Khair, Tree for Mrigashira Nakshatra, Taurus or Vrishabha Rashi - Plant
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Description for Khair, Senegalia Catechu
It is the moderate sized deciduous tree. It has rough bark which is dark gray-brown in color. It grows up to a height of 15 meters. The leaves are 8 -10 cm long. It has short curved stipular spines and rough grayish brown bark. The flowers are pale yellow in color. They start appearing khair-tree in the month of June -August. Fruits ripen in January to March and remain in the tree for long. The young parts are dark brown to purple in color. The tree has a rough texture from outside.
Planting and care
It is mainly propagated through the seeds. The seeds are mostly shown in the month of June. It is planted on sandy soil. The seeds germinate in the monsoons. Khair should be sown on mounds at least 61 to 76 cm in height so that the seedlings do not remain submerged in water for a long period.
Caring for Khair
- It is a hardy tree, does not require much care.
- It requires full sun to grow well.
- It is a drought tolerant plant, do not over water it.
- Prune the tree in winter every year to maintain shape and size.
- Prune the damaged and diseased branches from the tree.
Typical uses of Khair
Special features: The Khair tree signifies endurance and strength and it is a tree of Mrigashira Nakshatra.
Culinary use: Kattha (catechu), an extract of its heartwood, is used as an ingredient to give red color and typical flavor to paan.
Ornamental use: Best for avenue planting.
Medicinal use: The different parts of the tree have a variety of medicinal uses. Khair tree is very useful in dental problems. It gives relief in dry cough. It is also given in stomatis, Anaemia, Leprosy, Bronchitis, Pruritus, Diarrhoea, Polyuria. Its wood contains catechin, catechutanic acid and tannin. It is used externally for ulcers, boils and eruption of the skin. The juice of the fresh bark is given in haemoptysis. It is used to treat painful throat and cough.
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