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Anacardiace And Anacardium Occidentale

The dried and pulverized kernel of the seed is used as an anthelmintic in doses of 1½–2 grams both in India and Brazil

Cashew Family.

Mangifera Indica, L.

NOM. VULG.—Manga.

USES.—The dried and pulverized kernel of the seed is used as an anthelmintic in doses of 1½–2 grams both in India and Brazil. The same preparation is used in the Philippines in the treatment of dysentery and diarrhoea and its effect is doubtless due to the large quantity of tannin it contains. It is administered as follows: The pounded kernels of 20–25 seeds are brought to a boil in 2 bottles (sic) of water. When the liquid has evaporated a third, it is removed from the fire, cooled, decanted, and again placed on the fire after adding three to four hundred grams of sugar. This time it is allowed to boil till reduced to one bottle.

The dose is 50–60 grams 2–3 times a day. Incisions in the trunk exude a brownish resin which solidifies in the air, is slightly acrid, bitter, dissolves in alcohol and partially in water. In Malabar it is given internally in the treatment of diarrhoea and dysentery, mixing it with white of egg and opium. But the curative value of the combination is more likely due to the albumen and opium than to the resin. Dissolved in lemon juice it is a useful application in the itch. The trunk bark is astringent and is employed in decoction as a wash for ulcers and eczema and as an injection in leucorrhoea.

The fruit is one of the most highly prized in the Philippines, and resident Europeans are able to eat large quantities of it without ill effects unless the fruit is over-ripe, in which case it often causes transient diarrhoea, which should be treated with a mild purge.

In Mauritius the following compound powder is used in dysentery: Dried slices of manga fruit 30 grams.

Dried manga kernels 60 grams.

Plantain seeds 15 grams.

Dried ginger 8 grams.

Gum arabic 15 grams.

Pulverize each ingredient separately; add powdered candy sugar 30 grams.


DOSE.—For an adult one dessert-spoonful every 4 hours; may be given in cauge or arrowroot.

The flowers, testa and bark are, in Hindoo therapeutics, considered “cold,” and “astringent,” and are used especially in diarrhoea. In certain throat affections the Hindoos employ the burning leaves for inhalation. They also use the gum made by evaporating the juice of the ripe fruit, as a confection and an antiscorbutic.

Dr. Linguist recommends the bark as a local astringent in uterine, intestinal and pulmonary hemorrhage and employs the following: Fluid Extract.— Fluid extract of manga bark 10 grams.

Water 120 grams.

Mix. Dose, 1 teaspoonful every 1 or 2 hours.

BOTANICAL DESCRIPTION.—A noble tree, 30° to 40° high, dome-like or rotund in outline. Leaves dark green, lustrous, alternate, lanceolate, entire; short petioles.

Flowers racemose, in verticillate panicles. Calyx, 4, 5 or 6 sepals. Corolla white, fragrant, 4, 5 or 6 petals. Stamens 5, of which perhaps 1, 2 or 3 are fertile. Style on one side of the ovary. Stigma simple. Fruit large, reniform, fleshy, yellow when ripe; contains a large, flattened, reniform pit. Blooms from January even till June. The natives force the fruit by building fires under the trees when but little air is stirring.

HABITAT.—Common throughout the islands.

Anacardium occidentale, L. (Cassuvium reniforme, Blanco.) NOM. VULG.—Kasuy, Tag.; Caskew Nut, Eng.

USES.—The pericarp of the nut contains an essential oil which is very irritant and used by the Hindoos as a vesicant; it severely blisters the lips and tongues of imprudent persons who break the nut without taking the precaution of cleansing it of the oil before opening it. In addition to the oil called cardol, the pericarp contains an especial acid anacardic, a little tannin and ammonia. Cardol (C21H31O2) is an oleaginous, yellow liquid very unstable, neutral, soluble in alcohol and ether, insoluble in water, volatile, and vesicant if applied to the skin.

“Anacardic” acid is white, crystalline, odorless, with a burning, aromatic taste. It melts at 26° and decomposes at 200° forming a colorless oil; it is not vesicant, burns with a dark flame, and has the odor of rancid oil. A tincture of the pericarp has been made (1 part to 10 of alcohol) and given internally as a vermifuge in doses of 2–10 drops. Cardol, according to some authors, does not exercise a vesicant action in the gastro-intestinal canal, because it is not dissolved by the gastro-intestinal juices; I am sure, however, that I have seen a choleraic diarrhoea brought on by swallowing, in fun, the pericarp of one nut and a half. Cardol is eliminated by the urine.

The kernel is edible and has a very agreeable taste when roasted. By expression it yields a sweet, yellowish oil, density 0.916.

The trunk exudes a gum resin in masses varying in color from red to yellow.

The fleshy part, called the fruit, is edible but contains a certain quantity of cardol not only evidenced by the odor but by the smarting of the mouth and throat after eating. It is very juicy and the expressed liquid is fermented in Bombay and distilled to make a very weak alcohol which sells for the very low price of 4 annas (5 cents gold) a gallon. This alcohol is again distilled and a stronger obtained which sells for 1½ rupees a gallon. The Portuguese of India make a sort of wine from the fermented juice of the fruit, which, like the weak alcohol we have mentioned, is a well-known diuretic and is used as a liniment.

The gum resin of the trunk contains 90% of anacardic acid and 10% cardol.

Wood soaked in it is preserved from the ravages of insects, especially of white ants, for which purpose it is used by bookbinders also. Therapeutically it is used externally in leprosy, old ulcers and to destroy corns, but on account of its rubefacient and vesicant qualities it is necessary to use it cautiously.

BOTANICAL DESCRIPTION.—A tree, 18° high, with leaves cuneiform, glabrous, stiff, short-petioled. Flowers polygamous in terminal panicles. Calyx with 5 erect segments, imbricated, caducous. Corolla, 5 linear, lanceolate petals, curved and imbricated. Stamens 8–10, all fertile. Filaments united to one another and to the disc. Ovary heart-shaped. Style filiform and eccentric. Stigma defective. Ovule solitary. Fruit a reniform nut enclosed in a pulpy pyriform body, formed by the matured disc and extremity of the peduncle. Seed reniform, testa membranous.

HABITAT.—Common throughout the Archipelago. Blooms in February.

Reference book: The Medicinal Plants of the Philippines

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