Pterocarpus indicus. Tenasserim mahogany, rosewood, Philippine mahogany, Papua New Guinea rosewood, Malay padauk, Burmese rosewood, blanco’s narra, amboyna Fabaceae – Papilionoideae
Local Names; Burmese (ansanah,pashu-padauk);
English (narra,Malay paduak,pricky narra,red sandalwood,redwood,smooth narra); Filipino (narra); French (amboine,santal rouge); Indonesian (sena,linggod,sonokembang,angsana,angsena); Lao (Sino-Tibetan) (chan dêng); Malay (sena,angsana); Thai (praduu baan,pradoo,duu baan); Trade name (amboyna,blanco’s narra,Burmese rosewood,Malay padauk,rosewood,Tenasserim mahogany,Philippine mahogany); Vietnamese (gi[as]ng h[uw][ow]ng)
Pterocarpus indicus is a big tree, growing to 33 m in height and 2 m diameter. The trunks are usually fluted and buttressed to 7-m diameter at the base. The crowns are large and bear many long branches that are at first ascending, but eventually arch over and sometimes droop at the ends. Trees with long willowy, drooping branches are particularly conspicuous and attractive in Singapore and some parts of Malaysia and Hawaii. Elsewhere the drooping habit may not develop. In a non-seasonal humid tropical climate such as in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, the trees are generally evergreen, but in regions with seasonal rainfall, the trees are deciduous. The leaves are compound-pinnate, bearing about 12 alternate leaflets. The leaflets are rather large, 7 x 3.5 to 11 x 55 cm and ovate to elliptic in shape, with a pronounced acuminate tip. The flowers are yellow, fragrant, and borne in large axillary panicles. When flowering, the buds do not open in daily sequence. Instead, as buds come to full size, they are kept waiting, to be triggered into opening. The opened flowers last for one day. After that, several days may pass before another batch of accumulated ‘ready’ buds open. The nature of the trigger is unknown. Whole avenues of such trees blooming in unpredictable synchrony making a splendid display. The fruits, which take four months to mature, are disc-shaped, flat, and have winged margins. About 5 cm across, the fruit have a central woodycorky bulge containing several seeds (ptero-carpus means winged fruit). Unlike most legumes, the Pterocarpus fruit is indehiscent and is dispersed by wind. It also floats in water and can be water-dispersed.
The genus Pterocarpus consists of 20 species distributed throughout the tropics. P. indicus has a wide range from southern Myanmar to the Philippines and throughout the Malay Archipelago to New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. There is considerable morphological and ecological variation when viewed throughout its range, but because of extensive propagation, the trees planted in any given locality tend to be uniform. In Malaysia, its natural habitat is by the sea and along tidal creeks and rivers. Elsewhere (e.g., Papua New Guinea), it occurs in inland forests. In the Moluccas, four varieties are locally recognized, which occupy a range of habitats from the coast to submontane forests and seasonal swamps.
The leaves of narra are also used in traditional medicine to treat a variety of health problems. Narra leaves contain flavonoids. Flavonoids are antioxidants that provide health benefits to humans, such as anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic benefits. Flavonoids in narra leaves may be capable of preventing damage to your kidneys.
Traditional Medicinal Uses
Constipation can have causes that aren’t due to underlying diseases. Examples include dehydration, lack of dietary fibre, physical inactivity or medication side effects.
Self-treatment of constipation include drinking more fluids, eating more high-fibre foods and getting regular exercise may help to relieve constipation. Using stool softeners and laxatives may also help.
However, for a quick job, just pick 3- 4 newly formed and fresh buds from the Rosewood and chew them. They may be bitter, but they do the job effectively. They cleanse the bowel and soften the stools.
That’s it! And you will be relieved from constipation.