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Bemchi or Bawchi (Psorolea corylifolia Linn.)

Pankaj Oudhia
Society for Parthenium Management (SOPAM)
28-A, Geeta Nagar, Raipur - 492001 India

Copyright © 2004. All Rights Reserved. Quotation from this document should cite and acknowledge the contributor.

Scientific Name: Psoralea corylifolia Linn.
Family: Papillionaceae
English Name: Babachi
Hindi Name: Bemchi, Bawchi, Babachi.

General Description: Bemchi grows as winter season weed. Since generations, it is in use as folk medicine in India. It is mainly used in treatment of Leucoderma. In many parts of India, it is under cultivation as medicinal crop.

Table 1. Botanical differences between major species of Psoralea corylifolia and P. odorata.

Characters P. corylifolia P. odorata
Plant An erect annual, 0.6-1.2 m. high A sweet smelling, perennial herb, up to 6 m high.
Stem Grooved Much branched, striate, terrete.
Leaves Simple, 3.8x2.5-5.0 cm, broadly elliptic, inciso-dentate, rounded and mucronate at apex, white hairy, nigro-punctate, petioles hairy and gland dotted. Pinnately 3-foliolate, petioles argenteo-crescent, grooved.
Flowers In dense axillary, solitary, 10-30 flowered racemes; Corolla bluish purple, standard orbicular, clawed. In axillary spices which are upto 10 mm long; Corolla white with blue apex.
Fruits Pod, ovoid-oblong, closely pitted, mucronate, black. Ovate, brown, glandular-verrucosse, hirsute with white hairs.
Seeds One, smooth. One adherent to the pericarp smooth.
Flowering time August-December. Nov.-March.

Useful Parts: All parts.

Traditional Medicinal Uses: According to Ayurveda, root is useful in carries of teeth whereas leaves are good for diarrhea. Fruit is diuretic, and causes biliousness. It is useful in treatment of vomiting, piles, bronchitis, inflammation, anaemia etc. It improves hair growth and complexion. Seeds are refrigerant, alternative, laxative, antipyretic, anthelmintic, alexiteric and good for heart troubles. Seed oil is used externally in treatment of elephantiasis. According to Unani system of medicine, its seed is purgative, stomachic, anthelmintic, vulnerary, stimulant, aphrodisiac and cures blood related troubles. It is applied externally in treatment of skin related troubles.

Ayurveda Preparations: Bawchi Tel, Bawchi churna, Shvitra vati, etc.

Agharkar S.P. (1991). Medicinal plants of Bombay presidency. Pbl. Scientific publishers, Jodhpur, India. : 176 - 177/
Bhandari, M.M. (1990). Flora of the Indian desert - Pbl. MPS Repros, Jodhpur, India : 112-113.

Pankaj Oudhia
Society for Parthenium Management (SOPAM)
28-A, Geeta Nagar, Raipur - 492001 India

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