Palasha, Bastard Teak (Butea monosperma)

Butea is a medium-sized tree that grows in dry places and during dry seasons. This deciduous tree can reach a height of 15 meters. This tree is known as the flame of the forest because of its dark orange or scarlet blossoms. The tree bark is fibrous, twisted, and tortuous on the outside and bluish-grey or dark brown on the inside. This tree's bark has a reddish exudate. The leaves are trifoliate, with long petioles and tiny stipules. The leaflets are leathery and oval in form, with 7-8 pairs of lateral veins. Flowers are 2.5cm long, orange-red or scarlet in hue, and grow in 15cm racemes. The fruits are indehiscent pods that are 15-20cm long and 4-5cm wide. Small brown hairs cover the outside of the fruits. The seeds are 3cm long, ellipsoid in shape, and flattened. This tree's flowering season lasts from February to April, and its fruits appear from May to July. Gum kino is the name given to gum derived from this tree.

General information

Butea is widely utilized in Ayurveda for its therapeutic properties. Butea monosperma is also known as Flame of the Forest, bastard teak, battle of Plassey tree, Parrot Tree, Bengal Kino, and Palas Tree. The phrase "dhak ke teen paat" (three leaflets of butea) is commonly used in Hindi. From March to July, this tree transforms into a forest fire because it is completely covered in orange-red blossoms. In the past, flowers were used to make Holi colors. It is the state flower of India's Jharkhand. In India, dried plant leaves are used to form disposable leaf plates and bowls for serving meals. Charcoal is made from high-quality butea. Its wood pulp is extremely soft and is used to make newsprint.

The blooms and bark of this tree were utilized to make numerous medicines by Acharya Charak and Shushrut. It is used as an anthelmintic and tonic in Ayurveda. Chakardutta claims that its seeds are anti-parasitic and that its gum is astringent.

Butea leaves contain glucoside, linoleic acid, oleic acid, and lignoceric acid. Gallic acid, palasitrin, butrin, butolic acid, cyaniding, Lupenone, and palasimide are all found in the bark. Tannins, pyrocatechin, and mucil isaginous compounds are found in gum. Flavonoids, triterpenes, butein, butin, isobutrin, coreopsin, isocoreopsin, and sulphurein are abundant in flowers.

All parts of this plant have anti-microbial, anti-fertility, anti-helminthic, anti-diarrheal, anti-hypertensive, anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory, and hepatoprotective properties.


Butea monosperma is primarily found in the Indian subcontinent's tropical and subtropical climates. It is also available in Southeast Asia, where it can be found in India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Malaysia. It is common in India's dry regions, open grasslands, and other wastelands.


  • Kingdom - Plantae
  • Order - Fabales
  • Family - Fabaceae


  • Hindi name - Dhak, Palas, Tesu, Palaash
  • English name - bastard teak, Bengal Kino, Flame of the Forest 
  • Bengali name - Palas
  • Gujarati name - Khakharo
  • Marathi name - Kakracha
  • Telugu name - Mooduga, Palasamu
  • Tamil name - Parasa
  • Kannada name - Muttuga
  • Malayalam name - Kimshukam, Brahmabriksham
  • Punjabi name - Dhak, Palash
  • Thai name - Tong kwaao

Ayurvedic Properties


Hindi / Sanskrit


Rasa (Taste)

Kashaya, Tikta, Katu

Astringent, Bitter, Pungent

Guna (Physical Property)

Ruksha, Laghu 

Dry, Light

Virya (Potency)



Vipaka (Post-Digestive Taste)



Effects on Doshas

It balances Kapha dosha.

Charak Samhita / Sushrut Samhita

  • Mushtadi gana,
  • Rodhradi gana
  • Ambhastadi gana,
  • Nyogradhadi gana

Practical uses

  • Butea bark is applied externally to wounds and ulcers to promote rapid healing.
  • Palaosin is a chemical derived from its seeds that has anti-helminthic and laxative properties and is used to treat worm infestation.
  • Plasaah bark and flowers are used to treat pain, inflammation, and sprains in the body.
  • The tree's gum is used to cure diarrhea and dysentery.
  • Dried blooms from this tree are soaked overnight, and the resulting saffron-colored water is used for bathing throughout the summer to protect children from different skin sensitivities and skin problems.
  • This tree's flowers are used to treat impotency and are highly useful for irregular bleeding and severe abdominal pain during menstruation. A leaf decoction can help with leucorrhoea.
  • Butea leaf poultice cures skin diseases such as boils, pimples, edema, and skin ulcers.
  • Fruits and seeds are used to cure piles and a variety of eye problems.
  • This tree's acrid bark possesses anthelmintic, appetizing, laxative, and aphrodisiac properties. It can help with piles, liver problems, gonorrhea, and bone fractures. The bark is also used to purify the blood. Externally, bark paste is used to alleviate body edema. Bark juice is quite efficient in the treatment of goiter.
  • This herb's roots have analgesic and anti-fertility qualities. It is extremely effective in the treatment of night blindness and other eye diseases.
  • Flowers are blood purifiers that are used to remove toxins from the body. Flowers shield the body from free radicals. Local use of flower paste reduces swelling in arthritis, injuries, and sprains.
  • It helps in the balancing of the vata and kapha doshas.

Part used

  • Bark
  • Stem
  • Gum
  • Flowers
  • Leaves


  • Fresh leaf juice - 5-10ml
  • Flower powder - 3-6gm
  • Seed powder - 0.5-1gm
  • Stem bark powder - 5-10gm
  • Gum - 25-50mg
  • Decoction of bark - 50-100ml

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