Kingdom: Plantae Order: Lamiales Family: Verbenaceae Genus:Nyctanthes Species:Nyctanthes arbor-tristis Common name: Night jasmine, Harsinghar Origin: India
Description: It is a shrub or a small tree, with grey bark. The leaves are opposite, simple, with an entire margin. The flowers are fragrant, they are produced in clusters of two to seven together, with individual flowers opening at dusk and finishing at dawn. The fruit is a flat brown heart-shaped to round capsule, with two sections each containing a single seed.
Flowers yield an essential oil similar to jasmine. Corolla tubes containing a colouring matter, nyctanthin, which is identical with alpha, crocetil from saffron. Corolla tubes were formerly used for dying silk.
Seed yield a fixed oil.
Leaves antibilious and expectorant, used in rheumatism and fevers; decoction given in sciatica, juice used as cholagogue, laxative, diaphoretic, diuretic, and antihelmintic.
Bark used for tannin. Bark is expectorant, contains two alkaloids, of these the water soluble one stimulates the ciliary movements of oesophagus.
Powdered seeds used for scurfy affections of the scalp.