Cutch Tree and Its Health and Medicinal Value

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It’s likely that you have a nasty toenail fungus when you have thickened nails, nails with whitish to brownish discoloration, distorted in shape, and nails that are crumbly, ragged, and brittle. Sometimes the nail may have a dark color due to the debris that builds up underneath the nail. The infected nail may also be smelly and painful at times. A toenail fungus may affect one nail or several of them.

Toenail fungus may affect anyone regardless of age, but older adults are more prone to it. As one grows older, the nail also ages. It becomes brittle and dry. The cracks in the nail may also pave the way for fungi to enter the body. Other factors may make the nail more vulnerable to the fungus. These include a weakened immune system and reduced blood circulation towards the feet. Toenail fungal infections may start as athlete’s foot. It may spread from one nail to several others.

To establish a nail fungal infection, a dermatologist has to examine the infected nail and surrounding skin. The skin has to be checked since the fungus may spread easily. It is possible for you to have a skin infection when you suffer from an athlete’s foot.

The best nail fungus treatment must be advised by the doctor. You may want to consult with a podiatrist or a general practitioner when the symptoms start to manifest. It is a must for you to consult the doctor when you suffer from diabetes and you think that you have a developing nail fungal infection.

A doctor usually prescribes oral antifungal medications which will be taken for several months up to a year. The FDA-approved treatments include the following: Fluconazole, Itraconazole, Griseofulvin, and Terbinafine. If your toenail infection is mild, you may use a topical antifungal that can be applied directly to the nail. The USDA approved the following topical medications: Amorolfine, Efinaconazole, Ciclopirox, and Tavaborole.

1All about the Cutch Tree

Cutch tree or acacia catechu is most commonly known as black cutch and black catechu. This is a deciduous and thorny tree that belongs to the Fabaceae family and is native to the Southern Himalayas of Pakistan, Nepal, the southern region of India, Myanmar, and Thailand. Occasionally, this plant is planted in Indonesia, particularly in the Java area. The plant is known as katha in Hindi and katchu in Malay. The most popular names of this plant include the following: Black cutch, Khair tree, Black catechu, Catechu tree, Cutch tree, Khair gum, cashoo, and Wadalee gum tree. Its generic name acacia is from the Greek word akis, which means a point or a barb. Its species name is from cutch which is a tanning extract from its heartwood.

The parts of this tree that are used for medicinal purposes are its bark, twig, and wood. This herb is known for being a great blood purifier as well as a skin-rejuvenating herb.

In the Ayurveda traditional system, the cutch tree is used for treating respiratory and skin conditions caused by an allergic reaction. It is also helpful for preserving one’s dental health, and the astringent properties that the cutch tree can treat bleeding disorders. The Catechu tree is loaded with tannic acid, quercetin, catechin, tannins, and gum. It possesses a potent healing capacity because of its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial characteristics.

As an Antifungal and Antimicrobial

The methanolic extract of the cutch tree has been found to possess antimicrobial activities against several species of pathogenic and non-pathogenic microorganisms. These are Bacillus subtilis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Salmonella typhi, Escherichia coli, Candida albicans, and Staphylococcus aureus. The catechu extract also exhibits major components of terpene such as phytol, camphor, and others though in minor amounts, which are linked to their antibacterial and antifungal properties.

Other Health Benefits

Apart from the aforementioned health benefits, cutch tree also provides the following:

Strengthens Bone Health

Catechu is a tested Ayurveda herb that has lots of bioactive compounds and antioxidants that can treat several bone- and joint-related disorders like RA and osteoarthritis. It is also loaded with anti-inflammatory properties that are beneficial for the reduction of inflammation and for easing asthma, inflammatory bowel diseases, and arthritis. Studies also showed that the seed extract of catechu may help alleviate the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. It also helps prevent cartilage damage caused by osteoarthritis. This is done through the inhibition of pro-inflammatory pathways. Taking a cutch tree supplement regularly may reduce the development of osteoarthritis. This also helps regain movement in the muscles and bones.

Helps Relieve Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids are caused by poor diet and a highly sedentary lifestyle. This eventually results in low digestive fire ending in constipation, inflammation in the rectum, and swelling. The powder form of catechu may help control the bleeding if this is taken orally. A cutch tree decoction may be used externally to reduce swelling as well as inflammation linked with piles.

Treats Diarrhea

Cutch tree possesses anti-diarrheal properties that are valuable for treating diarrhea. This aids in reducing the spasm of intestinal muscles as well as the frequency of loose bowel because of the chemical constituents of the cutch tree. Catechu powder helps to regulate the body’s loss of water. It also helps the stool to become thicker due to its astringent properties. Just take 1 to 2 grams of the cutch tree powder and consume it with lukewarm water after taking in food to treat diarrhea.

Works as a Detoxifier

A cutch-free detoxifier is significant in detoxifying the body, freeing it from harmful toxins and other impurities. This is because of its astringent and antioxidant properties. Taking this as a herbal supplement helps in managing liver problems. It also promotes healthy liver functions.

Helps with Bleeding Disorders

This is an effective herb that promotes blood clotting. It also helps control bleeding disorders like piles, bleeding gums, as well as some skin injuries. This ability to control bleeding is due to its powerful astringent and cold properties. Moreover, the cutch tree decoction may also be applied directly to wounds or cuts to stop bleeding and to make the healing process faster.

Some other uses of cutch trees include having the khaki dye from its bark. On the other hand, dried twigs, logs, and branches can also be used as fuel.

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