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Economic importance of Mallotus philippensis

Mallotus philippensis-Flower
Mallotus philippensis-Flower

Family:  Euphorbiaceae
Genus: Mallotus
Species: M. philippensis
Common name:  Kamala, Kamela
Origin: India

Description: It is an evergreen tree.Leaves alternate, borne on long stalks. Female flowers in erect, long spikes: male flowers are yellow in colour. Fruits are   roundish, -3lobed and densely covered with reddish brown, powdery substance and minute hair which are easily rubbed out.

Economic Importance:

  • A dye called kamela powder is obtained from the glandular hairs of the fruits. Also employed as an anti- oxidant for ghee, as an anthelminitic, and for cutaneous affections. Kamela is chiefly for destroying tapeworms. The kamela powder is taken with milk. “Kamela” is purgative. It’s also useful in the treatment of skin diseases, like ringworm and scabies. Kamela powder is used by women as sendur (vermillion).

    Mallotus philippensis-Tree
    Mallotus philippensis-Tree
  • Seeds yield a fatty oil which forms a good substitute for tung oil in the formulation of rapid drying paints and varnishes, and hair fixers and ointments; cake used as manure and, in combination with sawdust for making insulating boards, and cork substitutes. Due to the good drying properties the oil is much valued in the painting works.
  • Wood suitable for rafters, tool handles, match boxes, and small turnery articles. Leaves used for fodder. Bark contains tannin.


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