Coral tree (Erythrina variegata
L.) is a spreading tropical and subtropical tree legume, renowned as an ornamental for its conspicuous red blossoms. In India, it is one of the most used forage tree legume used as fodder for small ruminants. It is often used as an hedgerow and windbreak.
Indian Coral Tree is a showy, spreading tree legume with brilliant red blossoms. This highly valued ornamental has been described as one of the gems of the floral world. It is a picturesque, broad and spreading, deciduous tree that can get 60-80 ft tall and spread 20-40 ft It has many stout branches that are armed with black tiger's claw spines. There are curved spines (really more like prickles) on the long leaf stalks too. The leaves are compound, with three diamond shaped leaflets, each about 6 in long. Before the leaves come out in late winter or early spring, coral tree puts on a spectacular show with bright crimson flowers 2-3 in long in dense terminal clusters. It may flower a little during the summer, too. The beanlike pods that follow the flowers are cylindrical, about 15 in long, and constricted between the reddish brown seeds. The naturally occurring variety orientalis has the veins of its leaflets highlighted with yellow or pale green. 'Parcellii', with yellow variegated leaves, may be just another name for the same variety. 'Alba' has white flowers.
Different parts of the plant have been used in traditional medicine for a variety of ailments and as nervine sedative, collyrium in ophthalmia, anti-asthmatic, antiepileptic, antiseptic, astringent, febrifuge, anti-bilious, diuretic, laxative, expectorant, anthelmintic, vermifuge and an astringent in Asia and the Pacific Islands.
Bark is used as a laxative, diuretic, expectorant astringent, febrifuge, anti-bilious and anthelmintic and is useful in ophthalmia and skin diseases.
Bark is also used to facilitate the maturation of boils. Dried bark decoction or infusion in alcohol is used for lumbar and leg pain. Stem bark is used against rheumatism in the form of a decoction, extract or tincture and an infusion used for stomachache. Bark when crushed and pounded is used for curing toothache by inserting into cavities or hollow tooth. Used to treat To treat Wounds, Inflammation, Pains, Convulsions, Dysurea, Menstrual disturbances, Insomnia, Worms, Constipation, Blood-related disorders, Cough, Loss of appetite, Erectile dysfunction, Obesity.