Botanical name: Helicteres isora Family: Sterculiaceae (Cacao family)
East-Indian screw tree is a sub-deciduous shrub or small tree with grey coloured bark. Leaves simple, serrate margin, scabrous above and pubescent beneath. Flowers solitary or in sparse clusters, with red petals turning pale blue when old. Fruits greenish brown, beaked, cylindrical, spirally twisted on ripening. The twisted shape of the fruit is what lends most of it names like screw tree and maror phali.Identification credit: Pravin Kawale
Medicinal uses: The roots and stem barks are considered to be expectorant, demulcent, astringent and antiglactagogue. Bark is used in diarrhoea, dysentery, scbies, biliousness and is useful in gripping of the bowels. Root juice is used in antidiarrhoeal and antidysenteric formulations. Fried pods are given to children to kill intestinal worms.
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