The Golden Shower Tree (Cassia fistula as described by Linné, and see below for other names) is a flowering plant in the family Fabaceae, native to southern Asia, from southern Pakistan east through India to Myanmar and south to Sri Lanka.
It is a medium-sized tree growing to 10-20 m tall with fast growth. The leaves are deciduous or semi-evergreen, 15-60 cm long, pinnate with 3-8 pairs of leaflets, each leaflet 7-21 cm long and 4-9 cm broad. The flowers are produced in pendulous racemes 20-40 cm long, each flower 4-7 cm diameter with five yellow petals of equal size and shape. The fruit is a legume is 30-60 cm long and 1.5-2.5 cm broad, with a pungent odour and containing several seeds. The seeds are poisonous.
Cassia fistula is widely grown as an ornamental plant in tropical and subtropical areas. It blooms in late spring (May on the northern, November on the southern hemisphere) mor ; flowering is profuse, with trees being covered with yellow flora, with almost no leaf being seen. Not recommended for dry climates. Growth is best in full sun on well-drained soil; it is drought and salt tolerant, but will be damaged by even short spells of freezing weather. It can be subject to mildew, leaf spot and root diseases.
In Ayurvedic medicine, Golden Shower Tree is known as aragvadha ("disease killer"). Its fruitpulp is used as mild laxative, against fevers, arthritis, vatavyadhi (nervous system diseases), all kinds of rakta-pitta (bleeding, such as hematemesis or hemorrhages), as well as cardiac conditions and stomach problems such as acid reflux. The root is considered a very strong purgative, and self-medication or any use without medical supervision is strongly advised against in Ayurvedic texts.
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