Soft Bollygum
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Soft Bollygum
ative Photo: Tabish
Common name: Indian Laurel • Assamese: Heluka • Bengali: কুকুরচিতা Kukurachita • Hindi: Medh, Chandna, मैदा लकड़ी Maidalakri • Kannada: Lakki, Lakkdi, ಮೈದಲಕ್ಡಿ Maida lakdi, ನರ್ರಲಗಿ Narralagi • Manipuri: ꯆꯤꯡꯖꯥꯢ Chingjai • Marathi: Maidalakdi, Ranamba, Maida lakadee • Oriya: Gajphala gatcho • Sanskrit: Medasaka • Tamil: Muchaippeyetti, Uralli, Elumburukki • Telugu: Kanugu nalike, Meda, Mara-nalike
Botanical name: Litsea glutinosa    Family: Lauraceae (Laurel family)
Synonyms: Litsea laurifolia, Sebifera glutinosa, Tetranthera laurifolia

Indian Laurel is an evergreen or deciduous trees, 3-15 m tall. Young branchlets are gray-yellow velvety. Alternately arranged leaves are carried on 1-2.6 cm long gray-yellow velvety stalks. Leaves are mostly elliptic but variable, 7-15 x 3-7 cm, velvety on both surfaces when young, lateral veins 5-12 pairs. Leaf base is wedge-shaped blunt or rounded, tip blunt or shortly tapering. Flowers are borne in solitary or several, few-flowered umbels on short branchlets. Stalks carrying the umbels are 1-1.5 cm. Male flowers have petals imperfect or missing. Fertile stamens are often 15 or more. Fruit is round, 5-7 mm in diameter, fruit-stalk is 3-6 mm, slightly thickened at the top. Flowering: May-June.
Medicinal uses: The root bark and leaves are used medicinally to reduce fever, reduce swelling, and treat diarrhoea. They also may be used for treating furunculosis. The leaves, and the mucilage in the gum from the bark, have been used for making poultices. The bark acts as a demulcent and mild astringent in the treatment of diarrhoea and dysentery. A decoction of the bark is used in the treatment of intestinal catarrh.

Identification credit: J.M. Garg Photographed in Imphal, Manipur.

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