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Butea monosperma

Butea monosperma is a herb that contains a variety of methoxylated isoflavones, and some of these isoflavones (cajanin) and other bioactives such as medicarpin can preserve bone mass with a potency similar or greater than estrogen itself, although some are nonestrogenic.

Our evidence-based analysis on butea monosperma features 56 unique references to scientific papers.

Research analysis led by and reviewed by the Examine team.
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Summary of Butea monosperma

Primary information, health benefits, side effects, usage, and other important details

Butea monosperma is a traditional Indian medicinal tree that also serves as an ornamental tree due to its vibrant red flowers that it bears, resulting in the common name of 'Flame of the Forest'. It appears to mostly be recommended as a general health tonic and for the treatment of liver disorders.

The potential uses for this plant seem wholly different from its traditional uses, as it has shown some potential antidiabetic effects in rats (which need to be further investigated since we have no clue how they exert their benefits at this moment in time) but is most promising for the treatment of osteoporosis. A few flavonoids in this plant (Cajanin and Cladrin in particular) and one other molecule (Medicarpin) are structureally similar to isoflavones, and appear to be very potent at promoting bone health. Studies using these molecules in vitro have noted their effective doses compare with that of estrogen itself and they are just as potent (if not nonsignificantly more potent) at promoting bone growth; despite the potency, medicarpin is only slightly estrogenic and both Cajanin and Cladrin appear to be nonestrogenic.

Cajanin, Cladrin, Medicarpin, and one other flavonoid known as Isoformononetin all appear to be highly active in rats following an oral dose of 10mg/kg (human equivalent of 1.6mg/kg), and have been noted to fully prevent bone losses assocaited with menopause with daily ingestion. Despite the potency observed, however, human studies have not yet been conducted.

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How to Take

Recommended dosage, active amounts, other details

There is currently not enough evidence to suggest a recommended dose of this plant.

Things to Note

Primary Function:

Also Known As

Butea frondosa, Erythrina monosperma, Plaso monosperma, The Treasurer of the Gods and of Sacrifice, kimsuk, muriku, moduga, Bastard Teak, Dhak, Palash, Flame of the Forest, Palăśa

Do Not Confuse With

Butea superba (different plant from the same genera)

Caution Notice

Antifertility effects in female rats

  • The seeds of this plant appear to have antifertility effects in females, thought to be due to the butin content; the other parts of the plant are not implicated in antifertility actions

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