Botanical: Phitecellobium dulce | Hindi: जंगल जलेबी | Marathi: विलायती चिंच | English: Madras Thorn
AboutMadras Thorn (Pithecellobium dulce) is a deciduous tree with a spreading crown, reaching about 15-20 meters in height. Characterized by bipinnate compound leaves, the tree has small, fragrant flowers clustered in round heads, followed by flattened, twisted pods containing sweet pulp. The trunk is usually short and thorny, contributing to its resilience. Native to tropical regions, Madras Thorn adapts well to arid conditions and is valued for its environmental roles, including soil conservation and support for biodiversity.
- Extracts from Madras Thorn are applied topically for wound healing.
- Some studies suggest antidiabetic potential, aiding in diabetes management.
- Used in traditional medicine for digestive issues and gastrointestinal problems.
- Madras Thorn is believed to have properties beneficial for respiratory health.
- Madras Thorn (Pithecellobium dulce) contributes to environmental conservation by preventing soil erosion with its deep-rooted system.
- The tree’s nitrogen-fixing abilities enhance soil fertility, promoting the growth of other plants in its vicinity.
- Madras Thorn provides shade, reducing surface temperatures and creating a habitat for diverse wildlife.
- Its flowers attract bees and butterflies, supporting pollination and biodiversity.
- The thorny branches act as a natural deterrent, protecting against overgrazing by herbivores.
- Madras Thorn’s resilience to harsh climates makes it valuable for afforestation, promoting overall ecosystem health.
Food & Culinary usage:
- The pods of Madras Thorn are edible and have a mild sweet taste with a floral note.
- The sweet and juicy pulp can be added to various dishes such as salads to enhance their flavor. It is sometimes used in chutneys or as a seasoning.
- The pulp from the pods can be used to make jams, jellies, or beverages. These preparations can have a sweet and tangy flavor.
- In parts of south India like Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh, it is also used in the preparation of many dishes like raita, tomato-based curry, stir-fry with sliced onions and curry leaves, or in a juice with lemon and sugar.