Family • Fabaceae - Sesbania grandiflora (Linn.) Pers. - WEST INDIAN PEA - Da hua tian jing

Scientific names

Sesbania grandiflora (Linn.) Pers.
Robinia grandiflora Linn.
Aeschynomene grandiflora Linn.
Sesban grandiflorus Loir.
Agati grandiflora Desv.

Common names

Agati (Hindi)
Diana (Bag.)
Gauai-gauai (P. Bis.)
Kambang-turi (Sul.)
Katodai (Ilk.)
Katudai (Ilk., Ibn.)
Katurai (Ibn., Tag., Pang.)
Katuray (Tag.)
Agati sesban (Engl.)
Corkwood tree (Engl.)
Hummingbird tree (Engl.)
Swamp pea (Engl.)
Vegetable hummingbird (Engl.)
West Indian pea (Engl.)
Da hua tian jing (Chin.)

Other vernacular names

ARABIC : Saysabān. MALAYALAM: Akatti.
BENGALI : Agati, Agusta, Bagphal, Bak, Buko. MANIPURI: Houwaimal.
CHINESE: Mu tian jing, Hong hu die, Luo jie. MARATHI : Akatti, Shevari, Hatga.
CZECH : Sesbánie velkokvětá. NEPALESE: Agasti.
DUTCH : Agati. PERSIAN: Sīsabān.
FRENCH : Agati à grandes fleurs, Colibri végétal, Fagotier, Fleur papillon, Gros mourongue, Pois valette, Pois valier, Pois vallière, Sesbanie à larges fleurs PORTUGUESE : Agasto, Sesbânia.
GERMAN : Kolibribaum, Turibaum, Scharlach Baumwisterie. SANSKRIT: Agasti , Agati, Agastya, Drigapalaka, Munipriya, Varnari.
GUJARATI : Agathio. SINHALESE : Katura murunga.
HINDI: Agasti, Agasati, Basna, Gaach-munga, Hathya, Hatiya. SLOVAKIAN : Sezbánia veľkokvetá.
INDIAN: Hadaga. SPANISH : Baculo, Báculo, Cresta de gallo, Gallito, Pico de flamenco, Sesbania agata, Zapaton blanco.
JAPANESE: Agachi, Shiro gochou, Shiro gochou. TAMIL : Agathi, Agatti, Akatti, Akatthi, Agathi keeray, Peragathi.
KANNADA : Agastya. TELUGU : Agise, Agisi, Bakapushpam, Ettagise, Sukanasamu.
KHMER : Angkiëdèi (Angkea dey), Pka angkea dey. THAI: Dok khae, Dok khae baan, Khae baan, Khae daeng.
KOREAN: A ga ti, We-seu-teu-in-di-an-kong-na-mu. URDU : Agst.
LAOTIAN: Kh’ê: kha:w. VIETNAMESE : So đũa.
MALAY : Daun turi, Kacang turi, Kembang turi, Petai belalang, Pokok turi, Sesban getih, Toroy, Turi, Tuwi.

Katurai is a small, erect, fast-growing tree, 5 to 12 meters high. Leaves are pinnate, 20 to 30 centimeters long, with 20 to 40 pairs of leaflets which are 2.5 to 3.5 centimeters long. Flowers are white, 7 to 9 centimeters long. Pods are linear, 20 to 60 centimeters long, 7 to 8 millimeters wide, pendulous and somewhat curved, containing many seeds.


– In settled areas, at low and medium altitudes from northern Luzon to Mindanao.
– Certainly introduced.
– Often planted for its edible flowers and pods.
– Also occurs in India to the Mascarene Islands, through Malaya to tropical Australia.


– Bark contains tannin and gum. The red gum resembles Bengal kino.
– Saponin isolated from the seeds.
– Sesbanimide isolated from seed, considered a cancer inhibitor.
– Flower yields proteins, tannins, oleanolic acid, kaempferol, cystine, isoleucine, aspargine, phenylalanine, valine, nicotinic acid, vitamin C.
– Phytochemical screening of flowers yielded carbohydrates, proteins, amino acids, saponins, flavonoids, alkaloids, tannins, and glycosides.


– Considered aperient, diuretic, emetic, emmenagogue, febrifuge, laxative and tonic.
– Bark is very astringent.
– Flowers are emollient and laxative.
– Leaves are aperient, diuretic, laxative.

Parts used
Root, flowers, bark, leaves.

