Used for centuries as a natural toothbrush, its fibrous branches have been promoted by the World Health Organization for oral hygiene use. Research suggests that it contains a number of medically beneficial properties including abrasives, antiseptics, astringent, detergents, enzyme inhibitors, and fluoride.
Salvadora persica is a small tree or shrub with a crooked trunk, seldom more than one foot in diameter. Its bark is scabrous and cracked, whitish with pendulous extremities. The root bark of the tree is similar to sand, and the inner surfaces are an even lighter shade of brown. It has a pleasant fragrance, as well as a warm and pungent taste.
Salvadora persica is a popular chewing stick throughout the Indian subcontinent
I think the colour of fruit varies in Salvadora persica. There are only two species of Salvadora known in the World Salvadora persica and Salvadora oleoides.
Khari jal or Piloo or Piloodi is like a Kalp Vruksha of the desert region. It fruits from November till April and provides much needed food for many of our resident and migratory birds. Grey Hypocolius for instance feed predominantly on the berries of Salvadora persica.
Here at Centre for Desert and Ocean, I plant and grow over 5000 saplings of this species of Piloo in the desert and Banni every year. Best season to sow the seeds in Polybags is September-October. I have even grown Salvadora persica plants by cuttings.
While working in Massawa Eritrea NE Africa,with Seawater Farms Eritrea, we had successfuly grown Salvadora persica plants by seeds and cuttings and a 4 month old plant was then shifted to seawater irrigation and the plants survived well.
A 2-3 years old plant planted by us are in seeding stage now. The past 2-3 years of charcoal making in Kutch (fortunately banned now) had taken a huge toll of this species, people had cut Salvadora persica in huge numbers (They were allowed to cut Prosopis juliflora).
Salvadora persica grows erect as well as prostrate spreading on ground sometimes covering 20 metres radius, this species provides micro and macro habitat to Wildlife and an evergreen canopy in the desert.
Camels feed on the leaves of this plant, the Berreis (fruits) locally known as Makh or Piloo are not edible for human but are collected and sold in the market for extraction of oil (may be used in expensive soap and detergent making). The Famous tooth paste MISWAK is made from the extract of Salvadora persica. I once came across a Tigre tribal selling the roots of Salvadora persica outside a Mosque in massawa Eritrea NE Africa.
It is mentioned in the holy book that Miswak should be used for brushing the teeth before offering the preyers. It is medically proven that Salvadora persica contains important substance which can cure gingivitis, gum and tooth decay.
It is high time we should start planting native trees which are desert hardy and can grow on saline patches with minimum soil moisture. The Green Photo synthesis Industry should come up every where and the species selection in the areas like Banni, Great and Little Rann, banaskantha, Rajkot, Sabarkantha, jamnagar and along the 1650 km long coast of Gujarat and 7500 km long coast of India, Salvadora persica (where ever suitable should be planted,.
Salvadora persica is a Mangrove associate flora and together with other inter-tidal halophytes it forms the Mangal community.
I have collected 5 kg seeds of this species just a few days back and am going to plant them in Banni where this plant can grow well.
Centre for Desert and Ocean
village Moti Virani
Kutch, Gujarat 370665
--- On Mon, 3/30/09, dhaivat hathi <dhaiva...@gmail.com> wrote:
From: dhaivat hathi <dhaiva...@gmail.com>