The Teak tree is renowned for its durable wood and for the tree’s medicinal value. Its wood can be used for almost any purpose, including in the construction industry, for furniture, flooring, ships’ decks, and because it is resistant to the wood-boring mollusc, the shipworm, it is used for piers and jetties too. It has quinones in its sawdust which are resistant to fungi making it ideal for many purposes in tropical conditions.
Virtually every part of the teak tree has medicinal uses, and medical science has shown that the leaves have antibacterial, anti-ulcer and antifungal properties. In Ayurdeva the wood is considered a laxative, a sedative for the uterus, good for piles, dysentery and leucoderma. In folk medicine the roots are used for urinary tract problems, the flowers for bronchitis, nausea and urinary tract problems too. The bark has been used to treat diabetes, and an extract of the bark has been found to have insulin resistance in mice.
In other parts of Asia a decoction of the fresh or dried leaves is used for menstrual problems and haemorrhages, as well as a gargle for sore throats. A plaster made from the powdered wood is applied to headaches which cause nausea, and too disperse swellings which are caused by inflammation, perhaps caused by rheumatism for example. The powdered wood is used internally to get rid of intestinal parasites, and, made into a paste with water, it is used on swollen eyelids and also for acute dermatitis and other skin irritation. In India the charred wood is soaked in poppy juice and made into a paste for swollen eyelids. Flowers and seeds have diuretic properties while the oil from the fruit seeds is used to stimulate hair growth and soothe irritated skin. Dyes are produced from the root bark and young leaves and this is used for paper products, matting and cloth.
The leaves are edible and can be filled with jackfruit and other ingredients and steamed, and are combined with jackfruit in other ways to make desserts in southern India and in parts of Indonesia too.
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Note: We advise that natural products be consumed in their pristine form, without any preservatives or processing chemicals added, unless a preparation is advised by an Ayurvedic doctor.
It gives maximum health benefits and keeps costs low (compared to the huge medical costs due to modern diseases.)
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