Shisham or Indian rosewood scientifically known as Dalbergia sissoo is a fast-growing, hardy, deciduous tree belonging to Fabaceae (peas, legumes family). The plant is native to the foothills of the Himalayas of India, and other neighboring countries. It is mostly found growing along riverbanks below 900 m elevations, but can ranges naturally up to 1500 m. It has thick, brown bark with vertical fissures in it. The new branches are soft and bent, which has 3-5 leaves on a stalk which are alternately arranged. The plant bears flowers which are yellowish white in color. The pods are long, flat and 2-4 seeds in it. There is another variety of Sheesham too, which has blackish brown wood. Sheesham tree is widely used in buildings and furniture. However, it has several health benefits.
Sheesham leaves have cumulative flavonoids which are believed to provide health benefits, Flavonoids are a group of plant metabolites, found in a variety of fruits and vegetables, believed to provide health benefits through cell signalling pathways and antioxidant effects. Research has shown that leaf extracts had positive impact on fractured bones. Further, Leaves are reportedly used as a stimulant and to treat gonorrhea and wounds. Ayurveda also prescribes the leaf juice for eye ailments. Other than this, 50-100 ml decoction of the leaves taken on doctor’s recommendation is useful in Painful micturition and to cure boils and pimples. Leaves and bark are used as astringent in bleeding disorders. Paste of leaves mixed with sweet oil is used topically in skin excoriation (scrapping, abrading of the skin). Paste of leaves mixed with sweet oil is useful in skin excoriation such as scrapping and abrading.
Some health benefits of Shisham leaves are as follows-
- Low sperm count: The paste of 5 grams of tender leaves of Shisham is taken with a cup of milk for 15-30 days.
- Sexual impotence in men: The paste of 5 grams of tender leaves of Shisham is taken with a cup of milk for 15-30 days.
- Piles: The leaves of Shisham should be chewed twice a day for 2 weeks.
- General debility: Take the fresh leaf juice orally along with sugar.
- Abscess: Apply the leaf paste topically.
- Vomiting, piles, obesity / overweightness: 1-2 spoonful of leaf juice are taken with cow milk for 2-3 days.
- Pain in eyes: Sissoo leaves juice is mixed with honey and used as eye drop for eye pain.
- Pain in the body: Dried bark powder is given in a dose of 3-6 grams, with one cup milk/water at night for 2-3 weeks.
- Diarrhea: Take about 100 grams fresh clean leaves of Shisham and boil in 500 ml water for fifteen minutes. Filter and collect the filtrate. This should be given in dose 100 ml (for adult) or 10-15ml (for children), three times a day, for 3-4 days.
- Breast swelling: The leaves are warmed and tied at affected area for reducing swelling.
- Pain in abdomen: Wash and extract 10-15 ml juice of leaves and take twice a day.
- Gonorrhea: The bark powder in a dose of 3-6gm Or decoction of the leaves is given.
- Jaundice, pus in urine: The leaves juice is given in a dose of 10-15 ml, thrice a day.
- Painful urination: Prepare decoction of leaves and drink 50-100 ml of it, twice a day.
- Leprosy: Take 10gm Shisham bark and boil in 500gm of water and till the volume reduces to half. Mix the juice of the bark and consume for forty days every morning.
- Abnormal bleeding in females: The leaves juice is given in a dose of 10-15 ml, twice a day.
- Heavy bleeding in period, leucorrhoea: Prepare paste of leaves (8- 10) and add 25gm of palm candy and take two times a day.
- Skin diseases: Topically apply Shisham oil at affected body area.
- Sciatica: For sciatica, bark of the tree is used. Bark powder 1 kg is cooked in 2 liter water, till volume reduces to 1/8th. Then water is filtered and the paste is again cooked till it thickens. This thick bark preparation should be taken in a dose of ten grams, with milk for 3 weeks, thrice a day.
- Leprosy: Drinking Shisham leaves decoction with honey, in the morning for a month provides great benefit in leprosy.
- Excessive sweating: Having juice of 15-20 Shisham leaves for 15 days with 10 grams of sugar in the morning reduces over sweating.
- Menorrhagia: Giving 10-15 leaves of Shisham juice twice a day with whole sugar is beneficial in excessive bleeding.