beauty with lots of medicinal value
The Lunu warana, a small tree growing upto 25 feet
is much branched with a greyish trunk. The leaves are compound made
up of three leaflets each with a pointed tip, almost heart shaped.
The tree is deciduous and sheds its leaves during December. The
new leaves are pale green and bronze while the old leaves are yellow.
flowers of the Lunu warana are white or creamy yellow with purple
stamens. The flowers are clustered at the ends of the branches.
The flowering season is between February and April though some writers
describe a flowering season in December. The flowers appear with
the new leaves. The fruits are globose berries which appear on long,
The whole tree has medicinal value. The bark and
leaves are used to treat urinary diseases and stomach ailments and
the bark to treat fevers, mild skin diseases and to relieve vomiting.
In Sri Lanka a decoction of the powdered bark is used to cure stones
in the kidney or bladder. The fresh leaves make a good substitute
for a mustard poultice. In India the Lunu warana is used to prepare
a snake- bite remedy. The wood of this tree is used to make toys
and also sandals.
Lunu warana is indigenous to Sri Lanka, India, Burma and Africa.
Found in the dry and arid zones in scrub and monsoon forests, it
is common in Jaffna, Trincomalee, Dambulla and Hambantota. If you
are travelling in the dry zone, for instance Yala, look out for
these beautiful trees in bloom.
The Lunu warana is known as the Navala or Adicharanam
in Tamil. The scientific name is Crataeva adansonii. It is also
known as Crataeva religiosa since the tree is revered and worshipped