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Shorea Robusta Or Sal Tree: Benefits, Uses, And Side Effects

Shorea robusta is commonly known as the Sal tree, Salwa, Sakhwa, Kandar, Shal or shala tree. It is a species of tree that belongs to the family Dipterocarpaceae. They are native to India, Bangladesh, and Nepal. It is also known as the state tree of Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh. Wherever the Sal trees grow they dominate the forest.

A Sal tree is worshipped mostly in the Hindu culture as it is referred to be an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. It also believed to be pious in Jainism, and Buddhism. Apart from that the Sal tree resin is also known as sal dammar and holds an important place in Ayurvedic medicine for its astringent property [1] . The fruit and seeds have several health benefits and the oil extracted from their seeds are used for cooking.

Health Benefits Of Shorea Robusta

1. Heal wounds: The thick fluid (known as Rala) found in the outer cells of the tree works as a scab and helps to heal an open wound. As a result, they protect the wound from any infections and speed up the healing process [2] .

2. Helps to release pain: Bhagnasandhanakrut, a vital element found in Shorea robusta tree helps in mending cracks and fractures and also treats pain arising due to such problems[3] .

3. Removes the scars: Asra-Dagdharuk, which is an important element of Sal tree helps in healing the wounds along with removing the scars very effectively from that place. They are known to reduce or lighten the scars and sometimes even completely vanishes it [4] .

4. Helps in fighting infections: Vishaha, found in the Sal tree is known for its anti-toxic properties. They improve our immune system, fights infection, and help flush out the harmful toxins from the body [1] .

5. Treats Diarrhoea: One of the important elements found in this tree is Grahi that helps in treating diarrhoea by improving our digestive problems. It has an absorbent property that has proven to be effective in treating all bowel disorders [3] .

6. Repairs the skin cells: Vranashodhana, which is a vital element is found in the Sal tree, helps to repair skin cells due to its quick healing properties. This element also helps in the production of new cells and repair old or damaged cells [2] .

7. Heals the ear infection: Karnarogahara found in Shora robusta helps to cure several types of ear infection and relieves the pain caused due to them. It has been considered useful in treating ear disorders since the Ayurvedic days [3] .

8. Treats hearing loss: Badhiryahara, a vital ingredient in this tree is beneficial when it comes to treating hearing loss and other ear disorders. There are other numerous types of ear illnesses, which has found their successful cure through this treatment [3] .

9. Treats bad odour: Svedahara is a very effective element found in the Sal tree. It counters excessive sweat from the body and that way one can effectively deal with bad odour. In this way, it raises the self-confidence of a person [5] .

10. Reduces itching: Itching or boil can cause discomfort in a person. Sphotahara & Kandunashana found in the Sohrea robusta tree helps in providing relief from the same and treats it effectively [2] .

Dosage Of Shorea Robusta

Sal tree powder 3-5 g

Sal tree resin 1-3 g

Decoction 50-100 ml [6]

How to Use

  • Take one-fourth or half teaspoon of Shorea robusta powder, mix it with honey or water. Take it twice a day, after lunch and dinner.
  • Take 8-10 teaspoon of Kwath extracted from the Sal tree. Add water and drink it once or twice a day after meals.
  • Make a paste of the Sal tree leaves or barks, add rose water and apply on skin twice or thrice the skin on the scars. Wait for 5-7 minutes before washing it.
  • One-fourth or half teaspoon of the Sal tree resin is mixed with the honey and applied on wounds once or twice a day for best results [6] .

Side Effects Of Shorea Robusta

There are no possible side effects of the Sal tree. They are mostly consumed for easy digestion and also because it offers several health benefits. It is given to lactating mothers to improve their milk production. However, if you are pregnant or lactating, it is always considered safe to consult a doctor, before consuming it.

Industrial Uses of Shorea Robusta

1. The wood from this tree is durable and is used in many construction industries.

2. The leaves are used to make organic leaf plates and bowls and also serve as food for cattle [7] .

3. Due to the presence of Oleoresin, they are used in manufacturing incense sticks for many religious ceremonies.

4. They are also useful in making paints, soft waxes, and carbon papers.


The Sal tree barks, leaves or resin paste may cause allergy if taken with honey or rose water or if your skin is hypersensitive.

View Article References
  1. [1] Poornima, B. (2009). Comparative phytochemical analysis of Shorea robusta Gaertn (oleoresin) WSR to its seasonal collection. Ancient science of life, 29(1), 26.
  2. [2] Mukherjee, H., Ojha, D., Bharitkar, Y. P., Ghosh, S., Mondal, S., Kaity, S., ... & Mondal, N. B. (2013). Evaluation of the wound healing activity of Shorea robusta, an Indian ethnomedicine, and its isolated constituent (s) in topical formulation. Journal of ethnopharmacology, 149(1), 335-343.
  3. [3] Wani, T. A., Kumar, D., Prasad, R., Verma, P. K., Sardar, K. K., Tandan, S. K., & Kumar, D. (2012). Analgesic activity of the ethanolic extract of Shorea robusta resin in experimental animals. Indian journal of pharmacology, 44(4), 493–499. doi:10.4103/0253-7613.99322
  4. [4] Datta, H. S., Mitra, S. K., & Patwardhan, B. (2011). Wound healing activity of topical application forms based on ayurveda. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM, 2011, 134378. doi:10.1093/ecam/nep015
  5. [5] Poornima, B. (2009). Comparative phytochemical analysis of Shorea robusta Gaertn (oleoresin) WSR to its seasonal collection. Ancient science of life, 29(1), 26.
  6. [6] Marandi, R. R., Britto, S. J., & Soreng, P. K. (2016). Phytochemical profiling, antibacterial screening and antioxidant properties of the sacred tree (Shorea robusta gaertn.) of Jharkhand. Int J of Pharm Sci and Res, 7(7), 2874-88.
  7. [7] Dangol D. R. (2002). Economic uses of forest plant resources in western Chitwan, Nepal. Banko janakari, 12(2), 56–64.
    Story first published: Monday, July 29, 2019, 10:00 [IST]
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