Oxalis corniculata, L. (O. Acetosella, Blanco.) NOM. VULG.—Taig̃an dogá, Susokayoli, Tag.; Darasig, Vis.; Malabalugbug dagis, Ayo, Kongi, Yayo, Pam.; Indian Sorrel, Eng.
USES.—The part of the plant used in medicine is the leaf which is acid by virtue of the potassium oxalate which it contains. The decoction is used internally as an antipyretic in fevers and in dysentery. Mistaking the properties of the plant it is given for vesical calculus which, if composed of oxalates, would be increased instead of diminished by the treatment. In fact the salt of sorrel in the leaves contains a large quantity of oxalic acid mixed with potassium oxalate. In China, India and the Philippines the entire plant is used as an antiscorbutic.
The cold infusion of the leaves is given internally in doses of from 30 to 60 grams, but it is not a medicine to be given indiscriminately, because in addition to its power of adding to the bulk of calculi of the oxalates, the contained potassium oxalate is poisonous in doses of 25 to 30 grams. If a concentrated solution is taken, it operates as a corrosive poison, producing violent pains in the stomach, vomiting, faintness and great weakness. If the solution is dilute its absorption is rapid and it operates very energetically. When a patient is poisoned by a concentrated solution, the stomach-pump is contraindicated, because the mucous membrane of the organ is corroded and ulcerated; if by a dilute solution, use the pump to remove as much of the poison as possible. The best antidote is a watery solution of a soluble salt of lime, i. e., the saccharate, which forms an insoluble salt with oxalic acid.
The juice of the leaves is an antidote for the Datura (Stramonium). In India they make a decoction of the plant, mix it with onion juice and apply it to the head as a fomentation in hemicrania.
BOTANICAL DESCRIPTION.—A plant 1° high, with a creeping, glabrous stem, leaves horizontal, ternate with common long petiole. Leaflets sessile, obcordate, with downy borders. Flowers axillary or terminal, from 1 to 3 in number on a common long peduncle. The pedicel is also long. Calyx common to the family.
Corolla, 5 petals ending in small claws. Stamens 10, monadelphous, the 5 shorter ones bearing each a small gland on the outer surface of the base. Ovary large, fluted. Styles 5, short. Stigmas hemispherical. Seed vessel pyramidal, containing many seeds enveloped in an elastic aril by which they are ejected when the fruit opens.
HABITAT.—Abundant in Luzon, Panay and Cebú.
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