Botanical name: Phanera variegate / Bauhinia variegata
Phanera variegata is a species of flowering plant in the family Fabaceae, native to South Asia and Southeast Asia. Common names include orchid tree, camel’s foot tree, kachnar and mountain-ebony.
This is a very popular ornamental tree in subtropical and tropical climates, grown for its scented flowers and also used as food item in South Asian cuisine. It is a small to medium-sized deciduous tree growing to 10-12 m tall. The leaves of tree shed in month of November and December and new leaves grow in March-April. Flowering is during Feb-March. The leaves of tree are shaped like a camel’s hoof print. It bears beautiful aromatic pink, white or yellow flowers in spring season.
Kachnar is widely used as an ingredient in many Indian recipes. Traditional kachnar curry is prepared using kachnar buds, yogurt, onions and native Indian spices. Kachnar is cooked with minced meat.
All parts of tree are used in Ayurveda for treatment of wide variety of ailments and especially for thyroid and glandular enlargements. The bark of tree is astringent to the bowels and tonic to the liver.
Kachanar Tree is one of the most important herb in Ayurved. Ayurvedic medicine, Kanchnar guggulu is used in treatment of Hypothyroidism, Goiter (Galaganda, Gandamala), Tonsils, Jaundice, Liver related problems, Mouth Ulcers, Bad Breath, Diarrhoea, Loss of appetite, Burning Sensation in Urine, Urinary Problems , Cysts In Uterus, Fibroids.