Camel’s Foot Tree for Diabetes

About this plant


Phanera variegata is also called Bauhinia veriagata. A distinctive characteristic of the bauhinia are its purple colored or lilac flowers. Another close relative which also contain medicinal properties is Pata de Vaca or bauhinia forficata that looks very similar to phanera but produces white flowers. Both plants have anti diabetic properties and both are from the Fabaceae family.

Camel foot tree is also called orchid tree and is 20-40′ tall and 10-20′ wide with a spreading bauhinia_variegata_foliagecrown of briefly deciduous leaves which are 4-6″ across and rounded with lobed ends and heart shaped bases. The leaves are shaped a little like a cow’s hoof.

Camel foot tree is native to Southeast Asia and southern China, Burma, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Common names are: orchid tree, camel’s foot tree, kachnar and mountain-ebony.

Medicinal properties

It has been traditionally used to treat bronchitis, leprosy, and tumors. The stem bark is used as astringent, tonic, and anthelmintic. Infusion of the leaves are used as a laxative and for piles. Dried buds are used in the treatment of worm infestations, tumors, diarrhea, and piles. The stem bark is used in ayurveda for its antidiabetic activity. So far, the stem bark has been investigated and reported to have antitumor, antibacterial, antifungal, antiulcer, and hepatoprotective activity. Flavanone glycoside from root is reported to have anti-inflammatory activity.

Anti diabetic properties

The search for plant-based products for control of diabetes mellitus continues, and the World Health Organization (WHO) has also long back recommended herbal treatment of diabetes mellitus. The leaves of the many Bauhinia species are used in antidiabetic treatments by many populations of the world. [1]

Many scientists and researchers claimed that medicinal plants have anti diabetic properties and this activity could occur due to active compounds present in the extract from these plants. [2]

They claim medicinal plant extract to be almost the same as standard drugs and have efficient antidiabetic activity. This is due to antioxidant property of medicinal plants. Some researchers also mentioned that this activity could be due to enhancement of insulin secretion by stimulating beta cell. [2]

In a study using dried stem barks which were then powdered and defatted with petroleum ether (60–80°C). Then subjected to cold extraction with ethanol and water was given to laboratory rats. [1]

treatment significantly reduced the blood glucose levels in hyperglycemic animals. The results revealed the maintenance of blood sugar levels in diabetic rats during the 7 days administration of camel foot tree extract throughout the study period. The study used the drug metformin as a comparison. Camel foot extract was found to be as potent as metformin in lowering blood glucose. [2]

What is available to you

Unfortunately a quick search will reveal that there aren’t many products for sale available. If you want to explore the full potential of this plant you might have to do some explorations of your own. Here is one that contains Camel foot tree extracts. As products become available I will update this post.


Immunological finding of these these plant flower  and steam extracts was very interesting with respect to decline in monocytes count and enhancement of granulocytes count including forward as well as side scatter that is observed in human diabetes blood samples after treatment with various acidic proteases from Phanera variegata, in which the percentages of blood counts including scatter count return to baseline much faster. Phanera variegata, flowers demonstrated potent protease inhibitory activity. Further studies are required.

Visit the complete list of anti diabetic plants






  1. Antidiabetic activity of stem bark of Bauhinia variegata in alloxan-induced hyperglycemic rats
  2. Cultural attributes of Plants of Darjeeling with potential use and threat through Environmental Degradation in Eastern Himalaya
  4. Potential anti-inflammatory bioactives from medicinal plants of Western Ghats, India 
  5. Phytochemical, antioxidant and antidiabetic evaluation of eight Bauhinia L. species from Egypt 
  6. In vitro antioxidant and antihyperlipidemic activities of Bauhinia variegata Linn

Image credit: Dinesh Valke, [1], [2]