Reed fistula

Reed fistula ( Cassia fistula ). Tree approximately 6-20 m tall, with large leaves and aromatic flowers. It is the national tree of Thailand .


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  • 1 Taxonomy
    • 1 Scientific name
      • 1.1 Authors
    • 2 Combinations for this basonym
    • 3 Synonymy
    • 4 Common name
  • 2 Origin and distribution
    • 1 In Cuba
  • 3 Description
  • 4 Location
  • 5 Useful part
  • 6 Collection method
  • 7 Recognized medicinal properties
  • 8 Described dosage forms
  • 9 Route of administration
  • 10 Other attributed properties (Not yet approved)
  • 11 Warnings
  • 12 Other uses
  • 13 Components
  • 14 Preparation and dosage
  • 15 References
  • 16 Sources


Scientific name

  • Cassia fistula L.


[1] [2] [3] [4]


  • Linnaeus, Carl von
  • Posted in: Species Plantarum 1: 377–378. 1753. (1 May 1753 ) [5]

Combinations for this basonym

  • Bactyrilobium fistula (L.) Willd.
  • Cathartocarpus fistula (L.) Pers. [6]


  • Bactyrilobium fistula (L.) Willd.


  • Cassia bonplandiana DC.
  • Cassia excelsa Kunth
  • Cassia fistuloides Collad.
  • Cassia rhombifolia Roxb.
  • Cathartocarpus excelsus G. Don
  • Cathartocarpus fistula (L.) Pers.
  • Cathartocarpus fistuloides (Collad.) G. Don
  • Cathartocarpus rhombifolius G. Don [7] [8] [9]

Common name

  • Reed fistula, reed fistula, reed fistula, purgative cassia or golden shower.

Origin and distribution

Natural from quality areas of Asia , Egypt and the Middle East . Introduced and cultivated in America as a medicinal and ornamental plant, it was also introduced in many countries in tropical regions.

In Cuba

This species is less abundant than the cañandonga (Cassia grandis), especially found in the eastern part of Cuba . It is consumed as a soft drink and constitutes a mild laxative.



Flower details

Tree with a thick trunk, highly branched that can reach up to half a meter in diameter and between 6 and 20 m in height, with a gray-brown bark, with small longitudinal fissures.

Large leaves made up of an even number of leaflets, reaching up to 40 cm in length.

Aromatic flowers in hanging clusters 30-80 cm long; yellow corolla. Cylindrical legume, black, up to 60 cm long and 2 cm thick.

Samaroid fruit , indehiscent, flattened, coriaceous, fusiform, with poorly defined wings, striated, 5-9 x 1-1.7 cm, containing 1-3 oval-oblong, flattened seeds, 1 cm long, longitudinally centered.


Cultivated as an ornamental and medicinal plant. Persistent after cultivation in semi-deciduous forests.

Useful part

The fruits.

Collection method

Harvest them ripe for fresh consumption.


Recognized medicinal properties

Pharmacological Action System

Laxative digestive

Described pharmaceutical forms

Vegetable medicine.

Administration route


Other attributed properties (Not yet approved)


The leaves and flowers are considered laxatives but not refreshing. The use of the herbal tea for flowers is reported for nervous breakdowns and hysteria. Tincture of the roots to wash wounds and in general to treat skin diseases.


Pregnancy , lactation , menstruation , uterine and intestinal inflammations, hemorrhoids , irritable colon.

Indicate only in cases of functional constipations that do not respond to diets rich in fibers. Abuse of this product can cause changes in the intestinal musculature.

Other uses

Ornamental and shade tree.



The presence in the fruits of cathartic acid and hydroxymethylanthraquinones is cited.

Preparation and dosage

Dissolve 10-20 g of fresh and ripe fruit pulp in water or milk. Sweeten if desired and ingest one or more doses a day.


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