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Rhamnace And Rhamnus Wightii

The small fruit known commonly as manzanitas has an agreeable taste, although ordinarily offered for sale before they are quite ripe.

NOM. VULG.—Manzanitas, Sp.-Fil.; Jujube Fruit, Eng.

USES.—The small fruit known commonly as manzanitas has an agreeable taste, although ordinarily offered for sale before they are quite ripe. They are among the most popular dainties at the fairs and festivals in the provinces of Manila and are the only part of the plant used in medicine. They possess emollient qualities and are official in the codex. They enter in the composition of the so-called pectoral remedies (composed of equal parts of figs, dates, Corinthian raisins and manzanitas).

BOTANICAL DESCRIPTION.—A shrub, with hooked thorns, leaves alternate, petiolate, coriaceous, entire, 3-nerved, 2 thorny stipules, one of them crooked.

Flowers small, greenish, axillary. Calyx, 5 oval divisions. Corolla, 5 petals.

Stamens 5, free. Ovary bilocular, situated on the disc. Styles 2–3, divergent; small papillary stigmas. Drupe pulpy, globose, resembling a crab-apple in size and taste, enclosing a hard, 2-celled seed.

HABITAT.—Common in all parts of the islands.

Rhamnus Wightii, W. & Arn. (Ceanothus Wightiana, Wall.; R. Carolianus, Blanco.) NOM. VULG.—Kabatiti, Tag.

USES.—The dried trunk bark is the part employed in medicine. Hooper analyzed it in 1888 and found a crystalline principle (0.47%), a brown resin (0.85), a red resin (1.15), a bitter principle (1.23), sugar, starch, calcium, oxalate, etc.

As the active principles exist in the resins, an alcoholic tincture of the latter is the best preparation for administration. In India it is used as a tonic and an astringent.

BOTANICAL DESCRIPTION.—A small tree that grows near the sea coast. Trunk 9– 12° high, straight, many-branched, devoid of thorns. Leaves alternate, ovate, acutely serrate, glabrous, short-petioled. Flowers greenish-white, axillary, perfect. Calyx 5-toothed, inversely conical. Corolla, 5 petals, smaller than the teeth of the calyx, oval, without claws, notched at the apex. Disc fleshy, smooth, slightly concave. Stamens 5, hidden within the petals. Filaments flattened.

Anthers rounded. Ovary fleshy, inserted at the bottom of the calyx tube. Style short. Stigmas 3, divergent. Fruit oval, its base adherent to the calyx, 3 seeds.

HABITAT.—Batangas. Blooms in July and October.

Reference book: The Medicinal Plants of the Philippines

Tags: Medical plants, Medicine, healing, Injuries, Doctors,

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