Salvadora oleoides


S. oleoides



Local Names





India, Pakistan and Southern Iran

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Salvadora oleoides is a small bushy evergreen tree found in India and Pakistan and southern Iran.
The root and stem possess various antimicrobial agents and is traditionally used as toothbrush in Pakistan and India. 
The vann is commonly found in and around Sandal Bar, and is reserved for use as grazing sources for local peasant villages. In addition, a number of trees have been preserved to provide shade for cattle.

The vann is mostly non-woody and the small amount of wood that it has is soft, light, and not particularly useful for any of wood's normal uses, notably building and heat. When burnt, it leaves a large quantity of ash, which can then be boiled down into a substance for treating mange in camels.

In the janamsakhis of Guru Nanak, he was found laying under a jal-tree whose shadow remained stationary to protect him from the sun. Macauliffe identifies this tree as Salvadora oleoides.
Salvadora oleoides is an evergreen shrub or tree with a dense crown of numerous, drooping branches; it can grow 6 - 9 metres tall. The short bole is quite often twisted or bent, it can be up to 2 metres in diameter.
The tree is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine and source of materials. It is sometimes grown as a shelterbelt and to protect the soil, and is also planted in order to enjoy its dense shade.
The sweet tasting fruit, which is eaten in Northern India, irritates the mouth producing tingling and ulceration.
Dry, tropical thorn forest, consisting mainly of Prosopis spicigera, Salvadora oleoides, Capparis aphylla and Tamarix articulate.

    The bruised root-bark has a vesicant effect.
    The seed oil is applied topically in the treatment of rheumatic pains; it is also used in the preparation of suppositories, and as a base for ointments.
    The seeds contain a thioglucoside, glucotropaeolin, which is related to mustard oil.
    The leaves are used to relieve cough.
    The leaves are heated and then tied up in a cloth with those of Vitex trifolia and applied as a poultice on areas affected by rheumatism. They are a favorite domestic remedy for the treatment of rheumatic pains.
    The fruits are alterative, digestive, lithotripic. They are used in the treatment of enlarged spleen, rheumatism, tumours, kidney and gallbladder stones, and fever.

Agroforestry Uses:
    The tree regenerates freely by root suckers and can quickly form a dense, almost impenetrable growth comprising the parent stem surrounded by a ring of root suckers. 
    It is suitable for growing in shelterbelts and as windbreaks in desert tracks, and has the potential for use in land reclamation projects. 
    It is a very important tree for reclothing bare and desert tracts in the Sind-Punjab region.
    The seed meal left after fat extraction is valued as a fertilizer for tobacco.

Other Uses
    The seeds contain 40 - 50% of a greenish-yellow fat containing large amounts of lauric and myristic acids. It could be used for making soap and candles.
    The seed oil showed 100% toxicity to the mosquito Anopheles stephensi at a concentration of 0.01%.
    Short pieces of the root, about the size of goosequill, are used as toothbrushes to clean the teeth.
    The light red or yellow wood is moderately hard, with a small, irregular, purple heartwood. It is used for building purposes, agricultural implements, Persian wheels and boats.
    The wood is an important local source of fuel. A poor fuel, leaving a great deal of ash.