Lakshmi Taru - the medicinal tree
LAKSHMI TARU (Simarouba glauca DC; Common names: Simarouba, oil tree, paradise tree or aceituno) is an important tree species growing in the forests of Central America. It was first introduced by National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources in the Research Station at Amravathi, Maharashtra in 1960s.
- Seeds contain 60-75% oil that can be extracted by conventional methods
- Each well-grown tree yields 15 to 30 Kg nutlets equivalent to 2.5-5 Kg oil and about the same quantity of oilcake. This amounts to 1000-2000 Kg oil/ha/year (400-800 Kg/acre/year) and about the same quantity of oilcake
- The oil is largely used in the preparation of bakery products in Central America. In India too it can be used in the manufacture of vanaspati, vegetable oil and/or margarine
- The oil is free from bad cholesterol. It can be also used for industrial purposes in the manufacture of BIOFUELS, soaps, detergents, lubricants, varnishes, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals etc.
- The oilcake being rich in nitrogen (8%), phosphorus (1.1%) and potash (1.2%), is good organic manure
- The shells can be used in the manufacture of particle board, activated charcoal or as fuel
- The fruit pulp, rich in sugars (about 11%) can be used in the preparation of beverages
- The pulp along with leaf litter can be economically used in the manufacture of Vermicompost (about 8 tons/ha/year or 3 tons/acre/year)
- The bark and leaves are medicinally important
- The wood is generally insect resistant and is used in the preparation of quality furniture, toys, in match industry, as pulp (in paper making) and as fuel