Chinese Toon
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Chinese Toon
ative Photo: Krishan Lal
Common name: Chinese Toon, Chinese Mahogany, Red Toon
Botanical name: Toona sinensis    Family: Meliaceae (Neem family)
Synonyms: Toona serrata, Toona glabra, Cedrela sinensis

Chinese Toon is a deciduous tree growing to 25 m tall with a trunk up to 70 cm diameter. The bark is brown, smooth on young trees, becoming scaly to shaggy on old trees. The leaves are pinnate, 50-70 cm long and 30–40 cm broad, with 10-40 leaflets, the terminal leaflet usually absent (imparipinnate) but sometimes present; the individual leaflets 9-15 cm long and 2.5-4 cm broad, with an entire or weakly serrated margin. The flowers are produced in summer in panicles 30-50 cm long at the end of a branch; each flower is small, 4-5 mm diameter, with five white or pale pink petals. The fruit is a capsule 2-3.5 cm long, containing several winged seeds. Chinese Toon is native to eastern and southeastern Asia, from North Korea south through most of eastern, central and southwestern China to Nepal, northeastern India, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, and western Indonesia.
Medicinal uses: The fruit, bark, and roots are used in traditional Chinese medicine.Toona sinensis can induce apoptosis of cancer cells, reduce plasma glucose in diabetic rats, and improve lipolysis of differentiated 3T3-L1 adipocyte and its uptake of glucose. It has also been shown that TS may increase dynamic activity of human sperm. Toona can safely prevent and alleviate lung cancer proliferation in vitro and in vivo.It has the potential to be developed as an anti-lung cancer drug.

Identification credit: Krishan Lal, Kumar, Monideepa Mitra Photographed in Himachal Pradesh & Uttarakhand.

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