x 2-7 cm, elliptic-oblong, oblong-ovate or oblong, base blunt or pointed, tip blunt and notched, margin entire, hairless, leathery; lateral nerves 9-20 pairs, parallel, prominent.


Fruit is a pod, 2.5-5 cm across, round-kidney-shaped, broadly winged; seed one, somewhat kidney-shaped.


Habit / Habitat

A tree mainly found in deciduous forests at low elevations.



1) Availability of the plant species in India: It is commonly found in the Western Ghats ranging from Maharshtra to Kerala region and also in the forests of Central India

2) Global distribution: India, Nepal and Sri Lanka               


Edible parts

World wide use                                                 Bark

Used by tribal community in Jawhar       Leaves


Method of consumption



Jawhar tribal

Young leaves boiled and cooked used as vegetable.

Other Recipe    

Medicinal use: Jawhar 

Bark powder used to cure dental problem

Medicinal use: Other

Bark is extensive used for its anti-diabetic properties


Nutritional and medicinal information


Pharmaceutical significance

  1. The potential effects of aqueous extract of Pterocarpus marsupium (AEPM) on elevated inflammatory cytokine, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α in type 2 diabetic rats was investigated. Two doses were being tested, i.e., 100 and 200 mg/kg. Both doses of AEPM, decreased the fasting and postprandial blood glucose in type 2 diabetic rats. The 200 mg/kg had more pronounced effect on postprandial hyperglycemia as well as it modulated the inflammatory cytokine TNF-α. Rasayana property of P. marsupium not only proved its potential as an anti-diabetic but also improved the body weight of diabetic animals.


  1. The crude powder, ethanolic extract and aqueous, chloroform, hexane and n-butanol soluble fractions of ethanolic extract of heart wood of P. marsupium also proved its anti-diabetic properties. All the extracts except aqeous showed remarkable results in increasing the oral glucose tolerance post sucrose load. The ethanolic extract ofi also showed marked anti-dyslipidemic (imbalance of lipids) effects on high fat diet fed Syrian golden hamsters. Hence it can be concluded that, phenolic-C-glycosides present in P. marsupium heart wood are the phytoconstituents responsible for the anti-hyperglycemic activity and anti-diabetic activity of its heart wood.


Harvesting and preserving

Leaves could be collected from wild.

Its bark and latex could be stored



How to grow it?

1. Sow the seeds in pots and allow them to germinate. Later plant them in the areas which are sunny and having well drained, deep, rich, light to medium soil.

2. It grows best in areas where the mean annual temperature falls within the range 22 - 34° C and prefers a distinct dry season. Rainfall requirement is 1,000- 1,500mm.

3. Prefers a pH in the range 6 – 7 and this species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen.


Method of storage:

Propagules are stored in the form of seeds


Other uses

The Kannada people in India make a wooden tumbler from the heartwood of this herb tree. It is believed to have anti-diabetic effects and it is widely used for the cure of diabetes type 2.



Kingdom:            Plantae

Division:              Spermatophyta

Sub-division:     Angiospermae

Class:                    Diocotyledonae

Sub-Class:           Polypetalae

Series:                  Calyciflorae

Order:                   Rosales

Family:                 Leguminosae

Sub-family:        Papilionaceae

Genus:                 Pterocarpus

Species:               marsupium











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