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Charota or Chakod (Cassia tora L. syn. Cassia obtusifolia L.)

Contributor: Pankaj Oudhia

Copyright (c) 2002. All Rights Reserved. Quotation from this document should cite and acknowledge the contributor.

English Name: Foetid cassia, The Sickle Senna, Wild Senna

Common (Indian) names:
Hindi: Charota,Chakvad,Chakavat.
Bengali & Oriya: Chakunda
Gujrati: Kawaria
Canarese: Gandutogache
Malyalam: Chakramandrakam,takara
Marathi: Takala
Sanskrit : Chakramarda,Dadmari,Dadrughra,Taga
Tamil: Tagarai
Telugu: Chinnakasinda

Family: Leguminosae

Habitat: In India it occur as wasteland rainy season weed.

Botany: It is an annual foetid herb, 30–90 cm high .

Leaves: pinnate, up to 10 cm long rachis grooved, conical gland between each of two lowest pairs of leaflet, leaflets in 3 pairs, opposite, obovate, oblong and base oblique.

Flowers: In pair in axils of leaves, petals five, pale yellow.

Fruit: Pod, Obliquely separate.

Seed: 30-50 rhombhedral

Flowering time: After the monsoon rains (in Indian conditions)

Useful parts: Roots, Leaves, and Seeds.

Medicinal Properties and Uses: According to Ayurveda the leaves and seeds are acrid, laxative , antiperiodic, anthelmintic, ophthalmic, liver tonic, cardiotonic and expectorant. The leaves and seeds are useful in leprosy, ringworm, flatulence, colic, dyspepsia, constipation, cough, bronchitis, cardiac disorders.

Ayuerveda Formulation: Chakramadha Tailamu.

Other uses: Recommended for reclamation of saline, alkaline and brackish soils. Used as green manure crop in acidic soils. Dried seed contain protein (up to 24 percent) and is given as a protien rich feed for livestock and birds. Roasted seeds are substituted for coffee like Tephrosia seeds. Seeds yield tannins and dyes (yellow, blue and red). fields a gum (7.50%),which is a good agent for suspending and binding. The aqueous extracts of whole plant and leaves produces inhibitory allelopathic effects on common weeds specially on Parthenium hysterophorus. Recommended to grow in Parthenium infested areas as smoother crop. Stimulatory allelopathic effects on rice and wheat have been reported. Seeds used in preparation of sweet dishes. Leaves are popular potherb. In organic farms of India, Cassia tora is used as natural pesticide. Fungicidal activity of chrysophanic acid-9-anthrone from Cassia tora have been reported.

Chemical Constituents

Roots: 1,3,5-trihydroxy-6-7-dimethoxy-2-methylanthroquinone and beta-sitosterol.

Seeds: Naptho-alpha-pyrone-toralactune, chrysophanol, physcion, emodin, rubrofusarin, cchrysophonic acid-9-anthrone.

Leaves: Emodin, tricontan-1-0l, stigmasterol, b-sitosteral-b-D-glucoside, freindlen, palmitic, stearic, succinic and d-tartaric acids uridine, quercitrin and isoquercitrin.

Resource Person:
Pankaj Oudhia
Society for Parthenium Management, (SOPAM)
28-A, College Road, Geeta Nagar
Raipur- 492001 India
E-mail: pankajoudhia@usa.net
Homepage: www.celestine-india.com/pankajoudhia
Phone: 91-771-253243
Mobile: 91-98271-15642
Fax: 91-771-536312