Flowers of Palas, Flame of the Forest tree, Bengal Kino - Butea Monosperma (Fabaceae)

Medicinal Use of Palas, Flame of the Forest, Bengal Kino – Butea Monosperma (Fabaceae)


Deciduous tree growing to 49 ft (15 m). Has 3-lobed leaves and large orange-red flowers in clusters.

Habitat & Cultivation

Palas is native to India and Southeast Asia. It grows in forests and in open areas to altitudes of 3,900 ft (1,200 m).

Parts Used

Bark, flowers, leaves, gum, and seeds.


All parts of the tree except the seeds contain tannins.

Medicinal Actions & Uses

The gum that oozes from incisions made in palas bark is known as Bengal kino. Mildly astringent, it is used as a substitute for the kino derived from bastard teak (Pterocarpus marsupium). Bengal kino is taken as a decoction or a tincture for acid indigestion, diarrhea, and dysentery, and used as a gargle for sore throats and as a douche for vaginitis. Early research suggests that the leaves and bark have the potential to treat diabetes, and that the leaves exert a beneficial action on diarrhea.


Do not take during pregnancy.