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Madhuca longifolia butter tree   Sapotaceae
 

honey tree, butter tree,   illipe, arbre  beurre, bassie, madhuca India: moha, mohua, madhuca, illuppai, kuligam, madurgam, mavagam, nattiluppai, tittinam, mahwa, mahua, mowa, moa, mowrah , mi, illuppai, kulilgam, maduragam, mavagam, nattiluppai, tittinam, Madhuca indica

 
honey tree, butter tree,   illipe, arbre  beurre, bassie, madhuca India: moha, mohua, madhuca, illuppai, kuligam, madurgam, mavagam, nattiluppai, tittinam, mahwa, mahua, mowa, moa, mowrah , mi, illuppai, kulilgam, maduragam, mavagam, nattiluppai, tittinam, Madhuca indica

Madhuca longifolia, commonly known as mahwa or mahua, is an Indian tropical tree found largely in the central and north Indian plains and forests. It is a fast-growing tree that grows to approximately 20 meters in height, possesses evergreen or semi-evergreen foliage, and belongs to the family Sapotaceae. It is adapted to arid environoments, being a prominent tree in tropical mixed deciduous forests in India in the states of Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Gujarat and Orissa.
Uses

It is cultivated in warm and humid regions for its oleaginous seeds (producing between 20 and 200 kg of seeds annually per tree, depending on maturity), flowers and wood. The fat (solid at ambient temperature) is used for the care of the skin, to manufacture soap or detergents, and as a vegetable butter. It can also be used as a fuel oil. The product is often used in sweets and chocolates under the name "illipe". The seed cakes obtained after extraction of oil constitute very good fertilizer. The flowers are used to produce an alcoholic drink in tropical India. Several parts of the tree, including the bark, are used for their medicinal properties. It is considered holy by many tribal communitites because of its usefulness.
M. longifolia in Hyderabad, India

The tree is considered a boon by the tribals who are forest dwellers and keenly conserve this tree. However, conservation of this tree has been marginalized, as it is not favoured by nontribals.

The leaves of Madhuca indica (= M. longifolia) are fed on by the moth Antheraea paphia, which produces tassar silk (tussah), a form of wild silk of commercial importance in India.

The Tamils have several uses for M. longifolia (iluppai in Tamil). The saying "aalai illaa oorukku iluppaip poo charkkarai" indicates when there is no cane sugar available, the flower of M. longifolia can be used, as it is very sweet. However, Tamil tradition cautions that excessive use of this flower will result in imbalance of thinking and may even lead to lunacy.
Mahuwa flowers

The mahuwa flower is edible and is a food item for tribals. They are used to make syrup for medicinal purposes. They are also fermented to produce the alcoholic drink mahuwa, a country liquor. Tribals of Bastar in Chattisgarh and Orissa, Santhals of Santhal Paraganas (Jharkhand) and tribals of North Maharashtra consider the tree and the mahuwa drink as part of their cultural heritage. Mahuwa is an essential drink for tribal men and women during celebrations.The main ingredients used for making it are chhowa gud (granular mollasses) and dried mahuwa flowers.
Oil

Refractive index: 1.452
Fatty acid composition (acid, %) : palmitic (c16:0) : 24.5, stearic (c18:0) : 22.7, oleic (c18:1) : 37.0, linoleic (c18:2) : 14.3

Trifed, a web site of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India reports: "Mahuwa oil has emollient properties and is used in skin disease, rheumatism and headache. It is also a laxative and considered useful in habitual constipation, piles and haemorrhoids and as an emetic. Tribals also used it as an illuminant and hair fixer.
Vernacular names:
English: honey tree, butter tree
French: illipe, arbre beurre, bassie, madhuca
India: moha, mohua, madhuca, illuppai, kuligam, madurgam, mavagam, nattiluppai, tittinam, mahwa, mahua, mowa, moa, mowrah
Sri Lanka: mi, illuppai, kulilgam, maduragam, mavagam, nattiluppai, tittinam

honey tree, butter tree,   illipe, arbre  beurre, bassie, madhuca India: moha, mohua, madhuca, illuppai, kuligam, madurgam, mavagam, nattiluppai, tittinam, mahwa, mahua, mowa, moa, mowrah , mi, illuppai, kulilgam, maduragam, mavagam, nattiluppai, tittinam, Madhuca indica honey tree, butter tree,   illipe, arbre  beurre, bassie, madhuca India: moha, mohua, madhuca, illuppai, kuligam, madurgam, mavagam, nattiluppai, tittinam, mahwa, mahua, mowa, moa, mowrah , mi, illuppai, kulilgam, maduragam, mavagam, nattiluppai, tittinam, Madhuca indica honey tree, butter tree,   illipe, arbre  beurre, bassie, madhuca India: moha, mohua, madhuca, illuppai, kuligam, madurgam, mavagam, nattiluppai, tittinam, mahwa, mahua, mowa, moa, mowrah , mi, illuppai, kulilgam, maduragam, mavagam, nattiluppai, tittinam, Madhuca indica

 

  

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