Deciduous tree growing to 65 ft (20 m). Has compound leaves, white fragrant flowers, and long, shiny, pale yellow seed pods.
Habitat & Cultivation
Native to the Indian subcontinent, albizzia grows in moist teak-bearing forests. It is also cultivated.
Stem bark; also flowers and seeds.
Albizzia contains saponins, cardiac glycosides, tannins, and flavonoids.
History & Folklore
Albizzia has been used for several thousand years within Ayurvedic medicine to treat allergies, skin eruptions, glandular disorders, and poisoning.
Medicinal Actions & Uses
Albizzia bark has anti-allergenic properties and is used orally (and topically) to relieve problems such as eczema, hives, hay fever, and asthma. The herb helps to lower cholesterol and may be useful as part of a broad approach to treating abnormal fat levels in the blood. It is usually taken as a decoction or tincture. In Ayurveda, the bark is given for pitta (fire) and kapha (water) conditions such as asthma; the flowers for coughs and bronchitis; and the seeds for skin diseases.
Laboratory research has shown that the plant helps to reduce allergic sensitivity, and one clinical study has indicated potential value in the treatment of asthma. In another clinical study, weeping eczema improved significantly with a topical application of albizzia. Extracts of the plant also have anti-fungal and antibacterial activity. Saponins from the seed pods have spermicidal and antiprotozoal activity.