Pongamia pinnata Linn.
Common Name: Indian Beech, Karanj (Hindi), Pungam (Tamil), Karanja (Sanskrit)
Distribution: Throughout India
In Religion and Mythology
It is sacred to Goddess Varahi, the consort of Varaha- an incarnation of Vishnu
In Aruyveda, Karanj is used to as an antihelminthic and is also useful in the diseases of the eye, skin and the vagina. The oil is used to cure tumours, wounds, ulcers, itching and other ailments. The leaves are also used as cattle fodder. The tree is a good dust collector and acts as an environmental purifier. It has also been used traditionally in the northern parts of India as a natural pesticide.