BORNEO OR PACIFIC TEAK TREE- FALSE TEAK TREE WITH MEDICINAL USES: HEALTH BENEFITS AND USES OF BORNEO TEAK
This false teak tree is a member of the Fabaceae or Leguminoseae family, making it a relative of dhak, the pongam tree, ashoka (Saraca indica),the monkey pod tree, jhand, lentils, indigo, the butterfly pea, chickpeas, soya beans, the Indian Coral tree and lupins (to name but a few of its relatives). It has a native range which spreads from
and Tanzania through south-east Madagascar Asia and the Pacific islands, where it is much prized for its valuable timber.
This tree is known by a number of names including Afzelia bijuga, Albizia bijuga, Eperua decandro, Intsia amboilensis and Intsia retusa. It has a number of English names too, which includes that of Moluccan Ironwood, and it is known as Ipil in the
In traditional medicine systems a decoction of the bark, which contains tannin, is used as a remedy for diarrhoea and dysentery, and the fruit of the tree is a remedy for constipation. A decoction of the bark is used to cure dark urine which is caused by evil spells or spirits. It is also employed for rheumatism, chills and stiff, aching muscles and an infusion of it is given to a new mother after childbirth, perhaps to keep evil spirits away, this is a little unclear.
The seeds are edible but only after careful preparation which entails them being steeped in water for three to four days and then thoroughly boiled. Oil from the seeds repels pests rather as does neem (Azadirachta indica) so it can be used in linen to stop moths and insects eating the cloth. The seed pod is pear-shaped and leathery, containing from 1 to 9 seeds.
Few studies have been carried out on this tree’s medicinal properties as yet.