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  • Sappan wood, also known as East Indian redwood, comes from a tree that has both ornamental and medicinal properties.
    A small, thorny tree, it can reach a height of more than 30 feet. It is found in the wild throughout China and India, and is also cultivated in gardens and nurseries.
  • The inner, or "heart," wood of the tree is harvested by being sawn into large pieces, then cut into smaller slices.


  • Under natural conditions C. sappan grows mostly in hilly areas with clayey soil and calcareous rocks at low and medium altitudes.
  • Flowering can occur after 1 year of growth and usually during the rainy season, fruiting about 6 months later.
  • C. sappan is propagated by seed or cuttings which should be 2.5 cm diameter and 10 cm long.
  • Initially C. sappan grows straight but at about 2.5 m height, the branches start to droop and entwine with branches of nearby trees to form thickets, generally free from undergrowth.


  • Decoction of wood and bark used for tuberculosis, diarrhea, dysentery, postpartum tonic, skin infections. and anemia.
  • Seeds used for stomach aches and nervous disorders and it is also used as tonic.
  • Chiefly used as a dyewood, popular for coloring native fabrics.
  • In the Quezon area, it is used as a popular colorant for the coconut liquer, lambanog.
  • Sappan wood possesses medicinal abilities as an anti-bacterial and for its anti-coagulant properties and it also produces a valued type of reddish dye called brazilin, used for dyeing fabric as well as making red paints and inks.


  • Sappan is a natural dye yielding medicinal plant. In India it is cultivated in gardens and nurseries as a live fence plant in parts of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal and nowhere is it found in the wild.
  • Sappan wood, coconut, pepper and areca nut serve major proportion of his agricultural income. Agriculture as a whole contributes to the 50 per-cent of his total income.
  • Badami et al reported that sappan heartwood had significant antioxidant activity, especially in the liver and kidney.

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