Life History and Behavior
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Cinnamomum tamala
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Cinnamomum tamala, Indian bay leaf, also known as tejpat, Malabar leaf, Indian bark, Indian cassia, or malabathrum is a tree within the Lauraceae family which is native to India, Nepal, Bhutan, and China. It can grow up to 20 m (66 ft) tall. It has aromatic leaves which are used for culinary and medicinal purposes. It is thought to have been one of the major sources of the medicinal plant leaves known in classic and medieval times as malabathrum (or malobathrum).
Nomenclature and taxonomy
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The leaves, known as tējapattā or tejpatta (तेजपत्ता) in Hindi and in Nepali, Tejpat in Assamese and tamalpatra (तमालपत्र) in Marathi and in original Sanskrit, are used extensively in the cuisines of India, Nepal, and Bhutan, particularly in the Moghul cuisine of North India and Nepal and in Tsheringma herbal tea in Bhutan. It is called Biryani Aaku or Bagharakku in Telugu. They are often labeled as "Indian bay leaves," or just "bay leaf", causing confusion with the leaf from the bay laurel, a tree of Mediterranean origin in a different genus, and the appearance and aroma of the two are quite different. This may lead to confusion when following Indian or Pakistani recipes. Bay laurel leaves are shorter and light to medium green in color, with one large vein down the length of the leaf, while tejpat are about twice as long and wider, usually olive green in color, and with three veins down the length of the leaf. True tejpat leaves impart a strong cassia- or cinnamon-like aroma to dishes, while the bay laurel leaf's aroma is more reminiscent of pine and lemon. Indian grocery stores usually carry true tejpat leaves. Some grocers may only offer Turkish bay leaves,[clarification needed] in regions where true tejpat is unavailable.
The bark is also sometimes used for cooking, although it is regarded as inferior to true cinnamon or cassia. In a recent study made by D.K.Sharma, C.Varshneya, P.Bharadwaj, and B.S.More of Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology COVAS,CSKHPKVV Palampur Himachal Pradesh India revealed that Methanolic Extract of C.tamala leaves @ 10mg/Kg to Alloxan induced diabetic rats for 15 days resulted in significant reduction in blood glucose level, blood glcosylated haemoglobin, LPO, serum AST, and ALT and significant increase in the antioxidant enzymes such as CAT, GSH, and SOD. However restoration of blood glucose and other parameters was much faster in Glibenclamide treated rats. Their studies indicated that C.tamala could be used as an adjunct therapy in Diabetes (Indian Vet. J. June 2012, 89(6): 72-74).
"Malabar" is the name of a region on the west coast of southern India that forms the northern portion of the present-day state of Kerala. The word "Mala" or "Malaya" means "Mountain" in the Tamil and Malayalam languages, as also in Sanskrit. The word "malabathrum" is also thought to have been derived from the Sanskrit tamālapattram (तमालपत्त्रम्), literally meaning "dark-tree leaves".
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- Xi-wen Li, Jie Li & Henk van der Werff. "Cinnamomum tamala". Flora of China. Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA. Retrieved 29 March 2013.
- Ahmed, Aftab et al.; Choudhary, M. Iqbal; Farooq, Afgan; Demirci, Betül; Demirci, Fatih; Can Başer, K. Hüsnü (2000). "Essential oil constituents of the spice Cinnamomum tamala (Ham.) Nees & Eberm.". Flavour and Fragrance Journal 15 (6): 388–390. doi:10.1002/1099-1026(200011/12)15:6<388::AID-FFJ928>3.0.CO;2-F. Retrieved 29 June 2009.
- Dighe, V. V. et al.; Gursale, A. A.; Sane, R. T.; Menon, S.; Patel, P. H. (2005). "Quantitative Determination of Eugenol from Cinnamomum tamala Nees and Eberm. Leaf Powder and Polyherbal Formulation Using Reverse Phase Liquid Chromatography". Chromatographia 61 (9 - 10): 443–446. doi:10.1365/s10337-005-0527-6. Retrieved 28 June 2009.
- Rao, Chandana Venkateswara et al.; Vijayakumar, M; Sairam, K; Kumar, V (2008). "Antidiarrhoeal activity of the standardised extract of Cinnamomum tamala in experimental rats". Journal of Natural Medicines 62 (4): 396–402. doi:10.1007/s11418-008-0258-8. PMID 18493839. Retrieved 3 July 2009.
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (June 2009)|
- This article is about the ointment historically known as malabathrum, and the leaves from which it was prepared. For one plant which was a source of those leaves see Cinnamomum tamala
Malabathrum, or Malobathrum, is the name used in classical and medieval texts for certain aromatic plant leaves and an ointment prepared from those leaves. Cinnamomum tamala (sometimes given as Cinnamomum tejpata) is thought to be one of the primary sources of these leaves, although other species of Cinnamomum and even plants in other genera  may also have been used. In ancient Greece and Rome, the leaves were used to prepare a fragrant oil, called Oleum Malabathri, and were therefore valuable. The leaves are mentioned in the 1st century Greek text Periplus Maris Erytraei as one of the major exports of the Malabar coast which is the present Kerala coast. In the language of Kerala that is, Malayalam, the plant is called 'Vazhana'. It is also known as 'Edana' in Malayalam. The name Malabathrum is also used in mediaeval texts to describe the dried leaves of a number of trees of the genus Cinnamomum, which were thought to have medicinal properties.
- "Latin Lexicon". http://latinlexicon.org/definition.php?p1=2034384&p2=m&p3=2. Retrieved 2012-11-07.
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