Edibility / Nutrition
– Often planted for its edible flowers and pods.
– The large white or pink flowers are edible, eaten raw or steamed; makes for an excellent salad.
– Young pods are eaten like string beans.
– Young leaves are edible. In some countries, dried leaves used for making tea.
– Flowers are an excellent source of calcium, fair source of iron, good source of vitamin B.

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Sesbania grandiflora (L.) Pers. / James A. Duke. 1983. Handbook of Energy Crops. unpublished.

(2) Evaluation of Sesbania grandiflora for antiurolithiatic and antioxidant properties / Journal of Natural Medicines / Volume 62, Number 3 / July, 2008 / 10.1007/s11418-008-0235-2

(3) Protective Effect of Sesbania grandiflora Against Cigarette Smoke-Induced Oxidative Damage in Rats / T. Ramesh, V. Hazeena Begum. Journal of Medicinal Food. June 2008, 11(2): 369-375. doi:10.1089/jmf.2006.205.

(4) Cardioprotective Effects of Sesbania grandiflora in Cigarette Smoke-exposed Rats / Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology, Oct 2008, Vol 52, No 4, pp 338-343 / doi: 10.1097/FJC.0b013e3181888383



(7) Utilization of some forages as a protein source for growing goats by smallholder farmers / Nguyen Thi Hong Nhan / Livestock Research for Rural Development, Volume 10, Number 3, 1998

(8) Evaluation of anticancer activity of ethanol extract of Sesbania grandiflora (Agati Sesban) against Ehrlich ascites carcinoma in Swiss albino mice / Sreelatha S, Padma PR, Umasankari E / J Ethnopharmacol. 2011 Apr 12;134(3):984-7. Epub 2011 Jan 18.

(9) Wound healing activity of Sesbania grandiflora Linn flower ethanolic extract using excision and incision wound model in wistar rats / Aijaz A Sheikh, Zaferuddin Sayyed et al / International Journal of PharmTech Research, Vol. 3, No.2, pp 895-898, April-June 2011

(10) Sorting Sesbania names / Authorised by Prof. Snow Barlow / Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / Copyright © 1997 – 2000 The University of Melbourne.

(11) Phytochemical study on Sesbania grandiflora / Abbs Fen Reji and N. Rexin Alphonse / Journal of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Research, 2013, 5(2):196-201

(12) Hepatoprotective potential of ethanolic and aqueous extract of flowers of Sesbania grandiflora (Linn) induced by CCl4 / Ishwer Kale*, Mohd Asif Khan, Yusufuddin Irfan, Veerana Goud A / Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine (2012)S670-S679 / doi:10.1016/S2221-1691(12)60294-9

(13) Hepatoprotective Activity of Fruit Extract of Sesbania Grandiflora, Pers. / Prafulla R. Tathe et al / Pharmacologyonline 3: 423-430 (2010)

(14) Phytopharmacology of Indian plant Sesbania grandiflora L. / Suresh et. al. / Journal of Phytopharmacology, Vol 1, Issue 2, 2012

(15) Antiproliferative and Apoptotic Effects of Sesbania grandiflora Leaves in Human Cancer Cells / Sankar Pajaniradje, Kumaravel Mohankumar, Ramya Pamidimukkala, Srividya Subramanian, and Rukkumani Rajagopalan / BioMed Research International, Volume 2014 (2014) / http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/474953

(16) Analgesic and CNS depressant activity of the crude extract of Sesbania grandiflora / *Kumar Bishwajit Sutradhar, Naheed Farhana Choudhury / Sutradhar and Choudhury, International Current Pharmaceutical Journal 2012, 1(3): 56-61

(17) Biological screening for cytotoxic potential of Sesbania grandiflora bark extract against human ovary epithelial teratocarcinoma using PA-1 cell lines, brine shrimp lethality bioassay and Allium cepa root model/ Rohit Gupta*, Nitin Dumore, Kishor Danao and Meha Motiwala / J. Nat. Prod. Plant Resour., 2013, 3 (5):18-25

(18) Susceptibility Of Sesbania grandiflora Root Extract Against Problematic Groups Of Drug Resistant Microbes / M.Manigandan, M.Syed Muzammil* / International Journal of PharmTech Research, IVol.5, No.2, pp 674-678, April-June 2013

(19) Investigation of Possible Hypoglycemic and Hypolipidemic Effect of Methanolic Extract of Sesbania grandiflora / Panigrahi Ghanshyam et al / IRJP 2012, 3(5)

