Katurai is a small, erect, fast-growing tree, 5 to 12 meters
high. Leaves are pinnate, 20 to 30 centimeters long, with 20 to 40 pairs of leaflets
which are 2.5 to 3.5 centimeters long. Flowers are white, 7 to 9 centimeters long. Pods are
linear, 20 to 60 centimeters long, 7 to 8 millimeters wide, pendulous and somewhat curved, containing
- In settled areas, at low
and medium altitudes from northern Luzon to Mindanao.
- Certainly introduced.
- Often planted for its edible flowers and pods.
- Also occurs in India to the Mascarene Islands, through Malaya to tropical Australia.
- Bark contains tannin and
gum. The red gum resembles Bengal kino.
- Saponin isolated from the seeds.
- Sesbanimide isolated from seed, considered a cancer inhibitor.
- Flower yields proteins, tannins, oleanolic acid, kaempferol, cystine, isoleucine, aspargine, phenylalanine, valine, nicotinic acid, vitamin C.
- Phytochemical screening of aqueous extracts yielded carbohydrates, proteins, flavonoids, alkaloids, tannins, and glycosides. (17)
- Phytochemical screening of flowers yielded carbohydrates, proteins, amino acids, saponins, flavonoids, alkaloids, tannins, and glycosides.
- Study on roots isolated three isoflavanoids, isovestitol (1), medicarpin (2), and sativan (3), along with a known compound, betulinic acid (4). (see study below)
- Considered aperient, diuretic, emetic, emmenagogue, febrifuge, laxative
- Bark is very astringent.
- Flowers are emollient and laxative.
- Leaves are aperient, diuretic, laxative.
- In Ayurveda, flowers are considered cooling, bitter, astringent, acrid, emollient, laxative, and antipyretic.
- Studies have shown antioxidant, antiurolithiatic,
antimicrobial, anxiolytic, anticonvulsant, cardioprotective, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, hypolipidemic, wound healing, hepatoprotective, chemopreventive, analgesic properties.
Root, flowers, bark, leaves.
Edibility / Nutrition
- Often planted for its edible flowers and pods.
- The large white or pink flowers are edible, eaten raw or steamed; makes
for an excellent salad. White flowers are preferred to red.
- Young pods are eaten like string beans.
- Young leaves are edible. In some countries, dried leaves used for making tea.
- Flowers are an excellent source of calcium, fair source of iron, good source of vitamin
- Juice of the root, mixed with honey, used as an expectorant.
- Decoction of the bark used for hemoptysis.
- Infusion of the bark given for smallpox and other eruptive fevers.
- In Bombay, juice of leaves and flowers used for nasal catarrh and headaches.
- Juice of flowers as snuff to clear the sinuses.
- Flower extract used to treat wrinkles. Also, used for fever and leucorrhea.
- Poultice of leaves for bruises.
- Leaves used as aperient, laxative, and diuretic.
- Decoction of bark used as vomitive.
- In the Antiles, bitter bark is tonic and febrifuge.
- In Ayurveda, fruits are used for anemia,
bronchitis, fever, tumors; flowers for gout, bronchitis, nyctalopia. In Ayurvedic literature, pacifies vitiated vata. Leaves are utilized for treatment of epileptic fits. Juice of leaves considered anthelmintic and tonic, and used for biliousness, itching, and night blindness. (41)
- In India, used for treatment of renal calculi. Flower extract used for nasal catarrh, headaches,gout, eczema, bronchitis, and pain; also as laxative and aperitif.
- In Cambodia, bark used for diarrhea, dysentery
and sprue; laxative in large doses.
- Pounded bark used for scabies.
- In Java, bark is used for thrush.
- Bark decoction used as tonic and antipyretic. Juice of flowers used for eyes to relieve dimness of vision. In India, all plant parts used to cure night blindness. (35)
- Gum: Produces a clear gum making
a good substitute for gum arabic.
