AskDefine | Define catechu

Dictionary Definition

catechu

Noun

1 extract of the heartwood of Acacia catechu used for dying and tanning and preserving fishnets and sails; formerly used medicinally [syn: black catechu]
2 East Indian spiny tree having twice-pinnate leaves and yellow flowers followed by flat pods; source of black catechu [syn: Jerusalem thorn, Acacia catechu]

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Etymology

Probably a corruption of the lang=ms.

Noun

  1. A gummy extract of any of several species of Acacia, produced by boiling the wood of the tree in water and evaporating the resulting liquid.

See also

Extensive Definition

Catechu (also known as cachou, cutch, cashoo, or Japan earth) is an extract of any of several species of Acacia—but especially Acacia catechu—produced by boiling the wood in water and evaporating the resulting brew.
Catechu (called katha in Hindi) is an astringent and has been used since ancient times in Ayurvedic medicine as well as in breath-freshening spice mixtures. Black Catechu has recently also been utilized by Blavod Drinks Ltd. to dye their vodka black. http://www.blavod.com/frames/news/latimes/index.htm
Also called cutch, it is a brown dye used for tanning and dyeing and for preserving fishing nets and sails.
White cutch, also known as gambier, gambeer, or gambir, has the same uses.
catechu in Breton: Gwez-kachou
catechu in German: Gerber-Akazie
catechu in Esperanto: Kateĉuo
catechu in French: Acacia à cachou
catechu in Tamil: காசுக்கட்டி
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