(20) Studies on erythrocyte membrane VII. In vitro haemolytic effect of Sesbania grandiflora leaves / V. Ramesh Kumara, N. Murugesha, S. Vembara, C. Damodarana ∗ / Toxicology Letters, Volume 10, Issues 2–3, February 1982, Pages 157–161 / doi:10.1016/0378-4274(82)90068-6

(21) Apoptotic and Autophagic Effects of Sesbania grandiflora Flowers in Human Leukemic Cells / Rajneeta Roy, Deepak Kumar, Biswajit Chakraborty, Chinmay Chowdhury, Padma Das / PLoS ONE 8(8): e71672 / doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0071672

(22) Evaluation of edible flowers of agathi (Sesbania grandiflora L. Fabaceae) for in vivo anti-inflammatory and analgesic, and in vitro antioxidant potential / Nataraj Loganayaki, Nandhagopalan Suganya, Sellamuthu / Manian / Food Science and Biotechnology, April 2012, Volume 21, Issue 2, pp 509-517

(23) Protective Effect of Sesbania grandiflora Against Cigarette Smoke-Induced Oxidative Damage in Rats / T. Ramesh and V. Hazeena Begum / Journal of Medicinal Food. June 2008, 11(2): 369-375. / doi:10.1089/jmf.2006.205.


– Juice of the root, mixed with honey, used as an expectorant.
– Decoction of the bark used for hemoptysis.
– Infusion of the bark given for smallpox and other eruptive fevers.
– In Bombay, juice of leaves and flowers used for nasal catarrh and headaches.
– Juice of flowers as snuff to clear the sinuses.
– Poultice of leaves for bruises.
– Leaves used as aperient, laxative, and diuretic.
– Decoction of bark used as vomitive.
– In the Antiles, bitter bark is tonic and febrifuge.
– In Ayurveda, fruits are used for anemia, bronchitis, fever, tumors; flowers for gout, bronchitis, nyctalopia.
– In India, used for treatment of renal calculi. Flower extract used for nasal catarrh, headaches,gout, eczema, bronchitis, and pain; also as laxative and aperitif.
– In Cambodia, bark used for diarrhea, dysentery and sprue; laxative in large doses.
– Pounded bark used for scabies.
– In Java, bark is used for thrush.


– Gum: Produces a clear gum making a good substitute for gum arabic.
– Forage: High potential as forage and feed for growing goats.

