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Rhododendron arboreum

Botanical Name: Rhododendron arboreum Sm.
Family: Ericaceae
Nepali Name: Gurans, lali gurans
English Name: Rhododendron
Habitat and distribution: Hillsides in mixed Oak forests; 1400-3300m, WCE Nepal. Also distributed in Sikkim, Bhutan, S Tibet and Myanmar.

Diagnostic characters: Tree about 15m high. Leaves stalked, crowded toward the ends of branches, oblong to lanceolate, narrowed at both ends, entire, silvery  beneath. Flowers red, white or pink, crowded in large rounded corymbs. Fruit a  capsule, cylindrical, longitudinally ribbed.

Parts used : bark and flower

Medicinal Properties:
Leaves paste is applied to the forehead in the treatment of headaches. The juice of the bark is used in the treatment of coughs, diarrhoea and dysentery. In ayurveda it is used in Jaundice, Diabetes, piles, splenomegaly (enlargement of spleen), liver disorder and worms. it is also used in skin diseases.

Other use: It is used to make household implements.When a fish bone gets stuck in the throat, people eat the petals to help extract the bone.

Powder: 1-3 gm
Decoction 50-100ml

Note: In Nepal, it is used as a subtitute of Tecoma undulata (Rohitaka).
Ayurvedic Preparation: Rohitakyadi churna.
Caution: The leaves are poisonous[1]. The flowers can cause intoxication in large quantities[2].

[1] Polunin. O. and Stainton. A. Flowers of the Himalayas.  Oxford Universtiy Press 1984

[2] Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications 1990 ISBN 0-9628087-0-9

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