- Forage: High potential as forage and feed for growing goats. Leaves yield 36% crude protein (dry weight) and 9600 IU vitamin A in every 100g. Because of its high protein content, fodder should not be solely fed to animals but combined with roughage that is low in protein and high in energy. (Caution: Leaves are toxic to chicken and should not be fed to them or other monogastric animals.) (35)
- Fiber: S. grandiflora can produce higher cellulose raw material per unit area than most other pulp wood. Trees can be used for chemical pulping for use as cheap printing, writing, magazine and newsprint paper. (35)
- Timber: Wood can be used in house construction or as craft wood. (35)
• Anti-urolithiatic / Antioxidant:
Evaluation of Sesbania
grandiflora for antiurolithiatic and antioxidant properties : The leaf
juice exhibited antiurolithiasis activity and antioxidant properties. (2)
• Smoke-Induced Oxidative Damage/
Protection Effect: (1) Study showed a protective effect of Sesbania grandiflora
against cigarette smoke-Induced oxidative damage in Rats: An aqueous
suspension of SG provided support for traditional use of SG in the
treatment of smoke-related disease. (2) Study showed that S. grandiflora leaves restrain cigarette smoke-induced oxidative dame in liver and kidney of rats. (3)
• Antimicrobial / Synergism / Flowers and Tetracycline:
Study showed synergism against all 12 bacterial
species, the highest synergism attained was against Shigella boydii.(4)
/ Anticonvulsant: Study showed significant delay of onset of convulsions in PTZ- and STR-induced seizures in mice. The triterpene fractions exhibited a wide spectrum of anticonvulsant and anxiolytic activity. (10)
• Cardioprotective / Antioxidant:
Study showed that chronic cigarette smoke exposure
increases oxidative stress and the aqueous suspension of S. grandiflora
had a protective effect against oxidative damage through an antioxidant
• Anti-Inflammatory: Study evaluated the prophylactic effects of administration of bark extracts of SG and S. sesban on the development of carrageenan-induced paw edema and adjuvant-induced arthritis. A high NO level may suppress immune response probably through inhibition of iNOS expression through a feedback inhibition mechanism. (8)
• Hypolipidemic: A study in Triton induced hyperlipidemic rats showed significant decrease in serum cholesterol, phospholipid, triglycerides, LDL, VLDL and significant increase in HDL. (9)
• Forage: Study showed the foliage from S. grandiflora has a high potential as feed for growing goats, as sole component or as supplement. (11)
• Anti-Cancer: Study in Ehrlich ascites carcinoma-bearing Swiss albino mice showed the ethanol extract of S. grandiflora was effective in inhibiting the tumor growth in ascitic models that is comparable to 5-fluorouracil. (12)
• Anti-Ulcer: Study showed significant reduction in the ulcer index and significant inhibition of gastric mucosal damage induced by aspirin, ethanol, and indomethacin. Results suggest a protective effect that might be mediated by both anti-secretory and cytoprotective mechanisms. (13)
• Wound Healing: Study of ethanol flower extract ointment showed greater wound healing contracting ability and significantly increased tensile strength. The wound healing property was attributed to tannin and other nutritious content. (14)
• Antibacterial: Phytochemical screening of aqueous extracts yielded carbohydrates, proteins, flavonoids, alkaloids, tannins, and glycosides. Crude leaf powder yielded low antibacterial activity while the nanosized leaf powder (NPL) exhibited the highest level of antibacterial activity. (17)
• Hepatoprotective / Toxicity Study / Flowers: Study evaluated the hepatoprotective activity of aqueous and ethanolic extracts of Sesbania grandiflora flowers in CCl4-induced hepatotoxicity model in rats. Results showed a significant hepatoprotective effect, with significant reduction of biochemical parameters and histological confirmation of healing. The extract did not show any mortality up to a dose of 2000 g/kbw. (19)
• Hepatoprotective / Fruit Extract: Study evaluated the fruits for in vivo hepatoprotective effects using ethanol as toxicant and silymarin as standard drug in Wistar albino rats. Results showed significant hepatoprotective effect on biochemical parameters, with normal hepatocytes and lobar architecture compared to the toxicant group. (20)
• Novel Protein Fraction / Anticancer / Chemopreventive: Study isolated a protein fraction, SF2 (Sesbania fraction 2) from the flower. The SF2 inhibited cell proliferation and induced apoptosis in Dalton's lymphoma ascites (DLA) and colon cancer cells (SW-480). SF2 increased the life span and decreased tumor volume in mice bearing tumor. Results suggest a potential anticancer drug candidate. (21)
• Antiproliferative / Apoptotic / Leaves: Study evaluated the anticancer properties of the leaves of Sesbania grandiflora tested on various cancer cell lines. A methanolic fraction was found to exert potent antiproliferative effects especially in human cancer cell line, A549, with activation of caspase 3 leading to cell death by apoptosis. (23)
• Analgesic / CNS Depressant Activity: Study of a leaf extract of Sesbania grandiflora showed good analgesic and CNS depressant activity. (24)
• Cytotoxic Potential / Bark / Human Ovary Epithelial Teratocarcinoma (PA-1Cell Line): A methanolic bark extract of Sesbania grandiflora contains potent cytotoxic compounds with specific activity against human ovary epithelial teratocarcinoma cells. (25)
• Antimicrobial / Root Extract: Study evaluated an ethanolic root extract of S. grandiflora for antimicrobial activity. The antimicrobial property suggest potent phytoconstituents and bioactive compounds in the root extract. (26)
• Hypoglycemic / Hypolipidemic: Study of a methanolic extract of Sesbania grandiflora showed hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic effect. There was a significant reduction in lipid profile of TC, LDL, VLDL and triglycerides, with an increase in HDL. (27)
