This plant has many uses. It possesses medicinal abilities as an antibacterial and for its anticoagulant properties. It also produces a valued type of reddish dye called brazilin, used for dyeing fabric as well as making red paints and inks. Slivers of heartwood are used for making herbal drinking water in various regions, such as Kerala, and Central Java, where it's usually mixed with Ginger, Cinnamon and Clove. Heartwood also contains juglone (5-hydroxy-1,4-naphthoquinone), also an active antimicrobial principle. Homoisoflavonoids (sappanol, episappanol, 3'-deoxysappanol, 3'-O-methylsappanol, 3'-O-methylepisappanol and sappanone ) can also be found in C. sappan.

Caesalpinia sappan

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  • The wood is somewhat lighter in color than Brazilwood and its other allies, but the same tinctorial principle appears to be common to all. Sappanwood was a major trade good during the 17th century, when it was exported from Southeast Asian nations (especially Siam) aboard red seal ships to Japan.