Indian Kino Tree
Latin name: Pterocarpus marsupium Roxb. (Fabaceae)
Sanskrit/Indian name: Bijaka, Pitasara, Pitashalaka, Vijaysar
Pterocarpus marsupium, also known as Vijayasar or the Indian Kino Tree, is a medium to large, deciduous tree that can grow up to 30 metres tall. It is native to India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka, where it occurs in parts of the Western Ghats in the Karnataka-Kerala region and also in the forests of Central India. It is also known by the names Malabar Kino, Benga, Bijiayasal (in western Nepal), Piasal (Oriya), Venkai, and many others.
Parts of the Indian Kino (heartwood, leaves, flowers) have long been used for their medicinal properties in Ayurveda. The heartwood is used as an astringent and in the treatment of inflammation and diabetes, for which it has been shown to be effective due to its high pterostilbene content. In vitro studies into the plant's anti-diabetic properties have also been carried out. Similipal Kol tribes in Odisha pound a paste mixture of the bark of P. marsupium with the barks of Mangifera indica, Shorea robusta and Spondias pinnata to treat some dysentery illnesses.