Scientific name: Butea monosperma

Common names: Flame of the Forest, Bastard Teak, Parrot Tree

Ayurvedic names: Palasa

Chinese names:

Bangladesh names: Palasgachh

Arabic names:    الساج (assaaj)

Rain Forest names:

Other names: Palash,Dhak,Palah,Flame of the Forest, Bastard Teak, Parrot Tree,

Keshu(Punjabi)and Kesudo (Gujurati); Chichra tesu, desuka jhad, dhaak, palaash, chalcha, kankrei (Hindi), PaLaash (Marathi),Palashpapra (Urdu), Muthuga (Can.), Kinshuk, Polash, Polashi (Beng.), Pauk (Burmese), Polash (Polax) in Assamese, Porasum, Parasu (Tam.),Muriku, Shamata (Mal.), Modugu (Telugu), Khakda (Guj.), Kela (Sinh 

Family: Fabaceae

Approximate number of species known:

Common parts used: Whole herb, sprouts


Annual/Perennial: Perennial

Height: Up to 15 metres


Known Constituents:

Constituents Explained:


Native to Asia, the subcontinent, Thailands, malaysia, camobdia, malysia and indonesia.  The leaves are 10-20cm in length pinnate, with a petiole??? (picture) which is 8-16cm. The fruit is a pod which growsd 15-20cm long and 4-5cm in width

This has been used in food in India and in timber, resin and a yellow dye, sometimes because of it’s tannin content.  It has strong wood which is water resistant. Charcoal is sometimes made from it. It’s flower looks like a bright, orange flame.

Traditional Use:

The gum is a strong astringent

Clinical Studies:

Activation of mast cells in rheumatoid synovial tissue has often been associated with tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha, interleukin (IL)-6, and IL-8 production and disease pathogenesis by adjacent cell types. 

Butea monosperma (BM) is a well known medicinal plant in India and the tropics. A study examined whether a standardized extract of BM flower (BME) could inhibit inflammatory reactions in human mast cells (HMC). 

Four previously characterized polyphenols–butrin, isobutrin, isocoreopsin, and butein–were isolated from BME by preparative thin layer chromatography, and their purity and molecular weights were determined by liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry analysis. 

The results showed that butrin, isobutrin, and butein significantly reduced the phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate and calcium ionophore A23187-induced inflammatory gene expression and production of TNF-alpha, IL-6, and IL-8 in HMC-1 cells by inhibiting the activation of NF-kappaB.

In addition, isobutrin was most potent in suppressing the NF-kappaB p65 activation by inhibiting IkappaBalpha degradation, whereas butrin and butein were relatively less effective. In vitro kinase activity assay revealed that isobutrin was a potent inhibitor of IkappaB kinase complex activity. 

This is the first report identifying the molecular basis of the reported anti-inflammatory effects of BME and its constituents butrin, isobutrin, and butein. The novel pharmacological actions of these polyphenolic compounds indicate potential therapeutic value for the treatment of inflammatory and other diseases in which activated mast cells play a role.


Rasheed Z, Akhtar N, Khan A, Khan KA, Haggi, T.M. “Butrin, Isobutrin, And Butein From Medicinal Plant Butea Monosperma Selectively Inhibit Nuclear Factor-KappaB In Activated Human Mast Cell: Suppression Of Tumor Necrosis Factor-Alpha Interleukin-6, And IL-8.” 2010 May