Species: M. pinnata
Common name: Karanj
Description: Deciduous tree. The leaves are a soft, shiny burgundy in early summer and mature to a glossy, deep green as the season progresses. Small clusters of white, purple, and pink flowers blossom on their branches throughout the year, maturing into brown seed pods. Milletia pinnata is often known by the synonym Pongamia pinnata as it was moved to the genus Millettia only recently.
- Seeds yield fatty oil, Pongam oil, used in tanning industry for dressing E.I. leathers; it also finds use in the preparation of washing soaps, and candles, and as a lubricant for heavy lathes, chains, enclosed gears and heavy engines, and bearings of small gas engines.
- Medicinally, it is applied in herpes, scabies, leucoderma, and other cutaneous diseases. Internally it is used is dyspepsia with sluggish liver. Karanjin is the active principle. Juice of leaves prescribed in flatulence, dyspepsia, diarrhoea and for cough; also used in leprosy and gonorrhoea. Juice of roots used for cleansing foul ulcers and fistulous sours and for cleaning teeth and strengthening gums.
- Seed cakes used as manure.
- Wood used for yokes of bullock- carts, ploughs, cart- wheels, rafters, thatched cottages, oil mills, furniture, and small turnery articles. Its use as pattern wood and for veneering has also been suggested.
- Leaves lopped for fodder, act as a galactagogue. Roots and leaves used as fish poison.
- Bark yields fibre, used for cordage. Fresh bark given for piles. Decoction of bark used in beri- beri.
Image credit for flower: Wikipedia