You must have tasted the seeds of this tree, most probably in delicious deserts. But the tree itself is hardly known to anyone. Chironji tree (Buchanania Lanzan/चारोळी, चार) is a wonderful, medium sized, semi-evergreen species with straight, cylindrical trunk. Unfortunately and surprisingly, its medicinal as well as other uses and properties are losing its popularity among young generations.
Being one of the common tree in dry deciduous forests, the Chironji fruits are considered as one of the delicious wild fruits. As said earlier, the seeds are edible and are regarded as substitute for almonds. The seeds are regarded as substitute for almonds. These seeds in many cases are crushed to generate a powder that is definitely then employed for a flavoring or spice in lots of authentic Indian dishes. In addition to being employed for a spice, these nuts are occasionally useful to thicken sauces and stews. Making use of Chironji in preparing most of these dishes can lead to them using a faintly sweet flavor. The kernels have a pleasant, sub acidic flavour and are eaten raw or roasted. Kernel is of very high value in market. Kernel is rich in protein content (20-30%) and have high oil content (40-50%), which is highly nutritious.
Various parts of the tree are used in the Ayurveda as well as Unani system of medicine. The tree is reported to pacifies vitiated pitta, kapha and can be used in diarrhea, dysentery, skin diseases, burning sensation, cough, bronchitis, nervous debility, cardiac debility, constipation, fever, ulcer, oligospermia and general debility. Its leaves are used in the treatment of skin diseases and fruits are used against cough and asthma. According to Unani system of medicine, leaf juice is digestive, expectorant, aphrodisiac, purgative, blood purifier and allays thirst.
Chironji tree yields tannin and used in tannin industries. An oil is extracted from the seeds and can be used as almond oil. It is used for delayed action in pharmaceutical industries for coating purposes. It is also good substitute to olive-oil. It is used as a host in lac culture and also yields gum. Chironji is a good species for afforesting bare hill slopes as well as for urban plantation.