Butea monosperma

Last Updated: September 28 2022

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.

Butea monosperma is most often used for

Summary

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.

What else is Butea monosperma known as?
Note that Butea monosperma is 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
Butea monosperma should not be confused with:
Dosage information

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

References
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