- Parkia mortician is one of the most widespread species of Parkia in the Info-Pacific region.
Pagoda is a large tree growing to a height of up to 20 m at maturity. Bark is white to brown or light gray with white spots. Branches are spreading. Leaves are compound, bi-pinnate. with 14-31 pairs of pinnate and52-71 pairs of leaflets in each pinnate Inflorescence is a head or racehorse capitulate with clusters of yellowish-white tiny flowers, hanging at top of long stalks. Young inflorescences are protected by foliaceous bracts. At the base of each flowers is a thin membranous bracteole, which covers individual flowers in inflorescence during juvenile stage. Heads produce numerous flowers, the majority fades or drops off. Fruits in early stages are soft, tender and bright green pods, in bunches, up to 50 cm length. Pods turn black on maturation, yielding a yellow dry powdery pulp embedded with 12-19 seeds each.
- Native range is Tropical Asia.
- Native to Assam, Bangladesh, Borneo, East Himalaya, India, Jawa, Lesser Sunda Is., Malaya, Maluku, Myanmar, New Guinea, Sulawesi, Sumatra, Thailand. (6)
- Introduced into the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Taiwan.
- Considered vulnerable.
- Seeds are rich in protein (albumins and globulins), minerals (potassium, iron, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, manganese), essential amino acids (isoleucine, leucine, phenylalanine and tyrosine), and fatty acids (oleic and linoleic acid) (Mohan and Janardhanan 1993) (11)
- Protein content of pods range from 12.1% in tender pods to 18.8% in mature pods. Protein content of kernels (28.8%) was much higher than pod. Protein content increased as the pods mature, accompanied by a decrease in ash and carbohydrate content (Longvah and Deosthatle 1998). (11)
- Flowers and tender pods to mature seeds are edible and a good source of ascorbic acid (26.0 mg/100g). fat (20.28%), proteins (32.82%), and minerals (4.45%) Seeds yield Na (51.0), Mg (34.7). and P (160 mg/100g), Ca (97.47), K (2400), Cu (2.3) and Zn (2.77 mg/100g. It is also a good source of Fe and Mn, 57.1 and 35.0 mg/100g in the pod, and 34.9 and 9.4 mg/100g in the seeds, respectively. Protein fraction revealed globulin and albumin as the major fractions. It contains saponins, flavonoids, and tannins, with absence of alkaloids and cyanogenetic factors. (15)
- Study of the plant for phytosterol content revealed that almost all parts of the tree have a significant content of phytosterol, which is dominated by ß-sitosterol, the highest amount of which is found in the stem of leaf (35.24% w/w) and pod (29.67% w/w). (16)
- Seeds have a strong sulphur smell, which is due to the presence of thioproline.
Plant reported to possess antioxidant, a-glucosidase, a-amylase inhibitory, antibacterial, antidiabetic, antiproliferative and insecticidal activities.
- Studies have suggested antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, insecticidal, radioprotective, anti-diabetic properties.
Bark, fruit, rind, leaves.
- An underutilized nutritious leguminous tree with edible flowers, tender pods, and mature seeds. Antinutritional factors, total free fatty phenols, tannins and lectins can be eliminated by proper processing, heating or cooking.(3)
- In Thai cuisine, vegetable is known as nitta sprout and added to curry. (7)
- In some parts of northeast India, the pods from the trees are one of the costliest vegetable. (9) Pods are consumed in different stages of maturity. Pods used in making chutney. Flowers and young shoots used to prepare curries and salads
- In Porac, Pampanga, the Ayta people burn dried fruits as insect repellent. (14)
Seeds are used in the treatment of hepatalgia, edema, nephritis, diabetes, colic. Also used as anthelmintic. Powdered seeds applied externally to wounds, ulcers, and the abdomen to relieve pain. Leaves and bark applied to clean wounds and ulcers; also used for treatment of scabies. Bark used for treatment of scabies and abscesses. (8)
- In India, bark decoction used as bath to relieve fever; used as mouthwash to relieve toothache. Pulped bark taken orally with lemon for wound healing. Pods used for treatment of diabetes, headache and hypertension. Decoction of bark, fruit skin, and leaf used to treat diarrhea and dysentery. Bark decoction used for diabetes. Paste made from bark used as plaster to treat eczema. (11)
- In Nigeria, used for the treatment of diabetes, diarrhea, pneumonia, ulcers, burns, cough, jaundice. (13)
- Wood: Used for firewood and lumber.
- Shampoo: Pods pounded in water used as hair shampoo. (8)
- Agroforestry: Binds and prevents soil erosion from heavy rainfall through its wide crown in shifting cultivation fallows. (9)
- Fodder: Leaves used as fodder and green manure. (11)
- Dye adhesive: Fruit skin soaked in water yields a dark brown liquid used as adhesive for different dyes, mainly for red color (Akimpou et al. 2005). (11)
• Pectin / Antioxidant / Pod: Synthetic antioxidants added to food products can have noxious effects.Study evaluated Riang husk pectin (RHP) and Riang pod powder pectin (RPP) for antioxidant properties. The extracted pectins showed high uronic acid content (>65%) and high molecular weight (200-250 kDa) with yields of approximately 15 and 36% w/w (dry weight) for RHP and RPP pectin, respectively. Antioxidant activities of RHP were higher than RPP in all assays studied. Highest antioxidant activities were from ABTS assay, 0.95 and 0.24 mmol Trolox equivalents/g for RHP and RPP, respectively. (2)
• Thioproline / Radioprotective:
Thioproline is the principal agent responsible for the distinctive sulphur-aroma in Parkia timoriana seeds. It is a condensation product of formaldehyde and cysteine and is a natural metabolite that can act as antioxidant and free radical scavenger. Study showed radioprotective effects of pure thioproline through protection of DNA against gamma irradiation, with practical applications in cancer radiotherapy and risk reduction of exposed individuals. (4)
• Analgesic / Anti-Inflammatory / Fruit:
Study evaluated a methanolic extract and fractions of fruit of P. timoriana for analgesic activity using an acetic acid induced model and in vivo anti-inflammatory activity using carrageenan induced rat paw edema. Results showed analgesic and anti-inflammatory activity at dose of 100 mg/kbw comparable with standard drugs aspirin and diclofenac. (10)
• Insecticidal / Seed Oil:
Seed oil extract has shown insecticidal properties. Percentage of mortality of aphids by seed oil was significantly increased with increase in time and concentration under laboratory conditions (Salam et al, 1995). (11) Laboratory studies with oil extracts of P. roxburghii showed a mortality rate of 100% of Aphis craccivora after 96 hours with a concentration of 2%. (12)
• Anti-Diabetic / Leaves:
Study evaluated the anti-hyperglycemic effect of Parkia biglobosa crude methanolic leaf extract against alloxan-induced diabetic rats. Glibenclamide was used as control. Leaf extract treatment significantly decreased (p<0.05) blood glucose level, with the 300 mg methanol extract showing the best activity. Study recommends isolation of the active compound. (13)
• Cytotoxicity Against Breast Cancer Cells / Seeds:
Study evaluated extracts from 40 kinds of Thai vegetables for cytotoxic activity against human breast (MCF-7) and prostrate (PC3) cancer cell lines using sulforhodamine B (SRB) assay. The aqueous extract of Parkia timoriana seeds showed highest cytotoxic activity against breast cancer cells with IC50 of <1. (17)
Herbal teas, supplements, and seeds in the cybermarket.