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Indian Mesquite


Botanical Name Prosopis spicigera Linn.
Common NameIndian Mesquite, Jand (Hindi), Vanni (Tamil), Shami (Sanskrit)

Distribution

Dry and arid regions of India

Religious association

The Shami tree has been considered a sacred tree since ancient time. The tree is associated with Devi (the Mother Goddess) as well as Lord Shiva.

The wood was used to kindle the sacred fire during Vedic times. Shamipuja – the worshipping of the Shami tree finds mention in both Ramayana and the Mahabharata.

Uses

The tree is referred to as the ‘Golden tree of the Indian deserts’, since all the parts of the tree as useful in some way or the other. The wood provided by the tree is used in construction of houses, and also for making agricultural implements. The tree is also valued as a fodder tree. The bark is used in treating muscular and joint pains, leprosy, piles and worm infestations. It also provides instant relief to a person bitten by a snake or a scorpion. The leaves and fruits are used in preparing medicines for curing nervous disorders.

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