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The wood and seeds contain an intensely bitter principle.

Quassia Family.

Samadera Indica, Gaertn. (Niota tetrapela, DC. & Blanco; Manungala pendula, Blanco.) NOM. VULG.—Manungal, Tag., Pam., Bicol.; Manunagl, Linatoganak, Palagarium, Daraput, Vis.

USES.—The wood and seeds contain an intensely bitter principle. The Filipinos make cups and vases of the wood and allow water to stand in them 6–12 hours, thus preparing a solution of the bitter principle of the plant which they use in various stomach disorders.

Vrij has extracted from the seeds a 33% oil of a bright yellow color, composed, according to Oudermans, of 84 parts olein to 16 of palmitin and stearin.

The bitter principle contained in the root, wood and bark was discovered by Blunse who named it samaderin; it is a white, crystalline, foliaceous substance, more soluble in water than in alcohol, fusible. Nitric and hydrochloric acids color it yellow. Sulphuric acid immediately forms a violet red color which disappears as iridescent, feathery crystals are precipitated. (D. Beaumentz et Egasse.) The Filipino “herb-doctors” concoct an oil of manungal that in reality contains none of the ingredients of the seeds; it is simply cocoanut oil in which chips of the wood have been soaked. They use it in doses of 30–60 grams as a purgative, externally as an application to the abdomen in colic or indigestion and with friction in rheumatism or contusions. In India the oil extracted from the seeds is used locally with friction in rheumatism.

The decoction of the wood and the powdered wood are given in fevers, in dyspepsia and as a general tonic.

INFUSION.— Chips of the wood 20 grams.

Water 500 grams.

A wineglassful several times a day in cholera, fevers, diarrhoea, etc.

BOTANICAL DESCRIPTION.—A small tree, trunk straight, the wood white and very light in weight. Leaves 4–5′ long, alternate, acute, oval, entire, glabrous, coriaceous, veined. Petioles very short, no stipules. Flowers in terminal umbels, each composed of 4–6 flowerets with moderately long pedicels. Common peduncle, very slender, very long, drooping. Calyx of same color as corolla, inferior, very small, 4-lobuled. Corolla purplish, very long, 4 straight, linear petals. Stamens 8, inserted on the receptacle. Filaments of equal length with the petals, with 1–2 appendices at the base. Anthers spiral. Ovary 5-lobuled, borne on small stalk. One style of equal length with the stamens, situated above the center of the 5 lobules of the ovary which develop into 5 future pods. Stigma simple. Fruit 5 woody pods, short, united centrally above a small base, semilunar in form, medianly expanded, venate, containing a small wrinkled, kidneyshaped seed attached by a seed-stalk to the superior suture.

HABITAT.—Very common and well known everywhere in the Philippines. Blooms in February.

Reference book: The Medicinal Plants of the Philippines

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