Description of Psoralea corylifolia
An erect herbaceous annual, 60-120 cm high with grooved and gland dotted
stems and branches. Seeds oblong, flattened, dark brown with an agreeable
aromatic odour and taste. Seeds are dark, 3-4.5 mm long, 2-3 mm broad and
sweet balsamic aroma
: Psoralea corylifolia oil has
various chemical compounds that include limonene, 4 terpineol, linalool,
angelicin, geranylacetate, psoralene, bachiol, ?-element and
This oil has an irritant and specific effect on the skin and mucous
membrane. It has a powerful effect against the skin streptococci. This
essential oil however varies enormously in its effect on different persons.
With the majority (95%), it causes only redness of the leucodermic patches.
According to Ayurveda, root is useful in carries of teeth whereas leaves
are good for diarrhea. Fruit is diuretic and causes biliousness. It is
useful in treatment of vomiting, piles, bronchitis, inflammation, anaemia
etc. It improves hair growth and complexion. Seeds are refrigerant,
alternative, laxative, antipyretic, anthelmintic, alexiteric and good for
heart troubles. Seed oil is used externally in treatment of elephantiasis.
According to Unani system of medicine, its seed are purgative, stomachic,
anthelmintic, vulnerary, stimulant, aphrodisiac and cures blood related
troubles. It is applied externally in treatment of skin related troubles.
Cosmetics and Toiletries:
The powder from the seed is used to treat leprosy and leucoderma
internally. It is also applied in the form of paste or ointment externally.
The unsaponified oil has been used with success in case of leucoderma and
psoriasis. It was shown to improve the color of skin (including removing
white spots), hair and nails.
An ointment made by combining one part of an alcoholic extract of the seeds
with two parts of chaulmugra oil and two parts of lanoline has been found to
be effective in treating leucoderma, white leprosy, psoriasis and other
inflammatory skin diseases and febrile conditions. The oil can be used both
internally or as a simple ointment externally. It can be rubbed once or
twice daily. The proportion of the active ingredients may be increased if
needed. Seeds are also used to make a perfumed oil. They are also used for
scorpion sting and snake-bite.