RIGHT opposite the entrance of Homeopathic College in Sector 26, Chandigarh, on the green space in front of the blind school are some grand old giants, one of them being the huge towering tree called Bedda Nut. Also known as Belleric Myrobalan, Behera, Behada and Bastard Myrobalan, Bedda Nuts are tall, large, deciduous trees found across India (mainly in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Maharashtra).
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With a height that can shoot up to 30 meters, Terminalia Bellirica (from the family Combretaceae) flaunts a brownish grey bark, broad elliptic leaves clustered towards end of branches and right now, clunks of brown nuts hanging from it. It does flower, but in the months of May and June and the fruits, which you can spot right now are ovoid grey (nowadays brown) drupes whose kernels are sweet, but are considered narcotic too.
The tree also goes by the names Vibhitaki, Karshaphala and Kalidruma in Sanskrit. One can spot this multi-purpose tree on the Sacred Heart School road too in Sector 26, and in other sectors including 5, 10, 28, 29, 30, 31 to 36, 42, 46 and the Industrial Area.
Needless to mention, the tree has been revered for its healing properties. According to Ayurvedic studies, the Bedda Nut relieves pain, is beneficial for hair, throat and eyes, is considered rejuvenating and a laxative and its seed oil or fruit paste is good for skin and premature greying of hair. Here’s a tree which is deemed good for your overall health and immune system, but yes, use only after consulting with a doctor.
This tree’s fruits are also a good source of tannin and black dyes and ink, and a favourite with monkeys, goats, sheep and cattle. Of course, the wood is great for timber. Do check it out and in case you happen to be around the Sector 19 roundabout in Chandigarh, then do not miss the tree transplantation drive that is happening around at 11am. There is also a grass removal drive happening in Sector 7 in Chandigarh at 8 am. Guess it’s time to get proactive for a a clean and green Diwali.