Avaram (Senna auriculata) is a much branched large shrub, growing up to 1-1.5 m high. It has a smooth cinnamon brown bark and closely pubescent branchlets. It has 8-11 cm long pinnate leaves and they are 8-12 pairs of leaflets, each 2-3 cm long. Bright yellow flowers appear in racemes at the end of branches. The flowers are 4-5 cm across. Upper three stamens are reduced to staminodes. Fruit is a 7-12 cm long, flat brown pod.
Species: S. auriculata
Scientific Name: Senna auriculata
Synonyms: Cassia auriculata, Cassia densistipulata.
Common Names: Tanner’s Cassia, Matura tea tree, Avaram senna, Ranawara or Avaram, Hindi: Tarwar, Marathi: Tarwad, Kannada: Tangedi or Avarikke, Telugu: Tagedu (తంగేడు), Tamil: Avaram (ஆவாரை), Gujarati: Awala, Malayalam: Avaram.
How to grow and maintain Avaram (Senna auriculata):
It requires full sun to flower and produces the most colorful blossoms.
It thrives best in organically rich, dry moist but well-drained soil. It can tolerate many soil types, including saline.
It grows best in areas where the mean annual temperature is in the range 60°F – 80°F / 16°C – 27°C.
Water regularly, during the growing season. Always keep the soil moist, but not soggy. In winter, reduce watering. Allow the top 2- inch of soil to dry slightly to touch between waterings, but never allow the soils to totally dry out.
Fertilize your plant once every two to three weeks, during the growing season with a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted by half.
It can be easily propagated by seed or cuttings. Soak the seed in water for at least 24 hours and nick the seed with a sharp knife. Keep the seed moist in a pot of commercial growing medium. Once your seed has germinated and has about six leaves, it’s time to decide where your tree will be growing.
Pests and Diseases:
It has no serious pest or disease problems.
Benefits of Avaram (Senna auriculata):
- The Senna auriculata has a long tradition of use in local medicine, with the leaves, flowers, seeds, roots, and bark all being used.
- The Avaram flowers are dried and ground into a very fine powder. This powder can be mixed with face wash powders and curd for external application. It has been used by thousands of Indian women over the years to treat uneven skin, prevent black spots and keep the skin free of blemishes. Tanner’s Cassia flower increases the glow of the skin and improves complexion when used on a regular basis.
- The Avaram flowers help to regulate blood sugar levels. It boosts the insulin levels in the body naturally. When taken on an empty stomach it is very beneficial for diabetics.
- The bark, flowers, and seeds contain pyrrolizidine alkaloids, suspected of hepatotoxic properties. However, in experiments, leaf extracts have been shown to alleviate the effects of a liver injury caused by alcohol.
- Extracts of dried flowers have shown significant hypoglycaemic effect, supporting the traditional use of the plant as a treatment for diabetes.
- The seeds are used to cure eye diseases, gonorrhea, and gout.
- The Avaram flowers are used for preparing herbal tea. The antioxidant-rich concoction is very tasty and a perfect substitute for caffeinated beverages like tea and coffee. The antioxidants keep the skin and body healthy and act like a natural blood purifier. A decoction of the flowers and the seeds is recommended for diabetes.
- The leaves and fruits serve as an anthelmintic and diuretic.
- Take fresh flowers and soak in drinking water for a few hours. Drinking frequently this water improve complexion in women.
- Note: Avoid using Cassia as herbal medicine during pregnancy, breast feeding and at least 2 weeks before a planned surgery.