Andira araroba Aguiar
Vouacapoua araroba (Aguiar) Lyons
Common Name: Araroba
Araroba is a deciduous tree with a small, globose crown; it can grow 20 - 35 metres tall. The straight, cylindrical bole can be 60 - 90cm in diameter[[
The tree yields araroba, a powder obtained from the wood, that has medicinal applications. It is gathered from the wild and exported from Brazil, whilst the tree is also cultivated for this powder in southern India[
]. The wood is also used locally and exported.
Some caution is advised in the medicinal use of this plant. It should not be taken internally and, since it is readily absorbed through the skin, it should only be used externally in small quantities. It can be severely irritating to the skin and mucous membranes whilst as little as 10 mg absorbed by the body has been associated with vomiting, diarrhoea and kidney inflammation.
The sawdust may cause allergies to people working in sawmills[
S. America - eastern Brazil.
Mainly found in primary rainforest on gentle, well-drained slopes[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Wild
Succeeds in sun or light shade[
]. Found in the wild on clayey or sandy, well-drained soils[
]. Established plants are drought resistant[
Although many species within the family Fabaceae have a symbiotic relationship with soil bacteria, this species is said to be devoid of such a relationship and therefore does not fix atmospheric nitrogen[
Araroba is a powder found deposited in the wood of this tree as the result of the oxidation of resin. Its active principle is Chrysarobin or Chrysophanic acid, and it has been shown to be an effective treatment for a range of skin conditions, including ringworm, fungal infections and psoriasis[
]. The powder is also laxative[
Araroba is contained in the large porous vessels and in clefts or cavities which traverse the wood in direction of the diameter, and are prolonged through the entire trunk; it is obtained by cutting down the tree, splitting the trunk, and scraping the powder from the clefts[
Chrysobasin, also called Goa powder, which is obtained from the bark, is antiparasitic and irritant[
]. It is used in the treatment of skin problems[
Chrysobasin, also called Goa powder, is obtained from the bark[
]. It has fungicidal properties[
The heartwood is bright yellow when freshly sawn, becoming light brown to dark brown or red brown upon exposure to air; it is clearly demarcated from the 4 - 7cm wide band of sapwood. The texture is coarse; the grain straight or slightly interlocked. The wood is moderately heavy to heavy; varying from soft to hard; elastic; moderately durable, being resistant to dry wood borers and moderately resistant to fungi and termites. It seasons fairly quickly with only a slight risk of checking and distortion; once dry it is moderately stable to stable in service. There is quire a high blunting efect, stellite-tipped and tungsten carbide tools are recommended; it planes easily; nailing and screwing are good, but require pre-boring; gluing is correct. The wood can be used for making high class furniture, stairs, panelling, flooring, sliced veneer, industrial or heavy flooring, joinery, formwork, exterior joinery, heavy carpentry, bridge building, stakes, fence posts etc[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe[
]. Since it is very difficult to extract them, the seeds can be sown with their pods. Sow them in a nursery seedbed or in individual containers. A germination rate in excess of 50% can be expected within 2 - 3 weeks[
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