• In Vitro Hemolytic Effect / Leaves: Aqueous extract of leaves of Sesbania grandiflora produced hemolysis of human and sheep erythrocytes even at low concentrations. The release of phospholipids and sterols into the supernatant as a result of hemolysis suggest possible damage to the erythrocyte membrane. (28)
• Apoptotic and Autophagic Effects / Flowers / Human Leukemic Cells: Study investigated the antiproliferative effect of a fraction isolated from SG flowers in cancer cells. Results suggest the fraction triggers pro-oxidant activity and mediates its cytotoxicity in leukemic cells via apoptosis and autophagy, and suggests further investigation for therapeutic potential in the treatment of leukemia. (29)
• Antioxidant / Cytotoxic / Anti-Inflammatory / Analgesic / Flowers: A methanol extract of flowers exhibited maximum radical scavenging activity on NO, superoxide, and OH radical assays. Extract also exhibited potential cytotoxic activity against human cervical cancer cell line HeLa. It showed significant inhibition of inflammatory activity using a carrageenan and cotton pellet induced models and analgesic effect on hot plate pain model. (30)
• Protection Against Cigarette Smoke-Induced Oxidative Damage: Study evaluated the possible protective effect of an aqueous suspension of S. grandiflora leaves against cigarette smoke-induced oxidative damage in rats. Results suggest supplementation with the leaf suspension reversed the cigarette smoke induced oxidative damage in rats through its antioxidant potential. (31)
• Antituberculosis Activity: Study on roots isolated three isoflavanoids viz., isovestitol, medicarpin, and sativan, together with betulinic acid. All four compounds exhibited antituberculosis activity against Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Rv. MIC values were 50 µg/mL for compound 1-3, 100 µg/mL for compound 4. A methanol extract exhibited antituberculous activity of 625 µg/mL.(see constituents above) (33)
• Hypoglycemic / Flowers: Study investigated the hypoglycemic activity of aqueous extract of Sesbania grandiflora flowers among nonhuman primates with alloxan induced diabetes. First and second phase toxicity test of the tea fractionate of flowers showed no toxicity effect for test animals as evidenced by zero mortality rate. There was hyperactivity on the second day of observation. Tea fractionate (aqueous extract) of SG flowers and insulin had similar effects on blood glucose which can reduce almost 90-95% of the blood glucose levels of diabetic-induced monkeys. (34)
• Anthelmintic / Flowers: Study investigated various extracts of flowers for anthelmintic activity against Pheretima posthuma. Results showed significant dose dependent anthelmintic activity. Activity was attributed to glycosides, alkaloids and tannins content. (36)
• Immunomodulatory / Flowers: Study investigated the immunomodulatory activity of Sesbania grandiflora on cellular and humoral immunity. Oral administration of methanolic extract of flowers in mice dose-dependently enhanced the production of circulating antibody titre in response to SRBC. There was significant potentiation of delayed-type hypersensitivity reaction induced by sheep red blood cells. Results indicate the methanolic extract of SG possesses potential immunomodulatory activity. (37)
• Neutraceutical / Potential Antidiabetic Benefit: Review focuses of Sesbania grandiflora as a medicinal plant with antioxidant activities. The plant contains alkaloids, flavonoids, saponins, tannins, diterpenes, triterpenoids, glycosides, and phenols—phytochemical substances that may have a major impact on diabetes mellitus. (38)
• Antimicrobial / Leaves: Study of various extracts of leaves of S. grandiflora, an ethanol extract showed maximum activity against Staphylococci sp. compared to gram negative bacteria, with high activity indicated by MIC range of 320 to 488 mm. (39)
• Herbal Gel Formulation / Leaves: Study evaluated the formulation of an herbal gel containing Sesbania grandiflora leaves, reporting on physiochemical formulation parameters (pH, viscosity, spreadablity, etc.) Formulation F5 containing 2.5% SG extract showed better stability than other formulations, showing no irritant effect on skin application. (40)
• Anthelmintic / Leaves: Study evaluated leaves of Sesbania grandiflora and fruits of Solanum torvum for anthelmintic activity against Ascaridia galli. Results showed both plant extracts could serve as effective alternative anthelmintics replacing synthetic helminticides. (42)
• Attenuation of Erythrocyte Membrane Oxidative Stress in Diabetic Rats: Study investigated the protective effects of S. grandiflora flower extract on erythrocyte membrane in STZ-induced diabetic male albino rats. Results showed reduced blood glucose and glycosylated hemoglobin levels with increased levels of insulin and hemoglobin, together with reversal of protein and lipid peroxidation markers, osmotic fragility, membrane bound ATPases activities. Findings suggest a protective effect on diabetes by decreasing oxidative stress-related diabetic complications. (44)
• Gel Drug Formulation for Bacterial Conjunctivitis / Flowers: Study evaluated the preparation of in situ gel formulations for S. grandiflora flower extract for antimicrobial use. The G4 batch of in situ gel of the flower extract showed activity against microorganisms P. aeruginosa, S. aureus, E. coli and fungus C. albicans which cause bacterial conjunctivitis. It provided sustained release of the drug up to 8 hours. (45)
• Inhibition of Advanced Glycation Endproduct (AGE) / Antihyperglycemia: Study evaluated Advanced Glycation Endproduct (AGE) and early glycation (HbA1c) inhibition by the greens of Sesbania grandiflora. A methanol extract inhibited the formation of early glycation by 50% (HbA1c 4.69%). The ME also significantly inhibited α-amylase (52%) and α-glucosidase (56%). Derivatives of piperidine, cinnamaldehyde, and linolenic acid were proven anti-diabetic agents. Findings suggest further investigation for the potential of an anti-diabetic drug. (46)