Common Name Tendu
Botanical Name Diospyros melanoxylon
Tendu is a species of flowering trees in the family Ebenaceae that is native to India and Sri Lanka. It is a medium-sized tree or shrub that can be deciduous in drier regions and evergreen in moist locations. It can grow up to a height of 25 meters. Tendu grows best in areas where the annual daytime temperature ranges between 25 to 35`C with a mean annual rainfall of 800-1200mm. The species shows a deep, tap-rooting habit.
Locally, it is the most economically important species of Diospyros. The fruits are edible and have a cooling and astringent effect. The seeds can be intoxicating; they have been prescribed in traditional medicine as a cure for mental disorders, nervous breakdowns, and palpitations of the heart. The bark is also astringent and is used to prepare a decoction that helps with the treatment of diarrhea. Local markets use its leaves to wrap tobacco for bidi cigarettes. The leaves have also been extensively used in Indian traditional medicine as a diuretic, styptic, laxative, and carminative. It is used to cure night blindness as well. Besides its ecological benefit as a tree, the Tendu leaf trade is an important socio-economic activity of the tribals in India.
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