Pterocarpus Background and Benefits
Pterocarpus is a genus of pantropical trees in the Fabaceae family. It contains about 35 species, with P. marsupium being one of the most well-known members of this genus. Common names for this tree include the Indian Kino Tree and Malabar Kino Tree. Pterocarpus originates from dry, hilly areas of India, Sri Lanka and Nepal. Pterocarpus is a deciduous tree that can approach a height of 100 feet.
The use of pterocarpus in the Ayurveda system of traditional medicine is thousands of years old. The aerial seeds are the most commonly used parts of the tree, including the wood, flowers and leaves. Practitioners of the Ayurveda system often use a cup made from the heartwood of pterocarpus. They fill the cup with water and allow it to stand overnight. Volatile oils in the wood leach into the water, turning it blue. This water is then drunk the next day.
The conditions commonly treated by pterocarpus in the Ayurveda system include diabetes, inflammation and bleeding. The bark is also used for bleeding and toothaches. The leaves are often applied externally as a remedy for skin diseases.
The most common uses of pterocarpus in modern herbal medicine include to help support the body’s natural ability to manage and regulate blood sugar levels. Pterostilbene is one the most active ingredients of pterocarpus extract for this purpose, and other significant components include epicatechin, marsupin and pterosupin. Laboratory studies show that the gum resin of pterocarpus can help regenerate the beta cells in the pancreas.
Uses of Pterocarpus
The maintenance of a healthy blood sugar level is one of the most common reasons for taking pterocarpus. Other uses of pterocarpus as an herbal supplement include antioxidant support and skin health.
Skin health support
Pterocarpus may have supporting properties that can help to maintain healthy skin.
Healthy blood sugar level management
Studies show that pterostilbene may help support the body’s natural ability to manage and regulate blood sugar levels, primarily due to its ability to regulate glucose and lipids. Pterostilbene may also regulate the level of glycosylated hemoglobin in the blood.
Pterostilbene also exhibits strong antioxidant activity, which can support cells in the body from many types of damage. Studies show that pterostilbene inhibits the activity of cyclooxygenase (COX-1), which can cause many of the signs of oxidative stress.
Miscellaneous uses of pterocarpus include the management of bruises, fractures and constipation.
Signs You May Need Pterocarpus
Unhealthy blood sugar levels is one of the most significant signs that you may need pterocarpus extract. The most common skin conditions that can indicate a need for pterocarpus include cuts and bruises, especially when they are slow to heal.
An unhealthy cholesterol profile and signs of oxidative stress may also mean that you should take pterocarpus. Other additional signs that pterocarpus may be beneficial include bleeding, constipation and joint discomfort.
Other Ingredients That May Be Of Interest
Quercetin - Quercetin is a flavonol that is found in many fruits and vegetables. It is typically used to support the cardiovascular system, including a healthy cholesterol profile and circulation.
Bitter Melon - Momordica charantia is a tropical and subtropical vine of the family Cucurbitaceae. In the Philippines, bitter melon tea is used in blood sugar control.
Synonyms and Similar Forms of Pterocarpus
Indian Kino Tree, Malabar Kino Tree