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What Are the Medical Uses of Cassia Fistula?

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  • Written By: C.B. Fox
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 02 December 2016
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In regions where the Cassia fistula plant in endemic, it is often used as a traditional medication. It may be used as a laxative, anti-inflammatory, or antioxidant as well as a treatment or supplemental treatment for various illnesses. Though all of the medicinal uses for the plant have not been verified in clinical trials, anecdotal evidence and preliminary research using laboratory animals have shown that it may have valid medical applications.

Cassia fistula is most commonly used as a laxative. The fruit of the tree is pounded into a mash, which is administered to patients or turned into an extract so that it can be taken by people who do not live in the region. When a moderate dose is given, the laxative effects are mild and the medicine is safe to give to children. Large doses can cause vomiting and stomach cramps. Anthraquinones are responsible for the laxative effects of the plant.

The roots and bark of the Cassia fistula tree have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. Both acute and chronic swelling can be effectively treated using extracts from this plant. Studies have shown that animals treated with Cassia fistula show marked relief. Traditionally, the Cassia fistula has also been used as a mild pain reliever.

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In addition to treating swelling and pain, the roots and bark of the Cassia fistula are also used as a traditional protection against infection. These parts of the plant are high in antioxidants, which can help to boost the immune system. The roots and bark also have a number of antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties that can help keep a wound clean. The antifungal properties of Cassia fistula make it useful as a treatment for ringworm, athlete’s foot, and jock itch, which are all caused by a fungal infection of the skin.

Traditionally, Cassia fistula has been used to treat a variety of diseases, including cancer, malaria, and the common cold. In the case of serious diseases, patients may be treated with Cassia fistula as a supplemental treatment along with other traditional medical cures. Inhaling the smoke from the burning roots can provide relief from congestion. There is anecdotal evidence indicating that the smoke from burning Cassia fistula works as an expectorant, clearing excess mucus out of the nasal cavities.

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