Study Findings
• Anti-urolithiatic / Antioxidant: Evaluation of Sesbania grandiflora for antiurolithiatic and antioxidant properties : The leaf juice exhibited antiurolithiasis activity and antioxidant properties.
• Smoke-Induced Oxidative Damage/ Protection Effect: Study showed a protective effect of Sesbania grandiflora against cigarette smoke-Induced oxidative damage in Rats: An aqueous suspension of SG provided support for traditional use of SG in the treatment of smoke-related disease. Study showed that S. grandiflora leaves restrain cigarette smoke-induced oxidative dame in liver and kidney of rats.
• Antimicrobial / Synergism / Flowers and Tetracycline: Study showed synergism against all 12 bacterial species, the highest synergism attained was against Shigella boydii.
• Anxiolytic / Anticonvulsant: Study showed significant delay of onset of convulsions in PTZ- and STR-induced seizures in mice. The triterpene fractions exhibited a wide spectrum of anticonvulsant and anxiolytic activity.
• Cardioprotective / Antioxidant: Study showed that chronic cigarette smoke exposure increases oxidative stress and the aqueous suspension of S. grandiflora had a protective effect against oxidative damage through an antioxidant effect.
• Anti-Inflammatory: Study evaluated the prophylactic effects of administration of bark extracts of SG and S. sesban on the development of carrageenan-induced paw edema and adjuvant-induced arthritis. A high NO level may suppress immune response probably through inhibition of iNOS expression through a feedback inhibition mechanism.
• Hypolipidemic: A study in Triton induced hyperlipidemic rats showed significant decrease in serum cholesterol, phospholipid, triglycerides, LDL, VLDL and significant increase in HDL.
• Forage: Study showed the foliage from S. grandiflora has a high potential as feed for growing goats, as sole component or as supplement.
• Anti-Cancer: Study in Ehrlich ascites carcinoma-bearing Swiss albino mice showed the ethanol extract of S. grandiflora was effective in inhibiting the tumor growth in ascitic models that is comparable to 5-fluorouracil.
• Anti-Ulcer: Study showed significant reduction in the ulcer index and significant inhibition of gastric mucosal damage induced by aspirin, ethanol, and indomethacin. Results suggest a protective effect that might be mediated by both anti-secretory and cytoprotective mechanisms.
• Wound Healing: Study of ethanol flower extract ointment showed greater wound healing contracting ability and significantly increased tensile strength. The wound healing property was attributed to tannin and other nutritious content.
• Antibacterial: Phytochemical screening of aqueous extracts yielded carbohydrates, proteins, flavonoids, alkaloids, tannins, and glycosides. Crude leaf powder yielded low antibacterial activity while the nanosized leaf powder (NPL) exhibited the highest level of antibacterial activity.
• Hepatoprotective / Toxicity Study / Flowers: Study evaluated the hepatoprotective activity of aqueous and ethanolic extracts of Sesbania grandiflora flowers in CCl4-induced hepatotoxicity model in rats. Results showed sa significant hepatoprotective effect, with significant reduction of biochemical parameters and histological confirmation of healing. The extract did not show any mortality up to a dose of 2000 g/kbw.
• Hepatoprotective / Fruit Extract: Study evaluated the fruits for in vivo hepatoprotective effects using ethanol as toxicant and silymarin as standard drug in Wistar albino rats. Results showed significant hepatoprotective effect on biochemical parameters, with normal hepatocytes and lobar architecture compared to the toxicant group.
• Novel Protein Fraction / Anticancer / Chemopreventive: Study isolated a protein fraction, SF2 (Sesbania fraction 2) from the flower. The SF2 inhibited cell proliferation and induced apoptosis in Dalton’s lymphoma ascites (DLA) and colon cancer cells (SW-480). SF2 increased the life span and decreased tumor volume in mice bearing tumor. Results suggest a potential anticancer drug candidate.
• Antiproliferative / Apoptotic / Leaves: Study evaluated the anticancer properties of the leaves of Sesbania grandiflora tested on various cancer cell lines. A methanolic fraction was found to exert potent antiproliferative effects especially in human cancer cell line, A549, with activation of caspase 3 leading to cell death by apoptosis.
• Analgesic / CNS Depressant Activity: Study of a leaf extract of Sesbania grandiflora showed good analgesic and CNS depressant activity.
• Cytotoxic Potential / Bark / Human Ovary Epithelial Teratocarcinoma (PA-1Cell Line): A methanolic bark extract of Sesbania grandiflora contains potent cytotoxic compounds with specific activity against human ovary epithelial teratocarcinoma cells.
• Antimicrobial / Root Extract: Study evaluated an ethanolic root extract of S. grandiflora for antimicrobial activity. The antimicrobial property suggest potent phytoconstituents and bioactive compounds in the root extract.
• Hypoglycemic / Hypolipidemic: Study of a methanolic extract of Sesbania grandiflora showed hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic effect. There was a significant reduction in lipid profile of TC, LDL, VLDL and triglycerides, with an increase in HDL.
• In Vitro Hemolytic Effect / Leaves: Aqueous extract of leaves of Sesbania grandiflora produced hemolysis of human and sheep erythrocytes even at low concentrations. The release of phospholipids and sterols into the supernatant as a result of hemolysis suggest possible damage to the erythrocyte membrane.
• Apoptotic and Autophagic Effects / Flowers / Human Leukemic Cells: Study investigated the antiproliferative effect of a fraction isolated from SG flowers in cancer cells. Results suggest the fraction triggers pro-oxidant activity and mediates its cytotoxicity in leukemic cells via apoptosis and autophagy, and suggests further investigation for therapeutic potential in the treatment of leukemia.
• Antioxidant / Cytotoxic / Anti-Inflammatory / Analgesic / Flowers: A methanol extract of flowers exhibited maximum radical scavenging activity on NO, superoxide, and OH radical assays. Extract also exhibited potential cytotoxic activity against human cervical cancer cell line HeLa. It showed significant inhibition of inflammatory activity using a carrageenan and cotton pellet induced models and analgesic effect on hot plate pain model.
• Protection Against Cigarette Smoke-Induced Oxidative Damage: Study evaluated the possible protective effect of an aqueous suspension of S. grandiflora leaves against cigarette smoke-induced oxidative damage in rats. Results suggest supplementation with the leaf suspension reversed the cigarette smoke induced oxidative damage in rats through its antioxidant potential.

Cultivated and wildcrafted.